Matt and I are back in Orlando visiting his sister and her family for Easter. Want to see what makeup goodies I brought?
Straight to you from the hotel bathroom! I tried to bring just the essentials for a full face while keeping in mind my days will consist of a good amount of pool and beach time.
For foundation, I brought my ByTerry Hyaluronic Primer and Hydra Powder. I’ve been living these so much. And of course my Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in 09 and 02. They’re so tiny it didn’t feel like too much trouble to bring both.
For eyes, my Laura Mercier eyeshadow palette with my holy grail cake tightline eyeliner. I also brought the Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For Mascara and Eyeliner, Hourglass brow pencil, NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Primer and Anastasia clear brow gel. My Shiseido lash curler is awkward to pack, and also potentially lost, so this slim one from a Julep Maven box is filling in and doing a fine job.
Cheeks are done with my favorite Chanel Ombré Contraste in Notorious, the best contour shade ever and my NARS Joie De Vivre palette which has every blush I could need along with albatross highlighter and Laguna bronzer.
I threw my favorite brushes in a Birchbox cosmetics bag. Conspicuously missing in this post? Lips! I figured I could probably make do with the random glosses, balms, stains, and lipsticks that have accumulated in the bottom of my purse, so I didn’t bother packing extras.
Here’s everything packed up. It seems like a lot but it all fits in my cosmetics bag. This one is from a Beauty.com gift with purchase. It’s the perfect size and I love that it has separate compartments!
What are your travel makeup essentials?
So before it gets too far into March, here’s a rundown of the products I’ve been loving in February. It was actually quite a month as I’ve found a lot of products that have reached “Holy Grail” status. I found a staple foundation, eyeliner, and lip gloss, and got hooked on the at-home gel manicure.
First, the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. I literally cannot rave about this product enough. You only need a tiny bit since it’s super pigmented but it moves really easily, so it blends incredibly well. The finish is flawless and more satin than matte or dewy. It basically just looks like really healthy skin, and comes in 15 shades from super fair to really dark, and it’s easy to blend two shades together to get your perfect match (I blend SX02 which is much too fair and SX09 which is a bit too dark, but both have the right pink undertone). I don’t need concealer at all while using this, so my whole collection of foundations and concealers has basically sat untouched since the middle of January. I’ve also hardy made a dent in the $45 pot, so I’m thinking it will last me forever. Amazing!
Next, another product I don’t think I’ll be able to live with out now that I’ve discovered it. The Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner and Activator Fluid. I gave up on eyeliner a while ago because I can never get it to look clean and even and nice. It always is sloppy and uneven and generally just a mess. So I quit trying and instead started to tightline my eyes. It’s SO much easier and the results are way nicer. I put a tiny drop of the activator (like super powered fast drying water) into the pan, work it in with an angled liner brush until it’s the right consistency, wipe the brush on a tissue to get the excess off, then stamp it into my upper water line. I’d definitely repurchase the eyeliner, but maybe not the Activator. I’ll probably just refill the dropper bottle with water.
NARS Easy Lover Lipgloss is a sheer bright pink. It adds a perfect amount of glossy shine over any shade of lipstick and even bare lips. A favorite recent combination has been to layer it over MAC Honeylove, a nude matte lipstick. I haven’t really been into gloss recently. It always feels really sticky and messy and like it’s going to travel all over my face, but this one has encouraged me to try out glosses again!
This Chanel Ombre Contraste Powder in Notorious is limited edition, unfortunately, and I probably should have bought two because I love it so much. It’s a cool, grey, but very sheer powder that’s PERFECT for contouring. Especially in the winter when looking bronzed is a little out of place. I use it right underneath my cheekbones in kind of an elongated triangle shape to slim my face and created higher cheekbones. It’s become a staple and something I reach for everyday. Here’s a list of dupes, but I really don’t think any of them come particularly close.
