Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Primp // Minimal Make Up Routine (featuring Jouer Cosmetics)

I've been *trying* to be minimalistic with my make up.  It's hard when I have quite a collection to play around with, I can get overwhelmed with my choices.  So I tried to limit myself to one brand for a few weeks or else pick out only 3-5 products to use daily. One option I really liked is Jouer Cosmetics fun click-and-go philosophy to effortless beauty.  It's a great collection of eyeshadows, blushes, powders and lip products that snap together to create a customizable palette.  

The packaging is ideal for travel, too--very compact and flat enough to fit into any makeup bag.  It's nice to have the option of switching out the colors to suit your needs or to be able to click the whole collection together to keep it organized.

The product themselves are high-quality and long lasting.  What I really like about them is how natural and fresh they look.  The Jouer Matte Moisture Tint is a great tinted moisturizer if you have oily/combination skin. While it doesn't stay matte on me, it's the lightest weight base I can wear daily, with a touch of powder (the sheer matte/bronzer duo) throughout the day.  

I like that the tint in "amaryllis" is a soft red that looks great on darker skin tones and doubles as a cream blush and a lip tint.  For a slightly defined eye, I can use this eyeshadow duo or build it up with the darker shade for something more smokey.  I love this lip sheer tint--it just adds a light color to my lips but provides moisture and protection (spf 15) and I like to keep it in my purse.  The red lip gloss is good to have to take the look from day to night.

Shop all products here:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Lookbook // Celebration

Dress (similar and similar)  // Flower Crown // Lip

Another year gone by in a flash.  I turned 26 years old three days ago and with it a flooding of realizations and thoughts.  As always, I'm reminded by how loved I am by an outpouring of affection from friends and family, both near and far.  How I got so lucky, I'll never know.  It's the best part of birthdays--to be hugged and appreciated just for being me.  And I think that I am just striving to be more me than I have ever been before.  To create a life that feels good on the inside matters more than one that just looks good on the outside.  In fact, some might argue that my life doesn't look so good on the outside and yet, I'm happier now than before.  I love birthdays, as I always gain some perspective on the direction of life, both good and bad.  I am not the same individual I was a year ago, a month ago, etc.  I am always growing.  Experiences don't stop--that's life.

"The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be." --Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Product Review // L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

Okay, a little bit obsessed with this one at the moment.  You should know by now that anything with the word "matte" is destined to be tried on my face, especially if it's a drugstore find.  It claims to be 24 hour wear but lord knows I'm not pulling a beauty all nighter to put that to the test.  However, for a normal work day, I'm fairly impressed with this staying power.  And it doesn't get oily on me through out the day!  Hallelujah! I'm wearing this foundation in this post, if you'd like to see it in action.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Primp // DIY Beach Waves Spray

Last week I listed my favorite sea salt sprays on the market today in this post.  I've found that these kinds of sprays are the best to enhance the natural texture of your hair.  I think our generation has been spoiled by all the great heat styling tools available and now all I hear is how damaged our hair is (myself included).  I've made a real effort to lay off the heat and rely on a few styling products to tame my frizz and add waves on a daily basis.  Now if you're still having trouble, here's a  a fool proof DIY recipe that you can customize to best suit your natural hair texture.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Primp // Why You DON'T Need To Contour

If you open up Pinterest or YouTube, you're bound to run into more than a few contouring tutorials.  Ask any industry professional and they'll tell you contouring has been around for ages.  But recently, there's been an obsessive rage to to carve out cheekbones and give your nose a thinner appearance.  You'll see all the beauty brands bringing out contouring powders, sticks, creams, etc--because they're flying off the shelves at an alarming rate.

Contouring is giving shape to an area of the face and enhancing the facial structure through makeup.  It's not supposed to be noticeable—just a subtle definition.  It's all about the artistry and illusion.  Contouring and highlighting, when done right, looks absolutely amazing in photography.  So if you're Kim Kardashian and have a camera crew following you at every turn, then it makes sense to look picture perfect.  Or if you're a model in studio lighting, where everything can be controlled to flatter you best.  There are certainly alot of benefits, but there are also a lot of reasons I don't think we should include it in our daily makeup routine.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Eat // Vegan Loco Moco Recipe (featuring the Vegg)

I made this for Memorial Day Brunch yesterday at home for my family and decided to make a quick blog post about it--not because this is the best vegan egg dish I've ever had but because this is something new and different in the world of imitating eggs.  I'm genuinely impressed by the Vegg and its many uses.  It's 100% plant-based and claims to mimic the texture and taste of eggs to replace it in a multitude of recipes, like scrambled eggs or even a hollandaise sauce.  

