february picks // better late than never

bb feb picks 3.jpggood hair //

i feel like it is quite rare that i have some actual hair favorites! ¬†this topic and one of these products will be familiar to you if you read this post, but there are some different products too. if you didn’t read that post (which you should. now.), i am pretty lame with my hair and usually just wash with head&shoulders or something comparable, maybe put in some salt spray, and air dry. ¬†but this month i’ve been shaking it up.

step 1: brush. ¬†now i have never been a hairbrusher. ¬†i know that sounds absolutely crazy, but when i brush my hair it gets…big. but lately, i’ve taken to brushing my hair before the shower to get rid of that dreaded rats nest from scarves and coat collars with this brush that i got from urban ($6). ¬†i think it is definitely the combination of pre-shower brushing and this brush that have completely changed how i wash my hair. ¬†my hair feels thicker, stronger, and shinier, and i have much less fallout than i used to. ¬†for winter hair, i’d say those results are pretty amazing.

step 2: wash. ¬†r+co cactus shampoo¬†($24) has been a full on love this month and will be for a while. ¬†this is the product you will recognize from that previous post. ¬†i don’t use this every time i wash my hair because it is pretty pricey, but i wish i could. ¬†i’ve been popping a little bit of conditioner on the ends of my hair and then lathering up with the cactus, and the results are beachy, summery, untamed, and perfect.

step 3: hair oil. ¬†i have never ever used a hair oil. ¬†that being said, i had my worries about not using full conditioner with the cactus shampoo, so i figured i would pick one up and try it out. ¬†i grabbed the verb ghost oil ($14) the last time i was at sephora because it has great reviews online and is the cheapest they have (of course i didn’t need to get a hair product at sephora, but you know, product junkie). ¬†i was tempted to get the ouai hair oil but it’s a smaller bottle¬†and double the price. anyways, this oil is beautiful. ¬†it is lightweight and not sticky at all, plus smells and feels amazing. ¬†i just put a little drop on my fingers and rub it together, then put the most on my ends and flip my hair over and finger comb with the excess. ¬†i don’t have a lot to base it on, but this oil is amazing!bb feb picks 4.jpggood reads //¬†when i was a kid i used to read 2 or 3 books at a time, and i have found myself doing that again this month.

introducing the honorable phryne fisher¬†& the miss fisher series¬†by kerry greenwood // you all know that i loooooove miss fisher’s murder mysteries the show and now i’m loving the books as well! ¬†i got this one on amazon and it contains the first three miss fisher stories, two of which were turned into episodes. ¬†i do prefer the show version – the characters and storylines are more established – but maybe it’s just because i’m so dedicated to it. ¬†all in all, they are super fun and easy to read and i will probably get them all! ¬†i love having a series to complete. ¬†i¬†have made my way through 6 of the books in the series and am starting number 7.

an extraordinary theory of objects by stephanie lacava // i think¬†i got this book while traveling in paris a few years ago, but it has been gathering dust on my shelf since then (honestly i can’t remember the exact details of where this came from). ¬†i decided to bring it with me on my most recent travels and it was such a lovely companion. ¬†this memoir is the beautiful and very striking story of the author as a young girl, discovering and dealing with her depression when her family is uprooted and moved to france. ¬†it was tragic but hopeful and a very special read.

lolly willowes by sylvia townsend warner // i signed up for a book of the month subscription, and this was offered as an add-on for my first box. ¬†it’s actually the first ever book of the month book, from 1926! ¬†right up my alley, very jane austen-esque. ¬†it is about a middle-aged woman who, after a life of being taken care of by her family and not being able to go her own way, leaves it all behind¬†to follow her heart. ¬†i highly recommend, and i recommend book of the month as well! ¬†i just chose my book for march¬†today and i think it will arrive shortly.

old magazine favorites // i love rereading and getting reinspired from my collection of magazines. ¬†some of my favorites that i looked at over and over this month were some old editions of frankie, suitcase, surfista, and howl. ¬†there’s nothing quite as beautiful to me as an independently-produced magazine.

