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

OCD for OCC

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) is quickly becoming one of my new favorite beauty brands.  There’s nothing I like more than experimenting with color and combining products to get a personalized look.  This company was formed on these principals.  All their products are also vegan and cruelty-free (not only making it better morally, but also for your skin), so that’s another plus!

I’m in love with their Lip Tar, which everyone is talking about because it lasts longer than any lip product I own and is as good for your lips as it looks on them (contains Vitamin E, Hemp Oil and Peppermint Oil).  You only need a little bit (seriously don’t overdo it and use a lip brush) and the product brings vibrant color.  It goes on shiny and dries more matte.  They encourage you to mix colors to make your own and with the variety of amazing colors they offer, it’s almost impossible not to.

When I saw Lucky Magazine’s Daily Deal (if you have not subscribed to this, do it!), which includes 4 amazing colors plus a lip brush for $29.50 (they’re normally $14 each), I literally clapped.

Other Lip Tar Shades I’m Dying To Try ($14):

Other OCC Products I Can’t Wait To Test:

Loose Color Concentrates $12 (easiest to use on eyes, but is designed to work effectively on cheeks, lips and body too!)

Tinted Moisturizer $25

Nail Polish: $8

Primer $25 (use under foundation and eye color to make makeup last)

Lusting For:

OCC Portable Airbrush Makeup Starter Kit $399

Caviar Manicure

I’m completely obsessed with the new Ciaté Caviar Manicure!

Mother of Pearl Beads and Snow Virgin Polish, Rainbow Beads and Strawberry Milkshake Polish, Black Pearls Beads and Ghetto Fabulous Polish $25/set (comes with everything you need)

Coat your nails with the lacquer, funnel the beads along your fingertips or throughout the full nail and you’re done!  It gives you an instant 3D look.  Love!!!

May Birchbox Review

Oh how I love to come home and find a beauty box waiting for me.  It’s just such a pick me up!  This was my first Birchbox, too, so it’s interesting to see the differences between the programs I’ve tried out so far (TestTube, Beauty Box 5).  I really liked my first shipment and definitely feel it was a $10 well spent.

Top Left: Birchbox

Top Right: Product information card (I like how it comes with information on what you’ve received), 30% off promo code Romeo & Juliet Couture for the month of May, Gossip Girl Trivia Sweepstakes card for a chance to win $500 to spend on birchbox.com

Bottom Left: Birchbox Notecards $10/set of 12 – These are really cute.  The full pack comes with a variety of bright colors and notecards that read “XOXO” on the front, blank inside.  They will definitely come in handy.  My only complaint is that I received 2 envelopes and only 1 card!  I’m assuming it was an error.  Bummer!

Bottom Right: Twistband Skinny Headbands $20/set of 6 – I’m normally not a headband girl because I generally find them annoying.  With my head of hair, if you go out in an accessory, you’re committed to it.  I’ve had some nightmare situations where a headband has been too tight (so much so that I get a pounding headache) or too loose and I’m constantly having to redo my hair.  Rarely has one been just the right fit and I’m pleasantly surprised that this is it!  The skinny headband is very easy to wear, comfortable and casual.  I wouldn’t wear them out, but they’re great for working out and lounging around the house.

Top Left: Color Club Foil Collection Nail Polish in Disco Nap $8/.5 fl oz (received .25 fl oz) – I had never heard of Color Club before, but I have to say – I’m really glad I got this sample!  The gold goes on very smooth and is almost ‘heavy’ looking like a metallic should.  It’s a washed gold, so it comes out a little textured.  I will definitely use this for an accent nail and for making patterns.

Top Right: Arquiste Parfumeur L’Etrog $165/55 ml (received small sample) – I’m VERY particular when it comes to fragrances, so I normally assume I won’t like samples.  I like very light, fresh scents and really hate overpowering smells that don’t seem organic.  This one I actually use from time to time.  The line is designed by an architect named Carlos Huber who says he actually designed them all to be unisex and reminiscent of different historical events/times.  It has a rich, but still airy appeal to it, containing citron, palm leaves, willow branches, myrtle and dates.

Bottom Left: Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 PA++ $34/1.7 fl oz (received .06 fl oz) – I’m late to jump on the BB Cream train, but I’m definitely not getting off.  I love this stuff!  The idea is to maximize your skin results, while minimizing the amount of products you use.  It goes on with a tint, so provides light coverage to wear alone or to layer easily.  It also contains SPF and this particular product hydrates the skin enormously.  I WILL buy this full size.

