1st Official Blog Birthday

Exactly one year ago today I made the decision to start blogging again, but this time, full-time. I don't mean as a full-time job, per se, but more as I'd blog as much as possible and hopefully daily. When I started my blog in 2011, I focused on writing about fashion and the collections that I was loving. It didn't really take off and I pretty much quit once I started working for Everlane. Then a year later I started getting into makeup and skincare (thanks Nina) and something just clicked. This time around, I got noticed. Slowly and surely my blog got bigger and yesterday I hit 1000 Bloglovin' followers (best 1 year present ever?!).

A lot of things have happened to me in this past year:

· I dropped out of college officially to pursue my greatest passion: photography.
· I made some incredible friendships both here in the US and overseas ()
· I was featured in Lucky Magazine's 14 San Francisco Style Bloggers to Bookmark Right Now
· I bought the camera of my dreams (and am saving up for the lens of my dreams)
· I've gotten quite a few amazing photography gigs with the likes of Intermix and True&Co
· I've become so much more comfortable in my skin / I've learned so much about myself

And with that, a lot of thanks goes to every single person who reads my blog. Although this is a very personal blog to me, so much of this would not have happened without you guys.

I'm continually thankful for every comment, email, tweet, compliment that I receive. I promised myself in the beginning that I'd always stay true to myself within this little online space and so far, so good. This is more than just a blog to me. It's the one place I have full creative freedom. The one place that I can write to my hearts content about my life and everything that goes along with it, and for that, I am so grateful. To know that people care enough to read this all is still so crazy, but gah, thank you guys so much for making this past year absolutely incredible for me.

To show my thanks, I've put together a giveaway. I've been thinking about what to do for quite a while now and this is what I've come up with. I wanted to give away something(s) that actually had a bit of meaning — so what I've chosen to do is giveaway a handful of my all time favorite products ever. A little makeup kit, dauphine style. Because I know some people prefer certain makeup items over others, the winner will be able to pick between a soft-focus face powder or créme-liquid highlighter + a dusty rose powder blush or a peachy pink cream blush (+ you get the other things too). Here is everything I've chosen(!!!):

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone or Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
NARS Douceur blush or Jouer Bare Tint
♡ MAC Era + Patina eyeshadows
MAC Patisserie Lipstick
Oribe Texturizing Spray (travel size)
♡ LUSH Silky Underwear Dusting Powder
+ a few little cute extras as a surprise!

The links above will take you to my reviews, for those that don't have links, I'll be sure to review them within the next month :3 even though I haven't reviewed some of them, I promise you they are in my all time top 10 favorite products! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway The reason this giveaway is until the end of July is because that will give me enough time to save up for everything I'm giving away, yay! This giveaway is international, of course, so anyone can enter! Also, let me know if you'd like me to do a face of the day post using these products.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am about this. I really do believe in giving back to those that have been here for me in the past year. So here's to another year of photos, makeup, and happiness. Good luck! 


Due to unforseen life things — this giveaway is now going to be ending in September. I'm going to run this until the end of July (as I stated earlier), but the winner won't be receiving anything until Sept! Unfortunately life has it's silly way of making other things priority, so I hope you guys can understand. <3


June 2013 Beauty Favorites

I must admit, while it's insane that it's the end of June/that this year is going by so quickly, I'm pretty excited for this month to end. Why? Welllllll, next month is my birthday. I'm a huge birthday person so I can't wait. I don't even care that it means I'll be another year older. Embracing these 20s, yo! Plus, this month has been great in terms of finding some new products that I really really love.

Hourglass' Dim Light has obviously made the cut. Still using it, still obsessed. I've even been wearing only this on lazier days. No foundation necessary. MAC Harmony has made it back into my daily routine, taking over as my contour powder of choice. Not sure why I haven't used it more; it's so perfect! A new little product that I recieved: Jouer Tint in Bare. A gorgeous pale peachy-pink. You guys know that's totally what I'm into as of late. This stuff is 10x better than the Stila cream blushes so keep any eye out for a full-on review.

