Tuesday, December 27, 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW // Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet (swatches)

Because you can test out too many, right?
Nevertheless, I've been putting the new Lip Magnets to the test for over a month now.  I put them through all the tests and compared them with some of my holy grail lipsticks (see here).  The two shades I have are #400 (four hundred for all) and #505 (second skin).  I'm going to keep this short and sweet with a classic pro/con list.  Let's get straight into it!

Monday, December 19, 2016

LOOKBOOK // Little Red Dress

I'm assuming that not everyone is like me and looking forward to spending the holidays in coordinating PJ's with my family.  I'm guessing everyone else probably has a need for non-sleepwear options so this is for you!  I'm a big fan of red dresses and this is the best time of year to add to the festivities.  Self-Portait is having a moment right now--those details!  I love the combination of risque cutouts and ladylike lace.  There's a few copycats (check Topshop and Zara) in case you're not ready to break the bank just yet.

DIY // Salt Dough Gift Tags

The holidays are a lovely time for creativity and DIY crafting.  Today I wanted to focus on the art of gift wrapping, something I'm quite passionate about (I'm serious)!  Nothing brings me joy like seeing the look on other's faces when they receive a beautifully wrapped gift.  I wanted something simple and rustic this year so I went with brown paper and a gold ribbon.  I was going to buy gift tags but I remembered making salt dough ornaments in school that could work for what I had in mind.  Here's a simple recipe from things readily available in your pantry.  Happy wrapping!

Monday, December 12, 2016

PRIMP // Stocking Stuffers Eva NYC x Old Navy

Here's a quick little gift guide for anyone looking for stocking stuffers!  Eva NYC has the cutest mini packaging on some of their best products.  I haven't tried everything but hair mask and dry shampoo are divine.  The exciting part is that they're now being stocked at Old Navy so they're much more accessible.  If you can't get to a store, I've linked some products online.

Monday, December 5, 2016

PRIMP // Three Natural Hair Products to Try

If I could turn back time, I'd go back to my awkward teenage years and reverse all the irreparable damage I would do to my hair.  I would say no to heat and chemicals.  I would tell that awkward teenager with thick, curly, healthy hair that she would regret trying to change her hair texture in a few years.  Since time travel is yet to be invented, my journey to healthy hair has been a slow one.  It started with overnight oil treatments to condition, SLS-free shampoo's to stop stripping, and hot tools to stop damaging.  Always choosing the most natural method, I'm happy to say I've gotten my hair to a good place.  I know you guys are already familiar with the usual DIY hair treatments so today I wanted to share three products that aren't as popular but have helped me in growing my hair longer and stronger.

Friday, December 2, 2016

GIFT GUIDE // Wish List No. 1

Is it really December already?  I need to kick it into high gear and cross those names off my list!  And reward myself for all this hard work (#shoppingismycardio).  I'll be rounding up more wish lists as we get closer and closer to the holidays so be sure to check back.  For now, check out these gifts for the beauty and fashion minimalist in your life.  If you have a friend who enjoys pretty packaging and luxe details, here are a few options that caught my eye.  Good luck with your shopping!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Primp // Best of ELF Cosmetics

ELF Cosmetics has been making strides in the make-up industry.  I think they do a great job of combining effective products and good packaging, simultaneously keeping up-to-date with new trends.  There are certainly some amazing finds within this brand, regardless of the cost.  I find myself reaching for these products on the regular.  Today, I'm gathering up 12 products I find to be exceptional and why I love them.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

INSPIRE // Three Ways to Find Inspiration

Although it may look different to each of us, I imagine we all struggle at times to find things that move us.  I always get the sense that there's an endless amount beauty out there that we have the capacity to harness or explore.  It's just finding it and then holding on to it that's the hard part.  For myself, I need to stay inspired creatively to do my job.  For you, it may be an outlet you're seeking.  Whatever our end goal is, I know that there is much inspiration in the beautiful world just waiting for us.  Now when I feel stuck, I turn to three sources to spark my creativity and find joy, passion and purpose. As always, everything pictured will be link down below.

