Category Archives: Beauty

In the Eye of the Beholder

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A quick post today — just a few of my current favorite beauty products that are keeping my routine fresh. I find with beauty products that doing the same thing over and over again can get really boring, so I try to test out new things every so often. Anything to make me a little more enthusiastic about my morning routine…

{Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner} My mom actually introduced me to this eyeliner after finding one in her monthly Birchbox. Liquid liners can very easily look too harsh, but I love that the felt tip applicator on this one is built to be build-able! I prefer my eyeliner to be a little more subtle, while my sister likes to lay it on thicker and wing the sides out a bit. We can both be wearing this same liner and you’d never know it was the same product.

{NARS Lipstick in Barbarella} I’ve heard all of the talk about NARS lipsticks over the years, but not until recently did I finally take the plunge and purchase one for myself. Barbarella is a really great, sheer light pink color that can easily be worn for just a slight sheen of color or layered for a more intense look. The packaging alone makes me eager to touch up during the day!

{Chloe Eau de Parfum} This one almost speaks for itself — Chloe’s original scent is such a modern classic. Since I started wearing it, I’ve been receiving compliments non-stop. I went for the less expensive roller ball version of this scent so that I could test it out and see if I liked it, but now that the tube is nearly half empty I think I’m going to need to buy a bigger bottle!

What’s in your current beauty arsenal?

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Filed under Beauty, Fashion

Practice Makes Plaits

I’d consider myself a woman of a fair amount of talent, but one thing you won’t find on my resume is hair styling. Frankly, I’m terrible at it. Pulling my hair into a ponytail is a relative success as far as I’m concerned.

It’s not that I wouldn’t love to be able to whip my hair (hah) up into a chignon or a braided bun — I just lack the refined motor skills to do it.

When I was a kid, even pulling my hair up into a ponytail was a challenge. The other girls at school could twist theirs up into a bun on the playground without looking in a mirror while I was resigned to accept whatever my mom had done with my hair that morning. Frustrated, I voiced my concern to her and she told me the only way I was going to get better was to practice. Now there’s an idea.

So, just as I sat in front of the mirror as a kid practicing ponytails, here I am far past the age of 8 attempting to French braid my hair over and over until it resembles something socially acceptable enough to leave the house with. Call me a slow learner, but practice does make perfect, after all!

Maybe someday I’ll be able to pull off one of these styles that I found on Pinterest (are you following me, by the way?)!

Images 1, 2, and 3 via Pinterest

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Cardamom Macarons with Rose Buttercream

Last weekend, we got our first real snowfall in New York (well, if you don’t count that freak day of snow that we had way back in October)! I really love the way the city looks with fluffy flakes of snow falling, but when it turns to slush? Count me out. I’d rather stay inside than to trudge through puddles of dirty, half-melted snow. Unfortunately, that happens all too quickly here, so I spent my Saturday afternoon doing what I do best — baking macarons!

Voila — I give you the Cardamom Macaron with Rose Buttercream! Definitely one of my favorite flavors to date. Cardamom is one of those beautiful, warm spices that goes perfectly with a cup of tea. I’m testing out my recipes and trying to decide which flavor to teach at my very first Macaron Class in a few weeks! I decided to finally put my passion to the test and see how good I am at teaching others how to make these testy little cookies! I’m doing so through Skillshare, which is an awesome website where people who have hobbies that they want to share can set up a class and market it to people in their area! I’ve taken Skillshare classes in the past and have had a lot of fun, so I’m really eager to teach my own! My first class is totally sold out, but I have a feeling I’ll do this again since the response has been great!

Also pictured here are the rad nails that artist Naomi Yasuda did for me. I’ve been going to Naomi for a few years now when I want something fun on my nails, and she never disappoints! She uses Calgel, which is a soak-off UV gel that lasts for about 2 weeks on me. She works out of Hello Beautiful salon in Brooklyn a few days a week, so you can call there to make an appointment with her!

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Filed under Beauty, Food

Travel Essentials

In just under two weeks, I’ll be taking off for my trip to Europe (can you tell that I’m a little anxious to get there already?). I’ll admit that I’m not terribly fond of flying, partially because I have a constant fear that the engine will die and the plane will just drop out of the sky (it would be a gradual drop, according to my boyfriend the science nerd, but a drop nonetheless), but also because I always feel like crap when I get to my destination. The recycled air is dry and disgusting, and the airline food sure doesn’t do wonders for your breath. In an attempt at being a normal, pulled-together human being when my friend picks me up from the airport, here’s what I’m bringing with me:

Sephora Pop-Up Hairbrush — After resting my head against the seat for 7 hours, I’m gonna need a little brush-through before landing!

Rosebud Salve Tube — Seeing that airplanes are the most drying places in existence, it’s important to have something to keep the moisture in. I love that Rosebud Salve now comes in a tube so that you don’t have to stick your fingers in a pot of it. This works just as well as a moisturizer on cuticles too, since mine tend to dry out on planes!

Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mini — This bitty version of one of the best mascaras (in my opinion) is the perfect size to carry on and touch up with.