Finally, the Gel Haute Polish at home gel manicure system has basically changed my life. I’m on my second at home gel mani, and both of them have been super long lasting (perfect nails after over a week), shiny and relatively quick. Not to mention much cheaper than going to a salon. Removing the polish can be kind of annoying, so if you like to change your nail color often this might not be for you, but I’m really enjoying it. I think I’ll write a full post on this sometime in the coming weeks.
So that’s the run down of my favorite products from February, which also happen to be some of my favorite products of all time. How did that happen? I don’t know!
Last week I filmed my everyday makeup look for Birchbox. It was both super fun and super terrifying knowing that I’d be on the internet with no make up on and exposed to the comments of anonymous Birchbox Fans. Thankfully the video came out great (in my opinion) and people seem to like it! Check out my signature makeup look:
So obviously, I love lipstick. It’s one of my favorite ways to add a pop of color to an outfit, or seem brighter and more put together instantly. I have quite a collection of bright shades, some of which are more expensive than others. I’m always interested to see how the drug store versions of my favorite colors compare. I recently picked up a few of the new Maybelline Vivid lipcolors, and decided to do a casual swatch comparison to see how they measure up.
The formula on the Vivids is… okay. It’s not super pigmented, and they tend to take a lot more building up and layering to gain the same intensity as the others. Matt even commented that they’re more “liquidy”, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A little strange to see such a sheer formula on a product that’s advertised as Vivid, maybe? The finish is definitely glossy, which made comparing it to my favorite matte shades a little tough, but since I have a bunch more matte finish lip products than glossy, these help round out my collection nicely. I starred the ones that I thought were the most similar in shade and finish.
All in all, these are nice, bright, comfortable to wear, and an excellent way to jump into brighter lip colors.
A Valentine’s Day hangover is literally just a weeks worth of stomach aches. I think between the chocolates and cupcakes in the office, a fancy gourmet dinner at Bar Boulud, and a chocolate rose from Matt, I’m going to need my stomach pumped and a trip to the dentist. Okay, maybe not the stomach pumping but probably still the dentist.
…definitely the dentist.
At least I’ll have these to look at all weekend while I cringe at the mention of food and curse my sweet-tooth.
And here’s the card I made for Matt (we may or may not have had a ‘make your own valentine’ station at work)!
I don’t think I’ve made a handmade valentine since the 4th grade…
Last night I went to a Birchbox event at Kiehl’s on the Upper East Side. Kiehl’s is literally on my way home from work, and the event was great! There were skin consultations, hand massages, and juices from Blue Print Cleanse… and 20% off all Kiehl’s products!
So of course I had to stock up on things I love and try out something new!
The first thing I grabbed was the Magic Elixir for all hair and scalp types. This has rosemary and avocado in it, so aside from sounding delicious, seems great for hair. After color treating my hair for the first time this winter, along with regular winter dryness and static, I think my hair can use some extra love. I’m not really a fan of hair masks because I get bored waiting for them to soak in while I’m in the shower and we don’t currently have a tub to soak in, so an oil that I can apply to my hair and scalp and let sit while I do other things (like blogging) before showering and shampooing is ideal. Also I love that this has a little nozzle for easy application!
I also picked up another bar of the “Ultimate Man” body scrub soap. Matt got this in one of his first Birchbox Man’s and it’s been one of the things he’s consistently raved about it (secret confession: sometimes I borrow it in the shower too!). It’s scrubby and energizing and citrus-y and awesome. A staple!
Four of the girls from the Birchbox Tech team attended the event together and I think we all picked up this next item (and we’re all of different ages/skin types/concerns etc!) It’s the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and it gets rave reviews from all over. It’s a blend of essential oils and distilled botanicals that restores the appearance of skin while you sleep. You can use a few drops of it alone or with a moisturizer on top. It has lavendar and primrose oil that sound lovely to use right before bed as well.
