Prim And Proper

So I was tempted to call this post "Prim and Proper With an Edge" since the sweetest part of the outfit, the bow tie, is covered in skulls. Ha! I initially was just going to just leave the blouse by itself since I am not a huge necklace wearer, but I've been wearing this Alexander McQueen scarf so much recently that I wanted to find a way to incorporate it into the outfit. I threw it on and tied it into a big bow and voila! A new way of wearing it was born. Though as soon as I walked out to go take these pictures, my husband looked at the bow tie and said "What is that? Is that supposed to be like that?" I laughed and said "Of course!" comfortably knowing the added accessory may not be everyone's cup of tea. But I've realized over the years that it can be so liberating to wear things that you absolutely love, regardless of how others may feel about it. Of course there are those certain situations where it's necessary to conform to certain sartorial guidelines (work, religious occasions, etc), but on the whole it's fun to dress for yourself. And ultimately if you do, you will feel and look your most comfortable. Even with a big silk bow tie hanging around your neck.

Blouse - Club Monaco | Skirt - T by Alexander Wang (similar here and here for under $50!) | Cape - Club Monaco (similar here and here) | Shoes - Vince (also love these) | Tights - Commando | Scarf - Alexander McQueen


Building A Face Mask Wardrobe

how to find the perfect face mask for your skin
Face masks are an important part of my skincare routine. They help treat specific concerns I have and deliver almost immediate results. It's been important for me to have a balanced mask wardrobe, so to speak, and here is a  look at the types of masks I keep in my routine to treat any and every skin ailment and condition I could have pop up.
1. Pore Purifying Mask - No matter how well I cleanse my skin, I still need to use a pore purifying mask to really deliver the results I want - which is clear skin and clean pores! I've been using the NUDE Purify Deep Cleansing Mask to help remove impurities from my skin thus preventing future breakouts. It's a delicate clay mousse that feels great as soon as its applied. Often with some pore cleansing masks skin is left dry and flaky, however that is not the case with this NUDE mask which is why I adore it so much. Not only does it help me prevent and treat breakouts, my skin stays balanced throughout the whole process.

2. Exfoliating Mask - As soon as I began adding exfoliating masks into my routine, I saw the biggest changes in my skin. The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is an exfoliating mask I enjoy and it's results prove why these masks are so vital to a healthy skincare routine. The PTR mask helps to remove dead skin cells using alpha hydroxy acids, while also exfoliating with pumpkin enzymes and polishing using aluminum oxides. This is when I see the biggest change in the texture of my skin as well as a reduction in hyper pigmentation and dark spots. Using exfoliating masks help to go deeper than just a granular scrub and really target rough texture, fine lines and uneven skin tone. These masks are always a guaranteed glow getter.

3. Hydrating Mask - One of the biggest keys in keeping skin looking its best is hydration. Skin that is hydrated often looks younger, fresher and more radiant. The Valmont Prime Renewing Pack is a mask I recently discovered that gave me one of the most intense moisture treatments I've had in a long time. While many hydration masks can deliver an instant burst of water to the skin, many can't prolong that feeling of hydration for longer than a day. I found that when using the Valmont Prime Renewing Pack, which helps to rebalance the skin's hydrolipidic film, my skin stayed hydrated for more than a week after using it just once.

4. Targeted Treatment Mask - I left this category open a bit more because there could be a number of concerns that people have that masks could address. Firming, lifting, brightening/whitening, calming, soothing - and it's just a matter of adding in that mask which addresses your targeted concern. For me that is brightening or as some products call it "whitening". Whitening products often work at brightening up dull complexions and making them a bit more even toned. I find that because I am so pale, I can suffer from a sallow and lackluster complexion and occasional bouts with hyper pigmentation so using the Mario Badescu Whitening Mask once or twice a month has been a real help. It has Kojic acid and licorice to help brighten and naturally lighten any dark areas, while still calming and soothing my skin. I do recommend using a muslin cloth to remove this mask as it can be a bit challenging to get off with just water, but the brighter skin afterwards is worth the extra step.

5. Overnight Mask - This is a newer mask category that has been gaining more and more popularity over the past year. These masks are often used in place of night creams or in some cases as an additional moisturizer and they are great at treating the skin while it sleeps. Since skin often replenishes itself throughout the night, overnight masks are a great way to really help deliver strong results at a time when the skin is its most receptive. The Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask (which will be out in stores in early 2015) is a great firming and contouring overnight treatment that I've been using recently. While I still see many of the benefits of other overnight masks I've tried such as increased hydration and radiant skin the next morning, the feature that sets this mask apart from the rest was the firming and tightening effects I felt. On the mornings I would wake up after using this mask, I found that my skin appeared more taut, smooth and oddly enough with little to no pillow marks on my face. That last result may seem a bit strange, but because I am a restless sleeper, I am constantly struggling with sheet and/or pillow lines on my face the next morning. After the first night of using this mask, I didn't notice any lines and each use after resulted in the same thing - no pillow marks!

