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

 

 

1 1

 

 

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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Foundation

Foundation is amazing.  It transforms your look and evens out the most unbalanced skin tones.  HOWEVER, it is perhaps the hardest (at least I think so) process to master.  We’ve all seen people out with a streaky foundation or one that makes the face look flawless, but the neck look white.  There’s just so many places to go wrong.

It’s VERY important to test before you buy foundation and one very important trick is to stock up on a few varying shades to interchange as your skin gets tanner/lighter.  I also find it really helpful to use either a brush or a blender.  My favorites are either the BeautyBlender ($19.95) and the MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush ($34).

   

Use clean hands and start with less then you think you need.  There’s always time to add more, but applying too much will result in starting all over or going out looking like a clown.  I have had the best success by using the MAC brush to dab into the product, then start at my nose, progressing to my cheeks.  Next, I cover my jaw-line, neck and ears (don’t leave out places like ears, neck and hairline – it makes your makeup look cakey and not blended/natural).  Lastly, I cover my forehead.  After my whole face/neck is covered, I use the beauty blender to make sure there aren’t any streaks.

People have different theories on the next step, but I find it crucial to air out my foundation by waving my hands in front of my face for 60 seconds (I literally count out loud and yes, this is somewhat superstitious) before setting it in a loose powder.

My 10 Favorite Foundations:

Benefit “Hello Flawless!” Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation $34

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation $46

Stila Natural Finish Oil-Free Makeup $38

MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Satin Finish SPF 15 Foundation $30

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 $42

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation $42

Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation $62

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation $42

Covergirl Naturelux Foundation $11.98

Maybelline Fit Me! Liquid SPF 18 Foundation $6.99

Eye Color Palettes

I have been completely obsessed with eye palettes, Urban Decay’s Naked Palette in particular, for a while now.  I love having colors that are in the same family and feel better buying something that gives you options as opposed to one color.  The Naked Palette’s color choices are great and nicely pigmented, so it stays put.  They just came out withe a second edition and even though the use makes it far worth the $50, I think I’m going to wait for a special occasion.

Urban Decay Naked Palette $50, Urban Decay Naked Palette2 $50

Other Palettes I have my eye on (no pun intended)…

NYX 5 Color Eye Shadow Palette- I Dream of St Lucia $8.50

Lancome ‘Sensational Effects’ Eye Shadow Palette $49.50

MAC ‘Shop & Drop’ Eyeshadow $38

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette – In the Nude $30 and Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette – In the Dark $30

NARS Duo Eyeshadow – Iridescent Orchid/Iridescent Regal Blue $34

Pop Beauty ‘Pop Your Eye Color’ Palette – Brown Eyes $26

Stila In the Garden Eye Shadow Palette $39

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection $36

Physicians Formula Eye Enhancing Palette – Green Eye Candy $8.76

Sephora + Pantone Universe – Strokes of Nature Palette $55

Tarte Femme Naturale Eye Palette $44

Sephora Collection Smoky Studio Customizable Eye Palette $34

Physicians Formula Baked Collection Wet/Dry Eye Shadow – Baked Sweets $7.03

Sephora Collection Izak Baked Eyeshadow Palette $30

E.L.F. Studio 144-Piece Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette $15

 

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

My Favorite Online Shopping Spots

I do a lot of online shopping.  It’s super convenient and I like to be able to scour different sites to make sure I’m getting the best deals and sort through sales without feeling like I’m digging for gold amongst designer thirsty style enthusiasts in my way.  There are also a lot of free shipping incentives, along with discounted departments every day.  The easiest way to find out about deals and savings?  Sign up for the website’s daily email.  Yes, this can be incredibly annoying and as someone who wakes up each day with a minimum of 50 new emails all saying, “Indulge on _____ today, you deserve it!”, I get it.  That person definitely does not know my life.  If she did, she’d probably say “OK, Taylor, you can probably pass on your fourth pair of strappy sandals, don’t you think?”.  BUT, if you can develop a level of self control, it’s a great way to look out for things you are looking for.

I narrowed down my long list of online shopping sources below to include my very favorites.

Department Stores/Specialty Stores:

Bloomingdales.com

NeimanMarcus.com

Nordstrom.com

Barneys.com

SaksFifthAvenue.com

ShopPlanetBlue.com

Zara.com

Designer Websites:

BCBG.com

DVF.com

MichaelKors.com

AliceandOlivia.com

RebeccaTaylor.com

Online Retailers:

Shopbop.com

RevolveClothing.com

Net-A-Porter.com

ShopTheTrendBoutique.com

Refinery29.com

Asos.com

Topshop.com

IntermixOnline.com

FarFetch.com

Piperlime.com

Couture.Zappos.com

Madewell.com

PinkMascara.com

LesNouvelles.com

Specifically Shoes:

Zappos.com

SteveMadden.com

FryeBoots.com

DolceVita.com

Jewelry:

FavorJewelry.com

RachelRoy.com

Handbags:

ELuxury.lm

Look for Less Spots:

Forever21.com

DorothyPerkins.com

AE.com

FredFlare.com

Sale Sites/Daily Mailers:

Gilt.com (I belong to all of the off price sites, but I find Gilt features the best products for the best prices)

LastCall.com (Neiman Marcus Off Price)

LuckyMag.com (Sign up for their deal of the day)

DailyCandy.com

PopSugar.com

OpenSky.com

LuxeYard.com (You can sign up for their clothing and home goods mailers)

OneKingsLane.com (Home Goods)

Beauty/Hair:

Sephora.com

ElfCosmetics.com (great deals!)