The coolest part is the bit of molecular gastronomy used to create the spherical egg yolk.  It takes some practice to get it right but it's much easier than it sounds.  You can watch this video to learn more about this process.  The Vegg is available for purchase on Amazon.  While you're at it, throw this and this in the cart, if you're planning to recreate the recipes in their book--the recipes are more technical and scientific than your average dishes.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Product Review // Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Foundation has come such a long way since I first started dabbling in make-up as a teenager (probably in the form of Cover Girl's powder compact that was a few shades too light for me). I can never test too many base products because it's the most important part of my make-up, for whatever look I may be going for.  If you get a long lasting, undetectable foundation in the right shade, then the rest of your makeup is a piece of cake. I like to mix products to get just the right concoction for my skin. Now give me the option of pure pigment and let me mix it in with my perfect moisturizer, serum, etc and I'm like the mad scientist of makeup--which is exactly what CoverFX achieved with their Custom Cover Drops. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lookbook // The Best Online Memorial Day Sales

Contrary to what my shirt says, I won't be at the beach this weekend.  If you're on the east coast, the best place to be is in the city since everyone else will be flocking to the shore.  But I love Memorial Day since it marks the (un)official start of summer, plus we're lucky enough to get a three day weekend.  ALSO, there are usually some killer sales.  So if you're on the beach or otherwise unable to make it to a mall, here my picks for some great online deals so we can all be proud Americans and buy more stuff we probably didn't need (guilty x43827849372)!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Product Review // Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub

Ulta, $26
I've never met a Mario Badescu product I didn't like and it looks like the streak continues with their new face scrub--Botanical Exfoliating Scrub.  I like a good scrub in the shower a few times a week but what always turns me off are the micro-lacerations they cause--you know, those tiny cuts you don't know are there until you go to put on your toner or serum and it stings like a b****?  No one likes angry, red skin!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Primp // Best of Sea Salt Sprays

Sea Salt Sprays

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

I am super lazy with my hair these days.  Years of using heat on my hair has finally caught up to me and I've been focusing on restoring it (applying coconut oil like my life depends on it).  For the most part, I only allow myself a curling iron on special occasions.  So I've been doing my research on the best of the best in terms of sea salt sprays to add texture and hold to my naturally wavy hair that doesn't dry it out or leave it feeling sticky or crunchy.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Lookbook // Beach Daze

lookbook, beach outfit, polyvore

Striped Bikini // Cover Up // Tote // Sandals // Beach Towel // Sunglasses // CC Cream // Hat

We all deserve to go some where we feel free.  To me, that is the ocean.  Life is just better in flip flops with a little sand between your toes.  The funny thing is that I can't swim!  Not even float but for some reason, the sea has always called my name and I never fight it.  Note to self: adult swimming lessons.

Hope we all get to spend a little more time down the short this summer! xx  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Primp // How To Depuff Your Eyes Instantly (without makeup)

quick fix to depuff eyes helpful products

Rough night?  Special occasion?  Or maybe it's allergy season and your eyes are as puffy as ever.  I have a little routine I stick to when my eyes are feeling extra tired or I'm having a proper pamper session (most Friday nights, in case you were wondering).  You actually don't need anything special but one key factor can instantly depuff your eyes to look and feel more awake.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Lookbook // Things Will Change

trouble with classicists

then, she began to breathe, and live, and every moment took her to place where goodbyes were hard to come by. She was in love, but not in love with someone or something, she was in love with her life. And for the first time, in a long time, everything was inspiring.
-- r. m. drake 

