MAC will forever be one of my top favorite makeup brands, even if they churn out new collections far too often for my wallet's taste. One of my favorite things I've posted to tumblr recently was a photo from the Vivienne Westwood Red Label show during London Fashion Week. Too impractical to recreate in real life sadly, but I'm in love- and MAC has just posted a breakdown of the products used. 

  • Eyes: Cyan Paint Stick, Electric Eel Eye Shadow, Bitter Eye Shadow, Juxt Eye Shadow, and Lime Eye Shadow were blended over eyelids, with High Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil used as an eyeliner.
  • Lips: Kissable Lip Colour in Woo Me
  • Cheeks: Well Dressed Powder Blush, Azalea Powder Blush, Salsarose Powder Blush
To see the look and shop for items on the MAC website, click here. Just click on "London" then "Vivienne Westwood Red Label."


ralph lauren goes hipster

I love you Ralph Lauren, but isn't a fashion house touting going after the hipster look a little self-defeating? Especially one known for its preppy, equestrian styles. I mean, even the ad defines the style as "found vintage pieces." Need to expand the target demographic after so many fashionistas have become recessionistas? Hipster for the lazy, perhaps? 'Cause I don't think the intended audience really will be paying $225 for paint-spattered, shredded jeans when the essence of artistic individuality is doing it yourself. I'm all for capturing vintage looks for a little extra $$, but this is pretty ridiculous.

To check out the line, click here.


captain america

Can I say how awesome this movie was? Oh, someone already did it much better than I could? Okay.

And for the nerdy few who enjoy finding the links between Marvel's movies, this article provides a good breakdown.

To try and maintain a shred of the beauty/fashion-ish theme I normally go for (if 12 posts is enough to establish a "normal" theme), let me just say that:
  1. I love the female outfits, hairstyles, and makeup in this movie, and 
  2. Haley Atwell sported the most perfect matte red lips I've ever seen, proving that red lipstick is the perfect complement to a girl's M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun. I will unabashedly admit that I was staring at her lips every close-up we got of her.
 Seriously. Just look at that cupid's bow.

The movie had amazing action scenes, a solid story line, great use of humor, and like the article above explains, did a brilliant job connecting bits and pieces to the rest of the Marvel universe. Sorry Harry Potter, this was my movie of the summer.


friday favorites

I kinda like this type of post. Won't do it every Friday, probably just when there's new stuff to add or as a weekly recap. Anyways, here are some of my favorite things from the week:
  1. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin- This series was in last week's favorites post, so sorry to repeat myself, but I haven't been able to put these books down!
  2. CoverGirl NatureLuxe collection- I have the foundation in the color Maple (mentioned here) and the gloss balm in the color Marble. I use the foundation with my fingers as a light coverage/tinted moisturizer-like product, perfect for summer. The gloss balm is an affordable alternative to high-end "shine" lipsticks that gives the tiniest hint of color and lots of moisture.
  3. MAC Double Feature 4- Available July 29th from the MAC Colorizations collection or now from the Nordstrom Cinematic collection (yeah, confusing), I love the colors in this duo. I haven't been brave enough to use them together yet, but separately this teal-green and ochre brown are unique to my collection and fun to use :)
  4. Homemade Whipped Cream + Strawberries- My last post inspired me to be a bit more "culinary," which to me means whipping cream myself instead of buying a tub of Cool Whip. Hey, everyone has to start somewhere, right? Several pinches of sugar and one sore arm later, I (literally) whipped up a batch of delicious, lightly sweet cream to drizzle over my favorite summer fruit, and I'm never going back!
  5. Apartment Hunting (sorta)- Fingers crossed, I found a place! Apartment hunting isn't a favorite per say- actually, it's kind of a pain in the ass- but I'm loving it for the part that will come after: deciding how I'm to decorate my new home, and a big trip to Ikea. Also, Pottery Barn sent my father a coupon for 10% off his next entire purchase, in a brochure that said "welcome to the neighborhood!" even though we've lived in the same house for 8 or 9 years now. Totally a sign.


website love: gojee

Gojee (www.gojee.com) is a great resource for anyone who stares into the fridge wondering "what the heck can I make out of this stuff?" While some people seem to have a gift for throwing ingredients into bowls and pots seemingly at random and coming up with delicious concoctions, my attempts at being spontaneous in the kitchen usually yield not-so-palatable results.