I wrote a little review on this perfume oil and honestly? I can't get enough. I use it daily and reapply like 20x an hour because I'm obsessed. Sorrynotsorry. Am I allowed to put Samoan Sand here even though I just got it last week? I'm gonna go with yes. It's the perfect nude/summer color and it definitely helps bring out the slight tan I've gotten. Beach babe status: almost achieved. This Korres Quercetin & Oak Age-reversing Primer is a sample I got from Sephora and have been using religiously. Though I went off primer for a little while, I'm back and loving this so so much. It doesn't make me oily like the NARS primer started to do and it really does help my makeup last. Will most definitely be purchasing the full-size of this.

My BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone is still one of my all time favorite products. I love how versatile it is, not to mention it's incredibly natural looking. No disco ball shimmer, I promise. Diorskin concealer still workin' it's magic on my hormonal spots. Still thinking about getting the lighter shade so I can mix the two to make the perfect color. We'll see. Pixi Lash Line Ink aka the best liquid liner for achieving a sassy little cat eye. I'm loving gloss + liner with a bit of contour, powder, and a pop of blush. Less is more in this 95º weather!

Annnnd that's a wrap. So many products but honestly, I've just really been enjoying makeup this month. More so than ever, I think. What are your favorites?!


my little parfumerie

I'm not going to go on and on about how extremely selective I am with the things I buy; hopefully by now that's a well known fact about me. Instead I'm going to introduce you to a few of my favorite scents. The ones that have stuck around for years and the ones that have made their mark on me somehow and thus, have ended up in this post. 

· In 2005/6 I was wandering the perfume section of some department store — I'm going to guess it was Macy's or Lord & Taylor. The where doesn't matter so much, I suppose, but either way I had made my way to the Burberry counter and picked up the prettiest bottle I could find. You could say it was love at first spritz, but Burberry Brit EDT was in my life from then on out.  This was my go-to for many many years. It's one of those smells that brings about some serious nostalgia; from high school to my many travels, the smell now reminds me so much of my year in England. And without fail, for the past ~8 years, my mom buys me a bottle of my signature scent. 
Notes: pear, lime, lemongrass; almond and peony; vanilla, amber, tonka bean. 
Lasting power★★☆☆☆

· When I first started blogging everyone seemed to be talking about Diptyque. I was intrigued; I'm a sucker for simple yet elegant design and with so many good things being said, I knew I needed to at least try something. I got my paws on a sample of Volutes and was immediately enamored. The smell itself is musky and spicy, very sensual and yet somehow remains feminine. I used that sample sparingly until the last drop but wasn't ready to shell out nearly $90 for a perfume. Luckily for me, Richard suprised me with a bottle for Christmas. He's a keeper.
Notes: iris flower, honey, tobacco and dried fruits; pink pepper, black pepper, saffron, hay and immortelle; opoponax, myrhh, styrax and benzoin. 
Lasting power: ★★★★★

· Marc Jacobs Daisy is the perfume I never wanted. I'd always strayed away because it seemed so over-hyped, so played out, so... not me. You know how they say "don't judge a book by it's cover"? Well I was judging the ever-loving shit [excuse my French] out of this perfume and honestly I just couldn't help it. Somehow a sample found its way into the bottom of my Sephora shopping bag. What happened next? I fell for it 100% no regrets yolo sorry not sorry — you get the gist. Now I wear it proudly and I truly do love it.
Notes: violet leaf, wild strawberry and grapefruit; jasmine, gardenia and violet; white woods, vanilla and musk.
Lasting power: ★★★☆☆

· The week after Richard and I got married, we stayed in NYC as a sort of mini-honeymoon. It's probably my favorite trip to the city to date, even though I've been there easily more than 50 times. I remember Nina (my sissy-in-law) and I heading into Sephora (one of my first Sephora visits ever, mind you) and I saw the prettiest bottle of purple perfume and then the crown topper. The little crown is what played on my heart strings, hard. I sprayed it on, walked away from it, and obsessed for the next few hours. Regret commenced almost immediately and before heading home from our little getaway, I snatched up a bottle and loved it forever. The scent is so delicate and powdery yet fresh, reminding me so much of those first few days of newlywed bliss.
Notes: waterlilly, lady apple, mandarin meringue, and golden apricot skin; ripe pink guava, Tahitian flower, wild tuberose, and dark chocolate; pink frosting accord, precious amber, forbidden woods, royal musk captive and chiffon vanilla.
Lasting power: ★★★★☆

What are some of your favorites?