good brands //

w3ll people // i have picked up three w3ll people products this month and am using all of them daily. ¬†i have previously tried their mascara and concealer and while i didn’t love either one, i do love the ethos of the brand. ¬†the first product i got was the bio brightening powder ($21.99) which is a beautiful slightly mattifying but glow inducing setting powder. ¬†i had been on a search for the perfect setting powder and i think i found it! ¬†at the same time i also picked up the bio bronzer loose powder ($21.99) as i’ve been a little bored with my bronzing options and this guy has great reviews. ¬†it’s a really nice universal shade that gives a very realistic hint of bronze to my skin. ¬†slightly more recently i purchased the narcissist foundation stick (shade 0, pale ivory)¬†($28.99)¬†which is a gorgeous cream foundation stick with extremely light, dewy coverage. ¬†i’ve been using it to even out some redness on my cheeks and nose. ¬†it sinks into the skin undetectably, but evens out the skin and can be built up effectively where necessary. ¬†i truly don’t feel like i’m wearing anything when i have this on – it feels even lighter than the glossier skin tint. ¬†i purchased all of my products at whole foods.bb feb picks 2.jpggood nails //¬†

it’s official. ¬†i’ve fallen into the smith&cult…well, cult. ¬†i own 2 shades: tenderoni and doe my dear. ¬†both are anna instigated products and obviously bitter buddhist (a stunning muted green grey) is next on my list. ¬†i kind of hate the bottles since they are so ridiculously bulky and they have those stupid caps you take off to reveal an extremely small applicator, but i will end my rant here. ¬†the formula is aaaamazing, especially on tenderoni. ¬†it’s basically opi you don’t know jacques, one of my classic polishes, but dare i say better? ¬†less purple undertones and great application. ¬†but if you don’t want to shell out the cash for the high price ($18 vs $10), the opi is a spot on dupe. ¬†doe my dear is my ideal light greige that applies pretty well given the nature of the color. ¬†smith&cult is 5-free.

nails inc. 45 second kensington caviar top coat // when my previous bottle of this guy got old and gloopy at some point last summer, i decided to venture into other top coats and try some things out. ¬†i tried the infamous seche vite which i liked for a little while but then became meh and the sally hansen quick dry top coat which is also meh. ¬†i was previously dedicated to essie good to go, but essie doesn’t always last very long on me so i haven’t gone back to that one. ¬†finally mid-february i decided to get the nails inc. again. ¬†i don’t know what took me so long honestly. ¬†it keeps my nails fresh like no other top coat does, dries literally in 45 seconds, and i have come to the realization that i can’t be without this! ¬†plus, all nails inc. products are at least 5-free, with their nailpure range is 6-free and vegan.

good lips //

sephora coconut balm // sephora came out with some new balms this month and i grabbed the coconut one while in the checkout line one day. ¬†a really solid lip balm with a great coconut scent – real coconut, not chemical coconut. ¬†solid balm at a good price point ($6). ¬†my mom tried mine and loved it so that’s impressive¬†(she is picky about balms and has this clinique one that she claims glues her lips together. ¬†watching her mimic this action is truly hilarious)! ¬†don’t worry, i picked one up for her immediately!

smith’s rosebud salve tube¬†//¬†($6) i¬†have the pot version of the rosebud salve and almost always have one lying around somewhere, which is great, but the tube version is much better in my opinion. ¬†definitely more user and on-the-go friendly. ¬†love the glossy finish without being sticky, the rose scent, the moisturizing properties, etc. etc. ¬†plus you don’t have to worry about it melting and oozing all over your car! ¬†(it happens…a lot.)bb feb picks 5.jpggood finds //¬†

cleansing balms // i started washing my face differently this month and it has completely changed the dryness in my skin.  at the end of january i got the pixi x caroline hirons double cleanse and it completely turned me on to cleansing balms.  this one is two fold Рyou get an oil based cleansing balm and a cream based cleanse and use them one after the other, wiping them off with a damp washcloth.  i fell in love with this process as my nighttime cleanse and wanted to pick up something slightly more eco and with more benefits, so i got the trilogy makeup be gone cleansing balm at my local whole foods.  this is a gorgeous product that is extremely hydrating thanks to mango butter, rosehip oil, and coconut oil as well as other plant oils.  i remove it with a warm bamboo baby washcloths that are extremely soft and gentle Рand by that i mean basically the softest things ever.  the result is smooth and supple skin that requires few moisturizing products afterwards.  i am in love with both of these products and love interchanging them.

l’amour et la musique¬†youtube // i fell in love with mercedes of l’amour et la musique this month. ¬†i found her while on a search for youtube reviews of eco beauty products. ¬†and she is the mecca! ¬†she reviews mostly eco skincare and cosmetics with a touch of conventional ones as well, and is so intelligent and well spoken. ¬†i actually feel that i am gaining knowledge when i watch her videos and i love having a reference for my eco interests besides medical websites. ¬†i love her!! ¬†i highly recommend her videos, especially if you want something a little more intelligent than the usual makeup dribble.

