Can’t Live Without ‘em…

Lipstick Live Ins

Like most girls, my bag is full of junk, and I have no idea how it all got in there. These lip products basically live in my bag, and when I was cleaning it out recently, I found myself putting these back in because I know that I use them all the time!

I carry two  lip balms – my trusty Eucerin Aquaphor ($5) and the blogger-favorite Nuxe Reve de Miel ($19). I love them both equally, and I use them differently, depending on the weather. The Nuxe one is a bit more matte, and the Aquaphor is more like vaseline, but  both are fantastic.

The Clinique Almost Lipstick ($16) in Black Honey is my new favorite fall lip product. It is moisturizing, and it gives the lips a nice berry flush that isn’t too obvious. Plus, it’s sheer, so you can apply it without a mirror.

I did a full review of that stunning Givenchy Le Rouge ($36) lipstick in Brun Createur, so I won’t rave too much about it here, but it is my favorite lipstick color to date. It’s a stunning dusty rose. I typically pull this out after work when I’m running to drinks or dinner and my makeup needs a little touching up.

And of course, I have a couple of NARS lip pencils just in case. The red shade is the NARS Satin Lip Pencil ($25) in Majella, a berry-based red that wears well and is perfect for fall, and the pinker shade is the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($25) in Dolce Vita, which is essentially the same color as the Givenchy lipstick, but it’s matte. It doubles as a lipliner for that lipstick as well!

I love these, and I don’t plan on taking these out of my bag any time soon – what do y’all carry around?

Neutral Palette #11: Wet N Wild Comfort Zone Palette

Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette

Wet n Wild is known for being a bit whimsical, and their rendition of the neutral palette is no exception.The Color Icon Comfort Zone palette ($5) is definitely wearable, but their shade choices are pretty unique! Obviously, you don’t get much by way of packaging, but that’s not what counts, right? The pigmentation is good; the blendability is good, and overall, I was pleasantly surprised.


The Perfect Lipstick

Givenchy Le Rouge

Givenchy Le Rouge

You know that lipstick that is the perfect color and the perfect formula for every occasion? This is mine. I was looking for something a little creamier that matched the shade of the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($25) in Dolce Vita, so I used Temptalia’s dupe search to find one! The closes match was Givenchy’s Le Rouge ($36) in 103 Brun Createur, and as soon as I applied it, I was absolutely sold.

This is absolutely the best color. It is my “my-lips-but-better” shade, even though there is nothing neutral about it. It is a dusty rose that looks great during the day, and in the evening. There is something about this color that just makes it my favorite to wear all the time – I carry it in my bag nonstop! I’ve never put it on and then second guessed my decision to wear it (which I, personally, do with other lipsticks all the time).

The formula is super creamy, lasts about 5 hours, and leaves a really nice stain behind. It is opaque in one swipe and wears like a balm. And on an entirely superficial level, the leather packaging is unreal! I would highly encourage you all go pick one of these little beauties up. It’s worth the price tag.

What is your all-time favorite lip shade?

September Favorites

September Favorites

My September favorites are a little bit travel-driven, as I traveled quite a bit last month. I’m the worst when it comes to packing – I end up just throwing everything into a suitcase the morning-of, so I need to be able to grab beauty products quickly.

I’ve been using this Covergirl Professional Natural Lash Mascara ($5) in Clear for my brows almost every day. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that my brows have a mind of their own, so most days, I use this mascara as a makeshift brow gel, to keep those little guys in line.

I’ve also been loving these cute little hairties that my sister and I made while I was visiting her at school. We bought elastic ribbon for $2 from a craft store, cut, and tied them ourselves, so they are the perfect length for my hair – they wrap three times tightly, or two times for a looser pony. You can make 20+ out of one roll of elastic!

That cute little eyeshadow on the bottom is from the Korean brand Missha ($6) in the shade GBR01, a gorgeous, glittery, rose gold. My friend, C, and I went to the giant Chinatown in Queens recently, and we obviously had to check out the the Korean beauty products there. Stay tuned for a haul from that trip!

Two palettes made the favorites list this month: the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush ($58) palette, and the Naked Basics 2 ($29). Both are compact, and all encompassing, which have made them perfect for all the quick weekend trips I’ve been taking this past month. Both are new releases, and they are both so versatile and lovely. The blushes are slightly radiant, and the eyeshadows are entirely matte, and I find that they compliment each other really well.

Last but not least, I pulled out an old favorite this month in the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation ($8) in 102 Warm Ivory. I’m not sure about the whole 25 hour claim, but I wore it to a football game, where I spent 12 hours outside, and this stuff didn’t budge! It has a pretty solid medium coverage, and while it definitely can’t hold a candle to a more expensive foundation, it does a great job for the price.

