December 30, 2016

My December Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

It's the end of the month (and year!) so time to wrap up my favorite and not so favorite beauty products. The weather was up and down with 60 degree weather, rain, and 10 degree blistering cold. Here's what I loved and not so much this month:

December 22, 2016

It's That Time of Year Again...

Holiday travel! Yippee... I'm head to southern California to spend the holidays with my family. Sure to be a crazy time so if you're looking for some entertainment follow me on Snapchat. In case you're looking for last minute gift ideas:

December 17, 2016

My December Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was Shine On. "Hosting get-togethers, dressing up for shindigs, and searching for gifts this month? We're here to help you master the holidays and shine your very brightest all month long. This box is filled with brilliant, festive products - plus treats for on-the-go touch ups and easy gifting." I really liked this box as there was a nice mix of makeup to skincare products plus a few festive add-ons. Here's what I received:

December 12, 2016

My December Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven box is This Way to the Soirée. "The season of celebrations is in full swing, sparked with magic and merriment all around. This was the ultimate inspiration for our December nail collection. Top it off with new party-ready shades of our best-selling It’s Whipped Matte Lip Mousse, and you’re ready to dazzle your way through the holidays." I selected the Holly Jolly box. Let's see what was inside:

December 9, 2016

Gift Guide Week: The Fashionista

Holiday Gift Guide: The Trendsetter
The fashionista can prove the most difficult for some with their particular tastes. My family can relate! So wrapping up the week with ideas for the most fabulous on your list:

1. Gap Velvet Tank Top $54 - Velvet is a big trend and a great option for the holidays. Here are some other suggestions.

2. Kendra Scott 'Tessa' Stone Stud Earrings (on sale $52) - If I had pierced ears, I'd be all about these earrings.

3. Kate Spade Stripe Slim Battery Bank $60 - We're all addicted to our phone and need a backup battery supply so why not a chic one? This Kate Spade is the ultimate accessory.

4. "Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg" $12 - Every lady should read. Why not learn from one of the original feminists of our time? The Notorious RBG!

5. 'Girl Boss' New York Porcelain Mug $12 - Every #GirlBoss needs a mug that represents her.

December 8, 2016

Gift Guide Week: Stocking Stuffers Under $20

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers
These gifts can be stocking stuffers or for your "Secret Santa" gifts for co-workers. All items are under $25!

1. Julep Nail Polish Duo (on sale $9.99) - These cute duo packs come in a variety of shades.

2. NEST Holiday Ornament Scented Candle $16 - Love me a NEST candle and would love to have one of these in my stocking.

3. BAR SOAP BROOKLYN Bath Tea Bag & Bar Soap Set $16 - An elegant bar of artisanal soap hand blended in the USA. Steep yourself in relaxation with a rejuvenating rose, hibiscus and calendula bath tea sachet designed to help you soak all your cares away.

4. L’Occitane Shea Butter Ornament $14 - A limited-edition set of three deliciously scented shea butter favorites in a festive holiday ornament.

5. Gift cards! Can't go wrong.

December 7, 2016

Gift Guide Week: The Boys Club

Holiday Gift Guide: Men
We can't forget the boys! Dad, brother, or new beau. These items are sure to bring delight to the guy on your shopping list.

1. Korres Blue Sage Lim Fir Wood Eau de Toilette & Aftershave Set $38.50 - A man should invest in his skincare routine especially around shaving. "Made with ginseng extract and aloe, the moisturizing balm helps soothe post-shave skin as aromatic notes of sage, lime and wood envelop your senses."

2. Bose® SoundLink® Color Bluetooth® Speaker II $129.00 - "A portable speaker delivers clear, full-range sound you might not expect from a compact speaker. It's water-resistant, durable and simple to use—with voice prompts that talk you through Bluetooth pairing." Every guy loves his gadgets!

3. Helly Hansen Beanie $30 - The men that I know invest in ONE item and wear it down rather than us women who rotate accessories every season. Helly Hansen is a heavy duty brand that specializes in outdoor activities so this beanie is sure to last.

4. Movado Bold Watch $325 - Watches are making a comeback and are one of the few accessories a man should invest in. This Movado watch is a sleek, all black style.

5. And every man I know needs boxers! Ensure you find out which brand/style they prefer as I found they are pretty particular.

