An MBA’s Beauty Essentials


I am ecstatic to introduce another guest blogger to you today, my dear classmate and friend, Karina. Because we all lead super busy lives, Karina being no exception, I wondered what she has in her beauty bag of tricks that keeps her looking fresh + vibrant between work and school. She has graciously put together a comprehensive list of must-haves for you all … if you’re a busy bee like us, and you’re looking for some beauty essentials, read on…


As a part-time MBA student with a full-time job, I need products that are quick, easy and reliable. No time to fuss with stuff that doesn’t work or continuously try out new products to see what does work. So how great is it that one of my very own classmates has her own blog to offer very reliable, trustworthy beauty advice?


You already know that I have tapped into Miss Beauty Nerd’s wisdom to help cover my sleep deprivation so I was completely honoured to be asked to write a guest post on some of my own go-to beauty products. Although I don’t have the brains to be classified as an official beauty nerd, let me share with you what I keep handy to help me survive MBA + working + everything else:


Life Brand Unscented Baby Wipes – we all know how important it is to remove our makeup before we go to bed (even if you only end up sleeping for a few minutes!) and these no name unscented baby wipes are the best thing for that. They are quick, cheap, and have enough texture on one side to help exfoliate your skin gently. I’ve tried other brands of baby wipes but found them too abrasive. The other side is smooth so I use just that side if I have exceptionally sensitive skin that night. They come in bulk and travel packs and I have been using them to remove my makeup for several years now. I much prefer these over more expensive brand name scented facial wipes that, I feel, do essentially the same thing.

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner – after you clean your skin, applying a toner is the next best thing but majority of toners have alcohol in them which makes my combination skin even more tight and dry. This no-nonsense simple clean toner gives my skin that extra cleansing without added scents or overdrying (read: no more irritants!) With the stress of school and work plus pollution in a big city, the last thing my skin needs is more irritation.

Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets – I keep these with me all the time and they are perfect for absorbing excess oil after a long day of work (including an early morning MBA class!) While I don’t need them every day, there certainly are those times when you can feel your skin getting oily and just one of these sheets does the job. I love how it does not mess up the rest of my make up or add any additional powder or product to my skin. I think that Shoppers Drug Mart creates a no name version of these as well which helps to save a bit more cash (us MBA students learn how to be frugal!)

MAC Blot Powder Pressed – after I absorb any excess oil at the end of the day, I use this pressed powder to touch up my makeup and allow me to head into evening activities refreshed. Recommended by a Beauty Nerd , I love how this mattifies my skin without putting on another layer of powder. You can actually use this several times a day without excess build-up. Nothing is worse to me then being able to see the make-up that you are wearing. I’m big on the natural look so this pressed powder also has a place in my bag along with the oil absorbing sheets.

Estee Lauder’s Smoothing Creme Concealer – ever since Miss Beauty Nerd recommended this to me , I have never looked back! I realized how the concealer I had been using all this time was too thick and dry. Estee Lauder’s Smoothing Creme Concealer provides excellent coverage (it’s not just for the bags under my eyes!) and great blendability (is that a word?) It’s a dream to use and certainly helps me look more awake then I may be feeling.

Philosophy’s Amazing Grace EDT – while I’m big on natural and unscented, I do like to wear a subtle but sophisticated scent and Philosophy’s Amazing Grace is perfect for me. I recently switched to this as my every day scent (after 10 years of wearing the same scent!) and think it’s perfect as I mature and grow through this MBA program (yes it’s true there is a lot of personal growth in this program). The travel size EDT goes with my pressed powder and oil absorbing sheets for my end of day refresh/pick-me-up routine.

Bliss High-Intensity Hand Cream – another Miss Beauty Nerd recommendation (what did I ever do before meeting Connie?) This hand cream is light but emollient, lightly scented and lasts a long time. The fourth travel piece in my bag to keep me going throughout the day.

The Body Shop’s Cocoa Butter Body Scrub – exfoliation is key to healthy skin and my current fave is this scented body scrub. It must be good for me to use it because I rarely use scented products but I have to say that this product is the best scrub I’ve used so far. The grains are just the right size and in just the right amount to give me the exfoliation that I’m looking for. It leaves my skin feeling really soft and a great product to use in-between spa treatments! Plus the scent is not over powering.

Bliss A Tan For All Seasons – the last Miss Beauty Nerd recommendation ! I have tried a lot of self-tanners and I mean a lot. Similar to Miss Beauty Nerd, I’m not a big fan of sun damage (ahem) but also I always end up getting an uneven tan anyway (don’t you hate that?) And I am determined not to go to a tanning salon (for many reasons) so my only option is a good self-tanner. I’m so thankful that Connie posted about this product because I have never been able to apply self-tanner well until now. It still does have the slight self-tanning smell (I don’t think we can ever get away from that) but the ease of application and overall quality certainly make up for it. I highly recommend it! (Perfect combo with the scrub above as Miss Beauty Nerd reminded us how important it is to exfoliate before self-tanning).

I can’t believe I made it to #10! I was originally only going to include my top 5 but I kept thinking of more recommendations to share. Alas, what I am now looking for is a good blush. What are your recommendations Miss Beauty Nerd? I’ve tried creams, powders, cream powders, stains, you name it. I’m looking for staying powder with natural looking results. And of course no fuss/low maintenance because I’m a busy gal :)
So there’s my top 10. Phew! I hope that they were helpful to you and maybe you’ll join us in doing an MBA of your own? It would be great to see you on campus but more importantly to share more beauty recommendations!

Cheers,

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  • http://www.jennstaz.com Jenn Staz

    Great list – I totally need to check out those baby wipes and the Neutrogena toner. The toners I use now reek of alcohol and are wayy too drying.

    Question about the Body Shop stuff – how long does this last you? I’d really like to try this, especially since that’s one of my favorite scents, but it’s a bit expensive for me!

  • Karina

    @Jenn – so glad you like my list! Good question about Body Shop stuff. I don’t normally shop there but I picked up two tubs of the scrub during a sale (buy one get 50% off the second) recently to stock up. They seem to have those fairly regularly so I would watch out for them. And, to be honest, I only just discovered this scrub like a month ago but it’s been lasting me well so far. I use it about twice a week and a small dollop around the size of a quarter (prob less) is good to exfoliate one leg. The scrub actually extends much farther than I expected so I find I’m using less now as I’m getting used to it. The grains are so densely packed throughout the scrub that a little really does go a long way. It is certainly lasting me longer, based on my current use, than other similar scrubs I have tried. Hope that helps & let me know if you like it!

  • http://www.jennstaz.com Jenn Staz

    Karina, thanks so much for your response. i’ll definitely keep a lookout for their BOGO deals. I’m glad to hear that there’s a lot of bang for your buck in the one product! I’ll let you know if I try it :D

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  • Sarahzafrani

    A great natural blush with amazing lasting power is the tarte Amazonian clay blush. Many beautiful shade some mat some shimmery. I like it. And of course Mac blushes as always

    • http://www.thebeautynerd.com/ Connie

      Could not agree more!! Thanks for the suggestions :)…