It’s Not Me, It’s You #2

It's Not Me It's You

I consider myself pretty lenient as far as beauty products are concerned – even if a product doesn’t work for me, I automatically conjure up situations where this product would be great for someone else, but I just could not find an excuse for these products. I’ve tried these as many ways as I could think to try them, and I just ended up disappointed.

As far as face products are concerned, there are two products with opposite problems: the Bare Minerals Ready Touch Up Veil ($23) in Translucent, and Benefit’s Fake Up ($24) in Medium. I loved the Bare Minerals veil when I first got it – it’s small, easy to carry around, and it mattifies really well. But, it shattered after one week in my bag, and I carry it in a pretty secure Whistles clutch. Additionally, if you’re not super oily, it feels a bit like chalky baby powder, and I’m just not into it. The concealer has the opposite problem: it sits on the skin and feels greasy all day. It transfers, creases, and does everything you do not want a concealer to do. I just cannot figure this one out.

I also have three eye products that I haven’t been loving, and they may be a little controversial, so hold on to your seats! First up is the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil ($6) in Milk. I bought this after reading many a review about how much it enhances eyeshadow colors, and it definitely does do that, but it creases after literally 10 minutes! I’ve tried it over multiple primers and haven’t been able to fix that issue. Speaking of primers, I received a sample of the NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base ($25) with a palette purchase at some point, but I find that this is essentially useless – it feels good going on, but it doesn’t actually extend the wear time of my eyeshadows, so it’s an unnecessary step for me. I think I’ll stick with my UD Primer Potion.

Lastly, I have Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes mascara ($20) on my dislike list, which is a surprise because I typically love Tarte products. It gives fluttery, pretty lashes upon application, but on me, it flakes everywhere. By lunch time, I have little flakes all over my cheek bones, which is just not a cute look.

Does anyone have any tips on how to make these products work? I’d love to hear what y’all think!

A Custom Date Night Dress with eShakti

eShakti Dress

Date night outfits are the hardest when the weather gets cold – how are you supposed to feel sexy when you also have to be warm? I always aim for makeup that makes me feel amazing, and a dress in a classic silhouette, topped off with my leather jacket and an edgy necklace to balance it out. This floral jacquard dress* from has been my favorite fall dress lately, and I’ll tell you what: it’s a stunner, and it was built specifically to fit me!  READ MORE

October Favorites

October Favorites

I could have sworn that Halloween was, like, yesterday, and yet suddenly we are halfway through November…how did that even happen? Pretend with me though, that it’s still the end of October, because I had some pretty good beauty favorites last month!

My lips have been a bit chapped lately, so I’ve stayed away from lipstick and played up my eyes most days, which made my LORAC Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer ($21) and my MAC Paint Pot ($21) in Soft Ochre clutch for me this month. I expect a lot out of my eye makeup – 15 hours days with no creasing – so I’ve tried quite a few different eye primers, and the combination of the MAC over the LORAC has been the winner.

On days where I want to play up my eyes, but I don’t have 10 extra minutes to spend on eyeshadow, I have just been throwing on some cobalt blue liner and mascara and running out the door. The L’Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner ($9) in Cobalt Blue is a really great drugstore eyeliner. I’ve been paring it with a L’Oreal mascara that I believe has been discontinued in the blue, but you can find plenty of other blue mascara options at all price points (See NYX, MUFE, Sephora or Dior). Blue sounds extreme, but it looks surprisingly subtle when applied – if you want to play with color, but you don’t feel all that comfortable with it, this is a great place to start.

With all this eye makeup, I’ve been relying on Rimmel’s Blush ($7.50) in Santa Rose. This is, unfortunately, not available in the states, but you can get ahold of it from ASOS or FeelUnique. This made its rounds on blogs last year, and I entirely understand its popularity! It’s a nice, soft rose that looks extremely natural on the skin.

Last but not least, I received the Ayres Patagonia Body Butter ($28) in an Ipsy bag last month, and it’s one of the best I have used! This puts every other body butter (including the Body Shop’s classic one) to shame. It’s super thick, but it sinks into the skin in seconds and moisturizes really well, plus it doesn’t have a strong scent, which is tough to find in a body butter. I’ve been relatively disappointed with Ipsy lately, but I will definitely be purchasing the full size of this one.

What have you been loving lately? Feel free to leave your links to your October favorites in the comments!

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?

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