Tarte Cheek Stain – Ten

Tarte Cheek Stain – Ten ($19) is 100% one of my favorite products.  It’s paraben free and has countless skin nourishing ingredients, but the thing that makes it literally a must have is the color.  It’s without a doubt the perfect pink.  I use it on my cheeks almost every day and cannot get enough of either blending it or using it alone as a lipstick.  The consistency is perfect for a long lasting, smudge proof pout.

Buy this now!  You won’t regret it!!

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Leather Jackets

I love seasonal and trendy pieces, but staples that supersede a time of year are my guilty pleasure.  Maybe because they make purchasing them seem so much more sensible, but either way, it’s undeniable that a classic leather jacket should be part of every person’s wardrobe.  Fit is so important here, that I think spending a little above what you normally would on outerwear is ok – especially because you can pair this with, seriously, anything.

Leather Jackets:

MUUBAA Athena Biker Jacket $429

Veda Max Leather Jacket $890

Sanctuary Runaways All Vegan Jacket $159

BB Dakota Fernando Faux Leather Jacket w/ Fleece Hood $57

Truth & Pride Perforated Leather Bike Jacket $399.90

MUUBAA Meggie Biker Jacket $649

Bernardo Leather Bomber Jacket with Detachable Hoodie Liner $339.90

Nixon Alexa Motor Jacket $94.99

MICHAEL by Michael Kors Moto Patch Pocket Leather Coat $495

J Brand Coated Sleeve Denim Jacket $259
*had to include this one!!!  a fusion between an amazing jean jacket and leather jacket is soooo lust worthy

Forever 21 Faux Leather Bomber Jacket $34.80

MUUBAA Navarre Sheepskin Jacket $476

Two-Tone Motorcycle Jacket $395

Burberry Brit Lambskin Leather Jacket $1795

*COVETED ITEM

Found Art

Like most things I put in my home, the art I select is particular.  Sometimes my favorites are out of my price range, most of the time it has to accent the decor, but always – every time – it has to make me happy.  I had been on the hunt for a dreamcatcher in an attempt to help with nightmares (it can’t help, right?!), but was consistently running into the problem that the ones I selected were too kitschy or clearly belonged in a room for a person that hadn’t reached the double digit age range.

One of my favorite pass times is navigating around Etsy to try and find unique items.  When I found Ana Victoria Calderon, an artist out of Mexico, I practically jumped.  First of all, her eye for precision and color amazed me, but it was her Woven Web Of Life Dreamcatcher $17 that made this discovery feel meant to be.  I’m a firm believer that art can be outrageously expensive or free, but doesn’t really resonate with a person until they look at it and smile.  This piece currently sits framed on my wall, right by my bed, and whether it’s magic or my naivety, I’m sleeping soundly.

‘Woven Web of Life Dreamcatcher’ feather’s series

Some of my other favorite’s from Ms. Calderon:

*find her work on her Etsy page (anavicky) or her website

‘Foliage Dream’ dreams series

‘Help!’ the beatles series

‘Feathers’ feathers series

‘Black Mamba’ flora series

‘Dharma’ mandala series

 

I’ll Only Go Curly With This From Now On…

Everyone knows I have a love/hate relationship with my curls.  I’ve spent hours, weeks, months, and what seems like years in front of a mirror on the verge of tears, dripping in sweat, with burning hot hair tools in my hand trying to straighten my natural curly locks.  I’ll really know I’ve made it when I can afford to have it done in the mornings (#dreamworld) and not have to tame what is comparable to a wild beast.

There are days, however, that a good air dry and comb through leaves me with a head of curls that aren’t so unmanageable and I decide to bare the outdoors as my natural self… well, at least from the scalp up.  I’ve tried almost every product and some definitely help.  I love Morroconoil Frizz Control ($32) and use it almost every day before I comb my hair after getting out of the shower.

