Review: Surratt Smoky Eye Baton Sticks with Swatches of All Colors

These Surratt Beauty Smoky Eye Batons are the perfect answer for a fall, smudgy eye look. They are a dual ended stick with a creamy liner on one side and a complementary shimmer shadow on the other. This allows you to create a quick smokey eye without needing multiple shadows or liners. 
Swatches from left to right: Cendres, Partir En Fumee, Fumee Noir, Fumee Brun, Vapeur Mauve, Nuit D'Orage, Canons de Beaute, Entincelle
My favorite shade is Cendres, a sheer taupe color and I love to use the shimmer shadow all over the lid and then smudge the liner into my lash line. The liner is exceptionally creamy so this will not give you a precise line, but rather a smokey/smudgey effect. I find that applying it and then smudging it out either with the shimmer shadow or my finger gives the best look. Surprisingly for how soft and creamy both sides are, they last all day without creasing. Stay tuned because I have a tutorial with the Cendres Smoky Baton coming up on my YouTube channel next week!
*pr samples included

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Sandals With Sweaters - Does it Work?

Sandals with sweaters - the look is either a yay or nay for most people. I for one LOVE to mix clothing from different seasons in one outfit and have been doing it for years. I love taking traditional styles from a particular season (like a sweater) and wearing them with pieces from another season (in this case sandals). I also love chunky sweaters and shorts, summer dresses with ankle boots - the possibilities are endless. Obviously there are certain combos that look ridiculous (I'm not going to sport a bathing suit with UGGS LOL), but I enjoy mixing things up. 

My tip for trying this particular style is to only wear a sweater rather than add elements like a heavy coat or scarf, etc. That's when things do begin to get a bit mismatched. However, a trench coat, military jacket or bomber jacket would also look cute with sandals since those are all lightweight outerwear options. However, I am not opposed to a heavier winter coat or a huge chunky knit with stilettos/pumps. I am a huge fan of that look as the next step up from sandals and sweaters. I think wearing a delicate shoe with cold weather pieces is a great way to make things look a bit more feminine, and break up the chunkiness that can come with being so bundled up. 

What are your thoughts? Do you like wearing sweaters and sandals together? Yay or nay?

Sweater - Express | Jeans - Express | Shoes - Steve Madden | Clutch - Clare V | Sunglasses - Stella McCartney (similar budget option here)

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What I'm Loving Right Now - Fashion, Beauty, Home, etc

Sharing all my recent favorites in today's video. Enjoy and don't forget to subscribe!

The products mentioned in the video:

Blog post with my other Golden Goose sneakers
Also available here
Here are the GG leopard sneakers with the red glitter stars
Here is my Instagram of me wearing the leopard sneakers
Here is my blog post on ALL THINGS LEOPARD!! :)
Cute leopard slip-ons for under $50!!!!!
H&M Home here
H&M gray cloth basket I bought for the baby's room (gray is sold out right now)
More baskets from H&M Home
H&M pineapple candle I bought for my office


10 Oversized Cardigans For Fall

I was about to title this post "The Cardigan and the Bump". LOL We took these pictures very late in the day and I swear my bump almost doubles in size by the evening. I am so happy I found these stretchy tanks which seems like they were made for pregnancy but are actually not maternity at all! I sized up to a medium, but will definitely be buying more for after pregnancy because they hold their shape and are long which I prefer for certain outfits. Oh and they are $12. #bonus

Cardigans are everywhere it seems, but they are not a style that always look good on me. I have to find the right style, length, fit, etc so as not to look like I'm drowning in it. I loved this one because it was mid length and had a structured shape which worked much better for my frame. And of course the leopard print makes it an instant hit in my opinion. I squeezed one last wear out of my favorite faux leather leggings because the next day after we took these pictures, I was already not able to fit into these anymore. Ha! But all of you non-pregnant people will be able to and you should buy them asap! I reviewed them last year in this post and have since talked about them non-stop because they truly are incredibly flattering. Definitely a must have for fall, though I would recommend pairing them with a longer top or sweater because they can look like a bit like workout leggings with a shorter shirt. And to be honest, I am of the notion that leggings are not pants so I always prefer to have something on that at least covers my bum. 

Wishing everyone a great weekend and as always, thanks for stopping by and spending time with me on my little space on the internet! I always appreciate it. xo 

Cardigan - Cupcakes & Cashmere | Tank - Nordstrom (non-maternity and only $12!) | Leggings - Spanx | Bag - Gucci | Shoes - Manolo Blahnik (similar budget options here and here) | Sunglasses - Chloe

Shop more oversized cardigans here:


Sweater Weather....Sort Of

Well the blistering hot temps of summer are pretty much gone, but it's not big, fuzzy sweater time either. September and October fall in that in-between time, where it's not too hot and not too cold. So I have been loving lighter weight sweaters and long sleeved tops like this pink one I'm wearing in today's post. 

