February Beauty Favorites: the duos

I literally can't believe that it's already the end of February but I'm welcoming March with open arms in hope that it'll start to get a bit warmer. I'm an autumn girl at heart but all I really want right now is to take some long walks at the Stanford campus in a sundress.

This month's favorites was not intentionally pairs of products, but when I pulled out everything I've been loving, I realized they are things I love using together.

First up we've got a duo I've been wearing for probably two months now when I'm not in the mood to slather on a bit of YSL. The Laura Mercier Mineral Powder is something I've wanted to try since Esteé and Barbara raved about it quite a bit. Decent coverage, natural finish, no caking, you know how it goes. The BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in moonstone is something I usually wear under any foundation. That said, I find it looks particularly stunning under the LM mineral powder. Keep an eye out for a review of this soon. 

Is it a surprise I'm mentioning Patisserie? No, probably not. I'm still obsessed and wearing it daily. Paired with that, I've got NARS Douceur. Ever since I lost my beloved Tarte Exposed, I've been consistently wearing Douceur on the daily. It's the perfect dusty rose and goes with basically any lip and eye combo. Let's just say it's my new favorite blush.

I'm not that fussy about my nails, except when they chip after day 1 or 2. American Apparel Office lasted almost perfectly until day 6, and started chipping lots on day 7. I'll take it. Then there is Seche Vite, my topcoat of choice. It helps keep my polish in tip top shape and I really just like the way it feels, ha.

I got this little baby back in a Glossybox but threw it to the side and was all "yeah not interested". Well, things have changed. At first thought that this LIERAC Gommage Sensoriel was an exfoliator for your face. After a quick google search I was proved wrong (it's for your body) but that didn't stop me. I really love using this on my face — it's a pretty gentle exfoliant and once rubbed in, it turns milky and leaves your skin feeling super soft. I love it so much that I will be purchasing and reviewing it once I have the full sized tub in my possession.

Oh look. NARS Pro-Prime — do you guys remember how I was totally meh about this stuff? Fast forward to now. I tried going a day with out it and that was a baaaad mistake. My foundation felt as if it just didn't sit right on non-primed skin and I was slightly cringing all day. As for longevity, I found that certain parts of my foundation (around the nose/cheeks) faded faster than normal. Pro-prime, I'm sorry and I love you.

That's all folks! My fingers are now screaming from all that typing and my tea has gone cold, so I'm gonna go whip up a new mug and enjoy the day. What do you guys think of these products? Would you be interested in a (shorter) non-beauty favs?


Accessory: Catbird stacks

Catbird Silver Alphabet Rings + Rose Gold Heart
Catbird Mignon Memory Ring* (pinky) 

This post is not in any way sponsored by Catbird. I'm just literally that much in love with them.

It's semi-hilarious to me that just a month ago I was like "yeah I don't wear much jewelry" and now I couldn't imagine not wearing FIVE rings on one hand. Who am I? I don't even know how this happened.

And I can't really help myself to be fair  — I literally have no restraint. After I posted my last post about the rings Richard got me, Catbird was lovely enough to send me a knuckle ring... and then I had to buy myself one. There's something about the knuckle rings that seems so delicate yet edgy, in classy way, of course. The detail they put into such small little pieces is never going to not stun me. They're just fun and soooo pretty and I really love anything that lets me express myself/my style. Plus I love that I can mix and match what I wear; if I don't feel like wearing the R ♥ C stack, I can pop the heart on my middle finger knuckle. If I want I can wear the hammered first knuckle ring on my pointer or my middle finger. I can cater to however I'm feeling that day. Maybe that's what I love so much about these — you can 100% mix and match to your mood and basically all of the rings they make/sell will look amazing together. If you're in the need for a little inspiration, check out their blog posts on stacking.

Images via Catbird

Come on now, what's not to love? I'm already saving for the Bittersweets NY Teensy Black Diamond Ring and the Catbird Tomboy. Someone needs to hold me down, seriously. Can't stop, won't stop. Sorry not sorry... and all that.

What do you guys think of my little stack + knuckle rings? I can't be the only one obsessing, right?!


Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment

When it comes to hair masks and treatments, I usually stick to LUSH. I know they're good quality and I know how well my lions mane reacts to them. That said, I'm always up for trying new stuff, especially if it means my hair looks and feels a bit healthier afterwards. 