Enter Gojee. Have some random ingredients on hand and don't know what they can be used for? Just click the "I have" button at the top and enter the contents of your fridge and pantry, and Gojee will bring up recipes that use up what you have. Similarly, enter a food you've been daydreaming about (or you  know, that expires in 2 days)  into "I crave" and Gojee will bring up a bunch of recipes featuring it. I also like the "I dislike" option where you can enter foods you can't stand (*cough* green peppers) or foods you're allergic to, and they'll never be suggested to you. As you start cooking, save your favorite recipes right on the site, or use the "share" button to tweet, facebook, or email your finds.

The interface is simple, the site itself is visually appealing, and the recipes don't fill this amateur with despair. This is definitely a website I'll be turning to often in my new kitchen!


friday favorites

Here are a few things I've been loving lately!

  1. Sony PRS-350 Reader- My e-reader! Barely bigger than the size of my hand, incredible battery life, touch screen, foreign language dictionaries, and best of all, it's pink.
  2. Laura Geller Blush-n'-Brighten in Honey Dipped- From last month's Birchbox, this baked blush is amazing. I've been reaching for it the past month more than anything else in my makeup kit.
  3. Couch to 5K- I'm trying to get into the habit of working out somewhat regularly, and running is becoming, well, not completely awful. The iPhone app is a godsend. I post my progress to twitter.
  4. Glittery Nail Polish- Not Deborah Lippmann necessarily (though the two of hers I have I absolutely adore), I'm just loving anything sparkly on my nails lately.
  5. Game of Thrones- Season one is over, but I got really into the show! After some cajoling from my boyfriend and his friends, I've started reading the series on my Reader. I highly encourage anyone who likes stories of kingdoms and dragons to check them out :)


ruffles & roses

Long time no post! Things have been crazy the past month between vacation and having family over, but hopefully I can get back into the swing of things.
Anywho, it's still wedding season and I thought I'd share this fantastic number. Even better than the gorgeous design? This dress was made entirely out of toilet paper! It won third place (not sure why, I like it much better than the other two) at the Cheap Chic Weddings toilet paper dress contest. Check out the other winners here.


summer makeup essentials

Summer Makeup Essentials

As my amateur collage says, summer is upon us, and this year that means bronzed skin, bright lips, coral cheeks, and golden eyes.

I really like CoverGirl's new Natureluxe Silk Foundation. I apply it with my fingers for light coverage that feels like a tinted moisturizer. It also gets bonus points for having SPF 10! When I'm done with my makeup, I brush on Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder. I don't have oily skin but in the heat I can go from 0 to greasy in under 10 seconds. :\ However, this does what it says and helps keep shine under control. 

Bright colored lips are a trend this summer (though when isn't it a summer trend, really?) and my lips are reveling in the neon pinks, fiery oranges, and playful (rather than vampy) purples I've managed to come across the past several months. My favorites: MAC Candy Yum Yum (Limited Edition, Quite Cute collection), Revlon Siren, MAC Bust Out! (Limited Edition, Surf Baby collection). 

Blushers and Bronzers:
I have quite a lot in this section, and that's because I couldn't narrow it down! I've been gravitating towards all of these products a lot lately. I'm typically indecisive when trying to select a blush from my over-sized stash, but Illamasqua powder blusher in Lover has been stealing my gaze. It's a true peach that is super pigmented and buttery soft. I'm NC40 and peach blushes typically give me a nice glow but not much color, but this shows up amazingly well on me. It is matte though, so if I'm feeling in the mood for some shimmer I lean towards a combo of Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush in Pin Up with Jane Blushing Cheeks Powder Blush in Blushing Glow on top (found mine at Nordstrom Rack). For the bronzer-as-blush look, Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten in Honey Dipped is perfection. As for actual bronzers, I've been switching between MAC Bronzing Powder in Solar Riche (Limited Edition, Surf Baby collection) and Chanel's Soleil Tan de Chanel (formerly Bronze Universel). 