Product Review // Jaclyn Hill Favorites by Morphe Brushes

eyeshadow morphe brushes dupe

I wasn't going to do this post since the palette has been completely sold out BUT I've been so impressed with the quality of these shadows.  While you can't buy them in a palette like this, they are available as single eyeshadows individually.  The best part? They're $2 (!!!) a pop at Morphe Brushes.  What can you buy for two bucks these day?  A pack of gum maybe?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wardrobe Staple // The Denim Shirt

denim shirt wardrobe must have

I will admit that I have a lot of everything--shoes, jeans, make-up, sunglasses, jewelry, etc.  I consider it an occupational hazard of sorts, one that comes with the territory of 1. past job history of working in retail and 2. blogging about fashion and beauty.  Something I've always wanted for myself is living with less.  The idea appeals to my innate wandering gypsy soul since having more things tie you down.  There is freedom in owning less; we are not what we own, after all.  If I've learned anything this past year, it's that money spent on plane tickets and traveling is more meaningful than picking up a new shade of lipstick.

But I also have to be practical--I am as high maintenance as they come.  I like having two different shampoos in the shower (one for daily, one for clarifying...duh) and painting my nails every week with a face mask on is a sacred ritual.  Same with my closet--I like having options so I'm prepared for every occasion from weekend wear to last minute Met Gala invitation.  As I'm preparing for a little world travel (see here), I thought that I could find a realistic approach to a minimalistic wardrobe for a shopaholic (key word: REALISTIC).  So I'm starting a mini-series here on my wardrobe staples and what I absolutely could not do without.  Because let's be honest--if we're going to have less things, they have to be great things.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Product Review / Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

truth serum, collagen booster, ole henrikson, sephora 
I've been completely obbessed with serums lately--thanks to Sali Hughes over at The Guardian (see here).  I've been using them on and off over the years but recently started doing my research on serums.  I'm diligently trialing my way through a few different ones but this one was a fast favorite and I'm on my second bottle already.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Gift Guide // Mother's Day featuring Macy's (friends and family sale)

gift guide mothers day macy's friends and family sale
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Putting a friendly reminder out there that Mother's Day is on May 10th, so that gives you a solid week to nail down the perfect gift for the most special lady in all our lives.  This weekend also happens to coincide with Macy's Friends and Family sale (see code below) so it might be a good idea to get started on the task straight away.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lookbook // EVERYDAY Summer

It's currently 70 degrees and sunny!  I could get used to this pretty quickly.  I'm jumping ahead and gathering some everyday summer basics for you guys today.  Shop below!

Product Review // Mario Badescu Haul

 I got a small package from Mario Badescu, a company I've used before.  This isn't a full fledged review but just some initial thoughts after having them a few weeks.  Actually, the drying lotion is one my favorites (here's a review) so I can attest to the effectiveness of that one, but the other two are new to me.  Be sure to sign up for e-mails on their site--they are always running promo codes for discounts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lookbook // Three Must-Have Hats for Spring

 I'm not a hat person, per say, but I do love my accessories.  You can really kick your outfit up on notch with the addition of some headwear.  I like anything that allows me one more day before I absolutely HAVE to wash my hair.  If it also provides extra sun protection, then I'd be silly to forgo it.  And who likes windy day when your hair is whipping about and getting stuck to your lipgloss?  Not I.  What I'm trying to say is that hats are just as practical as they are adorable.
Here are my classic go-to picks for Spring:

1 // The Panama Hat

Probably the most popular currently, Panama hats are the perfect combination of effortless and chic.  It's an every day option, not too over-the-top for daily activities.  I like to pair it with feminine dresses to add a touch of masculinity to the outfit.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Fragrance // Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme review

The change of seasons usually brings about changes in my style.  I love trading in my winter wardrobe for all my spring essentials and vice versa for each season.  One thing that doesn't change too much with me are perfumes and fragrances.  The thing is I don't like the typical spring scents--my nose is sensitive to floral and fruity fragrances seem to young.  I tend to gravitate towards woodsy, ambers or nutty and earthy notes.  Truth be told, for a beauty hoarder, perfumes are not something I have an abundance of.  In fact, I avoid the perfume section at Sephora because it leaves me with a headache (same applies to any Abercrombie & Fitch store)  It's very rare that I would write a blog post to tell you that I love a new perfume.

And I love this new perfume.  I'll even go as far as to say this is what I want to wear on my wedding day.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Inspire // Who Made My Clothes?