This Ojon treatment isn't something that will transform your hair from brittle to perfection — but what it will do is soften, smooth, and help rid frizz. It's also supposed to help strengthen and repair. Does it though? I'm not so sure. That said, after using this I notice my hair is a lot less frizzy and that is a huuuge plus in my book, especially when I wear it all curly and natural. It's one of those things that I really enjoy using and while I do like the results, this isn't a product I couldn't live without. 

My two favorite things about this stuff? The smell and the application. I'm not exactly how to explain the smell. It's like a weird-ashy-caramel-I-don't-even-know kind of smell, but I'm into it. To apply/use this stuff, you scoop some of the treatment out with a spoon, rub it between your hands and ta-da! you've got a beautiful oily mess between your palms. Slather it in, comb through, and sit for 20+ minutes. I usually leave it on for an hour or so just because I feel like it. Wash out, style, and enjoy your silky locks. That's it.

What do you guys think of Ojon products? What's your favorite hair treatment or mask?


Currently reading: Grace: A Memoir

Although I don't do it as much as I like to (or as much as I should) I really do love getting immensely submerged into a good book. I needed a little break from my other current read, Anna Karenina, which can be a lot to take in all at once, and figured this little number would be perfect. It looks like a lot of reading, but that's probably due to the stupidly huge font size. Ahem.

This is a book I've wanted to pick up for quite a while but hadn't had the chance to until now. It's basically supposed to give you a look into the life of not only Grace, but the fashion world itself. From modeling in the 60s to the production of The September Issue, us readers get a little peek inside something that not many people even get a taste of. Though I've heard some seriously contradicting reviews, I'm most definitely into giving this some of my time. I'm crossing my fingers that this won't be dry or dragging —more than anything I just hope to be a bit more inspired as I read. I mean, hello, Vogue!

I'll be doing another currently reading post once I've finished this baby so you all can get my full review/feelings on this book!

What do you guys think of this new feature? Have you read this?


Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Liner in Beryl

Now I'm not one to get soaked up in limited edition lipsticks or blushes, to be fair, I'm not really one to care for limited edition anything. Unless something really catches my eye, I try not to succumb to the hype. That said, when Chanel released its Spring Collection I was basically sobbing from the immense amount of lust I was feeling. 

Beryl is an extremely beautiful pale lavender eyeliner that is supposed to brighten and widen your eyes. Your peepers may even look a little whiter, according to the lovely Lisa Eldridge. Something about the not-so-traditional color literally make me squeal and I knew I had to have it... so I bought two. I'm pretty sure it's literally the most ridiculous purchase I've ever made makeup-wise but god I couldn't help myself (and to be fair, I'll probably gift it to my mom). I was just afraid I'd love it so much and never be able to get it again — lol at me saying that I'm not one to get sucked into limited edition releases. Right, keep telling yourself that. No, but seriously. It's so lovely for spring and adds just a little something extra to your eyes that is a nice change from the normal white or nude liner. 

If you're interested you should totally check out your nearest department store/Chanel counter and try to snatch 'em up before they're gone forever. 

What do you guys think of this liner? What hypes have you gotten sucked into?
PS - Sorry for lack of eyeliner-on-me photo, my camera was being quiiiite uncooperative (I blame the sun)

American Apparel Nail Polish in Office

I like American Apparel. Their clothes are comfy and even though they don't suit my body shape, I still buy all their skirts. Oops. I was never one to who was interested in their nail polishes and accessories because I feel like no one talks about them (and I guess in my mind that made them less... good?). Then last week I placed an order for said skirt, needed a few more $$ to get free shipping, and popped a nail polish in my cart. Let me just say: I wasn't expecting much.

I was pleasantly surprised — the color was absolutely fantastic, application was a breeze, and so far I've been wearing it for FIVE DAYS. My nails look like THAT after FIVE DAYS. Stunned. As much as I love their color range/names, Essie polishes last anywhere from 1-4 days for me which is not good at all. I don't actually have time to sit around every other day and give myself a manicure. I'm hoping I can last a good week before this starts to really chip off and if that's the case, you can bet your buns that I'll be buying a few more of these little puppies. For the price, I can't really complain either. Cheaper than Essie! I'm so down.

What do you guys think of AA polishes? What are your favorite shades?


A lesson in layering: 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2013 RTW

Photos via Vogue

Sometimes fashion makes no sense to me — take the hats at Oscar de la Renta, for example. Then there are collections that make complete and utter sense to me. This is one of them. 

