Holiday Hysteria

I remember being consumed with the idea of Santa when I was younger.  Obsessed with him.  I mean, this guy didn’t even really know me… I stopped buying into that ‘good girl’/’bad girl’ threat at the age of four when I stole a classmate’s fruit roll up, lied about it and still got Christmas presents that December.  The physical reaction that took place on Christmas mornings for me were like what I only assume dropping Acid in a room full of cash, while simultaneously being cheered on by your closest friends and family would be and just like a drug, it happens in stages.

First?  Anticipation.  The nights leading up to Xmas day were filled with angst and high hopes and around the 20th, sh*t got real.  Sweating, the shakes, scenarios running through my head… I needed it.  I needed it to be the 25th.  This hit a high point at the end of Christmas Eve dinner when I knew it was really in sight.  We got the goods.  To describe the night’s of 12/24 between the years of approx. 1992-1999 would basically be similar to a multiple personality, caged animal with a bad case of tourettes breaking out in random laughs, cries and keywords from my Christmas list.. “KABOODLE!!!?!?!??”, “TOMAGATCHI!?!??”, “CASH REGISTER!!!?!?”.  I really don’t have any recollection after this, so I can only assume my parents had to step in and slip me some kind of sleep aid and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I wake up, deceived.  HOW did this happen?  I fell asleep.. impossible.  No time for thoughts – C$H$R$I$T$M$A$S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Later in life, I learned the only way to describe this moment is…

mind_blown

taken from here

The sad reality is that this process, although traumatic, is magic and as we get older, it fades.  You learn that not everything you believed in was true (in my case, I found out when my Jewish best friend asked me when I found out that my idol, my beloved, my rockstar, Santa Claus didn’t really exist.  I responded confidentently and carefree, “HA, seriously.. I’ve known for ages………  I must be going now”, quickly turned my back and cried the entire way home).  But, then you fill the void with the memory of innocence and with appreciation for your parents going through all kinds of trouble to make the day as mind blowing as it was… I mean, my Dad once drove three hours north to meet a woman in a parking lot in the freezing cold to exchange a sold-out-everywhere Furby for more cash than than that loud, needy toy (that doesn’t turn off, by the way) was ever worth.  And yes, I still love Christmas.  Some part of me reverts back to that selfish, bratty, unappreciative eight year old every year and the spirit of children lives on.

*Reference to drugs was used for humor’s sake.  Don’t do drugs.  Just love Christmas.

Top Items On My List (in no particular order)

1

Prada 0PR 23OS Sunglasses $245

2

Proenza Schouler PS1 Wallet $165

3

Gorjana Alphabet Coin Bracelet $60

4

Vince Camuto ‘Tipper’ Boot $179

5

Lulu Guiness Blush-Perspex Lips Clutch $390

 

6

 

Etsy’s Naomilingerie Black Satin and Cotton Cat Eye Mask $23.07

 

 

 

7

 

 

Nixon Time Teller Watch $99.99

 

 

1

 

 

Coach Legacy Leather Large Wristlet $108

 

 

2

 

 

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette $50

 

 

1

 

 

Rebecca Taylor Giselle Leopard Zip-Around Wallet $78

 

 

2

 

 

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool $22

 

 

3

 

 

T by Alexander Wang Inverted Pleated Dress $129

 

 

4

 

 

 

Nars Night Flight Nail Polish $18

 

 

 

5

 

 

Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Day Glow Pink $65

 

 

6

 

 

Boutaugh Bow Tie in Pink $68

 

 

7

 

 

J Crew Vintage Short Sleeve Pajama Set $78

 

 

8

 

 

Anthropologie Kismet Knit Turban $48

 

 

9

 

 

Ka’Oir Wifey Lipstick $15.99

 

 

10

 

 

MAC Pro Lip Palette $40

 

 

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Kate Spade Colorblocked Silicone iPhone 4 Case $35

 

 

2

 

 

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray $19.50-39

 

 

3

 

 

Nespresso Latissima Plus $399

 

 

4

 

 

Sephora by OPI Gelshine At Home Gel Colour System $159

 

 

5

 

 

Jiffy Steamer $58.12

 

 

6

 

 

Frends Taylor Rose Gold Headphones $199

 

 

7

 

 

 

Ciate Mother of Pearl Caviar Manicure $27.95

 

 

 

9

 

 

Nikon 1 J1 10MP Digital Camera $399.99

 

 

10

 

 

Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Camel Leopard $198

 

 

11

 

The Little Dictionary of Fashion $19.95

12

Paige Denim Edgemont Ultra Skinny Jeans in Cheer $167.30

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Unreal Stila Sale

Drop everything you are doing you’re doing right now and go onto Stila’s website.  They are having a blowout warehouse sale like I’ve never seen!  I use their foundation (normally $36) and coverup regularly (normally $20), which is on sale for $8 and $5.50!!

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I bought the following four products (was tempted by much, much more) and here are my reviews on these new steals:

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Natural Finish Oil-Free Makeup $8

I like to blend this with a lighter weight foundation, but use it regularly and definitely recommend it for full face coverage.

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Cover-Up Stick $5.50

Hands down my favorite Stila product.  I’ve been using this for years because it covers up unexpectant blemishes flawlessly.

