moodboard: un

Some days I'm feeling much less than inspired. When that happens, I do this. Now I've decided to make this a thing and to share them on my blog when I make them. ((Shoutout to mah gurl Amy)) I hope you all enjoy. 

This past month I basically haven't bought any makeup (gasp). I've just been using/reviewing what I already own which is probably a good thing. That said, Dior's Dior Addict Lip Glow intrigues me and so I want it. Badly. The packaging is pretty cute as well. I don't/have never owned a Diptyque candle but after smelling a bunch in stores, I want them all. Baggu pouch, enough said.

I recently bought this Zara bag and though it's bigger than expected, I still really love it. The whole lunch-bag-purse-trend is weirdly appealing to me. I've been eyeing this as well but $$$. Maybe I'll take the plunge, not sure just yet! I also bought this skirt via e-bay and oh man do I love it. It's sheer, flowy, and just exactly what I wanted. This bra(lette) is on my wishlist too — come to me.

photos via blog, wikipaintings, tumblr


March Beauty Favorites

It's weird to think I'm doing March favorites right now. This month has gone by so slow for me, but yet it seems like just yesterday I was doing February favorites. Weird. This month's favorites were SO easy to pick. I knew exactly what I wanted to feature — I think that's how you know you've been really loving something.

First up are two products I fell out of love with but have fallen back in love with as of late! Aveda Damage Reverse Daily Hair Repair something I bought almost exactly a year ago(!!!). It's a leave-in that helps detangle, protect from heat, as well as helping to repair damage. When I use this my hair ends up being super soft and manageable — no dry ends. My hair dries much nicer when I blow-dry too! Caudalie's Divine Oil was something that seemed to be huuuuge last year. Over the winter I felt kind of meh about it, but as the weather warms and I'm baring my legs 10000x more, I'm obsessed again! Also, that smell!

Another thing I've gone back to is my Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. I haven't been sleeping well and this helps make me look much less tired. It's also the perfect base under my next favorite, Jouer Matte Moisture Tint. I know I just reviewed this stuff but I really can't get over how natural of a finish it is. The lasting power is pretty great — though I'm interested to see how it holds up in this 75º+ weather.

And finally? Naked Lunch has made it back into my daily makeup routine. It's such a pretty color either alone or paired with something like Star Violet. On a completely different note I am obsessed with contouring. I just can't help myself. NYX Taupe is my current favorite thing to use paired with my MAC 109. The 109 fits perfectly below my cheekbones, giving me just the right amount of definition. I also use this to apply most blushes as it's amazing at picking up and applying product.

Another month, another batch of favorites. Would anyone be interested in a non-beauty favorites post?


Wes Anderson/Roman Coppola x Prada

How do you say banana split in French?

There's no doubt that I love Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola. Both have worked on some of my favorite movies ever, turning great story lines into aesthetically pleasing works of art. When I heard they were doing a few short films for Prada, I was sooooooo excited. Like Sofia Coppola for Miss Dior excited, obviously.  They star the ridiculously beautiful Léa Seydoux, who of course mesmerizes you with her everything and makes you dream in Français. This first short is witty, adorable, and couldn't be more perfect. So with that I give you: Prada Candy.

Prada Candy via VOGUE on Vimeo.


Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Porcelain / $38

Once upon a time, I received a minuscule sample of a Jouer tinted moisturizer — the color was all wrong, so into the trash it went. It's funny what getting the wrong color can do to skew your judgement of a product. Then there it was again. Kate started talking about it, and then Estée and then I thought, what the hell and decided to give it another go. I also wanted to find something a little cheaper to use on days where I don't want to use my YSL foundation (though that seems to be lasting me forever).

I've been using it for a straight week — not even once have I reached for my beloved Le Teint Touché Éclat. That's saying something. I've never really cared for tinted moisturizer, though I have sampled a few in my time. This one's a little different; it's much thicker than the tinted moisturizers I've used, bordering on a light+ coverage foundation. The finish isn't matte, it's like a mix of velvet + dewy, if that makes sense. The thing I love about this is where the YSL foundation can feel a little wet after application, this stuff sinks in and leaves you feel like you're wearing nothing. It covers most imperfections I get (though redness peeks through a bit), and it's perfect for this warm weather we've been having. I definitely agree that it feels like a lesser coverage Silk Creme, which is probably why I love it so much. Not to mention the color match is perfect as well, thank goodness. I have a feeling this will be the base I reach for most days in the coming months, luckily I don't have a problem with that at all.