Layering is something I'm a huge fan of, always have been always will be. There's just something about mixing textures and colors that makes me giddy, especially when it translates into things like preppy biker chick. Leathers, quilted jackets, half-tucked button downs, are just a few of my favorite aspects of this collection. Not to mention the crazy high sandal-boots and the pop of pink. To me it's not just about the clothes either — it's also about the styling. It's about the carefully picked pieces tucked and covered which kind of give off an "I don't give a shit" attitude. Then you realize that it all makes sense because Lim named this collection Sonomama or “as you are” in Japanese (which refers to the steadfast style of moto-racing enthusiasts[1]). It works so well... and maybe it's just me but there's something about dressing like you don't care that reeks of interestingness and confidence. Pair that with messy French-esque hair and chocolate colored lips (swoon) and you've got yourself something really good.

Also, let us not forget the color palette. As someone who wears a ton of black, there's something within this palette that screams at me. Maybe it's the navy and dark plum subbing in for the normal black or the comfortableness of the grey mixed with colors like bright pink and tans/burnt browns. Or maybe it's the fact that it all just looks comfortable and feminine without it being overpoweringly girly or too try-hard. And yes yes yes I know, the patches are a little much but honestly? If I could get away with wearing that, I soooo would. 

What do you guys think?


30 random facts about me!

I suppose it's time I give in an do one of these. I love reading everyone elses, so be sure you link yours!

  • I love spicy food.
  • I'm the oldest of 4 kids. My littlest sibling is 10 (Hi Matt)!
  • My top five favorite movies are (in no order): Marie Antoinette, The Darjeeling Limited, Lost in Translation, Dirty Dancing, and Garden State.
  • As much as I try not to give in, I can't help but to read my horoscopes. I'm a Leo! 
  • I'd much rather shoot film than digital. 
  • I haven't worn a pair of jeans since 2010. I don't even own jeans anymore!
  • The two places I want to visit next are: Japan and Taiwan.
  • Speaking of travel, from 2008-2010 I lived in 5 states in 2 other countries. 
  • I'm ridiculously sensitive to sound.
  • One night my sister and I broke glow sticks and splattered the contents all over our room. It was basically a mini-rave.
  • I've been taking photos for as long as I can remember. My mom still has disposable cameras of mine from when I was younger that need to be developed!
  • I play Skyrim far too much.
  • I have panic disorder which I write about quite openly on Quora (and sometimes Tumblr). I write about it on the interwebz because I've learned to deal with it fairly well and believe that it's a great way to help others and give insight. You can read what I've written here:  1234I also hate how it's become so stigmatized to talk about publicly.
  • I had never worn makeup other than mascara, eyeliner, and lipgloss until my wedding.
  • I lived in England! 

  • I love cooking.
  • I'm a bit too sentimental and empathetic. 
  • Japanese food is my favorite.
  • The first makeup I ever purchased was MAC 
  • I'm super picky about what I buy. I have to really love something to spend my money on it.
  • I'm actually much more interested in fashion than beauty.
  • At 18 I got my first tattoo. It spans from my shoulder blades to hip bone. It's pretty cliché but I still love it.
  • I'm afraid of butterflies.
  • I own a ridiculous amount of Hello Kitty paraphernalia. 
  • My fondest memory of high school was performing in FAME. I played both Hilary von Doren and Shirley. I had to talk in a British accent for the part of Hilary, lols.
  • I'm a huge homebody! 
  • I used to want to be a graphic/web designer. While I still love design(ing), it's not what I want to do for the rest of my life.
  • While being in the center of Silicon Valley gets slightly annoying, it's also quite inspiring.
  • My sister is most definitely my best friend. LOVE YOU SISSY.
  • I am never not drinking tea.
Aaaaand, that's it! I probably could have picked some better facts but these were the ones I thought of first! Don't forget to share your links/some facts about you! 


Bumble and bumble Brilliantine

Bumble and bumble Brilliantine / $23

When I want a piecey look with a bit of hold, I stick to my trusty Semisumo. When I'm feeling lazy and want to look like I've spent ages making my hair look done-up, I use this. So what's the difference between Semisumo and Brilliantine? Brilliantine doesn't hold well, barely at all to be honest, and that's okay. It leaves you with the slightest bit of separation and definition but looks soft. It doesn't add weight (Semisumo definitely does). It doesn't add too much texture. What it does add is a ridiculous amount of shine. Plus it's more of a 2-in-1 product.

There are two ways I use this stuff, which kind of makes me feel like I'm getting more for my money. Maybe? Maybe not.

On dry hair: Add a bit into my palms, rub between hands, run fingers through the hair or on top of the hair. Do I need more? Add more product, run through hair again. A little goes a loooong way with the stuff so less is definitely more. If I want a more messy fun look I'll go this route. It's just that little bit of texture/slightly sexy somethin' somethin'. No added weight, no problem.

