March 19, 2014

{BEAUTY} Spring Beauty Favorites

Even though I'm by no means a master at makeup, I'm an unabashed product junkie and love trying out new colors and beauty innovations as they emerge, and definitely give in to color trends in a major way. Right now, my go-to everyday makeup is a fresh, dewy face with a bold lip and cat-eye, and with a few new palettes in my arsenal, I've started playing with a little bit of color on my lids, too. Little tweaks, like adding shimmery shadow to the corner of my eyes, and lining the waterline with a white or champagne pencil, have also added tiny updates to my overall look. It's those tiny, subtle changes in your beauty routine that can help make you look more awake, refreshed, and even toned.

I confess that I'm not very good at moisturizing my body as much as I should. I hate how most lotions feel sticky, and find that they often take too long to absorb into my skin before I get impatient and want to either jump into bed or put on my clothes. Body oils, however, are super light and absorb into the skin super quickly. My favorite is Moroccanoil's Body Mist - it smells amazing and soaks into the skin virtually on contact. I originally received it in a gift bag, and have repurchased it once already since. It also gives a nice glow without making you look oily. I've also been using a dry brush (I use this one from The Body Shop, but the luxury-minded may prefer Clarisonic's body attachment) on my skin after showering to help get rid of some of the dead flakes and allow for better absorption.


First and foremost, I'm recommitting myself to the skin care line that has worked the best for me (Somme Institute), but I'd be lost without my trusty beauty balms, color correctors, and concealer. Though a dedicated skincare routine has kept new acne under control, I have a lot of dark spots and scarring that I try my best to cover up. In order to get a more natural, dewy look and use product more sparingly, I always apply these products with a wet sponge; the beauty blender is my favorite. On days when I want more coverage, I use Chanel CC Cream; I love its more opaque finish. Though it unfortunately only comes in one shade (a very pale yellow), it is the perfect color for my skin tone. On days when I want more sheer overage, I opt for Stila's Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm, (c/o). Both products contain broad spectrum 30-spf and are packed with moisture, which is exactly what my skin needs. For my eyes, I've been using Benefit Lemon Aid, and love the pigment and creamy texture for both my lids and under-eye; it's like a cup of coffee for your face.

A bold lip color and flushed cheek are very important for me. I never really feel "done," without either. I could probably forego all other makeup as long as I have my lipstick! Though I've only tried it in one color (La Diva) Chanel's new Luminous Matte Lip Colors are a great matte formula that is long wear without drying out your pout. I'm also in love with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics new line of Color Pencils, currently available in 11 colors plus an invisible liner. They're perfect to use as a lip-liner or stay-all-day base, and for a skilled user, can also be mixed with a medium for all over color. I have used mine with a tiny bit of rose oil on my cheeks as a stain, and it's perfect. I've also only recently gotten into highlighters, but I love NARS Adelaide Illuminator - which I apply along the cheek bone and on the apples of my cheeks. It's a very shimmery pink that is a great base to a more saturated rouge; again, a little goes a long way. If it's too pink (or too glittery) for your tastes, I also recommend NARS Copacabana.  As I mentioned above, I've started playing around more with colors on my eyelids - and Urban Decay Naked 3 has probably been my favorite palette to create very natural eye contour looks.


I can't remember the last time I sported bare nails, so suffice to say maintaining strong nail game is important to me (even Buzzfeed agrees, apparently). Right now, I'm all about pastels in my wardrobe - so it stands to reason that soft hues would make their way to my beauty routine, too. Deborah Lippmann's "Blue Orchid" and "Flowers in Her Hair" are both opaque, creamy colors that have major staying power. For a more neutral tone, I also love "La Vie en Rose" which is very pale with a subtle shimmer. At last, before I head out the door, I reach for a splash of fragrance. After a year plus of thinking about it, I finally took the plunge and bought Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede. It's a beautiful fragrance but it is strong - which I think is an asset, as all I need is one spritz to last all day. Though it's a floral scent, it manages to be youthful and fresh.

I'm curious:what are the new additions and obsessions to your makeup bag? Any products out there that I must get my hands on, or beauty trends you're anxious to try?

March 17, 2014

{STYLE} When Life Hands You Lemons

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

I'm counting down the days to spring in such a major way. As tired as I am of talking about the weather, I cannot get over how tedious and long this winter has been. It's exhausting! I have to appreciate the mostly warm and sunshiny day we had on Saturday, though. It was the perfect day for a stroll with my pup to the farmer's market, followed by a more dressed up (and lemon adorned) afternoon of picking up blooms and catching up on some reading while curled up on my couch by an open window. On Saturday night, I headed into the city to catch a showing of Wes Anderson's newest film, Grand Budapest Hotel, with my friend Taylor. Visually, I can't help but love Anderson's movies - a pink, chandelier-laden hotel in the midst of a pastel city, (with a neighborhood pastry shop, Mendl's, that would send Briony and I into a total Instagram shame spiral, no doubt) -- but the story line sort of ended abruptly and, really, nothing will beat Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums.