Sephora Lush Flush Lip & Cheek Stain — This is my favorite product for adding a quick swipe of color back into my face — it works both on lips and cheeks, which means that I have one less product to carry with me!

Mini toothbrush — Gross airplane breath. Enough said!

Travel-sized deodorant — Again, airplane + 7 hours = freshen up!

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Filed under Beauty, Shopping, Travel

Real Women Jiggle

Today my Google Reader was stuffed full of recaps of fashion and beauty looks from last night’s Oscars ceremony. Everything was pretty standard: how-tos for hair and makeup looks, best and worst dressed lists, and in-depth analysis of Anne Hathaway’s seven dresses…  that is, until I landed on an interesting tip sheet on Allure’s blog, The Daily Beauty Report.

The tips were from David Kirsch, Anne Hathaway’s fitness trainer. He shared his pointers on eating right and exercising. His first “inspiring” tip just really floored me:

Try this for inspiration. If you need some motivation to get to the gym, Kirsch recommends jumping up and down in front of the mirror, nude: “If things are still moving after you’ve stopped jumping, you might want to de-jiggle them.”

Ok, can I just say — WORST.ADVICE.EVER.

Why are we bewildered that so many women in this country have issues with body image when these fantastic “celebrity trainers” are suggesting asinine things like jumping up and down in front of a mirror naked to check for jiggle and suggesting that you “might want to de-jiggle” if you find some (which, if you are 95% of women, you will).

I consider myself to be a very fit and lean person who feels good about her body, but I can tell you right now that if I jumped up and down in front of a mirror naked, my thighs would be jiggling– because I’m human, and built like my momma. And that’s OK.

So the moral of today’s story? Don’t hate on your jiggle. I’m all for living healthfully and exercising, but don’t lose sight of the fact that real women jiggle. And if you want to stand in front of your mirror in the buff? Go for it — but positive affirmations only, please.

Thanks to Charlotte Astrid on Flickr for the photo!

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Filed under Beauty, Health, Random

Catching Up.

I can’t believe how long it’s been since the last time I wrote anything… life has been so busy in the past few weeks, and this weekend was the first time that I had any time to relax and even think about posting something. It has also been a while since I went to get my nails done by Naomi, an amazing nail artist at Hello Beautiful salon in Brooklyn. Naomi uses Calgel, a soak-off UV gel that is popular in Japan. This stuff is so tough that it lasts for about 3 weeks without chipping, which means you can do some pretty amazing stuff with it. This week, I got a gray gradation with some seriously blinged-out ring fingers. I don’t really wear jewelry, so when Naomi does my nails, they definitely become an accessory.

I’ve also been spending as much time as possible trying to enjoy this beautiful fall weather in the city. I love it when it is cool enough to walk around for hours and not freeze, but not so warm that you’re sweating. When I saw some tiny pumpkins and gourds at my market, I knew they had to come home with me! They’ve been living in my citrus bowl for the past week (I use a lot of lemons, as you can tell!)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried out some new recipes that I plan to share soon! I have a new favorite orange chicken recipe that’s perfect for fall, and I just took some roasted beets out of the oven to use tomorrow night. I don’t know how I went so long in life without realizing how delicious beets were. Between their gorgeous color and the sweet taste, I’m pretty much obsessed these days. More soon!

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Filed under Apartment, Beauty, Home Decor, New York City, Random

The Red Lipstick Factor

On a recent trip to Sephora, I tried on one of their Rouge Cream lipsticks in a pretty red-orange color called “It Girl”. Although I’m not usually a lipstick type of girl, I bought it determined to push my comfort zone a little. The result so far? Fantastic!

Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Poppy King, aka the founder of Lipstick Queen. Something that Poppy said that really resonated with me was that lipstick can be worn casually. “I can do casual,” I thought to myself. So I pulled on a pair of jeans, gave myself a swipe of crimson across my lips and headed to the most casual destination of all: the grocery store. I have to admit… I felt a little silly the first time I did my grocery shopping in red lipstick, but it helped me to ease into the idea and sort of just forget that I was wearing it at all.

Now, why would  I want to forget about it? Mainly because I was deathly afraid of smudging it all over my face and looking like a clown (which is, in reality, difficult to do without noticing). So what’s the benefit to this silly exercise? To some women, lipstick seems like a thing of the past. Poppy even told me that she hated how patronizing the marketing campaigns for lipstick were to women. My personal goal was to just do something different, fun, and bold. The thing is — people notice when you are wearing lipstick, and it is sort of a bold statement, especially when you have pasty white skin like I do! While out shopping I often get compliments about my lip color, and shopping for cosmetics is a little more fun when the salesgirl says “You’re obviously not afraid of color, so let’s try this!” Yep, that’s right, I’m not afraid!

This past weekend I was running errands and dropped into a brow salon to get my crazed eyebrows threaded. The woman smiled at me and said, “your lips look so pretty today!” My eyes may have been watering from the pain of having my eyebrow hairs ripped out one-by-one, but damn my lips looked good!

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Filed under Beauty, Fashion, Random