On wet hair: Add product onto palms, rub between, run through mid-shaft and ends. Blow-dry. Straighten (if you'd like). Done. What have I just achieved? The shiniest hair ever.  Not just shine, I'm talking extreme shine even on slightly damaged tresses. Literally I have never seen my hair look so sleek. No joke. The teensiest bit of added texture it gives is just perfect for added volume and manageability.

My hair ends up feeling just incredible. I love the weightlessness of Brilliantine as well as the fact that it seems to leave me with less build-up than Semisumo. Don't get me wrong, that hi-shine, lo-hold pomade still holds a place in my heart but I'm not sure it's as versatile as this. Let it be known that I have used the two together. Brilliantine for lots of shine and Semisumo for the perfect finishing touch.

What do you guys think of Brilliantine?
P.S. I used this the day I shot Patisserie so you can see what it looks like in my hurr!


MAC Patisserie

You might frequently hear people (or well, mostly bloggers?) talking about the lipstick that is "their lips but better". A lipstick that just almost matches your natural lip color but just with a little oomph — whether it be a bit brighter, darker, whatever. For a really long time I thought I wouldn't find a color that seemed to be "made for me", but alas the day finally came. Patisserie. The first MAC lipstick I ever bought before swatching because I was just so sure I'd love it. Maybe it was the name that did it for me. I'll admit I'm a sucker.

Patisserie is a really gorgeous nude-but-not pink with the slightest hint of brown. It's sheer, it's creamy, and it's incredible. It's one of those colors that you can grab and throw on without a mirror and it just looks good with, well,  e v e r y t h i n g. Daytime, nighttime, dressed up, dressed casually — it all works. There's just something about it that I absolutely adore. It's almost too easy to love. 

I think it's safe to say that Patisserie is my all time favorite MAC lipstick ever. For now... 


Accessory: Ray-Ban Erika

There was once a time when I owned a pair of black Ray-Ban Wayfarers. I had wanted them forever, saved up a bit, and waited until my birthday to buy them. They were everything I had wanted them to be and more. Whether or not 1 in like, 6 people were wearing them as I wandered through the Mission, it didn't matter. They were still so cool to me. Unfortunately, it seems as though I wasn't cool enough for them (or something?). Before I knew it, Richard had adopted them — wearing them and snatching them on the sunniest of days... and of course he'd sometimes ask if I wanted to wear them, but I let him go to bask in the Ray-Ban glory.

After a while of trading the glasses back and forth, it became apparent that I either needed to buy him his own or by myself a new pair, so I headed off to the sunglass shop to see what I could do. I went in thinking I'd get him his own pair... that was until I saw these. With the ever so slightly cat-eyed rims propped upon my nose, I stood in front of the mirror and that was all it took. It made sense too; would I want to walk around hand in hand wearing the same glasses as Richard? No, not really. So I went with my gut. 

To me, these are like the Wayfarer's cuter and more feminine little sister. Beautiful brown gradient rims attached to a long sleek silver temples and brown temple tips. Less harsh than the all black original, but still in the same ballpark, style-wise. The quality is still incredibly good and I'm once again in possession of a pair of sunnies that are better than I expected. Overall, they just seem to make more sense to me and in the end I suppose this was all for the better...

Plus, Richard looks better in the Wayfarers anyway...


The Perfect Cut

December: It was the longest my hair had been in years and I wasn't sure what to do with it. I saw photos of myself and the long bangs and layers left a lot to be desired. My face looked long, my hair lacked that specific something I'd been looking to achieve, so I headed to the salon. Leaving with a not-so-great and pretty boring cut I was left to figure out what to do next. I had some ideas but wasn't sure about the execution. Where to go? What inspiration to bring? I knew what I wanted, but would it suit me? Then along came yesterday. 

Give me a Godard film and I'll melt like your favorite lipstick on a hot summer's day. My heart beats for that stuff. I yearn to be so effortlessly chic and cool; the hair, the makeup, everything. I wasn't blessed enough to have been born in the 60's in the midst of the new wave movement, I'm no Parisienne (yet), but I'll be damned if I can't try to achieve that hair.

I head to the salon with a knot in my chest because while I know it won't be drastic, I know it'll be different from what it's been the last 3 years of my life. However this time, it will be exactly what I've craving those past three years. I show my new stylist a few photos and we get to talking, she gets it, I'm feeling good. After a cup of licorice tea, a scalp massage and a good 'ol washing, the scissors appeared and bit by bit my longish locks fell to the floor. An hour later I had -2 inches of the length and bangs. At first I was pretty shocked because it was so different to me. An hour after? Unsure/slight regret/help. Six hours later? I'm eating swiss + butter and bouncing around to this.

