8/26/15

Mixing Two Styles

I definitely know what I like when it comes to my personal style but rarely identify with just one category. My closet if full of pieces that are preppy, girly, classic, edgy, boho, etc and it's nice to be able to mix them together to create something that feels like me. This look is a classic example of how I like to mix styles. This Chicwish dress is incredibly feminine and girly with the lace pattern, high neckline and babydoll shape but I instantly grabbed for my denim jacket and ankle boots to make it feel a tad more relaxed. While the dress may be a bit more unique in it's composition, I like having basic pieces such as my trusty GAP denim jacket and favorite ankle boots (seriously - one of the best investments of my entire closet) to anchor the look. And at first I was disappointed that I discovered this comfortable dress at the end of summer, but I began playing around with winter pieces in my closet and found that it looks adorable layered under a chunky sweater and paired with tights. Though I can't think about that now because my legs will reject any notion of tights until absolutely necessary. I will enjoy my bare legs for as long as I can.

Jacket - GAP | Dress - Chicwish (c/o) | Boots - Isabel Marant (similar here) | Sunglasses - Ray-Ban

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8/25/15

I Love a Good Mask

Between cleansers and masks, it's hard to say which one I love more. Patience has very rarely been a good trait of mine, so that's why I am drawn to masks. The results are often immediate and I can see how well it works (or doesn't). And when I am interested in trying a new skincare brand, I often purchase either a mask or cleanser first because I find they are the best way to ease into a brand and decide if it's worth splurging on the more substantial items like a serum, moisturizer or eye cream. I've been testing out a handful of masks over the past few weeks and here are 3 that rose to the top and were deemed worthy of a review.

1. Ling Sparkling Makeover Mask - By far, my favorite facial of all time is the Advanced Facial with Energy Lift at the Ling spa in Union Square. Lucky for me though, I can continue my results after with her skincare line. I love a good fizzy mask, but some disappear too quickly or give very lackluster results. I am a fan of this one from Peter Thomas Roth, but after trying this one from Ling - I found that it removed dirt and impurities from the skin rather than simply hydrating and rejuvenating.  You apply the product onto a damp face and within a minute, it begins to foam up. I leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes, and surprisingly there was still some foam left on my face! This stuff is serious. And the fact that it comes in individual packets means that it will be a travel must.

2. Dr. Hauschka Hydrating Mask - While I do love a gel based hydrating mask for that cooling and soothing effect they often give, it was a nice change to use one that was rich, thick and ultra-moisturizing. Though it's still quite hot and humid out, I have been dealing with some dryness on certain parts of my face. This mask came just at the right time. I was tempted to apply it just to the dry patches but decided to cover my entire face. Because it's so thick, I needed a damp washcloth to remove it but my skin felt like new again afterwards. The dry patches were almost gone and by the next morning were no longer a nuisance when applying makeup. This should come in handy in about 4 months when I'm trapped inside because of the cold winter weather. (I shudder just thinking about it.)

3. Nuance Salma Hayek White Clay Treatment Mask - Typically I am more of a department store gal when it comes to my skincare preferences, but occasionally I find gems in the drugstore that really impress me. I am new to the Nuance line but this White Clay Treatment Mask was the perfect introduction. I love a good clay mask as much as the next oily-skinned gal, but my gripe with them is that many times I have to immediately use a hydrating mask right after because my skin  feels dry and tight. I had high hopes for this one the minute I squeezed it out onto my hand. The texture was creamy, and after 10 minutes of waiting for it to dry down (translation: feel crusty and hard) I was happy to see that it still stayed quite creamy and emollient on the skin. Afterwards my skin felt hydrated, looked naturally matte and my pores appeared less noticeable. I don't think I can ask for much more.
*pr samples included

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8/21/15

Review: Bobbi Brown Telluride Palette, NARS Matte and Shimmer Palette and Buxom Eyeshadow Palettes