December 6, 2016

Gift Guide Week: Moms on the Go

Holiday Gift Guide: Moms on the Go
Moms do so much and need no fuss items that will make their lives more simple. They also need to take the time to indulge themselves. Here are some gift ideas this year:

1. Moroccanoil Great Hair Day Collection $49 - "The limited-edition Moroccanoil® Great Hair Day Set features Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner that cleanse and detangle while helping to repair and strengthen hair." Indulge the mom in your life with a Moroccanoil set. I gave my mom some of their products last year and she was a huge fan.

2. Monogram Cheese Board & Utensils $61.00 - For the hostess in your life, a classy serving dish is always a great go-to.

3. Platypus 1ml Meta Bottle + Microfilter $49.95 - "A water bottle that adapts with you—whether it's the flexible, space-saving and packable design, the ease of disassembly for full cleaning, or the ability to add a backcountry-ready filter, the Meta Bottle is a water bottle that adapts to meet your unique everyday hydration needs from the city to the trail."

4. Kennebunk Home 'Bliss' Plush Throw $39 - Every home needs a nice throw whether you're curling up by the fireplace or are tying a room together. 

5. A cookbook such as "Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook". My mom loves Ina Garten!

And for more ideas - check out the Gift Guide my sister (buys mom of 3) from My Constant Chaos assembled!

December 5, 2016

Gift Guide Week: Beauty Lover

Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty Lover
Holiday shopping is in full swing so it's time for my annual Gift Guide Week! I'll be sharing gift ideas for every one on your list (and maybe some for yourself). From the beauty lover, to the busy mom, to your coworkers. Let's start off with the beauty fan in your life. Here are my recommendations:

1. Julep Eye & Blush Palette Duo $49 ($24.99 special!) - Great palettes that feature neutral eye shadows and blushes. "Equinox palette – a soft nod to spring pinks and autumnal bronzes with warm subtle shimmers. Solstice palette – a range of smoky slate greys, deep browns, and midwinter mauves. Perfect for illuminating your evening with these cool, sparkling shades."

2. PÜR Eye Polish $26 - "This eye primer and top coat pigment creates a crease-proof eye shadow base with a luminous metallic sheen. The eye-opening formula glides on with pro precision and builds with exceptional ease." This eye polishes are essentially idiot-proof (myself included!). Whether they're expert shadow applicators they can use it as a base coat or if they're into a simple makeup routine they can use it as a one swipe. Available in 7 neutral shades.

3. TATCHA™ Deep Hydration Lifting Mask $25 - I'm a huge fan of TATCHA beauty products. They're not only great quality products but the packaging is also gorgeous. You can't go wrong with any of their products and they're gentle enough for sensitive skin. Although I highly recommend their face masks. Really is a spa at-home experience.

4. Rituals Fragrance Sticks $21.50 - Rituals is another great store to visit for everyone on your gift list. Perfume definitely falls under beauty so don't forget to pick some fragrance for the lady on your list. My coworker got this one for her mom.

5. Elizabeth Arden Always Red Femme Holiday Gift Set $52 - A $90 value featuring the ALWAYS RED FEMME Eau de Toilette Spray (1.7 fl oz) & Body Lotion (3.3 fl oz) it is sure to please the perfume lover on your list. "Crafted for the trendsetter who is always on the move and sets the pace of the city. Through her black silhouette with accents of leather and lace, this city girl is unabashedly feminine and boldly takes an all-or-nothing approach to life." I am personally a user of this perfume and get tons of compliments!

6. And for a little stocking stuffer treat - KORRES Greece, Joy & Love Ornament Trio $19.95. "These three travel-sized body butters are all enriched with shea butter and quince extract to soften and rejuvenate the skin, as well as sunflower, almond, and avocado oils to improve elasticity and smoothness." Who doesn't need a travel lotion during this time of year? And available in three scents that are sure to please - Basil Lemon, Japanese Rose, and Guava.

Disclosure: This post features some products I received for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 28, 2016

My November Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

This month the winter weather kicked in with our first snowfall in the city. My skin of course freaked out so had to quickly try a bunch of products to find a resolution. Also did a lot of Sephora shopping to ease my blues. Here's what I loved and didn't love so much this month:

November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I'm headed down to New Jersey to spend Thanksgiving with my aunt Barb and cousins who are on the East Coast. It will be an especially bittersweet family gathering as we suffered the loss of my Aunt Mary Jane earlier this month. It will be nice to be (most of us) together like MJ would have wanted. It's still sinking in for me that she will not be with us at these functions. Her presence will be missed. She always went above and beyond to bring me gifts (mostly in the form of food) and being so appreciative to have her niece visit from the big city. 