Before I get into what I'm exactly wearing, I have to share a bit of a backstory on it. I have not shopped at Express in yearssssssssss. I don't know why but I never really felt compelled to check out their selection and it didn't seem like my style. And yes I know that Express does TONS of sponsored campaigns with various bloggers promoting their clothing, and slowly over the past year or two I was shocked at how cute some of their things were when I would see them on social media and certain blogs. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was on the hunt for some longer sweaters/tunic styles for pregnancy, headed to the Express site and was surprised at how many great things I found. And they were having a huge sale so I ended up snagging a couple of different pieces and even some regular jeans (I just rubber band the waist) at amazing prices. Even a few readers told me how they shopped a ton at Express while pregnant because many of their tops, sweaters and tunics were flattering and perfect for their bump. So long story long (yes, long because I love to ramble), I am somewhat of an Express convert now. No I don't think I will be filling up my entire closet with their pieces, but their prices during certain promotions and sales are quite good and I have loved the items I purchased so far (I have one more sweater and pair of jeans that I will be featuring on the blog next week that I got during this shopping trip).

If you were on the fence like me about shopping there, I will say that their jeans have really appealed to me. The colors, styles and fit are nice and they make so many in petite sizes! *insert hands up emoji* That alone won me over. I went through the site and found a few more pairs of jeans that caught my eye and put them in the widget below. Scroll through to see all of them. 

Sweater - Express (on sale for under $30!) | Jeans - Express (I bought the petite but the regular size is here) | Shoes - Schutz (similar here) | Bag - Gucci | Sunglasses - Le Specs

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Review: New Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser

The Eve Lom Cleanser has been a favorite of mine for years now, and it's something that I will always have on hand and use in my skincare routine. I've also used and loved the Morning Time Cleanser, which is a thick, rich balm cleanser in a tube that really helps wake up my skin and leaves it feeling soft and incredibly hydrated. The newly launched Gel Balm Cleanser was instantly on my radar and I was anxious to see if it lived up to the Eve Lom cleanser standard I had set in my mind. And I am happy to say it has!
1. Eve Lom Cleanser - While I have been using the original Eve Lom cleanser for years, I don't use it regularly in my routine. As you can see from the above picture, it has a slightly thick and grainy texture and I find it gives my skin a more deep clean with a mild exfoliation so I prefer to use 2-3x/wk after removing my makeup. I also like to use it as a treatment by applying to damp skin, letting it sit for 3-5 minutes and removing with a damp muslin cloth. This application really plumps my skin, leaving it smooth, soft and hydrated. It's been a cult classic all these years for a reason...it still delivers amazing results every single time I use it.
2. Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser - The first difference between the original cleanser and the new Gel Balm formula is the texture. The Gel Balm name describes it very accurately - it's a creamy balm combined with the lightweight feel of a gel. It actually manages to strike the perfect balance between rich and creamy, while still having a lightness to it that enables it to be removed effortlessly. I find that it can take off every last bit of my makeup, but I prefer to use it as a second cleanse so as to provide my skin with added hydration and comfort.
*pr samples included

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Fall Reading Options: My Recent Book Reviews

Sweatshirt - Chaser (on major sale!) | Sweatpants - Bobi | Mug

It's time for another book review because I have been reading (well listening to audiobooks) up a storm! These are some of my favorite posts to read on other blogs, so I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Here's my recent reading list and thoughts on each book:

1. Me Before You - This was made into a major motion picture, which would possibly indicate it was good but I was not interested in reading this for the longest time. Then after going through a string of thrillers (some good, some not so much), I thought I would opt for a tear-jerker love story. And that is exactly what this is. Louisa is hired by a family to become the companion and aide for their son who became a quadriplegic after a horrific accident. You can guess where this goes - they get closer over time and eventually fall in love. But keep tissues handy because you will need it for the ending.  

2. The Widow - Most of my suggestions in this post were a hit, but this one was an absolute snoozefest for me, even though it is touted as a "psychological thriller" that you "won't be able to put down". Spoiler alert: I was able to put it down (and didn't want to pick it back up). Jean's husband is dead after being accused of a horrible crime, and the story works backwards over the course of events leading up to it. I guess the exciting part was supposed to be uncovering if he really did commit the crime or not, but frankly it dragged for me. I sadly wouldn't recommend this one at all.

3. Gone Without a Trace - Hannah's boyfriend Matt has disappeared without a trace and without any inkling that he was unhappy with the relationship. So she sets off on a mission to try and figure out what has happened to him and why he left. This isn't exactly on-the-edge-of-your-seat captivating but it does take quite a few twists and turns that constantly left me guessing. Especially once all is revealed - I did not see the ending coming.

4. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane - Boy was this one a slow start. I almost gave up twice on this book, but thank goodness I didn't because it was one of my favorite reads out of this entire list! It's the story of Li-yan and her journey from a small village in China to her life in America, and her lifelong mission to reconnect with the daughter she is forced to give up at birth. This book is heartwarming and one that I actually did not want to end. In fact, as I listened to the last sentence I said out loud "this can't be over, already?!!!!" It's a long book, but after I had finished the first quarter I wish it had been twice as long.  