I recently picked up a bottle of Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray ($4.79), which has a lot of mixed reviews around the web, but it’s cheap, so I thought I would give it a try (and full disclosure – I was $5 away from getting free shipping with an online order).  What I was looking for was a product I could use on my dry hair the day after I wear it curly.  I don’t think I’ve ever been lucky enough to score two good curly hair days in a row.

The thing is, I understand why people don’t like this.  The complaints are mostly that it leaves hair dry and “dirty feeling”.  This is a texturizing spray and is supposed to make your hair look like you’ve spent all day at the beach.  It gives you that unkempt, effortless look, which I happen to really like – it also smells like vacation, so I’m willing to overlook the downfalls.  I suggest starting with a modest amount and layering on if you feel you need it, but also (if you’re trying to create waves/more defined curls) spraying it on and twisting sections around with your fingers to get better definition.  It will feel a little dry, but only because the product contains a lot of salt, which holds the waves in.

Wear The Rainbow: Summer Shorts On Sale

I buy denim/denim shorts at all price points, but I love finding deals on premium brands that ensure comfort and fit.  I hardly ever buy full price though, because it’s inevitable there are enough sample sales and online seasonal clean sweeps to always have a large selection of whatever you’re looking for.  I’ll buy a good pair of basic jeans at any time of the year because my habit of finding the perfect pair and wearing them until their death is unavoidable.  My theory is: if you find an amazing pair of jeans at a great price – get them.  You’ll need them eventually.

For my lifestyle, the same runs true for denim cutoffs.  I’m fortunate to live in a place where they are wearable all year round and appropriate for 99% of the environments I’m in.  I crave the beginning of the end of Summer for one reason – shorts sales.

Colored Shorts On Sale:

Maison Scotch Summer Shorts $45.80

Current/Elliott Boyfriend Shorts $49.20

Alice + Olivia Five Pocket Hipster Shorts $77

Current/Elliott Boyfriend Shorts $75

Current/Elliott Boyfriend Shorts $84

*have you gotten the hint?  Current/Elliott’s Boyfriend Shorts are my fav!!

Joe’s Jeans Denim Shorts $89.60

MOTHER Frayed SNS Shorts $75

MiH Marrakesh Shorts $56.10

Blank Denim Semi Fit Shorts with Raw Hem $54.60

Cupcakes & Cashmere Book

I’m a huge supporter of bloggers.  I find it inspirational to see the wide range of perspectives and personalities that has developed over the web.  I read lots of blogs daily, as well as fulfill my daily dose of creativity by scouring look books and websites before I begin my day.  I’ve never looked at blogging (and try not to look at anything career wise) as a competition, because although at times that drive may lead to an opportunity, I genuinely believe there is enough room in this world for anyone to become successful.

Emily Schuman from Cupcakes & Cashmere was one of the first blogs I followed religiously.  I’ve found her journey so exciting to watch and admire her ability to take on collaborations that stick so true to her vision.  I picked up a copy of her book (found here, $11.85) yesterday and to be honest with you, was expecting a lot of content that has been featured on her blog, not knowing if it was something that would bring more value than things I’ve already read.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a true guide to things I can see were carefully selected in order to be sure its’ contents were useful for longer than the first time you read it.  I definitely suggest checking it out!  There’s great advice ranging from beauty lessons, seasonal recipes, gift giving, throwing parties, dressing/shopping effectively and fun tutorials like creating the perfect bouquet or popping a champagne bottle.