November 21, 2016

Organic Tampon Subscription Box Review + Discount

Yep! We're talking tampons folks so settle in! Cora is the organic tampon company on a mission to modernize period management designed the subscription box to bring women across the country a healthy organic tampon with design-led accessories to fit her lifestyle. In addition, every box of Cora purchased helps provide menstrual products to a girl in need in a developing country. How awesome that? I know there can be some harsh chemicals in women's feminine products and all about paying it forward to other ladies so was intrigued to try this out. Here's what I received:

November 16, 2016

My November Birchbox

This month's Birchbox was The Finishing Touch. "This month is all about those extra, just-because details that make all the difference." As the year ends, I can get behind that. Here's what I received:

November 14, 2016

#ManiMonday: Sally Hansen Color Therapy

Sally Hansen recently launched their latest nail polish breakthrough Color Therapy. "The first Sally Hansen nail polish that uniquely blends saturated color and nourishing argan oil in 38 stunning shades created in partnership with Global Color Ambassador, Madeline Poole. Sally Hansen’s Color Therapy nail polish contains a patented micro-delivery system that delivers an argan oil-enriched formula, resulting in intensive nourishment and instant moisture for healthier-looking nails. The Color Therapy nail polish needs no base coat so the oil complex can directly contact the bare nail." The polishes retails for $8.99 at your local drugstore.

November 8, 2016

My November Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven box was Light & Shadow. "This November, fall into our shimmery, harvest-inspired collection. Earthy and glittery nail colors feel so festive for the season. Then, take the deep, cool look to another level with our brand-new Eyeshadow 101 shades. With jewel-toned shades that shimmer and play, you’re all set to gather with family and friends." I selected the beauty box for blue eyes. Here's what I received:

October 31, 2016

My October Beauty Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

The colder temps set in this month. As I swapped out my wardrobe for fall/winter, I also stepped up my beauty routine. While I relied on some trusty, old favorites I was also able to introduce some new products into the mix. Here's what I loved (and not so much):

October 24, 2016

6 All-Natural Deodorants I Tried

Two tasks I'm currently struggling with are - identifying a great under eye cream and finding a vegan friendly deodorant that ACTUALLY works. I've been testing and testing (much to the delight of my coworkers I'm sure). After trying quite a few I thought I'd round up my report. Most were mixed but did spot two that were potential front runners:

October 14, 2016

My October Birchbox

This month's Birchbox was all about taking a break. "Think: masking while movie-marathoning, or using a night cream before getting a full night's rest. No matter how you love to unwind, we're bringing you rejuvenating products to make the of your you-time." Here's what I received:

October 9, 2016

Trend I'm Currently Craving: Heeled Boots

Daria Inspired Boots Fall Trend
With '90s in full swing for this fall, I've been craving some high-heeled combat looking boots or "Daria" boots. Daria really looked like she wore Dr. Martens but I wanted heeled versions but most were WAY too high.

October 5, 2016

My October Julep Maven Box

Apparently this month's Julep Maven collection was "Dark & Stormy Nights." Full disclosure: I'm a little bitter about this month's box as I didn't receive an email informing the collection was available and therefore was not able to curate my box. Instead Julep just sent me one. A bit shady in my opinion as I enjoy customizing my box and selecting add-ons. I think I got the Modern Beauty Box since I got mostly beauty products. Let's see what's inside:

October 2, 2016

TV Review: Luke Cage

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Ever since I watched Netflix's Jessica Jones, I've been anticipating the Luke Cage series. Mike Colter (aka Luke Cage) was meant to play this role and as the cast was announced I knew it was going to be amazing. My fellow Sons of Anarchy love, Theo Rossi, would be playing Shades. Then it was released the huge influence hip hop would have I was bubbling with joy! Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker named every episode after a Gang Starr song as well as infusing classic joints during pivotal moments such as Wu Tang's "Bring da Ruckus."