FWIW: I apply this either with my fingers or a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. Both do the job well!

+ eyes / brows / lips
+ blush / contouring

Obsessed! What do you guys think?


Tony Moly Mini Peach Lip Balm

I have a weak-spot for weird cute things. I can't help myself. I spotted this adorable little fruit shaped balm somewhere in the depths of the internet — Tumblr, maybe. For some reason I convinced myself I needed yet another lip balm so I searched high and low until I found it.

I didn't have high hopes for this little peach (mostly because I didn't know what to expect), but yet again, I was proved wrong. Aside from the fact that the packaging is too cute to handle, let me just explain to you what happened when I opened it. I twisted the little top off, took out the inside packaging, and within seconds all I could smell was peaches. Now I'm not talking about some fake synthetic peach smell; it legitimately smells like a real peach. Korean sorcery, I tell you. The balm itself is sooo nice. No taste, just peachy happy smells. Did I think it would be moisturizing? Definitely not. Is it? Definitely is.

So yet again, here I am completely in love with a silly product I didn't have high hopes for. If you're a peach lover — get it. It's $7 with free shipping and it's hilariously weird and awesome... and Richard said it looked like a nipple, so there's that.

With that said, I think I'm ready to delve a bit deeper into the world of Asian cosmetics. What do you guys think?


Why I'm jealous of the UK & Europe

Disclaimer: This isn't for the faint of heart.

As if I needed another thing to be completely and utterly obsessed with, & Other Stories is finally here. Well actually, not here, but there. You get what I'm saying?

I'm a sucker for anything leather. Anything minimal. Anything classic.  Now I've got my fair share of frills, but when it comes to hitting the sweet spot, any of the above will do. The adorable packaging on their cosmetics is something I just can't turn away from — and those cotton socks? They will be mine. & Other Stories is a store (and online shop) that aims to sell chic and timeless pieces. Items that are high quality and will last, ones that are carefully hand-picked. Even the website itself is just too perfect. It somehow seems to be the perfect online shopping experience, and yet, I unfortunately cannot shop. While some of the pieces are a bit on the pricier side (but obviously worth it), there are a huge number of things that are really really affordable. Something for everyone, you know? If it still ain't your cup of tea, that's alright. It just means there's more for me.

I'm pretty determined to get my paws on all some pieces — but I'll have to enlist the help of someone to do so. Or you know, I'll just casually fly on over to London and pick them up myself. Ha ha ha.

Huge huge huge thanks to Bridie for introducing me to this collection. You can see her post on it here.

Stila Convertible Color Blush in Lilium

As spring comes rolling in, the corals and pinks that may have been dormant over the colder months suddenly come out. Gracing the runway... and then my face. I've got to say, I'm much more of a dark lip/not-so-bright cheek kind of a gal, but whatever. Sometimes I just can't deny that pop of pink. Damn you.

Cream blush was something I avoided for much too long. Why? I was all "I won't like that" "cream blush? HA. Who needs it?!". Well, I do. I'm now the proud owner of two cream blushes — the first being Lilium, by Stila. The pigmentation is incredible. A little goes a long way, people. I usually apply this with a Real Techniques stippling brush, tapping the brush ever so slightly into the blush, ridding excess on the back of my hand, and stippling on. Sometimes if I'm feeling extra lazy, I'll use my fingers. Either way is pretty fail-proof, so go with whatever you're comfortable with. The lasting power is alright — it ends up fading pretty fast on me if I forget to set with powder which is a bit frustrating considering the whole point of cream blush is to add a bit more dewiness, non?  Either way, I'm a fan! I've been wearing this color for a week straight and I'm not sure that'll change anytime soon.


Mental Illness Stigma (and other nonsense)

I wrote this on my tumblr last night. I got some really great responses, so decided to post here as well · photo via happydyingsun

Just because I’m a blogger, just because I choose to share parts of my life with the internet, just because I’m open about my experiences and share my knowledge of mental illness with others, does not mean it’s not genuine. I’m continually told “not to talk about it publicly”, as if I’m supposed to hide something that is such a huge part of who (and why) I am. Why would I do that?