5. Not a Sound - Out of all the thrillers I finished this past month, this one was my favorite! Amelia is a nurse that was left deaf after an accident, and struggles to regain her life back after such a crippling event. With her service dog Stitch by her side, she begins to find her independence again. Unexpectedly she comes across a body in the lake where she kayaks regularly, and realizes it's an old co-worker that she knew from working as a nurse. She is then forced to become a part of the investigation into her death, which she soon discovers is more intertwined with her life than she suspects. Sooooo good, impossible to put down, and one that you could probably finish in one day!

6. Behind Her Eyes - This book fell in the mediocre category for me this month. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it. Louise shares a drunken kiss with a man at a bar one night, only to discover when she arrives at work the following Monday that he is her new (married) boss. To make matters worse, Louise runs into his wife who then tries to befriend her making the situation that much more uncomfortable. As Louise learns more about this marriage and the secrets it holds, she realizes that she is in deeper than she wants to be. Some parts will keep your attention, but the storyline was a bit predictable and lukewarm for me.

7. The Breakdown - This story was very good, but the main character's personality drove me crazy! Almost to the point that I wanted to stop reading the book. But it was too good and mysterious to put down so I had to hate-read it somewhat. LOL Cass is driving home from a work party one evening and comes across a broken down car on a deserted road. She decides not to stop and help, and finds out later that the girl in the car was later murdered. To make the plot even more twisted, Cass realizes after the news releases the victim's name, that she was a woman Cass recently had lunch with. The plot twists are intense and I did not see the ending coming at all which is always my favorite way to finish a book. 

8. The Lying Game - After loving The Woman in Cabin 10, I assumed this book by the same author would be as captivating. Nope, not in the slightest. It's a mystery and has some plot twists, but overall drags on much slower than I liked. 4 friends that carry a secret from their teenage past must come together again in their mid-30's and face the possible consequences of what they have done. What kept me reading was the fact that I couldn't figure out the storyline and was surprised at each revelation. But the ending is quite tragic which really left me dumbfounded and speechless after a rather slow moving storyline.

9. Final Girls - Since I listen to my books instead of reading them, this one felt like I was listening to a scary movie rather than "reading" a mystery novel. I definitely felt myself looking over my shoulder at night and keeping all the lights on until I went to bed. LOL Quincy survived an unimaginable horror as a college student, and spends the rest of her life trying to forgot that horrific night. She is the lone survivor from a crazed madman that murders all her friends, and is ushered into an unspoken club with 2 other women that survived brutal attacks where they were left as the only survivor. The media calls them "Final Girls".  Quincy is forced to face that night all over again when 1 of the 3 final girls is unexpectedly found dead in her home from an apparent suicide and the other shows up at Quincy's door. It's definitely a book that you will not want to read while home alone on a dark and rainy night. Eek!

Read my past book reviews here.


Put A Moto Jacket With It

The title of this post came to me because I've been saying it over and over recently when I don't know what to wear with a certain item of clothing - "oh, I'll put my moto jacket with it". LOL I have been loving how it instantly adds more character to an outfit. I even did it this past weekend with the outfit I wore to my baby shower (see the pic here). I had this cute sleeveless black drop-waist dress and wanted something to put on because it was a bit chilly, and I grabbed my black faux leather moto jacket before leaving on the trip and loved the combination! Regardless if the outfit is feminine, casual or dressy, a moto jacket ends up always working with it. I am still shocked at how much use I get out of them, and now recommend one to all my friends as a wardrobe staple because it may just be the most versatile clothing item I own. Even more than a basic black pump! 

Speaking of baby shower, this weekend was such a whirlwind of fun and one that went by way too fast. My mother, Stan, myself and Elmo headed back to NYC on Friday to have a baby shower with all our friends and family since we have only been in our new city for less than a year. Stan was born and raised in NYC so he has still has tons of family and friends there and I spent 15 years there and the majority of my closest friends are all still living there. We kept things very casual at one of our favorite restaurants, and made it more of a celebration of us becoming parents rather than just a shower for me. The food was delicious but what was most important to me was the desserts! I specifically ordered the birthday cake from Momofuku Milk Bar because it is one of the most unique and best tasting cakes I've ever had (even though it wasn't a birthday - it was still perfect), and people are STILL texting us about that cake and how good it was! Ha! We also ordered Pinkberry which was the frozen yogurt place we used to frequent at least once a week since it was so close to our apartment. And then I had to give my favorite macarons as party favors. Stan and I have tried a ton of macarons all over the country and these still blow our mind every time. Overall, it was the perfect day in our favorite city and one we will remember for years to come! 

Dress - DVF  (also available here) | Jacket - BlankNYC (from last year but this year's version is here and love this one too) | Shoes - Steve Madden | Bag - Chloe (old style but love this newer version) | Sunglasses - Le Specs

Shop more DVF dresses that I'm lusting over:

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