I've finally achieved my one hair goal. The hair goal. While I may not be perfectly channeling Françoise, it's enough for me and I'm in love. 

Photos via xx, x / Shirt via Popbasic*


January (Beauty) Favorites

I really love watching favorites videos on YouTube, but because I don't have a proper filming camera I figured I'd just do a favorites post. While I don't have a lot of favorites, these are the few things I've been using basically religiously throughout the month.

First up is the Essie polish in Eternal Optimist. I'm gonna be honest and say I kind of hate the formulation of these polishes. I find they chip so fast, even with a bit of Seche Vite over top. That said, this color is incredible and is probably my favorite polish color of all time. Pale pink with a hint of salmon? Love at first sight. 

Next are MAC's 224 brush and All That Glitters eye shadow. I've been loving just sweeping this all across the lid with the 244, blending a bit, popping on some mascara, and leaving it at that. The gold pearlescent color is really flattering whether it's worn alone, or with another color. 

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, anyone? While this ain't a product for everyone, it's definitely a product for me. I usually wear mascara on my bottom last and deal with the dreaded smudging or smearing or whatever. With this I have zero issues and it lasts until I wash it off with a bit of warm water. It's almost too good to be true.

Then we've got a Revlon lip butter. I didn't really hop on the bandwagon with these but I did pick up two that I quite liked the look of; Peach Parfait being one of them. It's got a hint of color with a bit of shine and is super moisturizing. Such a great alternative to lipstick if you're feeling a bit lazy. 

Last but definitely not least is LUSH's Full of Grace. I've literally been using this non-stop since I got it in December — every night before bed and after I cleanse, I'll rub my fingers on this little serum bar (which I keep in a shampoo bar tin) and I massage it into my face. It's calming and smells heavenly and I wake up in the morning with extremely soft and hydrated skin. I've noticed that my skin is a lot calmer as well, less redenss and basically no breakouts whatsoever. This stuff is holy grail in my book. 

Annnnd that's it for January favorites. I'll probably review some of this stuff on it's own at one point or another.. but until then, let me know what you think! What are your favorite things from January? 


LUSH Jasmin And Henna Fluff-Eaze

Can you tell I've been loving LUSH lately? It seems as though I've fallen back into my old ways of using LUSH products constantly. To be fair, it seems they have something for (almost) anything, so how could I not? 

Jasmin And Henna Fluff-Ease is a hair-mask hair-moisturizer all around badass product. This is my third(!!!!) pot of it and you can bet your bottom I'll be repurchasing when I run out once again. I use this probably twice or three times a month depending how I'm feeling — leaving it on for way longer than the suggested 20 minutes. I've slept with it in, blogged with it in, you catch my drift. It softens and calms my frizz, leaving me with super smooth jasmine smelling hair. When I say it leaves my hair smelling like jasmine, it's no joke. Even after a few washes I can still smell it, so if you're not a fan, be wary! 

This little pot is packed with things like jojoba oil, olive oil, almond oil, coconut butter — lots of things to help tame and moisturize. Also, it gives you a pretty good amount of shine; not a huge amount but still noticeable. I use this most when I'm feeling like a need a little boost, a little refresh, a little help. It's especially good if you use a lot of heat and feel like you're getting a bit drier than normal. It'll just sink in and settle and the moment you wash this stuff out you can feel a difference — crazy lions mane to sleek and supple in 20+ minutes. I can see myself repurchasing and repurchasing until they decide to discontinue... which will hopefully be never! 

What do you guys think of Jasmin And Henna Fluff-Eaze? What are some of your favorite hair masks/treatments? 

Pro-tip: I do not use a whole pot on my head. I mostly focus on the mid-shaft/ends and can get a pretty good coating with 1/4 of the pot. 
P.S. This does have red henna, so if you're blonde/bleached: be wary. I never noticed a difference when I had highlights, but still.


Glossybox x Man Repeller / January 2013

I don't think I could stress how long I've been waiting for this box to arrive — since the moment the collab was announced I was all over it. I mean, as an avid reader of Leandra's, who wouldn't be? Also, this is the first special/collab/whatever box since I've been a subscriber so yay! Although my Sebastian Potion 9 leaked e v e r y w h e r e, I'm just going to try not to think about it and get on with this post. 

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