The last product I bought was the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. It smells a little medicinal but absorbs really quickly and really helps soften hands. I actually tried this on, walked away from it, then went back and picked it up when I realized how soft my hands were! I’m about to run out of my beloved Nuxe hand lotion that I keep at work (typing all day plus winter weather plus harsh industrial office bathroom soap take a toll on your hands) so I figured this would be a suitable replacement.
I also got a special Birchbox full of Kiehl’s samples when leaving the event. Inside were deluxe samples of the Amino Acid Shampoo and Conditioner, Creme de Corps Lotion, and Ultra Facial Cream. These are great staple products and perfectly sized for travel! Also when I mentioned I was starting out with an anti-aging routine at checkout, the sales clerk hooked me up with a few packets as well: the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (pairs really well with the Midnight Recovery Concentrate apparently!) and the Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream.
I can’t wait to try out my new goodies! Have you tried anything Kiehl’s? Sorry for the skin care overload lately!
So I just turned 24 earlier this month. While not considered “old” by a longshot, I’ve started thinking more about skincare and what I can do to keep my face looking as youthful as it does now. I’ve been wearing eye cream for years, since I read in a magazine (probably Seventeen or Glamour) back in high school that “if you’re old enough to drive, you’re old enough to wear eye cream”. I never really cared about wrinkles or loss of elasticity or anything else that happens to your face as you get older though, probably because I was more focused on clearing up pimples and finding the most effective mascara.
So now that I’ve officially hit my mid-twenties (yikes), it seemed like a good idea to start paying attention, so by the time I hit my mid-thirties and eventually mid-40s and 50s, I’ll be all set. Recently at Sephora, the 500 point Beauty Insider gift was a Peter Thomas Roth anti-aging trio. I’ve been using it for a while, and while I can’t say anything on it’s anti-aging properties quite yet, I definitely love the way it makes my skin feel soft and smooth without being harsh or overly aggressive.
The set includes 2 fl. oz. of Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel ($35/8 oz.). I normally don’t go for gel cleansers since I find creams and balms more nourishing and foamy and effective, but this foams up nicely and has glycolic and salicylic acids, which fight the odd blemish as well as wrinkles. I’ve hardly made a dent in this so far so I’m thinking it will last quite a while.
Also included is .24 fl oz. of Laser-Free Resurfacer ($75/1 oz.). When I first dispensed this into my hand, I was surprised at the red color (it’s on my hand in the picture below)! I guess it’s from the 33.5% dragon’s blood complex, which apparently comes from a tree in the rainforest and not, in fact, a dragon. Basically though, this serum fights the effects of UV rays and environmental toxins on your skin. I don’t have too much sun damage, but I imagine if you have a lot of sun spots, this might help. I do notice that it reduces acne scars and helps old pimples heal faster.
Finally, .5 oz. of Laser-Free Regenerator Moisturizing Gel-Cream ($68/1 oz.). This also has a funny red color, but the most amazing texture. It’s like a whipped gel? Almost like a silicone based primer, except it doesn’t sit on skin. It absorbs really quickly and doesn’t tint your skin red, and it’s my favorite part of this set, mostly because I think it’s super effective for my skin and I haven’t tried anything like it. It’s supposed to replenish collagen and elastin to create a more even skin tone and texture and boosting radiance. I don’t know about the collagen and elastin, but I definitely have a smoother texture.
All of these products are actually quite expensive, but they’re priced along the lines of other Peter Thomas Roth products. I think the only one I’d actually be interested in purchasing full size would be the moisturizer. It’s the most unique and effective, and it has the best reviews on Sephora of the three! We’ll see how I feel when I run out though.
Is 24 too young to think about anti-aging? I’m more about wrinkle prevention rather than treatment, which is why I wear a daily sunscreen under my makeup!
I turned 24 on Sunday! 24 is kind of a lame birthday. You’re not in school anymore, you can already drink legally, and you still can’t rent a car without astronomical fees for another year. But regardless, I had a great time ringing in my 25th year.