alli cherry¬†youtube // i’ve been watching alli on and off for quite some time. ¬†honestly i used to find her a little boring, but i have completely changed my opinion over the last month. ¬†her content is extremely unique and well constructed, and she makes videos on her minimalist, low-waste, sustainable lifestyle. ¬†very refreshing and very empowering.

spearmint tea // sorry if this is tmi, but i severely suffer from lactose-intolerance and extreme stomach sensitivity, almost on a daily basis. ¬†i’m always researching any natural remedies that will help me feel better and take away some of my symptoms. ¬†i have come across spearmint tea quite frequently and after thoroughly trialling it, i must sing its praises. ¬†spearmint tea is known for many health benefits, but especially for its aid in digestion and management of a variety of stomach symptoms, including those related to ibs. ¬†i actually just love the sweet, refreshing way spearmint tea tastes (i drink it as is, no sugar, no milk, no honey) so i enjoy drinking it even when i’m not struggling with my stomach. ¬†but when i am struggling, i find it soothes my symptoms and eases my pain very quickly, and for that i extremely grateful. ¬†other benefits include fresh breath, hormonal balance, stress relief, and chronic disease prevention. ¬†it is also a great aid to dieters when paired with healthy diet and exercise. ¬†it is important to note that these benefits are from spearmint tea, i’m not sure if mint or peppermint tea apply. ¬†i find mine at whole foods.

kevita sparkling probiotic drinks // in the same vein as the beverage above, i started drinking kevita this month. ¬†in the past 2 weeks i don’t know if a day has gone by that i haven’t had at least half a bottle of one. ¬†it’s quite an expensive habit, but i actually think it is helping my tummy troubles. ¬†basically it’s a sparkling juice drink that is filled with good bacteria for your stomach and digestion. ¬†it’s a little kombucha-tasting (at least the flavors i have tried) but not too much and is really quite refreshing. ¬†not too sweet, organic, and all natural. ¬†i’ve been buying in bulk at whole foods. ¬†my favorite flavors are strawberry acai coconut and hibiscus berry.bb feb picks 1.jpggood living //

i haven’t mentioned it yet here, mostly because it is a topic that is extremely difficult for me to talk about, but in just a few weeks my parents are moving out of my childhood home. ¬†since i currently live in said home, i have been completely part of the moving process. ¬†and even though i hate that we are doing it, i am learning a lot about myself through this move. ¬†i’m reevaluating what i have and getting rid of what i don’t need – both physically and emotionally. ¬†i’m centering myself around the person that i truly want to be and am becoming/almost am, and i’m keeping what i feel benefits that person. ¬†even right down to the skincare and makeup and crap that i keep in my bathroom. ¬†i’m letting go and i’m creating a new space that is organic and natural and equal to me. ¬†through this, i’m¬†especially reevaluating the material items that aren’t benefitting me in a health manner, and i’m turning over a new eco leaf. ¬†it’s something i have delved into in the past, but it stressed me out and¬†at times felt like too much to conquer. ¬†but now i’m paying attention. ¬†i’m using up and then getting rid of the scary chemicals and nasty ingredients and the shit that i just don’t use or need or even want. ¬†but more on that later…

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february picks // better late than never

december picks //

picture my dad singing “these are a few of my favorite things…” in the background, as he was¬†doing while i was taking my photos ¬†ūüėČIMG_0090.jpg
shu uemera eyelash curlers
ok i finally caved and jumped on the bandwagon,¬†and man i am never turning back. ¬†i thought my tarte curlers were good, but now i’m realizing that they didn’t curl that much and they definitely pinched. ¬†these make my eyelashes look not only curled but voluminous, and they stay curled all day, with mascara or without (and i use regular mascara, not waterproof). ¬†it’s no surprise these are the best of the best.

sarah chloe monogram necklace something i’ve had for a long time but am really loving this month. ¬†i love the length and the chunkier pendant – it’s a little bit different from my usual dainty chains.

real techniques complexion sponge i had a beauty blender for a while, but when it got a little too grubby, i decided to pick up this less expensive version instead of another $20 splurge. ¬†and it’s amazing!! ¬†in my opinion it’s way better than the original, as it has more points and flat edges for tough to reach areas (nose, under eyes).