“People with anxiety would never put themselves out there” — you see, that’s where you’re wrong. Not everyone’s anxiety is the same. Just because I post pictures of myself wearing makeup on the internet doesn’t mean that some days I don’t struggle to leave my bed, let alone the house.

“But you have friends and you’re attractive” — what does that even have to do with having a mental illness or disorder? Yes, having friends and taking care of my appearance certainly helps me when I’m feeling down, but it most definitely doesn’t prevent/fix anything.

“Stop worrying so much” — see, that’s the thing. It’s not something you can turn off. You can be totally okay one minute, just busying yourself, washing dishes and BAM. Flashbacks of trauma. Uneasiness. Panic sets. You can breathe it out, but it doesn’t just suddenly disappear. So many think that it’s something you can just stop, but it’s not. If it were, don’t you think I would?

“Just suck it up and get over yourself. Pop a Xanax and shut up.” — would you tell someone with asthma or another sickness/disorder to suck it up? Having a mental illness or disorder is no different. This is what so many fail to understand. It’s not something that we can suddenly just fix, and it’s certainly not something someone chooses to have. Pop a Xanax? As if I haven’t heard that before. Thank you for belittling what I have to something that can be so quickly cured with a small pill! So quick to judge and tell people what to do, yet completely uneducated about the subject.

I write about my experiences with anxiety, panic disorder, and PTSD because it has helped and continues to help people understand. It also helps me. I think the worst part of it all is the ridiculous hate I seem to get because I choose to talk publicly about something that deeply affects my daily life. I will continue to write and share — if you don’t want to hear/read, then don’t.

I’m not ashamed.


Unpopular Opinion: NARS Sheer Glow

Oh, what's this? A cult favorite and a go-to/holy grail among some bloggers? That's exactly what it is — just not to me.


FOTD: Sushi

We're going out for sushi tonight so I figured I'd snap a little face of the day for ya. I kinda just picked some colors, slapped 'em on and hoped for the best. Luckily for me I quite like how it all came out — if only my hair would calm down and cooperate. Funny joke. 

I started off with my normal base: YSL foundation in BD10 + L'Oreal Magic Lumi. Foolproof I tell you! 

For my eyes (though I forgot to photograph) I used a bit of Painterly all over the lids. I then covered it with Quarry, did a bit of Satin Taupe in the outer corner and crease, followed by Star Violet. Star Violet is sooooo nice for spring! I finished off with Diorshow Iconic (this reminds me I really want to try the new Overcurl) and my Clinique bottom lash

I popped on a bit of Stila's Lilium after contouring with NYX Taupe. I'm a sucker for this duo as of late! I powedered with a bit of Stay Matte by Rimmel, a little purchase I made in England over Christmas. For highlighter I went back to my trusty 'ol Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc. I kind of forgot I had this for a while but I've rediscovered/fallen back in love with it.

Last but not least: lips. I opted for something bright and pretty long wearing — New Lover by NARS is easily going to be my go-to for the warmer months ahead. It's bright without being overpowering which is exactly what I want. 

Anyway, this took me way too long to shoot. My poor camera is getting old and ornery and doesn't ever want to behave :( Welp. 

Let me know what you guys think of this look. Also: what's your favorite kind of sushi?!


Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara / $10

There are some things you can live without — this is probably one of them. I say probably because although I can live without this, why would I want to? After giving up black eyeliner (aside from the occasional cat-eye here and there) I was looking for something that could take its place, so to speak. I'd been a bottom-lash-mascara-wearer for quite a few years but the idea of a product made just for that seemed a bit silly to me. Even then, I couldn't resist and for $10, and to this day I really have no complaints.

The thing about this mascara is that it doesn't budge. It doesn't smear, it doesn't give you panda eyes, it just does what it's supposed to do and comes of when you take it off. Basically magic. The little brush is perfect for getting each teeny tiny lash and it does so without leaving a huge mess to clean up. I've got to say that there have been times I've just used normal mascara on my bottom lashes instead of this. The result? Not so great because I shake and end up getting black everywhere that it's not supposed to be. Maybe if I were a bit more poised it would all work out and I wouldn't need this stuff. But I'm not.

Though I mentioned it in my January favorites, it's still a favorite of mine. I use it each day without fail and never have to worry about looking like this. No offenses to pandas — I still love you.

