may picks

may has simultaneously been the longest and shortest month of the year.  from finishing spring classes to starting summer ones, moving out of my first solo apartment, spending 10 days with my long distance lover, and everything else in between…i’m definitely a little worn out.  there hasn’t been much time for trying new things this month, but i always sneak a couple things in, don’t worry.  these items are my true blue faves, and those are the best ones, am i right?bb may picks.JPGpela save the waves phone case // when my beloved sonix case broke on me, i immediately knew i wanted to get a pela case to replace it.  these cases are eco-friendly, plastic free from case to packaging, compostable, and more!  i love the honesty and message behind this brand and the fact that they are serious about their mission – no greenwashing or pushing an eco image that isn’t real.  and the actual price of the cases ($39) is really no more expensive than other popular brands.  i prefer a softer, more silicone feeling case on my phone, and this is exactly that.  sturdy but soft and great for mother earth.

madewell embroidered pouch wallet // i love a good pouch wallet and i knew i had to get this one from madewell when i saw it in a promotional email.  the leather is deliciously soft and the perfect coral rust color, and the embroidered eyes are right up my alley.  nothing but love.  unfortunately this is sold out online, but it’s worth checking a local store if you have one.

the girls // this is quite simply one of my all-time favorite books.  this is the third or fourth time i’ve read it, and it just becomes more beautiful and engaging every time.  i put up a more in-depth review when i first read this a couple years ago, so if you want more details you can visit that here.

clinique city block spf 25 // i thought for sure i had mentioned this previously, but i can’t seem to find evidence of that.  in my constant search for a good mineral sunscreen, this is the absolute winner.  for a while i was hesitant to try this because it was only spf 25 and not 30 or higher, but if you try mineral sunscreens you know the struggle to find a decent one.  this has the perfect hint of color to it so there is no white cast whatsoever, it’s hydrating and fresh without being greasy or oily, it has mineral ingredients and rates a 2 on ewg, and is affordable.  i mean honestly what more can you ask for?  just note that only the spf 25 version is mineral, the spf 40 contains other chemical sunscreen ingredients.

laura mercier velour extreme matte lip in vibe // the most perfect peachy pink matte lip color ever.  the formulation of these is the matte of my dreams, maybe even better than nars.  i’ve been wearing this to class most days to perk up my tired ass face from long nights with boyfriend if you know what i mean 😉 thanks laura mercier for letting me have a love life without looking like a goblin!  plus i’m a total sucker for the name.  like who can say their favorite lip products are called vibe and stardust?  this hippie!

and as more of an update…

sephora vib sale items // these are all still going strong, minus the marc jacobs lipstick that i returned.  nothing really to report, they are all super solid products that i’m glad i invested in, especially the marc jacobs coconut bronzer and rms champagne rose luminizer which i’m loving on the eyes as well as cheekbones.  the milk makeup kush mascara is excellent, i just haven’t found myself wearing mascara very much this month.  but for nights out, yes yes yes.

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on my person 02

the bag: vintage coach duffel in black via poshmark – check out ebay, etsy, poshmark, tradesy

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the hat: neff beanie

the gloves: walgreen’s fingerless gloves (comes with a grey full pair as well)

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the beauty stuff: mini nars radiant creamy concealer in vanilla

clean&clear blotting sheets

bare minerals pressed foundation in fairly medium (do they not make this anymore?)

sephora powder brush (discontinued)

soap&glory hand food

dr. bronner’s lavender hand sanitizer

korres lip butter in jasmine

mini bite beauty lip pencil in cafe – leche is close

nivea lip balm

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the sunglasses: ray ban round metal, madewell

the wallet: a christmas gift from my sister!  i sadly got concealer on it, any recommendations for how to get that off?

the phone case: zero gravity available at urban outfitters or ascot&hart

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check out my original on my person post

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january picks

long-winded this month – my apologies!


shea moisture coconut & hibiscus range //  i’m really not loyal to any body wash – really they’re all pretty much the same in my opinion.  but somehow this one has become a strong favorite and this is actually the third bottle that i have purchased in a row.  that’s unprecedented!  the smell of this is soooooooo tropical and uplifting and the product itself doesn’t make me feel dry or squeaky the way regular soap does.  i’m not sure about the firming and toning properties – pretty sure only exercise can do that! – but it doesn’t hurt to try.  when i picked up this last bottle there was a buy one get one half off promotion happening at my walgreen’s so i picked up the matching body butter as well.  same amazing smell and it’s really nice and thick, but soaks in immediately.  i put it on after i’ve toweled off but while my skin is still relatively damp and warm.  loving this range!  overall i really like this brand – it’s natural, organic, fair trade, cruelty-free, and sustainably produced.  i have a lip balm from them (mentioned here) and just picked up a shampoo and conditioner set, which i’m sure will be in next month’s picks.

glossier coconut balm dotcom // i loved this over the summer and i’m loving it again.  the scent is incredibly uplifting and it’s just a really nice product.  i like to really pile it up on my lips at night and then in the morning they are totally hydrated and plump.  i prefer this to the original – even though coconut isn’t actually an ingredient i feel like the texture is more coconut-y and more hydrating.

hylamide low-molecular ha serum // i’ve been wanting to get into serums for a while, but didn’t really know where to start.  when the glossier supers arrived, i was so excited and picked up all 3 almost immediately.  i thought it would be a great intro into the serum world, but i was left really disappointed.  i’ve read so many good reviews about the supers, but didn’t see any benefits from any of them.  so after more research, i knew that i really wanted to get a hyaluronic acid serum, and found this one from hylamide.  basically, the hyaluronic acid that is found in our bodies and that is in many skincare items contains molecules that are too large for our skin to absorb.  so the serum or lotion or whatever simply sits on top of our skin, so all the benefits disappear when we wash our faces.  the ha serum from hylamide contains 5 different variations of hyaluronic acid that contain smaller molecules, so our skin is able to absorb these and really get the benefits that that hyaluronic acid provides.  i have definitely seen a moisture difference in my skin after a few weeks of twice daily use, and i look forward to seeing the longer term benefits that this serum promotes.  oh and wait!  i forgot to mention this serum is only $20 and is available at most drugstores.  for a serum, that is a total steal.  deciem, the company that produces hylamide products, is a pretty cool skincare brand that also produces the ordinaries serums, which you might have seen floating around instagram.  those sit at an even lower price point and sound pretty appealing as well.

pacifica nail polish in desert princess // pacifica is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands.  i was on the hunt for a mauvey pink nail polish that wasn’t too grandma-ish and stumbled upon this shade while at whole foods one day.  it’s exactly what i was looking for and shows up nicely on my fair, cool-toned skin.  i like that it feels like a neutral shade, as opposed to a bright pink which honestly i don’t like.  the formula is great and the applicator is even better.  plus that name!  who could resist!

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selected writings, truman capote // i found this at south congress books in austin and it took me a split second to decide to buy it.  it’s a first edition from 1962 and contains a ton of stories that i haven’t read and don’t have in my collection.  capote is one of my favorite authors and this is something i will cherish all my life.

a gentleman in moscow, amor towles // talk about favorite authors – amor towles is absolute amazing!  i read rules of civility first, and then my mom actually forced me to read a gentleman in moscow.  the dialogue is witty, the characters are robust, the environment is palpable, and the plot is unlike anything on the market these days.  i will say it goes on a little longer than necessary, but overall i highly recommend.

leather bookmark // going along with my book favorites this month has been the gorgeous green leather bookmark my sister got me for my birthday.  i don’t own any other bookmarks and i feel so fancy having such a beautiful one!  it’s great especially for my vintage books in which i don’t want to fold down the pages.  it also serves a beautiful reminder of my amazing trip to austin.  thanks lyssie 🙂

american housewife // my sister introduced me to this show and i have since watched very single episode (basically in one day).  this show couldn’t be funnier or cuter.  it’s a breath of fresh air, so carefree, and so wholesome.  it’s still in the first season so it won’t take you too long to get up to date!  go watch!

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madewell succulent earrings & other dangly earrings // ok i had no idea these were called the succulent earrings until i just looked online to get a link for you all (i bought them in store)!!!  could there be anything more perfect for me?!  my sister bought the blue pair for me probably 6 years ago and i am just now feeling like i can wear something so big daily – it’s pretty fun actually.

paring back // my parents are moving out of my childhood home (don’t even get me started…) and as a result we have been going through every single thing we own before the move.  it’s been fun, sad, and extremely cathartic to go through all of my belongings and get rid of those that don’t benefit me anymore.  clothes, books, paraphernalia from grade school…not to sound like marie kondo (i think the fact that she has made so much money off telling people to get rid of things that don’t make them happy – hello duh – is total lunacy…don’t get me started on that either!), but it feels pretty great to not be weighed down by things that i just don’t want in my life anymore.

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july favorites

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opi nail envy matte // i’ve mentioned this before but i am still loving the matte version of opi’s nail envy.  it looks completely natural on the nails so i feel comfortable wearing it without a color on top, which i never like to do with just clear polish.  it’s been really saving my nails from the damage my work is inflicting upon them!

tarte eyelash curlers // i mentioned these in this post and am still going strong with them.  i definitely feel like they make a difference in how awake i look and i’ve been using them daily this month.

covergirl lash blast volume mascara in black/brown // also mentioned in this post.  great in conjunction with the lash curlers.  lately i feel like it’s been getting a bit clumpy though, so i have been wiping most of the product off on a tissue before applying to my lashes – which only makes it look more natural, which is always preferred for me!

glossier perfecting skin tint in medium // i have been absolutely obsessed with this for the whole summer.  it gives my skin a little boost/makes me look healthy/makes me feel good about my skin and face.  i’ve been using it for the past few days with a damp beauty blender and i think it’s a great tool to use with the tint, but i usually just rub it in with my fingers.

glossier generation g in like // i picked this up when glossier restocked all of their products and i am in love.  it basically matches my lip color, but in a matte and slightly lighter way.  it’s the perfect addition to my very, very basic makeup looks, but i love the extra touch it gives.

glossier milky jelly cleanser // i ignored this cleanser for so long because the name is just…yeah.  i finally caved though when i got the generation g, mostly because i wanted the free shipping and there wasn’t anything else i was dying to try.  i must say, i really like it!  i’m always cautious when trying out new skincare products, but this face wash is beautifully gentle and not drying at all.  i’ve been using it at night to help take off my makeup and i really feel like it’s been great for my skin.  or it’s not doing anything bad to my skin at least ;).

covergirl clean matte powder in 535 medium light // this is a really great setting powder in my perfect summer shade.  since my skin is so cool toned, i struggle with finding summer shades, as cool toned shades become extremely peachy when they get darker (did any of that make sense?).  basically this is perfect for my summer skin and is definitely a new staple.

nars impassioned // i go in and out with blush shades and this is my current favorite.  just a hint of a flush and is a perfect neutral shade all year round.  probably my favorite blush of all time and i’m not the biggest blush person.

nixon leather watch // i love this thing!  i bought it while in search of a leather watch that was oversized, but not too big.  something i could wear every day and not worry about.  and then suddenly, there it was!  plus it adds some edge to the dresses i’ve been wearing when i feel a little too feminine.  highly recommend.  unfortunately i bought it in store so i’m not exactly sure of the name, but it will be linked if i find some details.

dresses // i am not usually a dress person.  however, they have become a daily work staple for me.  there’s something about throwing on a dress and looking completely put together and ready to go that is just so much easier than putting together a full outfit.  plus, they make it feel even better when i get home and throw on my old denim cutoffs.

madewell denim jackets // another work staple.  i have a jean jacket on my person probably 4 out of my 5 work days.  i own 2 madewell jackets as they are my absolute favorite – perfect length, perfect amount of slouch.  i have the ellery wash (distressed) and the pinter wash (true blue denim).  they keep me warm in the air conditioning and are perfect to throw on after work if i’m going out.

french glamour // my sister left a few french glamour magazines at my house early in july, and i have been pouring over them pretty much every day.  the images, the articles are just so much better than those in the american versions.  i studied french in school so i can pick up the gist of the articles, and it’s so fun to practice my french again.

pretty little liars // oh how i love this show.  over the winter i started from the very beginning of the series since i apparently had nothing better to do.  anyways, i must say i’m loving this new season even though the plot is riiiiiiidiculous.

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summer work essentials

IMG_4175.jpgmy trick to surviving work as easily as possible is to have everything you need for every situation.  there are few things worse than getting to work in the morning and realizing you don’t have a hair clip or a bottle of water – knowing that it’s hours before you can leave for lunch, if you can at all.  so here are my work essentials, especially for summer:

because you’ll get sweaty // clean&clear oil absorbing sheets, bare minerals ready foundation, mac travel powder brush, evan healy lavender hydrosoul

because your nail polish is guaranteed to chip // nail polish remover pads, first aid beauty hand lotion

because you’ll always want to put your hair up // hair clips (i love the butterfly kind since they are hold your hair tighter than regular ones) and hair twisties (i love these scrunchie ones)

because you’ll probably get drinks after work // mini nars laguna bronzer, tony moly lip stain (in red), perfume sample (mine is of my usual byredo gypsy water)

because you’ll get tired of ac // madewell denim jacket (in ellery wash)

because your phone will die and your commute will be boring // phone charger (drugstore), apple headphones

because you’ll get tired of vending machine water bottles // s’well 17 oz (but i would recommend getting the larger size since this one doesn’t last me long enough)

because you’ll need to write things down // moleskine agenda, iron curtain press notebook, delfonics pen, lepens

other staples that are not pictured // lactaid pills, advil, purell, bandaids, sunglasses

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i bought a lot of things that i really didn’t need // new york edition

and actually some things that i did need!IMG_4089.jpgIMG_4083.jpgIMG_4086.jpg

bare minerals pressed foundation in fairly medium //

nars radiant creamy concealer in vanilla //

tata harper lip & cheek tint in very charming //

milani baked blush in luminoso //

zara midi dress //

zara military shirt in forest green //

mango double layer midi dress // couldn’t find online, sorry!

madewell diamond shaped earrings //

rose gold horseshoe bracelet // from a street market in soho

// my images, please credit if taking.

material concerns pt 2: newish stuff

image.jpeg(accumulated over the past month)

wet-n-wild megalast lip color in spiked with rum and ravin’ raisin // really good matte lipsticks and so cheap!

sephora matte lip cream in shade 13 marvelous mauve // a great entrylevel matte liquid lipstick, great bold-but-not-too-bold color, great price point

neutrogena mineral sheers powder foundation in shade 10 classic ivory // great for added coverage and setting foundation/concealer, plus i really trust neutrogena as a brand

covergirl full lash bloom mascara // i saw this when i was hunting down my beloved lash blast length.  it’s not the same, but i do like it and am giving it a fair go.

milani lash trifecta // i picked this up on a whim (see above) on my way out of walgreen’s – i think it’s new?  surprisingly, i actually really like it!  it’s less natural than i would usually go for, but it lengthens and makes really pretty, fluttery lashes.  since i don’t curl my lashes, i like the bit of lift this gives.

essie starry starry night // i thought all of these were sold out when i found a few bottles at my walgreen’s!  this is a rerelease of one of essie’s most famous shades from the 80s. the original contained diamond dust with denser sparkle and was darker, but the rerelease is still beautiful.  here’s a great post explaining the differences.

essie peak show // i basically pick up every opaque white-pink nail polish i see on a hunt for the perfect one.  i have a post coming with more specifics.

madewell denim sunday shirtdress //  i got a gift card to madewell for christmas and have been saving it for just the right purchase.  i went to the mall in search of a dress to wear with tights for a work thing coming up, and i couldn’t leave without this!  it fits like a dream, is a little swingy, and hits at a nice place on my legs.  it will look amazing with black tights and my favorite black booties.

brandy melville for nordstrom bobbie knit // on my search for the dress above, i popped into my mall’s nordstrom and headed towards bp.  i noticed that there was actually a brandy melville section in my bp, which was really surprising to me.  i don’t usually shop at brandy – i liked to go when i lived in boston but never really bought anything – i hate that it’s one size cause a) i like everything oversized and b) that’s just absurd.  however, this is the softest, best fitting shirt EVER.  it’s loose and swingy and a little bit long, and has the sexiest deep v.  love.

the vacationers by emma straub // i’ve been wanting to pick this book up since summer 2014, and i finally got around to it.  i’m half way through and enjoying it – it’s nothing crazy or sophisticated, but so far it’s an entertaining read.

brain on fire: my month of madness by susannah cahalan // i am so excited to read this.  since dealing with my own mental health (hate that term) issues, i’ve found it very interesting and compelling to read and learn more about this subject.  this is about the author’s experience with a mental breakdown at 24 years old.  it’s also being turned into a movie, so i’m interested in what that will be like.  keep you posted.

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days in the desert

IMG_3358.jpgi’m off for a little r&r in the desert and who doesn’t love a good packing post?!  i’ve also previously posted about my pre-travel tips and travel essentials if you’re interested.

in the suitcase //

free people phoenix tees – navy and white

madewell jean jacket – ellery wash

jeans – black and regular

denim cutoffs – old levi’s and old american eagle

easy dresses – anthropologie, gap, urban outfitters

favorite shoes – birks (do yourself a favor and get the soft footbed version), vans, and another nicer pair i haven’t chosen yet

in the plane bag //

bag – baggu leather tote in navy (color no longer available)


noise canceling headphones

book – ham on rye

makeup bag – see below, baggu bag

liquids bag – featuring the ever sexy essentials – moisturizer, face wash, acne spot treatment

sunglasses – ray-ban round metal


notebook and pens

jewelry – old urban outfitters pouch

in the makeup bag //

i’m putting up a special “makeup for a minimalist” post on this, so keep your eyes peeled. basically it’s this with a few other things thrown in for fun

> my image, please credit if taking.

back from the big city

i just back from a few days in new york and it was yet another whirlwind weekend.  it seems like i’m never in new york for a long enough time, but i guess that’s what happens when life and jobs are in the mix. needless to say i did some shopping while i was there…here’s what i picked up:


topshop nail polish in blue rinse, boy next door, and parma violet – these choices were definitely influenced by my favorite british beauty bloggers, including vivianna does makeup, essie button, and lily pebbles.  i’ve had a list of british beauty products that i wanted to check out for a while because of these ladies, so i was super excited when i happened to walk by a topshop while wandering around the city (topshop beauty products are hard to find in the us).  you can bet i went straight to their beauty department.  check out these posts to understand why i purchased these colors: 1, 2, 3, 4.

i currently have blue rinse on my nails and i have to say i’m really impressed.  i was worried because the first coat went on streaky, but the second coat made everything perfect.  these are really nice polishes and from the reviews i’ve read they last a pretty long time.  the color is gorgeous – it’s kind of in between essie bikini so teeny and lapiz of luxury.  loving it!

topshop lip ombre in baffle – the trick here is to use both of the shades to create an ombre lip look.  that’s not really my style, but i really like these shades, the formula, and the application.  and it’s so handy to have two lip colors in one little pot!  vivianna does makeup reviews the lip ombre here.

topshop lip and cheek smudge in wilderness – this shade is similar to my favorite nars matte lip pencil in damned.  the smudging brush on the other end of the color is perfect, especially because i like my lips to look stained and worn in when i’m wearing a bold color – sort of like you were just making out with someone ;).

maybelline lash sensational mascara in very black – i’ve had my eye on this mascara after reading that it’s a great dupe for the benefit roller lash.  it’s not my favorite mascara ever but i do like it.  i think it definitely opens my eyes and makes my lashes look more curled as is advertised.  it’s a little bit clumpy, but i like the brush and the length it provides.


madewell high riser skinny skinny jean in dusty wash – i was very excited to pick up these jeans after drooling over them online. the madewell high riser jeans are one of my favorite jean styles – my sister and i probably have every pair in the collection between the two of us. they are just the perfect fit – high rise, flattering, comfortable, perfect length, and actually feel like jeans, not leggings. i love grey jeans in the fall and winter because they add a little extra element to an outfit, and look great with black or plaid.

madewell ryder cardigan in heather fog – i’m always on the hunt for the perfect oversized, long cardigan. this one is exactly what i was looking for. it looks great over tee shirts and plaid shirts and sweaters alike, is perfectly slouchy and baggy, and hits at a nice place on the thigh. it’s also crazy soft and i know i’m going to throw this over everything, including pajamas. i’m probably (read: definitely) going to get another color.