I spent most of yesterday at my friend Heather's house for a potluck brunch, with some of my closest friends and a lot of sparkling wine and berries. I made a pretty great salad to accommodate my gluten free needs and a friend's vegan needs that received some high praise, so I may take a foray into recipe blogging this week (yes? no?). On my way home, the cold picked up again, and I started obsessively thinking about all the exciting things happening in the (very) near future: inspiring and fun projects on my calendar, a roadtrip from Louisiana to California with stops in Austin and Marfa, my birthday, my sister's law school graduation (Natalie, you're an overachiever!) and continuing the fun and romantic process of wedding planning. 

This time next week, I'll be in New Orleans with Ali and Frankie, and knowing that is certainly enough to keep the random slowflakes in the forecast from bugging me. 


March 12, 2014

{STYLE} Daylight Savings

Yesterday was the first day in a long time that really, really felt like spring - especially considering I woke up to flurries and a weather widget tarnished by snowflakes on Monday morning. I know my friends throughout Europe have been all "boohoo, we didn't have a winter, no snow, wah wah wah," but those of us on the East Coast (or more brutally hit, the Midwest) of the U.S. who have spent the last few months wading through dirty slush and forcibly practical outfits (the ones that don't make it to the blog because I'm just not even trying to look cute when it's -5 degrees, nor am I trying to make you believe that I hobbled around the icy Lincoln Center plaza in an open-toe stiletto), are very very pleased by this turn for warmer weather. What is warmer, exactly? A balmy 55-degrees practically feels like summer, demanding bare legs and an equally sunny disposition. Real talk: this winter managed to transform me into a really bitter bitch, even in spite of all the mood-lifting precautions (Vitamin D! Exercise! Hydration!) that I had taken from the day I first buttoned up my overcoats. 

So, for my first day of spring I set out to do something I do regardless of the weather: fill my home with some fresh flowers, because I'm a Taurus and that's a thing that we do and also because why not? Flowers are pretty and smell good and add texture to any space. I did this in a party dress from the newly relaunched Eloquii because also, why not? Life is a ball and the sun is out and it stayed out until just past 7PM last night and I'm soooooo happy. 
Photos by Lydia Hudgens

Some things about Eloquii (the source of my awesome leather-and-tulle dress): Even though it was not previously a go-to destination for my personal fashion needs, I mourned the closing of the brand when The Limited decided to cease operations last spring. I thought that the brand offered great pieces for the modern working woman, and even more than that - I was sad (and kind of pissed) that The Limited made few efforts to promote or market the line before giving up. When I got word that they were coming back as an independent line - I was stoked. I knew this meant that whoever was now at the helm must have a passion to see the brand live up to its full potential. It's still early, but the spring line is promising, with a younger, edgier look and feel than the original Eloquii. It's much more my style, to say the least - and I already have a decent wishlist running, (this skirt, these pants, this jacket - swoon). I'm really, really excited to see what they have in store for summer and fall. The pieces I've tried (all woven - not jersey/stretchy) also run very true to size! If you're used to shopping at ASOS Curve, size up from what you take there.


March 6, 2014

{INSIDE THE STUDIO} The World of Tatty Devine

Created in celebration of Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! by Tatty Devine

It's hard to remember exactly what the gateway to Tatty Devine's colorful, quirky jewelry line was, but I believe it was during the latter years of high school through LiveJournal, where most of my early fashion discoveries came from. I'm sure that I bought my first pieces from the since-sadly-defunct Fred Flare website, and every trip to London since has required a pilgrimage to one of their stores. By all accounts, I've turned into a bit of a collector, waiting on every new collection to see what pieces would make their way across the atlantic and into my now-overflowing wardrobe of fun, costume jewelry, (among my favorites, my Frida Kahlo brooch, and the tiny enamel Swallow earrings that have been part of my arsenal for nearly a decade).

Throughout my years of online fangirling, I've had an opportunity to develop a bit of a relationship with the PR and social media darlings at Tatty Devine HQ, and when they caught word that I'd be their neighbor during my London trip, they invited me over. How could I pass that up? I imagined a rainbow hued perspex wonder world where there was an ongoing stream of motown hits playing, and girls who could give Jess Day's wardrobe a run for its money - and I was not too far off. A walk through Shoreditch took me to their bi-level studio, where everything from brainstorming to candy eating to production takes place, and damn, does everyone who work there seem happy (and so, so sweet).