OPI Samoan Sand

 OPI Samoan Sand / $6

Last week I found and lusted (hard) over a very very lovely nude polish, which I featured in my latest moodboard. Nude colors are just so chic to me, but as a pale and yellow toned gal, I find it hard to find the right nude to suit my skin. When I saw this photo of Samoan Sand however, I was absolutely, totally, whole-heartedly convinced.

Nudes remind me of France. Maybe it's because of how effortlessly delicate yet dignified they are. Maybe it's because the idea of nude polish paired with a Breton shirt makes me want to be sipping wine at some café in Paris discussing who knows what with the love of my life. Something un-ironically romantic and chic, and not in a try-hard sort of way. Things like that just make so sense in my mind to the point where I might obsess over the idea until it becomes a reality in my life.

Samoan Sand is above all things, flattering. It's not too yellow or pink; I find that most nudes are more one than the other (usually pink) but this is truly and genuinely, a neutral. It's the kind of color that is a statement in and of itself. While it's not a bright blue or mint green, it's somehow still alluring in quite the same way. Your eyes are drawn to the lack of contrast between nail color and skin tone. To me, this is honestly the perfect nail color ever. One that will never go out of style or be considered tacky — it's very elegant and ever so slightly provocative, as flesh tones can sometimes be.

The formula is wonderful and painting was a total breeze as the OPI brushes are near perfect, size and all. I'm hoping the lasting power of this is as great as I remember it to be, although I'm sure that I'll be wearing this daily for the next few months so I won't mind if I have to every 5 days. I haven't really used any OPI polishes in a while, but they make me nostalgic for middle school and high school when I used to go to my mom to her favorite nail salon and get myself a set of pretty acrylics.

I'm more of an au-naturale kind of girl now, as you can tell.


LUSH Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with my favorite LUSH face mask. Ever. 

I've tried many a LUSH mask in my day but honestly I have yet to find one I love more than this (sorry BB Seaweed). Something about the fact that this was made with ayurvedic properties just makes me smile a bit as I've really been into reading about things like holistic health so I am quite interested in things of this sort. But, onwards. 

This mask is made of honey, lime oil, ground almonds, a bit of ginger and a bunch of other yummy sounding ingredients. When you pop this on, it does tighten a teeny bit as it dries and you might feel a bit of tingling, but the best part is washing it off. For me this is most definitely an instant gratification type product; once rinsed off, my skin is left feeling so incredibly clean and decongested. Better than that? Not only is my skin feeling cleaner and all around much better, but it looks so much brighter. I know that there are lots of masks out there that probably do the same thing but I love the idea that this was made with a lot of all natural ingredients. Using anything else just feels like a disservice to my skin!

There is ginger root in the mask to help release toxins from your body while the almonds are there to help exfoliate a bit. Kaolin, a white clay, is supposed to get deep into your skin and pores to help remove any nasties and dirt, which is why your face is left with a noticeable glow. I don't use this too often because it is a really deep cleaning mask, but when I do I'm in love. Those with sensitive skin might want to stray from this — my sister-in-law says it's a bit much for her, but it's totally fine for me and my very normal skin!

Have you used tried this mask by LUSH? What do you think?


Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer in 002

Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer in 002 / $30

With all the hype around NARS' new Creamy Concealer I thought I check it out for myself. Unfortunately for me, none of the shades we're right for me and something about the consistency through me off. Now I'm not even a concealer girl but for some weird reason I've been getting chin breakouts (I'm blaming hormones) so I've had to go out and find something that works for me. Let it be known, that I was really hoping to find a concealer I could use both under the eyes and on spots (and I did)!

^ Left eye: Nada / Right eye: Concealed ^
Please excuse my brows! Growin' them babies out!