go-to face hero i have been reading about this for months on the file¬†and have done some pretty thorough research on its benefits. ¬†i¬†finished my mario badescu rose hips oil, but in the end i didn’t feel that it was hydrating or oily enough (which i know is actually one of its main selling points) especially with winter in full swing. ¬†i was going to get the pai rosehip bioregenerate oil, but i decided to get the go-to instead as it has such rave reviews. ¬†it includes so many wonderful oils, including rosehip, almond, jojoba, and many many more. ¬†once converted from australian to american dollars, the price point is great (roughly $34 american plus¬†$18 shipping) and the international shipping was really fast. ¬†i am so glad i decided to get this, it has done wonders for my skin and i noticed the effects over night, no exaggeration.

l’oreal brow stylist plumper in medium to dark – i originally typed that as “brow plumber.” ¬†anyways! ¬†i have pretty ok brows, and truth be told i can’t be bothered to do anything over the top with them. ¬†but they do get pretty unruly and messy throughout the day so i have been looking for a really subtle brow gel to keep them in place but not look “done.” ¬†the glossier boy brow is ok, but it’s so thick and pomade-y that it was just too much for low-key me. ¬†i heard about the l’oreal brow gel somewhere, so i picked it up when i saw it at duane reade and i love it! ¬†it’s exactly what i was looking for. ¬†it is tinted, so it offers a little bit of color while looking totally natural and not too gel-y. ¬†i wipe most of the product off before applying, so that helps, but really this is a great product and doesn’t make me feel like my eyebrows are cemented to my face.

nars radiant tinted moisturizer in terre neuve – this has been my go-to base this month. ¬†for one thing, it’s my perfect winter shade, and the coverage is perfect. ¬†it evens out the redness that i have going on and doesn’t cling to my dry patches, but looks totally natural and nonexistent. ¬†i don’t typically wear a “base” every day, but i have felt it necessary this month and have been happy to have this guy around. ¬†if you’re looking for a good tinted moisturizer, i highly recommend the nars one. ¬†though i can’t seem to find a good summer shade, this one matches my pale, pink winter skin like a dream.

bioderma sensibio¬†this is a repeat from november, but i feel the need to mention it again! ¬†i got a small bottle of this while in london in november and have used up the whole thing in the past 2 months! ¬†it has been really nice to have an actual makeup remover for my whole face, and i love using this as a first step before my cleanser. ¬†it gets rid of my mascara (not waterproof) in just a few swipes and gets rid of the leftover bronzer, tinted moisturizer, and layers of grime that have made home of my face during the day. ¬†also, it’s now available a couple places online like beautylish and violet grey, so it’s finally available to us americans!

violette_fr Рi have seen violette featured a ton on violet grey, but i had no idea that she had a youtube channel!  violette is an amazing parisian makeup artist, and her channel shows you how to achieve that perfectly french look.  i love how short and simple her videos are, and how she focuses on one feature, be it eyes, lips, etc.  her looks are simple and beautiful and i am addicted!

a christmas carol by charles dickens for whatever reason, i really wanted to read this dickens classic this month. ¬†i was in search of a cozy read – whatever that means – and this fit the bill perfectly. ¬†though i know the story by heart, i have never¬†read it first hand. ¬†it is such a beautiful and timeless story, and even if you think you know it all i recommend taking the time to read it. ¬†it’s quite short – i finished it in a day or two – but i thoroughly enjoyed it and was reminded of it’s great lessons on life, appreciation, and kindness.

drawing/sketching – i’ve always been a doodling, but this month i enjoyed my drawings a little bit more than usual. ¬†i drew winter guides for my sisters’ christmas presents, and i loved drawing the products and items that i love in my real life and want them to love too. ¬†you know what’s better than a new glossier product? ¬†drawing a really cute picture of one!IMG_0085.jpgIMG_0089.jpg

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december picks //

november picks

you know the drill: new discoveries, rediscoveries…all the stuff i’m digging this month.IMG_4410.jpgIMG_4426.jpg

using >>

too faced hangover primer // i have used this absolutely every day since i purchased it at the very beginning of the month, including days that i haven’t been wearing any makeup. ¬†i love the added moisture it gives to my skin and it really does make my makeup last all day long. ¬†it’s beautiful on it’s own or mixed with something like the mac strobe cream or nars illuminator in hot sand. ¬†the travel size i got at ulta is definitely going to last me for quite a while, even with some frequent use. ¬†this is such a goodie.

milk makeup x urban outfitters urban defense mask //¬†i detailed this mask in this post about milk makeup so i won’t go too much in depth, but basically this mask is awesome. ¬†it goes on as a thick, incredible smelling gel and leave it on for just a few minutes – and then mix in some water, rub it around on your skin, and wash it all off. ¬†it’s cleansing but healing and moisturizing and i love how it feels. ¬†the tub is absolutely huge and will last for quite a while, so for $36 you really get your money’s worth. ¬†check that post for more information (even though really there isn’t much more to tell)!