The truth is that most of us don't need another eyeshadow palette, it's more of a want at this point. So even though I have 12,985 palettes already in my collection, I do like to review new ones that launch to give my thoughts on them hoping it may aid in the decision making process for those interested. But surprisingly I actually use most of my makeup collection regularly and rotate through things so I never get caught in a rut...and so that those products don't get reviewed and then put away in a drawer to never be seen again. Ugh! Here are three new recently launched palettes that I've been test driving and my thoughts on each:
1. Bobbi Brown Telluride Eyeshadow Palette - I have found Bobbi Brown shadows to be hit or miss. The pigmentation, formulation or color may be off a bit, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this new release. Naturally I loved the color palette because it was all neutrals and had a good mix of both matte and shimmer, but wasn't quite sure how the shadows would wear and perform. While the two far left shades in the above pic where a tad dusty when I dipped my brush in, the payoff was fantastic. The deep chocolate brown shimmer shade was by far my favorite and has a buttery rich texture that glides on the lid. The middle gold shade was the most difficult to work with and needs to be applied on top of a cream shadow that has some tackiness to it in order to grab the glitter. Tapping on with your forefinger is the best application for that shade. The remaining 3 colors are richly pigmented, easy to blend and are the perfect shades to add for definition. Overall, I adore this palette and find the shadows are a "hit" for me.
2. Buxom Palette in Dolly's Wild Side (top palette/swatches) and May Contain Nudity (bottom palette/swatches) - Buxom just recently launched these two palettes along with a third that featured all pastel shades. In addition, you can buy many of the shades separately and create your own palette which is always a great idea in my opinion. As you can see from the above swatches, pigmentation is not an issue at all. I only had to swirl my finger around the color one time to get that much of a pay-off on my arm. *hands up emoji* There is little to no fallout with these shades and the powder itself feels buttery and rich. Surprisingly I have been reaching for the Dolly's Wild Side palette a bit more than the May Contain Nudity palette because I enjoy the cooler toned shimmer shades in it. The golden and peachy-coral shimmer shades in the May Contain Nudity are my two favorites and give the most perfect beachy bronzed look for the eyes. But if neither appeals to you, then I would definitely build your own because these shadows don't disappoint.
3. NARS Matte/Shimmer Eye Palette - My goodness, the reviews for this palette have been all over the place. I almost removed it from my cart on Sephora.com because I wasn't sure it was worth trying. Well, thank goodness I didn't because this palette is EASILY my favorite one of all. Every single shade is a winner and the pigmentation is even and consistent. There is not one shade that swatched patchy and any look I could possibly want to create can be made from this palette. AND it mixes both shimmer and matte! There is some dust that kicks up when I first put my brush in, but luckily that did not translate to any fallout when applying. This is by far one of the best palettes that I have tried in a long time. Ugh, I hate to make bold statements like that so early on, but when something is this good the recognition needs to be given.   
*pr samples included

Have you checked out my updated Beauty and Fashion Faves page? Click here to see all my picks for makeup, skincare and fashion for Fall!

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8/19/15

Sunday in Red Hook

Stan and I ventured out to IKEA this past weekend (always an experience in itself), and while we were out there we decided to explore the local neighborhood of Red Hook. My husband had lived in Red Hook many years ago, so naturally the afternoon was full of a ton of "whoa, that is different" and "that wasn't here before" while we walked around. If you haven't been out to Red Hook, it's a eclectic neighborhood right on the waterfront in Brooklyn that has seen a huge surge in businesses, restaurants and all around interest over the past few years. Since it was hotter than the dickens out (LOLZ to the fact that I just said that - hashtag old), I decided to wear something that was easy yet I didn't mind sweating in. I know the old saying goes "girl's perspire" but I sweat. Yup, I'm a sweater. Blah. And I go through white t-shirts like crazy, so I have a few places where I can find them cheap though they still have a great fit. This one is Joe Fresh, but some other great options are Old Navy, Gap and sometimes J.Crew but those are designated to the "nice white tee" section of my drawer. There are levels to my white tees, y'all. We wandered around for a bit and then headed over for a late lunch at Hometown BBQ, a place that Stan had been dying to go to for months (see my Instagram snap here). Though I am not typically a BBQ fan, this place was delicious. I got the chicken but my husband had a lamb's belly Bahn Mi and just about lost his mind. Though Red Hook is a definite hike from Manhattan, take the water taxi over and spend the afternoon. You won't be disappointed.

Tee - Joe Fresh | Shorts - Rag & Bone | Bag - Mansur Gavriel (similar here and here) | Sandals - Vince (on sale!!!!) | Bracelet - Giles & Brother | Hat - Hat Attack | Lips - Sisley Phyto Lip Twist in Cherry

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