We met my mom for an early dinner at Soccarat, a paella bar in Chelsea. My dad and brother were out in California, so they missed the celebration. The restaurant was small and dimly lit, which I don’t usually like, and had communal seating, meaning that if it had been more crowded, they would have seated another party at our table. All of these things are fairly common in New York City restaurants and I’m not particularly fond of any of them, since I like being able to see well enough to read the menu, get up to use the restroom without knocking into anything, and avoid sitting at a table strangers, but on this particular occasion I wasn’t too bothered. Aside from that though, the food was amazing.
We split three tapas plates: a roasted zucchini with goat cheese, mini eggplants, and sauteed mushrooms with truffle oil, and a two person pan of their seafood paella. I think this was just the right amount of food for three relatively hungry people. We also brought our own bottle of champagne, which they uncorked for a $25 fee, typical of NYC restaurants again, so I can’t comment on the wine list, but we’re still raving about the food two days later. We opted for mostly vegetarian tapas to keep the meal a little lighter and they were all delicious. The eggplant was served with some sort of citrus fruit (I said it was dark!) that really complemented the flavor well, and I”m a total sucker for anything with truffle oil. The paella was perfect. Just the right balance between rice and everything else. Ours had white fish, squid, shrimp, mussels, little clams, and I think there may have been more. It was just the right temperature, an amazing blend between crispy rice and delicate fish, and not overly seasoned.
Soccarat is considered to be fairly pricey, and Matt and I have a lot of qualms about eating in restaurants where the food doesn’t warrant the price tag, or we could make the same thing at home for way less money (and sometimes better service), but this is one of the places where I think it’s worth it. I would be hard pressed to cook anything of that caliber in my tiny apartment kitchen, and while it will be an expensive meal ($30-35 without drinks, tax, or tip) sometimes a special occasion justifies a splurge!
Back in 2012 (!), Matt and I signed up for MoviePass. Essentially, you pay $35/month to see unlimited movies in theaters. There are a few restrictions, like you can only see each movie once and only one movie a day, but if you live in a city like NYC and see 3-4 movies a month you’ll get your money’s worth. Since we’ve already got the first part down, all we had to do was find a way to make sure we were seeing at least one movie a week!
Enter: Wednesday night. Instead of going home after work, Matt and I pick a theater, grab a relatively cheap and moderately healthy dinner near-by and see a movie! I love spending time together outside of our apartment. And now that we don’t work in the same office, we see a lot less of each other so it’s nice to catch up and be out in the city. We’re also getting quite a tour of the different NYC movie theaters.
So far with MoviePass we’ve seen Lincoln, The Hobbit, Les Miserables, and Django Unchained. We’ve been lucky that there have been a lot of releases worth seeing in theaters lately, but we also decided that if there’s nothing coming out of Hollywood that interests us during a particular week, we’ll take our chances seeing what’s playing at the Angelika theater in Soho, which plays a lot of independent and foreign films (it was showing The Artist well before it became popular here in the US)!
So how does MoviePass work? After signing up, you get a MoviePass credit card in the mail and download their free app. When you want to see a movie, you check in a the theater (within 100 yards), which preloads the credit card, then buy your tickets. I think it works anywhere they have self service kiosks, but we’ve been able to use it all over the city. Matt has a little trouble with checking in using his Android phone since the app it just for iPhone and he has to use the mobile website, but other than that it’s a great experience.
Have you seen anything in theaters we should consider for next week? Would you sign up for something like this? It’s not worth it unless you really like seeing movies in theaters, and even then, if a movie ticket doesn’t cost $14-15 dollars where you live like it does here you’d have to see quite a few to add up to $35. We love it though! And come next years Oscars we’ll have seen every nominee!
Matt: I wrote a memorize function in JS today
Matt: Yeah, if hash is in cache return cache hash!
This is what happens when programmers date.