What were your favorites this past month?

The Blogger Tag: 11 Quick Q&As

M is for Melissa

I always enjoy getting to know other bloggers through these little tag posts, so I wanted to do one myself! I was tagged by the lovely Alejandra at Exquisite Glow to do this tag, and rather than answering in paragraphs, I decided to speed answer them – one or two sentences, off the top of my head, for each question. Here we go:

1) Why did you start blogging?

Because I was bored out of my mind at my finance job, and I needed a creative outlet. Now that I have a new, creative job in the fashion industry, I blog solely because it makes me happy, and I enjoy interacting with other bloggers!

2) Who is your idol?

Anna Wintour, hands down. She’s a power house.

3) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

This is tough – you could uproot me and put me down anywhere, and I think I would be happy. London is pretty far up my list of places to live, as is Hong Kong or Shanghai.

4) What is your signature scent?

I feel like you don’t qualify for a “signature scent” unless you’re, like, Kate Moss.

5) What is your favorite makeup brand?

This is a tough one – I think it might be NARS. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased a product from NARS that I haven’t loved. Plus it is hard to beat their super chic packaging!

6) Would you choose high street or high end fashion?

High end, of course, if I had a bottomless bank account. The beautiful quality and craftsmanship is absolutely worth it to me.

7) What is your favorite song?

This changes all the time for me! Some of my most often listened to songs on Spotify over the last two weeks are Beyonce’s Partition, The Black Keyes’ Gold on the Ceiling, Baby Baby Baby by Make the Girl Dance, and La Grange by ZZ Top – quite the variety there, isn’t it? Ha.

8) What’s your favorite album?

Whole album? Geez, I’m not sure if I ever listen to an entire album anymore. I think the last album that I have enjoyed beginning to end was Maroon 5’s Hands All Over.

9) Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

None? Ha. Probably Instagram, I guess. I only ever use Facebook to see people’s photos anyway, and Instagram is just that! I actually don’t use a personal Twitter, but I find it a great communication tool for the blog.

10) Who is your celebrity style icon?

Blake Lively, Kate Middleton, Emma Watson

11) What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas, of course! My family’s house always smells like cinnamon, which is the best. Plus, we have so many fun traditions, and we make up more as we go ha.

I tag all of you! I personally invite anyone who reads this to answer these 11 questions on your blog. Ready, set, go!

Neutral Palette #10: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

Urban Decay Naked 2

I think it is safe to say that Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette is the industry standard for cool-toned palettes. Somehow they managed to pick the perfect assortment of greys and browns to satisfy anyone’s need for taupe. I tend to reach for this every day in the spring, but it can definitely work all year round, depending on your skin tone. My general impression, based on the plethora of beauty blogs I read, is that this one is the most versatile of the Naked palettes, and many, many bloggers with many different skin tones love this one!


2 Little Ways (and 2 Big Ways) to Deal with Homesickness


So we’re doing a little lifestyle rather than beauty today, and we’re talking about homesickness, which even the strongest people I know have suffered from at some point. I’ve lived 500+ miles away from home for the last 5 years, and while I had an absolutely amazing 4 years at Cornell, and another great year in New York City, it’s not always easy to be that far away from the people I care about. Here are the top four ways I fend off homesickness:

Say Yes

When you miss home, and you’re in a bad mood, it can be so tempting to stay in your apartment, curl up in your bed, and ignore the world, but truth be told, that just doesn’t make anyone feel better. Instead, say yes to anything anyone asks you to do with them. See your friends. Go shopping. Try a new restaurant. Go to the gym. Boredom and homesickness are best friends, so the busier you keep yourself, the less likely you are to be affected by the fact that you miss home.

Start a Project

Maybe you want to try something new. Maybe you want to tackle something you’ve been meaning to do for years. Get excited about whatever project you choose, and give it your all! In general, I find that I’m at my happiest when I’m working toward a goal. Start a blog. Decorate the living space that you’ve been meaning to transform for six months. Learn a new language. Visit all of the museums in your city. Learn to cook. Learn to bake. Hire a personal trainer and revamp your fitness routine. Train for a half marathon. Do whatever fulfills you, but once you’re excited about it, homesickness will fall away.

Get a Cat

Or a dog. Or a rabbit. Whatever floats your boat. Coming home to something alive that cares that you came home to see it is heartwarming, and it really helps with loneliness! Alone time can be some of the hardest times when you’re homesick because you have nothing to distract you, and having a little furry friend can really help you enjoy those nights at home on the couch with Chinese takeout and Netflix! Obviously, only get a pet if you can afford it, and you have the time to take care of it. It is a big commitment, but a worthy one, in my opinion.

