Essie Fall 2014 Collection With Swatches

Essie Fall 2014 Collection with swatches on fair skin
I get excited for a lot of different nail polish launches each season, but Essie is the one brand that always seems to get it right. They consistently make classic colors that become cult favorites that all of us will wear for years and years. And I love the fact that most of the shades they release each season become permanent so you don't have to fall in love with a color and then buy 25 bottles of it because it will disappear after the season is over. This fall collection is everything I would have expected from Essie - rich deep blues and browns, two neutral shades that I can't help but love and a classic red that seems suitable for any time of the year. Below are all the swatches and corresponding names.
My personal favorite is 'Take It Outside', as I'm sure all of you guessed. Though it doesn't sound appealing, I would describe it as the perfect mushroom shade - right? A good mix of gray and beige with no shimmer. I need another neutral nail polish like I need a hole in the head but I refuse to listen to reason when it comes to nail polish.

What shade is your favorite from the collection?


Weekend Staples

Since a good part of my week is spent in more professional clothing for my office job, I am happy have comfortable pieces that still look polished for when the weekend rolls around. I am not a sweatpants kind of gal, but a comfortable pair of jeans, flat boots and an easy-to-wear coat can feel very similar. I picked up these Sloosh rain boots last year because my Hunters were beginning to look haggard (now they have been reduced to my really bad weather boots), and when they arrived I was shocked at how perfect they were for daily wear. I don't always find rain boots to be suitable for sunny days, but these Sloosh boots (love this style as well!) are seriously the coolest and most versatile all-weather boots I have ever come across. They can be extremely fitted around the ankle so it can take a bit of patience to get them off (or a second hand occasionally - LOL), but they are super comfortable to wear during the day and look like great sans bad weather! And of course I had to transition my hats from straw fedoras to wool ones for winter. It's still quite sunny and bright during the winter so I am a big fan of using hats as sun protection as much as my SPF. I picked this one up in two colors from J.Crew and love the way it fits. I still haven't mastered the art of how not to get my makeup on the inside brim of the hat so that is my only drawback when wearing them. But when that wind picks up and the temperature drops, I am just happy to have something to help me stay warm and block out the wind from my face.

Coat - Club Monaco (old but similar here) | Jeans - Hudson | Boots - Sloosh Boots | Gloves - J.Crew (similar here) | Hat - J.Crew | Bag - Louis Vuitton


One Can Never Have Too Many Neutral Eye Palettes

I know - that title is a little bit of an exaggeration, but all my fellow beauty addicts can relate I'm sure. *wink* Both palettes were new brands to me, as I have not tried much from either Lorac or Mark. but I can say that I certainly will try more in the future. Though these palettes may seem similar to each other to an average person (i.e. my husband who said to me "those look identical, why are you going to put them both in a post?" Ugh, mind your business), but to our trained beauty-loving eye, we can all see how different they are from one another. One palette is a bit more warm and rosy, while the other features more gray and taupe based shadows. See? Validation for needing both.
1. Lorac Unzipped Palette - Calling all rosy-neutral fans!! This is for you. I can't say I always gravitate towards a pinky based gold or brown, but I was surprised how well these wore on my skin tone. I was afraid they would come out too orange, but I was happy to see more of a bronzed-golden look to most of the shadows when worn. Most have shimmer except for the palest and deepest shades, but the kind of shimmer that you want to wear. No disco ball eyelids here. The texture is creamier than I anticipated and I felt the colors blended beautifully. I found that the first 6 shades of the collection wore well as lid colors while the last 4 (top two and bottom two on the right of the palette) were better for crease and liner colors. And the best part? It comes with a mini eye primer sample which was just what I needed when I travel.
2. Mark. On The Dot Neutral Eye Color Compact -  First things first - how cute is this palette??!!! MEEP! The shape and size of the shadows remind me of those candy dots and candy makes me happy, ergo this palette makes me happy. The minute I unboxed this after Mark. sent it over, I rushed to the bathroom to play with it. The colors are simply perfect! The taupes, gray-browns and plums are just the sort of shades I prefer to wear most days. The pigmentation strikes that happy balance between not too rich and not too sheer, which to be honest is my ideal shadow formulation. While my initial reaction with super pigmented shadows is always "WOW!", I then realize I find myself working harder to blend them down so I can wear them during the day. Here it was easy to apply my desired amount of color with only a few strokes and little to no blending. And the fact that this palette fits in the palm of my hand makes it a no-brainer for travel, overnight trips and makeup bag status. I just received this a few weeks ago and I'm already making predictions that I will hit pan on it. And is there any greater honor for a makeup product? I think not.
*pr samples included

What are some of your favorite neutral eye palettes?


What Should Be In My Closet

Ok, fall is finally here and I have to deal with it the only way I know how. With some shopping! I'm not a fan of pants to be honest, but I feel I need more of them in my wardrobe since I can't wear only tights and a skirt every single day. But if I am going to wear a skirt, I am enjoying the midi length right now. I just picked up this one from Nordstrom Topshop and think it is perfect for the colder weather! And because I love the Nordstrom Topshop section, can we discuss this dress? OMG. I need a tea date stat to wear this to! Ok, back to the task at hand. My finds from this past week! Click on each link for more details. 


Paintbox Nails

I rarely showcase nail art on the blog (or on my fingers) because I never find any designs that are minimal enough for my taste, or polished enough to wear in my everyday life. That is until I came across Paintbox nails. I first began seeing their manis all over my Instagram feed and thought immediately "these designs are so chic and understated" followed by "I need to try this place asap!" So when they reached out to me recently to come down and try out their services, I was ecstatic. Founded by a former beauty editor, Paintbox is tucked away on a quaint side street downtown NYC - you could almost miss it if you were not looking for it. Once you walk inside, it's quiet and comfortable with inviting decor that evokes a feeling of a "trendy nail salon" but thankfully without the attitude. And since they only do manicures, the space is adequate to hold a good number of clients without feeling that we are sitting on top of one another. Here is a picture of the nail area and drying station - I told you, super chic yet warm and inviting.
While you can get a traditional manicure (or gel if you prefer), their specialty is nail art. And the best thing is they have a book of designs for you to choose from. And as someone that cannot make a decision for the life of me, I was thrilled that there were not an overwhelming number of choices that make you waste your entire visit just deciding on a design. Their designs also change each season which I love because you always know it will reflect the current trend or colors suitable for that time of year. Below is the book of options - and my chosen look for my nails.
As a social media lover, the most brilliant thing about this salon is the mani-cam built into the wall that you can use after your manicure. Just put in your email address and place your hands under the camera and your decorated digits are Instagram ready. See my pic below.
For timing purposes, make sure you give yourself a good 45min - 1hr if you choose to get nail art because these things do take time. But trust me, it's worth it. My birthday is in two weeks and I am already going back to treat myself to a birthday manicure. Now my only task is deciding on my next design.

To book an appointment or more details, visit the Paintbox website and blog. And if you go, make sure to tweet me (@alittlebitetc) a picture of your nails!
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