Have you tried this? What are some awesome yet frivolous things you couldn't live without?


Zara Platform Ankle-Strap Sandals

Is it summer yet? No? With the weather we're having right now it surely feels like it— the thermometer says 60º but it feels so much warmer. Although we do have only a week until Spring, I'm starting to get a bit antsy. With warmer weather comes plenty of open-toed footwear and although I do love me some shoes, I find it hard to find pairs I love and can afford, hah. 

My tastes are changing a lot as of late; think Cher Horowitz meets Françoise Hardy and a bit of Ena Matsumoto. I'm kind of all over the place in a good way and experimenting with things I may not normally go for. With that said, these shoes are the epitome of my being, seriously. They've got all of the elements I look for in a summer shoe: chunky, airy, light, strappy. They'll go with basically anything too; from shorts to flowing sheer skirts, I'm going to get a lot of use out of these puppies. Have I mentioned that they're also extremely easy to walk in? It's why I love platforms — you get the height you want but with a lot less pain and torture than with a pair of stilettos. Win win! I definitely recommend them if you're looking for a cute summer shoe. If you're more into wedges, these are a super cute alternative. Also, I should point out that I'm normally a size 7 but a 6.5 proved to be perfect! 

It might be taking me a while but I'm slowly curating my dream wardrobe — learning that it's more about quality than quantity for sure. What do you guys think of these? What are some must-have staples in your closets? 


Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray / $39

Sometimes I get excited about a product I haven't tried yet, and a lot of those times I'll splurge and regret. This is not one of those times. Oh, but how can you justify $39 for a bottle of dry shampoo/texture spray? Well when it's 8.5oz (300ml) and works like a dream, how can you not?

I love Batiste, don't get me wrong, but this is on a whole 'nother level. How so? Well firstly when used as a dry shampoo, it doesn't come out white. I don't have to worry and be a little too meticulous while styling my hair on day two or three. If I'm not in the mood to wash my hair, what makes you think I want to spend 5 extra minutes ridding my crown of white powder residue? This spray soaks up the oils like no other and leaves your hair feeling really clean. I mean really. Also can I just mention the smell? Powdery, fruity, maybe a hint of vanilla (or something along those lines); it's heavenly and even Richard was like "your hair smells so good"!

As a texturizer, it also scores pretty high up there. Need volume? Spray. Need added texture without the use of an extra oil or pomade type product? Spray. What I like most is the use I've gotten out of this so far. I can spray at the roots and get a load of added body, or I can spray all over and ruffle for a light-weight bed head look. This is the perfect alternative to Brilliantine if you're not in the mood to get you're hands dirty, so to speak. Have I mentioned the smell yet? Yeah? I can't get over it.

For the price I think this stuff is worth it. I'm interested to see how long this will last me considering it is still kind of spendy — that said, so far I've barely used any to achieve the look(s) I want so I'm guessing this will be around for quite a while.

As far as dry shampoo goes, this is my holy grail. I should also mention they make a little mini can for your purse or if you'd like to test it out (yes you should test it!!!!). What do you guys think of this stuff? Have you used it before?



morning flowers

As you guys might already know, I'm not all cupcakes and lipstick all the time and when it comes to what I do, photography is my #1. As a part of wanting to take on photography more full-time, I'm starting an ever so cliché 365 project. If you're not familiar, it's basically where you take a photo each day and document them somewhere — be it Flickr or a tumblr, or whatever. I'll be putting my photos here (I have an actual domain but it's still configuring), but you can also check them out here if you'd like. I'm pretty excited to see how this goes.

Does anyone else have any personal projects (outside of beauty and blogging) that they're working on?


Accessory: a-thread zig zag metallic bangles

The lovelies over at a-thread were kind enough to send me a few bits to wear and review — the first is a set of metallic bangles. I'm warming up to the idea of accessorizing more, especially as I find brands that do things to my taste. I usually don't confine myself to wearing one type of metal; I'm always donning a bit of rose gold along with some silver and platinum. That said, had I thought about wearing four different colors before? Nope, not really. Then came these babies.


MAC Lovelorn

MAC Lovelorn / $15 

Let me preface this post by saying: I never in my wildest dreams would have ever imagined myself owning a shade of pink such as this. 