Plan a Trip

This may seem like silly advice, but I’m always amazed how much I forget about this. There’s no reason you have to wait for an occasion to see your family and friends! I spent last weekend in South Carolina visiting my little sister at school just because I wanted to. While I was in school, my sister and I surprised our parents at home for a weekend just for fun. Cut your spending; save your pennies, and go on a trip, even if it’s just to relax for a weekend with someone you care about. Experiences are always worth more than any items you would spend your money on anyway, and it is super fun to look forward to something.

How do you all deal with homesickness?

Topshop in the US


I finally made it to the Topshop in New York! Of course, while I was there, I couldn’t help but pick up a few beauty items, especially given the hype surrounding them in the blogging world. Plus, I could not ignore the adorable packaging. How cute are these?!

After reading so much about the great formulation of the Lipstick, I picked up one in the shade Macaroon, a bright, coral-based pink. The color and formula is stellar, so I’ve been wearing this quite a bit lately; however, it does accentuate imperfections on the lips, and I find that the pigmentation could be a little bit better. It’s a good lipstick, and I do like it, but it didn’t live up to the massive amount of hype for me.

I also grabbed one of the Cream Blushes in Afternoon Tea, a bright, blue-based pink that is slightly terrifying in the pan. This lasts ages on me, but it is pretty bright, so applying it takes a little time. I find that the easiest way is to apply and blend with your fingers first, and once it has dried down a bit, blend a little more with a fluffy brush – I’ve been using an Angled Contour Brush from Sonia Kashuk, but any fluffy brush will do the job.

Last but not least, I picked up a Lip Liner in Wheels on Fire, mostly because I just needed a red lip liner. I’m quite glad I did – this one is super soft, and it doesn’t pull on the lips at all. It adds so much wear time to my favorite red lipsticks, and I find myself relying on it all the time!

Overall, I’m pretty impressed. Have you all tried any of the Topshop beauty products?

FOTD: Samples Only!

FOTD: Samples Only



FOTD: Samples Only

Like any beauty lover, I just can’t turn down a free sample! This results in a junk drawer full of gorgeous beauty products that I tend to overlook, in favor of my full size products that are currently in rotation. So, I decided to pull out some samples, and pull together a quick sample-only makeup look for work this week!

These photos are entirely unedited, so can we just talk about how amazing this Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Invisible Skin Fusion foundation is? I used it in 02 Beige Clair over the Clinique SuperPrimer (which I’m not all that impressed with, by the way), and this foundation gives the absolute perfect finish and glow. I used my mini Stila Convertible Color in Peony on my cheeks, and a little bit of the Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter on my cheek bones and under the brow.

For the eyes, I went for the BareMinerals 5in1 BB Cream Eyeshadow in Elegant Taupe blended in the crease and corners over my Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin (not pictured because my sample of it is ugly haha). I added a little cat flick with the Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner, and finished it off with some Lancome Definicils Mascara in Deep Black.

I topped off with a bit of Benefit’s Benetint on my lips, and it was off to work! Do you guys have the same sample troubles? Haha.

Sephora Appointment Haul

Sephora Beauty Consultation

Last weekend was a holiday weekend in the states, and while most people fled the concrete confines of Manhattan, I decided to stay around and treat myself to a little “stay-cation,” if you will. I cleaned my apartment, did a little home decor shopping, took a few naps, and treated myself to a 90 minute personal beauty consultation at Sephora.

I won’t go into all the details, but it was such a fun session. We touched all the bases – skincare, hair care, fragrance, and most importantly, makeup. She created a fantastic makeup look (shown here on my Instagram), and I got 10 or 12 great recommendations from her, including an impressive Clarisonic demonstration. So, out of all of those things, what did I get?

On the makeup front, the most obvious product in the picture is the new YSL Fusion Ink Foundation ($60) in B30 Almond. Kristina Marie applied this on me during the appointment, and I was so impressed with how this foundation wears. It’s incredibly skin-like and lightweight – seriously, when I touch my face with this on, I can’t even tell that I have foundation on, and I love that. I also picked up the Algenist Anti-Aging Pore Correcting Primer ($42). It had never occurred to me that skincare brands make primers like makeup brands do, but it makes perfect sense. The brand is well renowned for their anti-aging technology, plus you can actually watch this primer mattify your skin as you apply it.

For skincare, I picked up the set of the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster ($48) and the Pure Truth Vitamin C Youth Activating Oil. I don’t have any actual takeaways from these two yet because I’ve only been using them a few days, but I’m really excited about them! They make my skin look radiant and feel lovely, and they smell fantastic.

So only 4 things! I think I showed restraint haha. Have you all ever done a personal beauty consultation at Sephora?

Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie