april picks

oh april, you were a hell of a month.  here’s to longer days, brighter skies, and sunnier dispositions!bb april picks1.jpgproducts & brands //

too faced chocolate soleil matte bronzer // so you may or may not remember that i recently got rid of a bunch of my bronzers, including benefit hoola in favor of my w3ll people bio bronzer.  i think i even said it was the only bronzer i ever needed, so obviously i jinxed myself.  anyways, soon after that, i found myself missing hoola in the worst way.  the color, the formula, the ease…all things that the bio bronzer just doesn’t have, though i still love it, don’t get me wrong!  i knew i didn’t want to go back to hoola because of the shit ingredients it contains (all the parabens, like really?!), so i went to ulta one day in search of a dupe.  actually the first one i swatched next to hoola was the too faced chocolate soleil matte bronzer and it is spot on!  seriously, they are identical.  you would think the milk chocolate shade would be better for my fair skin, but i find that i can handle medium toned bronzers (with a light hand) because the tones are usually a touch more cool or red.  oh and the too faced, while not completely clean by any means, has far better ingredients and i don’t feel afraid to put it on my face.  the pigmentation is insane and i know it’s going to last me a very long time, plus the packaging is lightyears better than that stupid benefit box.

bare minerals // bare minerals is a brand that has always been quite special to me.  i’ve mentioned it many times, but it was the first makeup that i really ever wore, and have continued to do so for the past 8 years.  i mentioned my discovery of their concealer here, but i recently went back to an old favorite – the flawless definition mascara.  this is the first high end mascara that i ever bought, and i wore it all throughout high school and college.  i strayed as i started to get more and more into makeup, but having struggled to find a good mascara over the last couple years, i finally decided to go back to this.  it is truly the best.  it lengthens and volumizes, making my lashes look super defined and perky.  it’s also hypoallergenic and ingredient-conscious, so it ticks even more boxes for me.  i’m soooo happy to have this back in my life and kicking myself for wasting time, money, and energy looking for something better.  bb april picks3.jpgtarget bronzer brush // i have been on the hunt for a kabuki-style bronzer brush for a weirdly long time.  i just haven’t been loving my usual bronzer brushes – i rotate between the sephora large powder brush, the real techniques powder brush, and the mac 187 – but also didn’t want one of those super insanely dense bronzer brushes that feel like they are moving your face skin.  and then the other day i was at target doing some shopping for my new apartment (!!!!!!!!!!!), and i walked by this long-handled kabuki bronzer brush.  it was love at first sight, both because of the handle and because i could tell it was dense but not too dense.  and it’s the perfect brush.  bronzer or blush, this applies the perfect amount and blends out the powder seamlessly, while requiring a very small amount of product.  it’s the perfect density and extremely soft, plus no shedding as of yet.  i love using the side of it for more precise application and then the full brush head for gently blending out.  i do think there’s a bit of a learning curve because of the tightly packed bristles, even though it’s not too dense you still want to be rather gentle if that makes sense.  if you’re in a similar predicament, i definitely recommend this guy, all for $7.99.bb april picks5.jpgmarc jacobs brow wow eyebrow pencil in medium brown // i am the laziest when it comes to my eyebrows.  i buy products with big ideas about fixing these babies up, but i just can’t be bothered and i don’t ever want to look like my eyebrows are “done.”  i will say that i have pretty full brows, but i have some patches that i would like to be a little more full.  sam of samathome518 was gushing over the marc jacobs eyebrow pencil a few months back, so i promptly went to sephora to test it out.  i love this because the color is the perfect ashy brown, no red in sight, and it is not overly pigmented in a good way, so that my brows never look obviously filled in or have brush strokes or anything like that.  i’m really pleased with it and i actually find myself reaching for it most days, which is a real testament to its subtleties!  i do a couple strokes in the front and i’m good to go.

colourpop // i won’t go into much detail here because you will most likely have read this post, but i have been loving my colourpop goodies this month.  i definitely got more basics than anything, but their products are unique and fun and so ridiculously affordable.  such a fun way to get some things you wouldn’t normally splurge on for less than a drugstore eyeshadow or blush.  on that note, why is drugstore makeup so insanely expensive these days?  i find it truly shocking.bb april picks6.jpgcleansing with cleansing oil // i have recently gotten into using oil cleanser to wash my face and i am never going back.  i had a sample size of the little barn apothecary blue yarrow and geranium cleansing oil and have been making my way through it over the month.  my skin did go through a purging process, mostly little bumps around my chin, but nothing too bad or noteworthy (this is normal for the switch over to oil cleansing).  my skin feels more moisturized and supple and i think this is dry skin people’s secret weapon!  i don’t think i will repurchase this particular oil cleanser, but it has been a nice entry product.  i picked up the biossance squalane and antioxidant cleansing oil during the sephora vib sale so i will keep you posted on how that goes.

desert essence whitening plus mouthwash with tea tree oil // for as much as i am on this natural product journey, i will be honest in that i don’t see myself switching my toothpaste anytime soon.  it has kept me in good shape my whole life, so i don’t want to mess with that!  but i have struggled with a good whitening product over the years.  i don’t know if i have sensitive teeth necessarily, but i find things like white strips to be too harsh (and honestly they kind of scare me).  i have enjoyed the colgate whitening mouthwash for a few years, but that too leaves me feeling sensitive.  mercedes of l’amour et la musique has spoken about the desert essence whitening mouthwash over the years, so i thought i would check it out.  and actually this has been a favorite over the past few months, because i just started my second container!  it’s so gentle, fresh, and refreshing, and i actually look forward to using it.  my smile is brighter, my teeth feel cleaner, and my mind is at ease.bb april picks4.jpgnails inc nailkale base coat // i mentioned this in my nail polish roundup, but i had yet to try it at that point.  i’ve since used it 3 times and i can honestly say it’s so much better than opi nail envy.  i’m wearing it alone right now for a bit of shine but it’s also a perfect base coat under nail polish.  my nails feel extremely strong and my nail polish is lasting pretty well.

people //

katie jane hughes // where have i been when it comes to kjh?  her instagram, her youtube videos, her work – she is an incredible makeup artist that is fully responsible for the glossy eye trend.   tamira jarrel mentioned her in her most recent video, and i immediately hopped on instagram and then sat scrolling through her looks for an hour.  she’s just so cool and her looks are funky and refreshing, but also wearable in some way.  highly recommend checking her out for some fresh, unique inspiration.katiejanehughes instagram.pngjenn rogers // i’ve been following jenn on youtube for a while now, and she is such a breath of fresh air in the craziness that is the youtube community.  i love her morning chats – in which she sits down, gets ready for her day, and shares things going on or interesting or thought-provoking – but this month it was her 10 for 10 challenge that got me hooked.  pretty self explanatory, she chose 10 items to create 10 outfits for 10 days, but i loved hearing her thoughts behind the pieces and what she realized about them throughout the challenge.  a nice push to do some spring cleaning, as well.

etc. // 

shetland // i’m always on the hunt for a new show.  people recommend them to me all the time, but i usually am not interested in whatever mainstream sagas are popular – pretty little liars excluded.  i found shetland while perusing netflix, it’s a bbc murder mystery so basically i don’t need to say anything more, do i?  but in all honesty it’s a fabulous show – the perfect balance of creepy and gripping, with a little humor thrown in at the perfect moments.  the seasons are short, but they vary greatly in story lines and even the way the episodes are set up.  most of the stories are drawn out over 2 episodes, with the last season being 6 episodes of the same storyline.  plus shetland reminds me so much of my beloved nantucket, both the good and the bad to be honest.  i watched all the episodes in a matter of days but i’m definitely going to look out for the fourth season and rewatch the ones on netflix.  creature of habit, ok?

apartment shopping // i’ve mentioned my news here and there, but at the beginning of june i will officially begin graduate school to get my teaching degree.  and, very excitingly, i’m going to have my own place fiiiiinally.  it’s this lovely little nest with white walls and lots of light, so you can imagine how thrilled i am.  mom and i have been making a ton of target, world market, and homegoods trips picking up all the necessities, plus some furniture shopping here and there.  my dad got me a sofa in this amazing army green (favorite color) and i am over the moon excited.  it’s so fun to actually put all my ideas to work, and to imagine what my very own little home is going to look like.  you will be seeing many a photo, prepare yourselves.  pictured above are a soap/trinket dish and toothbrush holder from world market.  bb april picks2.jpg

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april picks

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 – you 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 – and 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

january picks

long-winded this month – my apologies!

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beauty 

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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entertainment

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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etc. 

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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january 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!

my images, please credit if taking.

november picks

august picks

IMG_4237.jpganother month, done and dusted.  i am definitely looking forward to changing leaves and cooler weather, but am also sad to see summer go.  here were my favorite items for the last month of summer:

my glowy skin routine // i went into some depth on these products here so i won’t bore you anymore

combination of tata harper very charming and nars impassioned // these two blushes are a beautiful combination.  the tata harper is a bolder pink, while the nars is a neutral blush pink, but they work together beautifully.  i also like that i am in a way setting my cream blush, so i know my flush will stay for the whole day.

mac 187 brush // i feel like i change up my makeup brushes pretty frequently, so recently i’ve gone back to this old favorite.  i love how softly it applies powder products, setting and bronzing my face very subtly.  it does shed slightly, but nothing too bothersome as some people have said.

real techniques expert face brush // i’ve been using this to blend out my cream face products and it is perfect.  it’s dense but not too dense, so it blends out the products well but doesn’t apply them in a too concentrated way.  does anyone have the mac 170 brush?  it looks similar to this and the sigma f80 but i really want to try it!