6. Eye Mask - Even though many of these above masks are used very close to the eye area, having a dedicated mask for that area specifically makes quite a difference. The SK-II Signs Eye Mask is one of the most decadent eye masks I've used in a long time and always delivers immediate results. Any puffiness, dark circles or dehydration I am suffering from virtually disappears after 10 minutes of using this mask. It's like 8 hours of sleep in a mask.

7. The 'Does Everything' Mask - There are those few masks that come along and can target a ton of different ailments at once and are great for when you need to get your skin looking great in a pinch. The Eve Lom Rescue Mask is that mask that I can count on to throw on the night of an event or the morning of a big meeting to get my skin in immediate tip-top shape. It helps to reduce blotchy skin, decongest, minimize irritation, absorb excess oil and eliminate redness. Basically it's a miracle in a mask. And a bonus is that it can be used under the eyes for an eye mask! I've heard that this mask was a skin saver but now after trying it, I can really attest to it's powers. My skincare routine will never be without it going forward. It's on the way to holy grail status as we speak.
*pr samples included


OPI x Glossybox

OPI x Glossybox swatches
OPI teamed up with Glossybox to create the most fabulous exclusive Glossybox pink called "Pink Outside the Glossybox". It's the absolute perfect pale pink that would look good on almost any skin tone. To sign up for the Glossybox service, click here.


Review: Sisley Phyto-Lip Twists

Sisley Phyto Lip Twist Swatches
I'm going to warn you now, before the post even begins to prepare yourself and brace your wallets. These Sisley lip pencils I'm about to talk about are a lip lover's dream. Between the color choices, the pigmentation, the texture and feel on the lips - these are the absolute pinnacle of lip pencils. And at a rather steep price, I reckon they should be. But to be honest, there is nothing worse than a high priced makeup item that builds up your expectations and then lets you down in a crushing blow of bad performance. Or an off-putting scent. Or an averse reaction on the skin. Yowsa, no thank you. That's why I appreciate when a luxury product comes along that gets it right. And these Sisley Phyto-Lip Twists knock it out of the park.
Sisley Phyto Lip Twist Swatches
Sisley is generally know for it's skincare, but slowly I've seen them putting out more and more makeup products that are worth a second look. These Phtyo-Lip Twists are worth a third and fourth look if you ask me. From the zebra print packaging to the color assortment, I'm pretty sure anyone and everyone can find a shade they love.
Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist swatches
As you can see from the swatches above, the colors fall in the middle of the pigmentation spectrum - not too sheer and not too opaque. They are the goldilocks of lip pencils! LOL Let's first talk about texture and feel before we discuss color options. To say these glide on is an understatement - they almost apply themselves they are so smooth. A lot (and I mean A LOT) of lip colors make my lips peel or dry but because I am often in love with the color over formula, I wear them. But finally I don't have to compromise because these stay super creamy and soft on my lips all day long. I get about a good 4 hours out of them before I need to do a quick touch-up, but the shape of the pencil and twist up application make it easy enough that I don't even need a mirror. Ok - onto colors. Look at these shades!!! I am partial to Lip Twist 2 as the perfect pinky nude and Lip Twist 6 as the sassiest orange red, but frankly I love them all. Lip Twist 4 pulls a bit too blue on me so I would have to layer it with something a bit warmer, but other than that, they all have made their rounds in my makeup bag. If lip pencils are your thing (and frankly even if they are not), these Lip Twists are worth the splurge. If I could insert emojis into this paragraph, I would end this post with the two hands up emoji, followed by the dancing girl in the red dress emoji and finally a lipstick emoji and the sassy girl with her hand up to the side of her head emoji. You get the jist, right?
*pr samples included


It's In The Details

While I love classic pieces, I do tend to gravitate towards items that have slight details which make them a little bit more than average. Like the black gloves I'm wearing in this post, they have an adorable bow detail on the wrist and the classic black infinity scarf has bits of silver threads running through it. I loved this checkered sweater because the black portion of the sweater is knit while the front patterned portion is silk. Finding pieces that have those extra added details makes putting together a casual outfit a bit more interesting. I guess the same can be said about New York. It's a city where the buildings and streets can all look the same at times but it's the small details that can create differentiation. A wall with entertaining graffiti or a random "Love You" written on a wall can make it a bit more exciting - and finding those spots can make it like being on a constant treasure hunt. A ridiculously expensive and (in the winter) brutally cold treasure hunt, but nonetheless exciting. 

Sweater - Equipment (similar here and here) | Vest - Club Monaco (similar here and here) | Scarf - Eugenia Kim (similar here) | Jeans - AG Jeans | Bag - Kate Spade (similar here) | Gloves - Carolina Amato | Sunglasses - Prada | Loafers - Tory Burch (similar here

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