September 30, 2016

My September Beauty Product Favorites

While I did everything I could get into the fall spirit the weather would not let it happen! It was very humid with lots of thunderstorms. I'm beginning to transition to more heavy duty products as the cold front moves in these last few days of the month. Another month without any products to full call out for failing me so let's dive right in to the good:

September 27, 2016

Quick Beauty Reviews: Erin's Faces & Mario Badescu

Quick Sample Beauty Reviews: Erin's Faces & Mario Badescu
I've been hoarding samples from two brands so thought I'd share quick reviews of them in case you were also interested in trying in any of these products and because I've been slacking on blogging.

For my birthday I treated myself to a facial at Mario Badescu (yes that long ago!). They kindly sent me home with a bag full of beauty samples. I've been slowly working through the samples so here are my thoughts:

September 25, 2016

Theatre Review: Oh, Hello

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I first fell in love with George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon on Nick Kroll's Comedy Central sketch show "Kroll Show" where they hilariously pranked local New Yorkers and big time celebs with Too Much Tuna! They are best friends who have been living together on the Upper West Side for 40 years. They love the theatre and now they're on the biggest stage - Broadway. Oh, Hello is their love letter to not only to the city but also live theater.

September 20, 2016

My September Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was Fresh Fun. "Now that fall is around the corner, we're jumping into multitasking mode - and celebrating the versatile, time-saving products that help us juggle everything on our to-do lists. 'Cause at the end of the day, beauty should make our lives easier (and add a dash of fun)." Here's what I received:

September 18, 2016

Leanne Marshall Spring 2017 Runway Show

Leanne Marshall is Season 5's Project Runway winner who has a robust bridal business and has been building her Ready-to-Wear line for the last few seasons dressing celebrities on the red carpet. For Spring 2017, the designer seems to have hit her stride this season with a mix of wearable and editorial pieces coming down the runway. She also included an aspect of "See Now, Shop Now" with a few pieces featured on the runway were ready for purchase on her exclusive site.

Katie Gallagher Spring 2017 Presentation

Last week Katie Gallagher showcased her Spring/Summer 2017 collection titled "Eclipse." It was her third all black collection which is an interesting route for Spring since you typically see bright, floral colors. It had a very "Black Swan" vibe to me with a lot of ballet inspired clothing choices from the shoes to the bodysuits.

September 12, 2016

Weekend Recap: Two Worlds I Don't Know

This weekend I watched two things that centered around worlds I have no idea about. But that is the beauty of art, exposing you to things you may not understand and opening your eyes. Atlanta on FX stars the very talented Donald Glover.

September 5, 2016

My August Beauty Product Favorites

Finally getting around to wrapping up my favorite August beauty product favorites. My birthday was this month so I got a few beauty presents as I unwrapped on Snapchat. August had some of the hottest days all summer so it was all about controlling the oiliness. Only favorites this month!

September 4, 2016

Weekend Recap: Strange Things

I was looking forward to a long weekend of unwinding and relaxing. I caught up on the new Netflix craze, Stranger Things. Amazing performances especially from "Eleven" aka Milly Bobby Brown. Glad it got renewed for Season 2 but I'm ready for it! I wish it was a little less scary so my nephews could watch it because it has the vibes of many coming of age '80s movies. It is not what I expected. It had a lot of weird layers but was very enjoyable.

August 16, 2016

My August Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was Cool Down. "It's time to eke out every last bit of summer - and for that you'll need product that don't slow you down. Since there's nothing like uncooperative hair to suck up time and energy, we're doing our part to help." Here's what I received:

August 11, 2016

My August Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven box theme was Endless Summer. "This month, we're keeping summer vibes strong by turning up the sparkle and the saturation with brand new holographic nail colors. With such a sunny lineup, who could blame us if we never want the summer to end?" I selected the Beach Essentials upgraded box because I didn't feel a lip gloss + sunscreen was valuable enough. Spoiler alert: Not a very exciting both this month as the sunscreen is backordered:

August 9, 2016

Currently Craving: Unfinished Hems

Currently Craving: Unfinished Hems
WM3 Crop Fringe Stella $295 || Blanknyc Distressed Crop Jeans via Nordstrom (sale $57.90) || Vigoss Destroyed Crop Skinny Jeans via Nordstrom $68 || Dark Wash Frayed Hem Distressed Skinny Jeans via Wet Seal $39.95

Denim has been around so long that it's hard to think how the fashion world will try to make them trendy each season.

August 7, 2016

Book Review: Lindy West's "Shrill"

I was first introduced to Lindy West when she was a guest host on one of my favorite podcasts, Citizen Radio. I was so struck how confident and sharp-witted she was. I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. I have been a fan ever since so when I found out she wrote a book I knew I had to pick it up. The aptly named "Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman."