While I never felt like I had any signs of dark circles, this concealer hides the very itty bitty purpley-blue that I do have, blending in almost perfectly — never creasing or caking in the process. You can see a bit of red/purple on my right (your left) but on my left (your right) you can see it's quite smoothed out. Hooray. As for covering blemishes and spots, this glides right over them and doesn't cling to dry patches. I'm guessing this is because it's meant to be a hydrating concealer but you know, not every product does what it says it will. This one however, has yet to let me down. While the shade isn't perfect, it's much better than any other I've found. Though I have thought about getting the lighter shade to mix the two, right now the only thing that's stopping me is $$$ because these lovely little tubes ain't cheap.

Dior is consistently knocking it out of the park for me; everything I use, I really do love. They're quite obviously my favorite high-end brand... could you have guessed? I'm super interested in trying out their other products from this range, more especially after seeing Esteé's review on them all! FLAWLESS.

What do you guys think of this concealer + range from Dior?


moodboard: trois

"I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature. My attachments are always excessively strong."

I've got to admit, moodboarding is easily one of my favorite ways to relax and de-stress. Putting together mini-collages of beautiful photos + things I'm currently coveting? There's just something so soothing about it, almost lulling. 

I'm heading to New Jersey for 21 days or so in August and these smelling salts might be what I need to get through the five hour flight. While I love the Bumble and bumble Surf Spray this Sachajuan Ocean Mist has intrigued me quite a bit. I think it would work a little better with my hair type, too. Ann-Ya Pink Marbled Leather Cat Coasters — no need for explanation. 

Still obsessed with peach (and nudes, it seems) not sure what even sparked this random infatuation but whatever, I'm going with it. Burberry Brit EDT was the first perfume I ever fell in love with and the first I ever purchased (7 years ago!!). Currently missing it — thanks nostalgia. Still coveting the hamsa bracelet and feeling slight regret not buying it while I was hanging out at Intermix. Samoan Sand is my current nail color obsession. Hopefully it'll arrive by Friday. I'm impatient

photos via alenalipatova + emilola  


Jouer Perfume Oil

Jouer Perfume Oil* / $42

I am incredibly picky when it comes to scents. Let's be honest though, I'm picky when it comes to, well, everything. I was lucky enough to be sent a few things from the lovelies over at Jouer, and the first of the bunch, the one thing that really stood out, was this perfume oil.

Now I don't know about everyone else, but as I get a bit older (lol?!11!1!) I find my smell and taste changing quite a bit. While I still love sugary sweet scents, I've started to really love soft, floral notes; jasmine and lavender being my favorite, as of late. What appealed to me about this oil was that it was described as "a blend of Gardenia, Jasmine and Honeysuckle" so literally exactly what I've been loving. Also the fact that it's an oil? Yes please and thank you.

Can I first just point out the oil roller itself? No ridiculous logos or anything. Just a beautiful little glass bottle — teeny enough to bring with you anywhere. To me it feels kind of inconspicuously elegant. The scent itself is actually way more than I expected. What I honestly expected was a perfume that smelled like flowers (think MJ Daisy), but this is not that at all. This genuinely smells of real honeysuckles and jasmine; it doesn't at all have a true perfume scent. I'm not quite sure how they do it, but it's just perfection in a bottle.

I've been rolling this on my wrists and rubbing it in quite well, because it is an oil after all. Sometimes I'll pop a bit on my neck and décolletage, where I can smell it a bit better. It's semi-theraputic especially when I'm feeling a bit stressed. The scent lasts quite long, normally all day though I do apply just for my own pleasure every now and again. I love pairing this with my other perfumes; wearing this on my wrists and neck and Daisy or Burberry Brit sprayed everywhere else.

I'm literally obsessed with this little thing and I will absolutely be purchasing this once mine runs out. Sound like something you'd be into?


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

I spotted it this little baby a few weeks back in our only free-standing Northern California Space NK and as the story goes: I came, I swatched, I lusted. Though because I'm not usually a face powder type of gal, I left empty handed and sat on the idea of purchasing it for a whole three days. Self-control? What is that?