The hashtag #whomademyclothes will be everywhere today, marking the second annual Fashion Revolution Day.  It made quite a stir last year, as it marks the anniversary of the tragic Rana Plaza disaster, a factory formerly used by the likes of Joe Fresh and JC Penney, where 1,100 workers were killed in 2013.  Many supporters will be snapping selfies of their clothes turned inside out as a demonstration to support ethically-made garments.  The mission is for clothing companies to respond to the outpouring of consumer cries for transparency regarding where their clothes are being made and who is making them.

From what I've been reading, it seems there is more to the matter than a brand simply "hiding" this information.  For many, they're in the dark as much as their customers are.  Subcontracting is common in the apparel industry.  If a factory gets too busy or finds someone to make it cheaper, they'll hire out--making the supply chain increasingly shady and difficult to track.  And in countries like Bangladesh, there is always someone willing to do it for cheaper.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rave Review // Sephora Cream Lip Stain (always red 01)

We can stop the search for the perfect red lip now.  I found my favorite liquid lipstick after going through an alarming number of products.  I think this Sephora Cream Lip Cream in #01 blows away the Anastasia Liquid Lipsticks, Stila All Day Lipstick, Hourglass Rouge Opaque, NYX Matte Lip Cream--just to name a few.

Here's why I like it:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Travel // Two Months in India

"I am not the same having seen the sun shine on the other side of the world."

From the beginning of December to the end of January, I spent a blissful two months in a place like no other, one that you really have to see to believe.  From east to west, north to south, every nook and cranny of this country is an overwhelming assault on all five senses.  To some that may sound terrifying but for this girl, it sounded like a challenge.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Product Review // Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick

Revlon recently launched a collection of HD lipsticks. The range uses a new wax-free formula to deliver true color clarity and a high definition color payoff in one swipe.  Since it's wax-free, the lipsticks shouldn't feel too heavy but of course, you still get that intensity of color.  They come in 20 shades--a few nudes and wearable pinks all the way to really bright reds and oranges.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Product Review // Maybelline Pure BB

I am a big fan of light coverage bases for day to day wear.  The downside of that is that most of the products I've tried have failed me big time.  Let me count the ways:

1. way too oily on my oily-combo skin
2. too sheer to do anything for uneven skin tone
3. color match was always limited 
4. did I mention WAY too oily?

Tinted moisturizers, BB creams, CC creams, etc, are on a big marketing kick right now.  Personally, I think a lot of it is gimmicky and they essentially contain the same ingredients, meaning they all work in similar ways.  Some companies are making their way through the whole alphabet so don't get sucked into the marketing and do your own research.  I'll spare you the rant and continue with the review.

Product Review // Kiehl's Avocado Eye Treatment

Avocado and skin care--two things very much up my alley.  I was excited to give this one a try because I've not yet found an eye cream I'm in love or one that I can confidently deem as effective.  This one is marketed as creamy and moisturizing and provides daily hydration to the sensitive eye area.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Travel // East Coast to West Coast

Just two best friends and a pup, road tripping from the eastern hills of North Carolina to beaches of sunny California. I've lived in the United States my whole life and I hadn't seen most of it. The west coast was virgin territory so at the age of 25 I finally took that road trip I should have taken fresh out of high school. 

Let me take a moment to break down the route because I don't want this to be a travel guide but rather a reflection of one of the most memorable trips of my lifetime. We started in North Carolina, then Tennessee, then Arkansas, Oklahoma, a little bit of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and finally California. We mainly used I-40 west (formerly known as Route 66).

The first thing that comes to mind is WOW the United States of America is big, much bigger than you think. I now understand why this country of ours has four different time zones. Secondly, there is so much variation in landscapes. North Carolina was rolling green hills and then Tennessee has the Great Smokey Mountains. As soon as you enter Arkansas, though, it is as flat as the eye can see. Then things start to get a little dry and desert-like on through to New Mexico and Arizona. Of course, once you enter Southern California, it looks more like Mars than anything else (that drought is for real). I loved discovering how different this country is. In New Jersey, so much of what I see is concrete and steel.Don't get me wrong--I am a city girl through and through but to see nature, virtually untouched, for miles and miles is something spectacular.