Friday, November 25, 2016

EAT // Coconut Ladoos with Jaggery

 I didn't have much of a sweet tooth but India has converted me.  The making of Indian sweets is truly an art form and secret recipes are handed down from generation to generation.  Recipes for these truly decadent confections often range from complicated to more complicated.  One of the only ones I've dared to make at home, without adult supervision, are these coconut ladoos.  It's a simple recipe that only requires few ingredients but the result is a rich dessert with aromatic coconut and cardamom, lightly sweetened with jaggery.  Jaggery is basically unheard of in the States, mainly because it's the sap of palm trees, like date palms or coconut palms.  It tastes delicious and by adding it to water today, we can make a simple syrup to add it to our ladoos.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

EAT // Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Am I the only one that prefers to eat my meals out of a bowl?  I'm just not that into plates.  A big bowl of soup with warm bread--be still my heart! Inspired by the season, I was in the mood for butternut squash soup.  The best thing about this soup is how creamy it is sans any kind of dairy.  I love the colors in these photos, that mirror what I see when I look out the window these days.  Here's a simple recipe for a flavorful meal that's sweet and creamy.  It's also vegan and gluten-free!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Primp // Sephora VIB Sale Wishlist 2016

img source: Sephora
Hello and Happy Fall!  It's that time of the year again--nope, forget about the holidays.  It's that rare sale opportunity on high end beauty products.  In case you haven't noticed, beauty is almost always excluded from sales and promotions.  But Sephora's VIB sale is a wonderful time to either restock on your favorites or try something new you've been saving in your cart.  I've rounded up my ultimate wish list for make up, skin care and hair to share with you guys.  All sale details are below!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Primp // Six Favorite Essie Polishes


File under "neutral obsession." I can't help but be drawn to these pretty muted shades.  I, of course, have my bright colors but honestly, I find these easy to wear and, as someone who works with my hands, more practical.  Any amount of chipping is glaringly obvious in scarlet red than it is in nude.  As far as formula goes, Essie does tend to chip on me unless I use this combo base coat and top coat.

"Blanc" -- a creamy, snowy white perfect for chic white manicures
"Vested Interest" -- a cool, grayish teal
"Lady Like" -- the most elegant soft mauve
"Just Stitched" -- a warm pink with a pearl finish
"High Class Affair" -- blush nude
"Birthday Suit" -- flattering delicate nude

Lookbook // Hot Tropics


S.O.S--I'm NOT somewhere tropical, sipping a fabulous cocktail.  Please send help!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

INSPIRE // Being Happy in 2016: A Reminder to Myself

Since I'm rubbish at them, I didn't want to label this as my New Year's Resolution.  I think quick fixes will get you quick results that vanish quickly and I much prefer and try (keyword: try) to make healthy lifestyle changes that become second nature so it's long-term and permanent.  Makes sense, right?  Something I struggle with is staying positive and happy, especially in the moment.  Sometimes it's due to stress or anxiety and other times I'm afraid I'm losing my mind when I get sad for absolutely no reason.  Self-help authors and Pinterest quotes alike say happiness is simply a choice.  Easier said then done. I often wondered how certain people can always, always be happy.  Are they genetically predisposed with it?  Since that's not me, I've had to figure some things out on my own.  I've come to the conclusion, with a lot of experience and the help of loved ones, that you have to rule your mind or it will rule you.  To be content with who you are, where you are and what you have takes practice. I've got a good feeling about 2016 and the potential it holds (not just because my birthday this year will be 06/16/16, I promise.)  So in an effort to make this a life-long habit, I choose to be happy.  To remind me should I get lost, here's a few things to get me back on track:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

TRAVEL // Five Things I Learned From Living in India

Oops, I did it again.  I can't believe how long its been since my last post.  I confess that I'm not a blogger with lofty ambitions of gaining this many pageviews or followers per day.  I really just want to start writing again for my family and friends, who are wondering what the heck I'm doing with my life.  And it was never my intention to stop blogging all together.  However, I greatly underestimated just how long it takes to get settled in a new place.  I don't mean a new house but a new COUNTRY.

Because I did it.  As of September of 2014, I've been in India (read this blog post if you're confused).  Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I can't believe I actually had the guts to do this.  I'm no daredevil nor adrenaline junkie.  I can't even watch scary movies without asking my little brother to bunk with me that night (and every night that week).  I like to play it safe, stick to what I know and be in bed by midnight.  I'm so incredibly happy I got to do this because it's astounding how much you learn about yourself when you are taken out of your comfort zone.

As today marks India's Republic Day, the day the Constitution of India came into force, I wanted to write down a few realizations I've had since moving to india.  Afterall, India is a teacher and travellers are its students.