I've given myself bright lips and glowing skin, so this summer I'm complementing it all with simple and neutral eye makeup. I'm loving golds more than usual, so MAC eyeshadow in Woodwinked is a staple. I like putting it all over the lid and adding MAC eyeshadow in Bronze (not pictured) to the crease for a bit of dimension. For a highlight or a sheer wash of color all over the lid, MAC pigment in Naked is something I reach for year-round. MAC paint pot in Rubenesque is a beautiful golden-peach that is gorgeous on its own or as a base. Then for more variety there is the much-coveted Urban Decay Naked Palette which, if you enjoy neutrals, is just as amazing as the hype makes you believe. It's going everywhere with me this summer, come rain or shine or airport security checkpoints. Last but not least, my favorite mascara to top everything off: CoverGirl Lash Blast Waterproof Mascara in Very Black.

What are your summer makeup essentials?


june birchbox 2011

I received my June Birchbox in the mail today! Birchbox is a $10-a-month subscription service that sends you deluxe samples (meaning no one-time use foil packets, unless they're little extras thrown in) of beauty, hair, and skin products. The products are a good size, and they more than make up for the price! As someone who spends more than $10 a month on a beauty product shopping addiction random beauty treats for myself, this is a great way to try a few new products without breaking the bank. I'd encourage anyone who's interested to sign up for a month and see how you like it; you can always cancel any time!

This is my third box, and I've loved my previous two. I'm writing this as I'm opening it, so these are my first impressions!

Everything is so prettily wrapped, it's like getting a present :) There's also a little card included that explains the "theme" of each month's box. The first sentence starts with "we've got a serious case of wanderlust-" If you follow my twitter, you've seen a couple mentions of my own wanderlust. I think I'm going to like this month's box, it's travel themed! Perfect, since I go on vacation in less than a week!

So here are the contents of my box:

  1. Laura Geller Baked Blush N' Brighten in Honey Dipped
  2. Pangea Organics Toner for Normal/Oily Skin
  3. Travel spray top (and yes, I'm proud I got it to stand up like that)
  4. Amika Obliphica Oil Treatment 
  5. Kate Spade Twirl
  6. Pangea Organics Balancing Oil
  7. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad
The Pangea Organics balancing oil counts as being an extra with the facial toner, and the glow pads are the extra thrown in. What blew me away is the Laura Geller baked blush- that baby is full-sized, and retails for $29.50! See what I mean about the price being made up for?

Anyways, there's not much I can review off the bat cause the oils and toner require a few uses, but I'm excited to try it all! The Laura Geller baked blush is really pretty and reminds me of MAC MSFs. Mine looks more like bronzer than blush, a gorgeous light golden-brown with a rich copper veining throughout. I have an NC40 skintone so on anyone lighter it would definitely be bronzer, but on me it gives a gorgeous honey glow to the cheeks and works well to add a bit of highlight and warmth with the subtlest touch of shimmer. I really love it!

The Pangea Organics toner smells a bit funky out of the bottle. It's supposed to be Italian green mandarin and sweet lime. However, when sprayed the smell is much more bearable and even pleasant. It feels really nice, though like I said this is a product that will take several tries to really form an opinion on.

The Amika oil treatment promises to be an anti-frizz, shine, and nourishment treatment- a tall order, especially for this girl's hair. My hair is wavy going on curly, and although the messy, just-rolled-out-of-bed look is how it looks best, I am no stranger to fly-aways and frizz. My hair is about to be subjected to chlorine and pool water, so I'll be waiting to try this later, and I'm hoping it lives up to what it promises!

The Kate Spade fragrance is pretty, not something I'd go out and buy, but I'll enjoy using it while the sample size lasts.

Overall, I really like this box and I'll be taking a lot of this on vacation next week!


YSL resort 2012

I just watched the YSL Cruise/Resort 2012 show on Youtube (here) and thought I'd post a few of my favorite pieces.