July TestTube

Here’s the deal.  TestTube is a beauty subscription that only comes every three months as opposed to every month and instead of breaking up the payments of around $10/month, you are charged close to $40 every quarter.  To me, those things are cons, but the benefits far exceed them all.  They provide the most information about the products, the most samples and many of them full size.  I’m continually finding they introduce me to new brands and products I probably wouldn’t buy, but should because they are great quality.  I always do my reviews starting with my favorites and counting down to the one I liked the least, but I genuinely enjoyed each of these things as opposed to every other beauty subscription where I have at least one or two I don’t like at all.
July TestTube: (in order of my favorite to least favorite)

Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick in Orchid $19/.12 fl oz (received full size):  I’m partial to lip color, and the fact that I don’t own many in the lilac family, I was thrilled to receive the full size of the Mally gloss.  Mally is a brand that’s kind of blowing up… and for good reason.  The company was started by celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal.  This particular product claims to be a primer, gloss and liner in one tube and I have to say – it’s super long lasting, not sticky and the colors are amazing!  **Note: this is a subtle light purple/pink color.  Some of the other shades would be more dramatic depending on what you’re looking for.

Olay Pro-X-Clear Complexion Renewing Lotion $30.99/2.5 fl oz clarifying cleanser, 1.7 fl oz skin clearing treatment and 1.7 fl oz complexion renewing lotion (received .24 fl oz):  When you sign up for TestTube, you fill out a survey that personalizes your samples, so you get products to go with your hair color and skin type, but sometimes I swear they’re reading my mind.  Because this Summer has been particularly busy and has come with its share of stresses, my skin has felt the brunt of it.  I’m currently tackling some pesty zits that ironically tend to show up at the very worst times.  This was the only product I’ve tried over the last couple weeks that hasn’t burned, but seemed to have moisturize and tone down the redness.  I definitely would buy this full size!

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum $15.14/1 fl oz (received full size):  First of all, this product smells great.  I’m very particular about scents.  There’s nothing worse than something smelling artificial or overbearing, but I’m always pleasantly surprised when something is refreshing.  I’ve been using it under my moisturizer and it feels great going on.  I’m making an effort to take better care of my skin, preventative care included, so I enjoyed adding this product to my daily routine.

Lumene Time Freeze Firming Night Cream $21.99/1.7 fl oz (received .5 fl oz):  When it comes to a firming lotion or mask, I like to actually feel it working.  When I’m leaving something on for 20 minutes, I like it to stiffen up and really work on my pores, but when it’s a cream I leave on overnight, a happy medium between barely there and super charged tightening is key.  I like that this cream has a substantial weight, adds tons of moisture to my skin and doesn’t fade within minutes of applying it.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product $17.99/4 fl oz (received 2 fl oz):  I’ve used a few It’s a 10 products in the past and have not been overly impressed, I’m all for a good frizz fighting detangler.  It definitely helped with knots, but I’ve found other similar products are more effective in the frizz department.  I think this would be great for someone with hair that knotted easily, but didn’t have as thick hair as me.  I’m using this in my dream life – beachy waves and slight tangles because I just surfed all morning and need a quick comb through before I head to my successful studio… if that’s your life… this product is for you and also – please be my friend.

Neutrogena Brightening Eye Perfector in Light $11.19/4.9 g (received full size):  The color is a bit off on this one for my skin (maybe that’s why I didn’t absolutely love it), but the coverage is good.  I don’t have particularly dark eyes or circles, so it’s never been a really important product for me, but for someone that does, I think it would definitely help.  The key to this is to start with only a little of it – it’s easy to layer too much on and look cakey.

Hydroxatone Instant Effect 90 Second Wrinkle Reducer On The Go Singles $44.95/15 packets (received full size):  I’ll admit, part of the reason for the low rating is because the packages are practically child locked (or I’m just weak), but it’s a pet peeve of mine when packaging is hard to open… especially for daily singles!  It definitely does tighten, which is great, but it’s also a bit sticky.

 

Weekend Bags

Summer inevitably brings on spontaneous trips that don’t involve a lot of planning.  They’re exciting and a great way to reconnect to that thrilling feeling that came during childhood in between School years.  Whether it’s a night away at a local hotel offering a great deal or an impromptu decision to drive a couple hours along the coast to a great vacation spot, I like to be able to get out of the house within an hour before the idea of actually doing it fades.  Some of my favorite daytime purses are actually larger weekend bags that are perfect for these occasions.  Big enough to fit the essentials for a different climate, but small enough so that it is easy to carry.