weleda buckthorn hand lotion // weleda is definitely one of my favorite skincare brands.  i use their lip balm, skin food, and now this hand lotion.  it sinks in almost immediately, smells like vacation, and has been making a difference in my hands’ hydration.  love!

tamira jarrel // an old favorite youtuber that i have fallen back in love with.  i love how calm and real she is, and this extends to her approach to makeup.  she also has a great blog, visit it here.

slaughterhouse-five // i picked this up at my local free book drop off, and though it’s not really a “beach read,” i loved this all the same.  it took me only a few days to read, which is saying something as i haven’t been this into a book in months.  i really enjoyed it, both the mystical elements and the very very real ones.  i definitely recommend this, especially if you haven’t read kurt vonnegut before.

komono renee sunglasses // i got these sunglasses last summer, and while i liked them then, i love them now.  they are the only sunglasses i have been wearing the past month, probably because i can put them on my head and not get all my hair stuck in them the way i do with my aviators.  i also love the brown lenses and the tint they give to my world!  a great staple pair of sunglasses.

>> my image, please credit.

august picks

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.

> my image, please credit if taking.

 

july favorites

june picks

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new discoveries

nars long hot summer palette // i’m not one to really buy into limited edition releases in the beauty world, but when i saw this little palette i could not resist!  the shades are subtle but special and i love every single one (when does that happen with a palette?!).  you do NOT want to miss out on this one.

weleda skinfood // i picked this up at my local health food shop because i love multi-use products and i love the weleda brand (i’m addicted to their lip balm).  i’ve been using this primarily on my eyelids when they feel dry and under my eyes when they’re a little baggy.  it’s a beautiful product and i love the smell – beware, it is a bit medicinal.  after buying, i happened upon this into the gloss article while researching it’s many uses, so that’s pretty cool too.

captain blankenship mermaid salt spray // i picked this up about a month ago after wanting it for so long.  it was definitely worth the wait.  it’s one of the better salt sprays i’ve used – adding a little bit of texture and body and that just-swam-in-the-ocean look.  plus i love the smell – super peppery and fresh.  plus it makes me feel like a mermaid (basically my goal in life).  i’m not sure if i like this better than my plantfolk apothecary messy hair, but they are definitely tied.

a little life by hanya yanagihara // this book is absolutely stunning – stunning in it’s tragedy.  i can’t really synopsize it, at the risk of oversimplifying the plot.  please check it out.

the summer wind by madeleine peyroux // the summer wind (frank sinatra) has always been a favorite song of mine – probably because it is my parents’ song from when they were dating.  madeleine peyroux’s version came on one day while i was at work and i just can’t get enough.  i love how one of my favorite artists reimagined such a classic song that i didn’t think could get any better.  also it came out in 2006 so how have i never heard this before now?!

the messy heads // i recently stumbled upon this blog – i was in some sort of internet time warp so i have no idea how i got to it – and it’s pretty much my favorite blog of the moment.  california cool girls posting about life, love, music, magic…what could be better?  they also have a print edition, so i’m dying to get my hands on that as well.  and the name??  THE NAME!

rediscoveries

nars laguna bronzer // every summer when i get a little bit tanner, i bring out nars laguna.  i don’t know why but it is the absolute best summer bronzer.  it enhances your tan while adding a little bit of shimmer and glow, but never looks over the top.  i swear by it!

mac pinch o’ peach // i’ve had this blush for a little while, but didn’t full appreciate it until i, again, got a little bit of tan.  now it is my daily go to.  it’s just the perfect hint of summery flush and it lasts all day.

glossier priming moisturizer // when i first bought the glossier phase 1 kit (probably almost 2 years ago), i wasn’t too thrilled with the priming moisturizer.  it was good, don’t get my wrong, but it wasn’t as good as my go to cetaphil.  when my sister gave me her tube, however, i realized how great a product this is.  i’ve been using it more as a primer after i put on my cetaphil, but also as a moisture refresher if it’s later in the day when i’m putting makeup on.  i like the extra boost it gives and maybe it’s a placebo effect, but i think i look a little juicier with it on!

decor blogs // these are definitely not new reads for me, but this month i’ve been giving them a lot more love than usual.  you have probably seen these credits in my decor dreams posts, so i thought i would give them a shout out here too.  my favorites at the moment are remodelista, lobster & swan, sf girl by bay, and jersey ice cream co (a company often featured on remodelista).

that’s chic youtube // i’ve followed rachel on youtube for quite a while, but her most recent content has gotten me hooked again.  her videos are so dreamy and calming, and i’m totally inspired by her aesthetic and vibe.  some of my favorites are her carmel vlog, her recent q&a, and her apartment tour.

high ponytails // ok this is a weird one.  but for some reason, when my hair is not super long, i hate how it looks in high ponytails – it just looks short.  but now that my hair is pretty long again, i’m loving it tossed up high, but still hanging down quite a bit.  does that even make sense?

// my images, please credit if taking.

june picks