Photos from style.com

I love the use of red in the first three outfits and the different effects it has... from the daringly sexy red trench, to the doll-like red lips with a girly trapeze dress, to the pop of red detailing and a bold handbag with chic black-on-black.
  • I love the cut of the trench coat's hem- it gives an instant edge to demure business skirts and a-line dresses by day and shows off a little leg for night. 
  • The second outfit looks light and flowy rather than heavy, perfect for sticky summer nights. I love how the endlessness of the fabric and the combination of thick and thin stripes just makes the model look even more delicate underneath. 
  • The third outfit is the ultimate in summer chic, baring the back and midriff without being too revealing. It exclaims "I'm going on holiday!" which, along with the fact that the person exclaiming it is wearing my favorite outfit of the four, is cause for some major jealousy.
  • The last outfit is a much more grown-up and stylish version of the floral rompers I used to wear as a kid, and even though I have yet to embrace the high-street reincarnation of the trend, I'd wear the outfit above in a heartbeat. 
For now I can only dream, and my wallet can breathe a huge sigh of relief.


english lace

I just received this dress in the mail today, and instantly had to put it on.

English muse ivory lace dress, $42.99 at Ruche

At 5'4" this dress hits right above the knee on me. More sweet than stuffy (though I'd avoid wearing pearls!), the dress has a few modern twists that still show off a bit of skin, like see-through sleeves and a slip that stops just short of where the lace overlay ends. I absolutely love the ever-so-slightly puffed sleeves and the black ribbon belt. Though it's a bit too hot at the moment to be wearing this dress around (the weather channel has a few heat advisories out for the DC area :\), this dress will be lovely on a cool summer night with some ballet flats or on an autumn day with black tights and my mom's vintage cream heels.


small kitchen gems

I will be attending grad school in the fall, and part of that requires me to move out of the DC suburbs and into the city. I've just made my first couple appointments to look at apartments, and I'm so excited! I absolutely can't wait to have my own space to furnish and decorate, even if that space is going to be quite small. In anticipation, I've already started buying a couple items here and there. It's probably not such a good idea since I don't know how much space I'll have, so I've stuck to some nice but useful items. These latte bowls from Anthropologie are my favorite purchases thus far:

Jewel assorted latte bowls, $30 at Anthropologie

Although they're a bit pricey and mismatched, which might make buying plates to go with them difficult (though I'm thinking these grey & white ones from Ikea, or something similarly neutral), I just absolutely love how colorful and vivid they are. Better yet, they're brighter versions of the bowls my host mom had when I studied abroad in Paris, which I always gravitated towards despite her wide array of crockery. I am in no way a morning person, but having breakfast out of these bowls will definitely add a bit of cheerfulness to the start of my day!


I'm on bloglovin'!

Follow my blog with bloglovin

I may only have 2 posts, but why not? bloglovin.com is my absolute favorite way to keep track of blogs I follow, so I encourage any of you who haven't discovered it yet to check it out!

my new baby

This past Tuesday my best friend asked me to run some errands with her. What was supposed to be a short Target run and coffee date became a major shopping spree. My wallet is still sore, but I came out with some lovely new things :) The crown jewel of my purchases was definitely this bag, a Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Clutch.

                                                                      image from mayastar.com

I wore it to my friend's graduation party the day it arrived in the mail, and I'm in love! It's quite roomy, has an adorable print on the inside, and lots of pockets and compartments to keep my things organized. I love the chain strap, but it can also be removed so the bag can be worn as, well, a clutch. It's extremely versatile and even though I've only had it for three days it's already a staple in my wardrobe.

Hopefully I'll have some images of my own to put up soon... perhaps a "what's in my bag" post to come!


H&M Fall 2011

I haven't been shopping at H&M as much as I used to, but these images from their Fall 2011 lookbook remind me why they're so great. After a lifetime of black and grey being my favorite neutrals, I've been embracing the "return" of beige and cream the past couple years. I'll have to stop by once this stuff starts showing up for fall! On another note, I hope that's not for a while... it feels like we just got spring here in DC!

images from Refinery29