Bottom Right: BeautyBlender BlenderCleanser $17.95/6 fl oz (received approx .5 fl oz) – You can use this cleanser on any makeup applicator, but it was designed for the BeautyBlender ($19.95), which I have and LOVE.  The blender itself applies foundation SO much better than the cheap versions and it lasts a long time.  I’ve been using the BeautyCleanser every day and for the first time in a while, my blender looks practically brand new.  Love it!

Nailed It

There’s no denying that going to get a manicure comes with a lot more options these days.  Growing up, we really only went as far as french or color and looking back, it seems strange that the evolution of nail innovations has just come around these past few years.  Everywhere I look people are experimenting with nail patterns, colors, textures and honestly – I love it.  It’s such an easy way to test out trends without having to purchase something where you worry about cost and fit.

I also like to switch up my looks a lot, so changing from a bold, bright nail to a more muted pastel is also a great way to enhance your wardrobe and day to day style with very little effort.  There are so many products and shades on the market that make trying out new techniques very easy and I’ve never found myself so excited to scour the market for the hottest colors and prints – in nail polish!!

My Favorite New Nail Colors for Spring:

O.P.I. Care to Danse? $7.35, Love & Beauty by Forever 21 Bubble Gum Pink $2.80, Essie Mint Candy Apple $4.95, Butter Opaque Cantaloupe $14

My Favorite Nail Colors for Summer:

Essie Pretty Edgy $8, Chanel Peridot $26, Nars Cyan Blue $18, Zoya Mitzi $8

Go To Line for Fun Events/Your Birthday:

Deborah LippmanCandy Shop $18, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? $18, I Love the Nightlife $18, Some Enchanted Evening $18

Best Quirky Nail Option:

Orly Matte Couture Vinyl $2 (appears completely flat black)

New Nail Line I Love (It’s A Tie!!):

NCLABel Air Trophy Wife $16, Poolside Party, All Eyes On Me! $16, Pick Me Up At Melrose Place $16, Hollywood Hills Hot Number $16

Models Own (European Line) – Beach Party $6.63, Indian Ocean $6.63, Lemon Sherbert $6.63, Emerald City $6.63

Fun Color Sets:

Models Own Ice Cream Sundae Box Set $26.52, The New Black Rainbow Polish Set $32, The New Black Pink Ombre Box Set $22

Quality Inexpensive Nail Line:

E.L.F.Nude $2, Bubble Gum Pink $2, Smoky Brown $2

Easiest/Coolest DIY Manicure:

NCLA Nail WrapsMoney Green $16/22 strips, H-Fi Stereo $16/22 strips, Sephora by O.P.I. Trend TipsBlack and Gold Glitter $22/16 strips, Ikat $22/16 strips

*These are SO easy to use and last a long time!  I love them!!  Just stick them on your nail and file the edges down to create a really unique look.  Use them on all fingers or just two one while you polish the other 8 for a cool affect.

Favorite Nail Accessory:

NuBar Nail Art Neon Pack $39.95/8 pens, Lazer Nail Art Pen $4.49, Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen $8.74

*Use these to draw designs/graphics on your polished nails.

Upcoming Line I’m Most Excited For:

O.P.I. Minnie Mouse Line coming in June 2012 $8.50 each

*How cute is the glitter polish?!  It has little hearts in it.

Beauty Buff’s Beware…

…because you are about to add an expense to your monthly budget.  I have found something so exciting for Beauty lovers that if even 1 of you do not know about it, this post will be worth it.  I had heard of Beauty Subscriptions, but for whatever (insane) reason, I was frustrated that they are mostly popular/available abroad.  It was hard to find any I was interested in that shipped within the U.S.  The idea behind them is to pay roughly $10-15/month (normally) or $25-40 every three months and have 3-5 samples of a new product sent to your home once a month.

I love getting packages and when I see mail that is not a bill, it’s like a little thrill, so this for me is like a pint sized Christmas I get to experience every 30 days.  Not only is it great because you can try a huge variety of products (some of which you’d probably not try if you had to buy the full size), but also because I’ve found you can actually spend less money on hair/beauty supplies by subscribing to one or two.  So far, I have only tried BeautyBox 5 (most of the good providers either are still working on shipping to the U.S. or have a wait list, so sign up for as many as you are interested in and then pick the ones you want when they are able to accommodate your orders).  Although I am definitely still a fan, I initially didn’t customize my order (they have options to put in your hair/eye color, skin type, etc) to see what their standard shipment was, but I think this was a mistake.  My first shipment was very much geared towards “anyone’s” features and I think I’d prefer something more particular to me, so I’ve since changed my profile.  That being said, it’s still a really fun service and something I am really excited about for $12/month or $30/3 months.