Weekend Bags:

West Coast Wardrobe Todos Santos Weekender $46

Urban Outfitters Ecote Bizarre Backpack $59

Rachel Zoe Weekender Belted Satchel $464.90

Gypsy 05 Lohri Gypsy Hobo $265

Rebecca Minkoff Woven Bright East/West Tote $425

Deux Lux Putty Woven Faux Leather Bowery Weekend Duffel $82.99

House of Harlow 1960 Dakota Bag $506

Urban Renewal Baja Weekender Bag $29

Diane von Furstenberg Vintage Collection Duffel Bag $115

Forever 21 Vibrant Print Backpack $34.80

Cleobella Lolita Studded Satchel $473

Topshop Large Washed Clip Backpack $72

JADETRIBE Sammi Stripe Small Beach Bag $86

Wildfox Couture Roadtrip Bag $114

Longchamp Paris Le Pliage Travel Bag $155

Rebecca Minkoff Striped Wheelie Bag $346.50

Madewell The Leather Transport Rucksack $248

Intiq for J. Crew Mochila Bag $295

LEIF LOVE

I love shopping for little things that bring joy into my home.  I’ve forever had a knack for gifty items and enjoy finding a quirky or colorful detail to add to an open space.  Leif is a website I frequent for their fun and unique small home accessories.  I’m embracing the “no rules” decor idea by incorporating dinner bowls into my jewelry storage system, pencil jars for hair accessories and pretty magnets for keeping bobby pins in one place.  Thinking outside the box only makes your home more you.

Some Of My Favorite Items from Leif:

Square Color Chip Box $56

Striped Taper Candles $24

Small Jar in Sugar Sunset $85

Gemstone Magnet Set $36

Spear Print Tray $80

Tree Bark Wine Stopper $8

Batik Tray and Spreader Set $48

Oblong Color Chip Box $84

Confetti Tumbler $35

Atomic Salt & Pepper Shakers $50

Pastel Sorbet Cup Set $78

Madelaine Necklace in Lavender $228

Small Knit Color Cozy Mug $26

Stacking Dots Rings $26

Bubble Bath

Summer is supposed to be about relaxation and taking time to have some fun.  Somehow, ever since the first day kids were rejoicing that school was out, I’ve been trying to stay afloat and juggling more work commitments than ever before.  I’ve managed to spend a couple evenings here and there doing things I’ve wanted, but for the most part, this Summer is far from indulgent.

The other day I happened to have an hour to myself and although I am absolutely a shower person, I decided to force myself to use my bath for the first time since the lease was signed.  I lit candles, I played music and even turned my phone on silent!  With bubbles flowing, 20 minutes of soaking felt like luxury.

My 7 Favorite Bubble Baths:

Soap & Glory Calm One Calm All Bubble Bath $14

*Most standard and all around best one in my opinion.

 

Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bubble Bath & Wash $4.99

*WARNING: You may fall asleep in the tub.  You should probably tell someone you are taking a bedtime bath before using.

Philosophy Cinnamon Buns $16

*WARNING: You may instinctively start shoveling the bubbles into your mouth with the warm, gooey scent of Cinnamon Buns.

*DISCLAIMER: This products tastes nothing like Cinnamon Buns.  It tastes horrible… I’ve heard.

   

Lush Bubble Bar – The Comforter $9.95

*Really good for when you want to relax, but don’t want to be put to sleep.

      

Lush Bubble Bar – Turbo Bubble $6.95

*This makes your bath GLITTER!!!!!!!  That makes me happy just reading it.

         

Lush Bubble Bar – Sunny Side $6.95

*This makes your bath GOLD!!  I mean, this is good stuff.

    

Aveeno Active Naturals Stress Relief Foaming Bath $5.59

*Love it after a long day of work.