yu-be moisturizing cream // i’ve had this since early in the year, but quite forgot about it as summer came around. ¬†but i’ve brought it back out for my poor winter face where i have a few extra dry, peeling patches. ¬†i have been putting this around my nose and mouth every morning and night and it keeps¬†dryness at bay and doesn’t burn at all. ¬†the camphor smell is a bit strong (it smells like carmex) but fades away quickly and actually offers a little bit of a pick-me-up. ¬†i don’t know if i would put this all over my face, but considering the high glycerin content i’m thinking about it as the weather gets colder and colder. ¬†in any case, this is a nice bit¬†of extra moisture if you need it.

bronzer // while this is always a favorite, i’ve been having a fun time switching it up with bronzers this month. ¬†i’m rotating between the soap&glory solar powder, benefit hoola, and hourglass luminous bronze light depending on what i’m feeling like and these are all such solid bronzing powders. ¬†super natural on my getting-paler skin and offer the face such a nice lift and glow. ¬†highly recommend all three.

bioderma // i picked up a small bottle of bioderma at the airport while in london and quickly added it to my nightly routine. ¬†i’ve been taking off all my makeup with this before washing my face or doing a mask at night, and i like doing the extra step. ¬†i prefer this to washing my face twice and feel like it gets my face even cleaner than double washing anyways. ¬†it’s extremely gentle and doesn’t burn my dry skin or create any redness as these types of products tend to do on me. ¬†it’s a beautiful makeup remover and a really nice addition to a skincare routine. ¬†and thankfully for us americans, you can now get bioderma via beautylish and violet grey, so i know exactly where to order more when i run out of my bottle!

pf candle co fig and sandalwood candle // my all-time favorite candle and perfect for fall. ¬†it’s warm and smooth, but not overpowering. ¬†i don’t particularly smell fig in here, but i do smell all that delicious sandalwood. ¬†i’m coming to the end of mine so i’ve been burning it night and day to clean out that amber jar like the true blogger i am! ¬†can’t wait to buy another when i get to my next location. ¬†also, i think in a past life i was¬†a sandalwood tree.

monica vinader onyx ring // i couldn’t find the exact one online so i linked something similar. ¬†i got this ring while in london and oh my gosh am i in love with it. ¬†i wear it on my ring finger on my right hand which is a little unusual for me; i’m usually a middle or forefinger ring girl. ¬†the onyx stone is so eye catching and different, and it plays off the gold so well. ¬†it’s a statement but still understated and makes me feel rather grown up indeed. ¬†plus it reminds me of a ring that a dear friend of my parents’ wears, and that makes it all the more special. ¬†IMG_4441.jpgIMG_4414.jpgIMG_4432.jpg

reading >>

rules of civility by amor towles // this book is such a gem! ¬†i happened upon it in my local bookstore and left without it, and then went back the next day because i couldn’t stop thinking about it. ¬†this book is so up my alley – very similar to my beloveds:¬†the lost art of keeping secrets and searching for¬†grace kelley. ¬†there’s just something about vintage new york city, filled with lavish parties, twinkling lights, and smart, sassy young women coming into their own.¬†¬†katey, the main character, has such a great wit and sense of humor that¬†i can’t help but want to be just like her. ¬†for some reason i couldn’t get patti smith out of my mind the entire time i was reading this, so i must see a little bit of her in the protagonist. ¬†i definitely took my time reading this because i didn’t want it to end. ¬†favorite line: “bred with just the right amount of fresh air, roughhousing, and ignorance, these primitive [midwestern] blondes set out from the cornfields looking like starlight with limbs” (towles 14).

my top blogs // amelia says this, beauty by kelsey, lolita says so, cindyhyue

following >>

instagram // @kristengracelam, @skinsitivity, @geo_fleur, @surfistastravelogue, @sundayforevernyc, @sortofobsessed, @emmahoareau, @flwhrs, @cynthialions, @househomemade

tamira jarrel youtube // always a favorite but this month i have been playing her new and old videos on repeat. ¬†i’m obsessed with her badass/doesn’t give a fuck attitude and her super natural approach to beauty. ¬†she is truly an artist when it comes to no makeup makeup and i can only dream that i am able to achieve¬†her effortlessness one day.IMG_4442 (1).jpg

november was a pretty good month, but i am so excited for december and all the magic and love and creativity it brings.  and the new year.  ooooh 2017, i love that you are so close!

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november picks