My First BeautyBox 5 Shipment:

Left Picture (top, bottom): side of BeautyBox 5 shipment, box opened up with samples in a bag

Right Picture (top row left to right, bottom row left to right): Freeman Pink Grapefruit Facial Exfoliating Scrub ($3.99/bottle), Pur-Lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer ($55/1.7 oz), La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipe ($9.99/24 wipes), BeautyBox 5 Card, Doctor T’s Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipe ($34/40 swipes), True Natural Advanced Lift and Firm Serum ($69/.5 fl oz)

Overall, I was hoping there would be more makeup samples, as opposed to this one, which was focused more on skin care, but I was surprised that I enjoyed these products more than I thought I would.  Also, now that I’ve customized my profile, I have a feeling the samples will get more diverse and there are certainly other subscribers that focus 100% on makeup/nails, etc.  I did a brief synopsis of each product below, but considering had I bought all these products at a store the total would be $171.89, I can see why people are so crazy about these monthly indulgences!

Freeman Pink Grapefruit Exfoliating Scrub:  Very vibrant fragrance!  I would definitely buy this to use for an early morning to wake me up.  The scrub is hearty enough to make me feel like it is getting rid of dead skin, but not too abrasive, which I like.

Pur-Lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer:  My skin feels really healthy after I apply it and it is extremely light, but you can definitely smell the SPF in it.  It has an SPF 30 (which is a total plus!) but it does appear a bit greasy like I’m putting on straight sun-tan lotion.  I would use this on vacation, but don’t see myself buying it for everyday.

La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipe:  I love makeup remover wipes and use them all the time, but I normally buy the cheap grocery store brand or for a few extra dollars, Neutrogena.  They are ceratinly more effective than the store brand’s and leave my face feeling fresh.  I still have to rub my eye a few times to get all the makeup off, but can accomplish it with one wipe.  They’re pretty much on par with Neutrogena for me.

Doctor T’s Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipe:  I really liked this sample.  I’m fair skinned, so sun protection is important to me (even though it should be important to all of us!).  Personally, I would still use a lotion on my face, but would absolutely buy a pack of these for the Summer to protect my body from the Sun.  They’re easy to use, no fuss and I managed to get through a pool day without a burn while using the swipe.

True Natural Advanced Lift and Firm Serum:  This one was my favorite.  I’m starting to get into preventative tactics to keep my skin (especially my face) firm.  What I liked most about this product is that you can actually feel it working.  I applied a small amount and within 15 seconds I felt like I had put on a light mask.  It’s not too tight where you feel like you can’t make facial expressions, but more-so just a hint of resistance to make you feel it is effective.  It also made my skin really soft after I followed it with moisturizer.

Other Beauty Box Providers I’m Excited About:

BirchBox ($10/month, some brands include Nars, Stila, Kiehls, has a subscriber for Men, currently has a wait-list)

Julep ($19.99/month, formaldehyde free nail polish/products, available right now)

MyGlam ($10/month, some brands include Urban Decay, Tarte, NYX, currently has a wait-list)

GlossyBox ($?/month- not available yet, some brands include O.P.I., Bobbi Brown, Chloe, Shu Uemura, coming soon to the U.S.)

TestTube ($29.95 + shipping/quarter gets you four shipments of bigger products- usually 6 full size products + a magazine, some brands include Korres, Moroccan Oil, Smashbox, available right now)

Glymm ($?/month- not available yet, some brands include Butter, Anastasia, YSL, coming soon to the U.S.)

LooseButton ($12/month, some brands include Dermalogica, Benefit, Laura Mercier, currently has a wait-list)

BeautyArmy ($12/month, some brands include StriVectin, RapidLash, Joico, currently has a wait-list)

A Couple Gift Sets for Men:

HisKit ($12/month, has samples of grooming products, tech stuff, small wardrobe staples like socks, etc, currently has a wait-list)

MaleBox (coming soon, sign up to be notified when they are available to ship)

And One for Dog’s Too:

BarkBox ($25/month, usually comes with a toy, treats, fun product like printed doggie bags and shampoo, available right now)

*Know that there are many more of these (all kinds too) available to the public, but after doing a lot of research, I’ve found these work with the best products.  It is definitely worth keeping your eyes out though.

*Photos taken from websites