Each Ambient Lighting Powder is supposed to achieve something different; Radiant Light for a summer glow, Diffused light to counteract redness and add clarity, etc. After doing my research on each of the different "shades" that are offered, I popped into Sephora (I wish Space NK was closer) and immediately went looking for Dim Light.

Since then I've been using it daily and honestly never want to go a day without it. I apply the powder all over my face with a big fluffy Sephora blush brush — it leaves me with a super gorgeous soft-focus finish and sets my foundation. Although it has a teensy bit of shimmer, it is incredibly finely milled, meaning it's very delicate and doesn't leave you looking super luminized. While everyone else (except me) thinks the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer blurs imperfections, this stuff actually does, and well.

It only takes one really great product for me to get interested in a brand (Hourglass, I'm coming for you). This is probably the only face powder I've ever bought and honestly genuinely loved and because of that I'm definitely going to be checking out the rest of the collection (and maybe purchasing a few others as well). This is a pretty good little "chart"explaining each of the shades and what they try to accomplish.

For the record, yes. This is holy grail.

Here is a silly hand swatch if you'd like to get a feel of what it looks like on the skin. I'm not a swatch photo fan so that's why I didn't include one. </picky>


And we're back...

     hashtagilovemyjob / there is a bandaid on my knee / shitty iPhone photo

As some of you may know, in addition to blogging, I'm a freelance photographer. If I could spend the rest of my life taking photos of/for people and brands, I would (and I will). It's the one thing in life that makes sense to me and the one thing I'm incredibly passionate about.

A few weeks back when I broke my Canon 400D, I was literally heartbroken. I'd used that baby basically every day for the past two years and as ridiculously silly as it may sound to some, it felt like a part of me was gone. After an eBay fiasco and much too long of a wait I am now in possession of my dream camera: a Canon 5D. I opted for the classic because that's just the kind of girl I am. 

In the time I've been "gone" I've been working on some really exciting stuff. This post is essentially a big hooray because I'll be back to blogging daily starting this weekend. I absolutely can not wait to share all the things I've been doing/buying/using! 


Unpopular Opinion: Laura Mercier Radiance Primer

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer / $19.50

Another one of these posts — I don't love doing them but sometimes they just need to be done. My only worry with doing things like this is: I don't want people to think "oh she doesn't like it so I won't either" because that's not the purpose of this post. The purpose of these Unpopular Opinion posts are just to let you in on things that don't work for me specifically and the details surrounding why. Just because it doesn't work out for me, just because I don't like it for X reason, absolutely doesn't mean you won't love it! With that said, here we go.

I love me some Laura Mercier. I'm a huge fan of her Silk Creme and Mineral foundations and most other things that she does (well with the exception of this). So many bloggers love this stuff and I've seen it over on Kate and Vivianna's blogs, two ladies I trust when it comes to cosmetics. That with the fact that I've been lusting over this for ages made it all the more worse when I just couldn't get this to work with me.

I've heard people say it gives the perfect glow, smooths over your skin and blurs imperfections. What I found was it made me look shiny not luminous — I tried using different amounts of this stuff, from small to big and still, shine. Another issue was it made my pores look so crazy and huge. I never have issue with my pores looking big or noticeable so when this happened I was totally put off.  For a second opinion I even enlisted Richard to tell me what he thought and alas, he was in agreement. Although I was a bit wary, I tried it a few more times with a few different foundations. Still? Same results each time. I just do not love the look this gives my skin, which makes me a little sad inside. I have to keep reminding myself that there are plenty more primers in the sea but I just really had high hopes for this baby.

Though I am pretty bummed, it'll be alright. I still have my Pro-prime (which I really love now) and my BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector — two things that just work for me when it comes to achieving the perfect base. So that's that. Love at first sight and broken heart at first application. So it goes.

What do you guys think of this primer? What are some of your favorite primers?!

P.S. rented a Nikon for the weekend, if the photos look odd it's because I am having the hardest time getting used to it, lulz. Sowwy!

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