Don't get me wrong, I love pink, but bubblegum pink? Uhhhh, let's just say I was skeptical. A month or so back, I made my way to several MAC counters in search of Patisserie. None of the MAC employees I spoke to had ever heard of it (which I kind of laughed about), but I was feeling a little down that day and didn't want to leave empty handed. Stubborn girl, I am! Anyway, I was at a counter in Macy's and the lovely girl that was working talked me into Lovelorn. At first I was like "no no no this is all wrong" and that turned into "hmmm I'm not so sure", but after 10 minutes of her convincing me it looked good with my skin-tone, I gave in. 

Lovelorn is an "emotive blue pink" (wtf kind of description is that, MAC?) aka something that I'm normally afraid of. Blue toned anything can wash me out, but because of the brightness of this, it just works. It's also a lustre finish which means it's not drying on my already dry lips! I love wearing this on days where I'm wearing minimal makeup and casual outfits as a statement, if you will. It's not overbearing or overwhelming and the contrast against my brown hair is actually kind of lovely. I do 100% think this would look better when I'm tanned, but northern California is a biatch and refuses to give us warm weather at this specific point in time. Hmpfh. 

What do you guys think of Lovelorn? Are there any great shades out there that I should know about/try? 


California Midriff

Top / Brandy Melville
Skirt / Topshop
Caroline Sweater / Brandy Melville
Shoes / H&M

I haven't done one of these in so long but ugh, I had so much fun shooting it. I wanted to see how I looked in a crop top since they're so ~in~ right now so I tied up this BM shirt and popped on a maxi dress. With some words of encouragement from my dear friend Maz, I set up the tripod and shot away. I actually enjoy these kinds of posts much more than reviewing products so here's to hoping I'll actually start doing more.

Brandy Melville is a brand I fell in love with a few summers back while galavanting around one of my favorite places: SoHo. I ended up with a super cute sweater (RIP), a long white tee with a cross, and a slouchy faux No 5 shirt which I love to death. I own quite a bit from them now, but it's all just so justifiable. Everything they make is just super soft and no matter what you buy, their pieces will always look great paired together. Easy outfits, fuck yeah. The Topshop skirt was bought on a whim this past autumn and while it may have been unloved for a while, I'm really loving it in this 70º weather. Now all I need are some chunky wedges or strappy leather sandals...

I'm still not totally comfortable baring a part of my body that is normally always covered up, but there's something about crop tops that I just can't seem to get enough of. Plus, if this isn't the perfect excuse to start working out more, I don't know what is. I think what I love most about this outfit is that it really is me. It totally suits my personality and even with a teeny bit of midriff-insecurity, I still feel so comfortable.


For Love & Lemons | About a Girl - Spring '13

Photos via For Love & Lemons

❝Where the modern gypsy is punk, For Love & Lemons is a brand to relate to, 
for that girl that doesn't follow trends, she makes them.❞

Sometimes a collection comes along and slips through — somehow, some way, I miss them. Then one day while I'm meandering around the internet, I find it. For Love & Lemons, that is.

I'm pretty sure if there was a collection to encompass me as a person, this would be it. Flowing, frilly, all sheer everything. I love the lightness of it which all seems ever so reminiscent of this scene in Marie Antoinette. Its ethereal color palette is ultra feminine with a sexy-and-yet-gentle side. I already knew I was into the chunky heels/wedges + socks this season but this all just furthers that. It's like, tou know when you see someone who seems as though they just woke up and and were just immediately effortlessly chic? This is it. This is all of that.

Maybe I'm just a sucker for the blush pinks and sheer pattered kimono/dresses. Maybe it's Ashley's fresh makeup; light blue eyes and a perfect rose lip. The messy tresses that I can never stray away from. Of course a lot of it is the dreamy/fucking perfect styling (Ashley Glorioso you are a damn goddess) but I can't help but to look at these clothes and not want to be in them. Half-naked in the kitchen or lounging around in the sun — there's something about what I'm seeing here that makes me ever so nostalgic for summer. Then suddenly that nostalgia is overtaken by the utter realization that I need to own at least once piece from this collection. It's just so relatable. 

Photography: Zoey Grossman
Model: Ashely Smith
Styling: Ashley Glorioso
Hair: Ashlee Rose
Makeup: Samuel Paul

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