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All Over Glimmer Powder $10

I was in desperate need of powder and am so happy I didn’t shell out $35 for one at Sephora before I found this.  It has more shimmer than most loose powder, but I like the glow it produces.  Definitely worth more than the cost.

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Lip Enamel in Joy Red $7

 

I had never tried Stila’s lip enamel before, but have been meaning to pick up one in ‘Giggles’, an amazing bright pink color (find it here).  When I saw this deep red, I had to get it even though I’m normally skeptical when it comes to a gloss for something I normally want an opaque look for.  I was pleasantly surprised to try it and find the consistency is thicker than you’d imagine and produces amazing, long lasting color.

 

Total: $30.50!!!!  That’s less than I normally would be paying for just the foundation or powder – so exciting!

Check out the sale for yourself by clicking here.

 

 

 

Can’t Live Without Makeup: Daily Essentials

This Summer was filled with back to back commitments.  I’ve managed to fill in every spare second with visits with close friends and trying out new local restaurants.  What I haven’t been great with, however, is ear-marked!  No worries though, long flights and non wi-fi locations have left me with piles of magazines with turned down pages and as we head to Fall, I’ll be preparing posts in advance to be sure you’re getting your daily fill!

All the travel also forced me to minimize my daily essentials to only what I absolutely need, which is always a challenge for me.  I listed below some of my favorite products, and although I definitely like to switch things up, I know I’ll be ok if these items are packed in my purse!

Can’t Live Without Makeup (in order of how I apply):

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream $38

Smashbox Photofinish Luminizing Facial Primer $38

Laura Mercier Moisture Supreme Foundation $43

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit $33

*I like how this one has two colors – not all skin tone is the same and it’s also useful when you’ve gotten some Sun or in my case a faux tan 😉

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation $28

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights $30

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush $25

Stila Eyeshadow Trio $28

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner $15

Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara $19

LORAC Cream Lipstick $19

Tory Burch Dash Large Brigitte Cosmetic Case $75

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!!

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.

 

Sephora Sale!

I’m a sucker for a bargain and Sephora is having quite the sale right now.  They’re featuring tons of great deals on their new re-furbished website, including great giveaways.  I like to shop at places that provide quality product, but also throw in special perks like free swag and discounted goods.  Becoming a V.I.B. (Very Important Beauty Insider) is very much recommended.  I pretty much get extra perks with every order!

Picks all under $25:

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Set of 5 $22

Sephora Collection Hot Hues Baked Eyeshadow Palette $7

Ultraflesh Panthera Black Magic Ultimate Jet Black Eyeliner Collection $20

Super by Dr Nicholas Perricone First Blush Brightening Serum $24

Sephora Collection Hot Hues Neon Lip Balm $3

Sevin Nyne Tanning Mist $17

Dior Diorshow Mascara in Mitzah $14.50

Bright Lipstick

I have a very distinct memory of getting together with friends as a child to trade makeup and praying to God that they would want my old lipsticks in exchange for their shiny glosses.  It was unimaginable to me that anyone would actually prefer a stick over the sparkly, youthful gloss, but as what normally happens when I initially hate something in beauty or fashion, I end up loving it.

These days, I’m using bright lipsticks at whatever chance I get to accent what I’m wearing.  Pigmented colors provide drama and to me, are a great way to accomplish a fresh look while sticking to the majority of your regular beauty routine.  The number one tip for bold colors is to make them your own.  I often times blend different shades together or add some concealer to make the colors a touch more muted.  What also helps is a really good primer.  I recently bought MAC’s Prep + Prime $15, which helps the lipstick stay put and last a lot longer.

Other Primers Worth Trying:

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Lip Service Primer $25, Origins Underwear for Lips $15, Urban Decay Lip Primer Potion $20

Favorite Red’s:

Napoleon Perdis DeVine Goddess Lipstick – Xenia $24, Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain – Fiery $24, Exude Lip Creme – Red #1 $29

Nars Semi Matte Lipstick – Heat Wave $24, E.L.F. Essential Lipstick – Fearless $1, Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick – Fire & Ice $7.99

Favorite Pink’s:

Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick – Candy Pink $8.99, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – Roman Holiday $24, MAC Lipstick – Viva Glam Nicki $14.50

Bare Escentuals 100% Natural Lipcolor – Bevarian Creme $15, E.L.F. Studio Matte Lip Color – Tea Rose $3, Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick – Pout $19

Favorite Purple’s:

   

Estee Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick – Black Cherry $22.50, Clarins ‘Instant Smooth’ Crystal Lip Balm – Crystal Violet $24.50, E.L.F. Mineral Mineral Lipstick – Prime Plum $5

Lipstick Queen – Medieval $20, Beauty Without Cruelty Natural Infusion Moisturizing Lipstick – Blueberry Coulis $22.95, YSL Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre – Violet Singulier $32

Favorite Orange’s:

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Creme Lipstick – Tangerine Tango Cream $18, YSL Rouge Volupte Perle – Shimmering Coral $34, Guerlain Rouge Automatique – Fleur De Feu $35

Armani Beauty Rouge Sheer d’Armani Lipstick – Acid Tangerine $30, Shiseido ‘Perfect Rouge’ Lipstick – Day Lily $25, Sephora Collection True Cream Lip Color – Sunset Rhythm $12