Beauty.com

Drugstore.com

DermStore.com

RickysNYC.com

SkinStore.com
MACCosmetics.com

Home Goods/Office Supplies:

Amazon.com

RussellandHazel.com

KateSpade.com

Williams-Sonoma.com

WestElm.com

CrateandBarrel.com

CB2.com

ZGallerie.com

PotteryBarn.com

RestorationHardware.com

JaysonHome.com

FishsEddy.com

Anthropologie.com

WorldMarket.com

GretelHome.com

GandGWebstore.com (artificial flowers)

LindaandHarriett.com

DesignPublic.com

SeeJaneWork.com

Tech Stuff:

FreshlyPicked.BigCartel.com (love their mouse-pads)

AhaLife.com

AplusRstore.com

ThinkGeek.com

CoolestGadgets.com

Faux Glow

My makeup education is always evolving.  Because of my upbringing, attending an all-girls school for most of my life mentioned here, I didn’t have much experience with a wide variety of looks.  It was basically what I put on Monday-Friday (practically nothing) or for the weekend (still nothing… social lives in the suburbs of Baltimore are hard to come by… or maybe just for me?  Yikes.).  I always loved experimenting, however, and was enamored by the models in fashion magazines.  I remember one night I decided I would master the smoky eye, being as careful as possible trying to imitate how the makeup artist’s did it.  I probably went through an entire bar of face soap erasing my attempts that would more so make me eligible for Clown College rather than Marinello.

Through the years, however, and by being introduced to coed classes in College, I learned how to highlight my features and look appropriate in public.  Even now, I take a Saturday night, once and a while, stay at home to try out new colors and products.  This still sometimes ends in disaster, but the point is to have fun with your looks and not be afraid to add a new step to your daily beauty regime.  One suggestion?  Experiment on a day/night where you won’t be rushing to an event.  I have 100% been the girl who was 30 minutes late because I was scrubbing the season’s hottest color – deep purple (made me look like the time I dressed in Goth for Halloween) – off my lips.  Oops!

One way I’ve found to enhance your look (especially at night) is by using luminizers.  Anything to give your face a healthy glow, while making you appear sun-kissed and full of life.  Some of my favorite products like these include…

Tan Towels $27/10 towelettes: I can’t live without these after a suggestion from my friend Heather, which unlike the other products, I put on before my makeup.  They enhance your skin tone and are really easy to put on evenly – they also come in bigger sizes to cover your face and body.  photo from tantowel.com

Smashbox Photo Finish Luminizing Primer $38: I’ve been a longtime lover of the Photo Finish Collection over at Smashbox and although it instructs to put on under foundation, I love the look I get when I dab it over my cheeks and forehead after I’ve finished my makeup.  It gives you an even and subtle golden pop.  photo taken from smashbox.com

Tarte Ten Cheek Stain $19:  This was the first product I experimented with that has more uses than a blush, but in the pink family, instead of golds and browns.  I love how it gives you a good amount of color, without being overwhelming.  I spread this on my cheeks (sometimes my lips too!) and rub it in to give a shimmery, warm highlight. photo taken from tartecosmetics.com

Curious by Britney Spears Perfumed Shimmer Stick $7.49:  First of all, wipe that look off your face.  B. Spears is amazing and this product gives you skin like the famous scene in Toxic.  See picture below… enough said.  photo of product taken from amazon.com, photo of Britney taken from broadway.com

MAC Strobe Cream $15:  The Strobe Cream is one I’m more inclined to wear in the day, because it goes on a little brighter than most of these, but it’s still a great buy.  It really improves the look of your skin and balances out uneven skin tones.  photo taken from maccosmetics.com

Smashbox Baked Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starburst $30: This is actually called a blush, but to me, it’s an all-over essential.  I use a powder brush and dab it on my face and neckline for a noticeably sun-kissed glow.  photo taken from smashbox.com

*I used to put as much bronzer/luminizers all over my face to try to get a golden look, but have learned to use these only on my cheeks and T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and then use a lighter, pressed powder like this one above the cheeks and along the jawline to create an illusion that your skin is more vibrant and you even appear skinnier!

Other Glow Enhancing Products I’m dying to try:

all photos below taken from Sephora.com

Nars The Multiple Stick $39

Benefit High Beam $26

Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer $28

Dior Diorskin Shimmer Star $44

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum $32

Benefit Watt’s Up! Illuminizer $30

Edward Bess All Over Seduction Cream $38

Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener $19

Givenchy Le Prisme Blush Bucolique $56

Guerlain Terracotta Blush Sun Shimmer Highlighter $41

Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer $22

Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Power Duo $29


Lorac Oil-Free Luminizer $28

Guerlain By Emilio Pucci Illuminating Powder $59

Givenchy Mister Radiant $37.50