August 1, 2016

My July Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

July Beauty Product Favorites
July was a mixed bag of products - lots of hits and misses. My skin has been badly breaking out with the obscene amount of sweat I've been producing in this horrendously humid weather so I've been trying lots to detoxifying my skin. Let's start with the good:

July 28, 2016

Gone to Cali

This evening I'll be flying to southern California for the weekend to celebrate some birthdays - Liam's 2nd, Jacob's 8th and mine.

July 22, 2016

Another Off-the-Shoulder...

Like everyone I fell in love with the off-the-shoulder trend. As Style of Sam showcased in her wonderful series "Chic At Every Age" this trend does work for all ages and body types. After some trouble hunting down the perfect top, I found one at Neiman Marcus's Last Call.

July 20, 2016

Battle of the Micellar Waters: Bioderma & e.l.f.

The micellar water craze has hit big in the beauty blogging world. When I was in Paris I decided to pick up one of the originals - Bioderma. Did you know one bottle of Sensibio H2O sold around the world every 5 seconds? Damn! I was enjoying it but didn't know if it was worth the big bucks on repurchasing. Then e.l.f. released their Micellar Cleansing Water for $7 so I knew I had to compare to see if I could go down in price without losing quality.

July 19, 2016

My July Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was Let's Do This. "This month is about the things that get you up and at 'em. Fittingly, we're spotlighting the product our subscribers say they won't leave the house without: mascara." I somehow received two boxes and praise be because this was one of my favorite boxes in a LONG time! Here's what I received:

July 17, 2016

Movie Review: Ghostbusters

Can ya tell I was excited?

Ever since they announced they were going to be releasing an all female led cast Ghostbusters movie I was ecstatic! I grew up playing with the Ghostbusters packs and jumpsuits with my little brother. I loved the original movie and cast but I can't imagine how powerful it was going to be for little girls to see badass ladies on the big screen unlike I got to. Yes, Marvel and DC superhero ladies are great to see as well but most of them are in skintight outfits whereas these fabulous ladies wear some unfitted jumpsuits that make you focus on their brains, talents and humor. Then came the trolls...

July 12, 2016

My July Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven theme was Into the Sea. "There’s just something about summertime that gets us in the mood to pay homage to the sea and its never-ending enchantment. The July Collection was inspired by the eternal allure of deep summer – lush, saturated nail colors that are far from your average, plus our latest lip essential: Lip Shade Sheer Lip Butter with SPF 30." I selected the Bombshell box. Here's what was inside:

July 6, 2016

July 4th Weekend Recap

This July 4th weekend was jam packed! My sister and her family were coming to town for what would be the last big hoorah in New Jersey as my parents were permanently staying in California. Their Jersey house was where all the family reunions were held so it was bittersweet that we wouldn't all be gathering again like this. We made sure to hit all the spots:

June 30, 2016

My June Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

Where has the summer gone?! Today is the last day of June so it's time to round-up my favorite and not so favorite products I tried this month. Summer is in full swing here in New York City with temperatures breaking 90 degrees so it's time to switch up your beauty routine. Let's start with the favorites:

June 29, 2016

Book Reviews: The Happy Vegan & Tidying Up

Book Reviews: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up & The Happy Vegan
Books: "Oh hey, its me!" It's been a hot minute since I've finished a book. I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up around Christmas since I got it as a gift and well that didn't turn out so well. I've had two books sitting on my coffee table waiting for me to finish them so I did. I also ordered 4 books I wanted to read for the summer so I needed to get that started! Here are my quick thoughts on the 2 recent books I finished:

June 27, 2016

PIXI Beauty Mini Haul + Reviews

Pixi Mini Haul + Reviews
PIXI just released the pad version (that sounds weird) of their Glow Tonic toner that is a fave. Wanted to give it a try so thought I'd pick some of their other beauties as I've really only tried their makeup previously. Here are my first impressions:

June 24, 2016

Mr. Robot Pop-Up Gallery

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As soon as I heard there was going to be a Mr. Robot pop-up gallery in New York City I knew I had to visit! Over the fall break I became obsessed with the summer hit (one main reason is the star, Rami Malek) but it is also a really good show. Today I was finally able to take advantage of summer Friday at work so I walked over. In case you missed my Snapchat story, here's a quick recap:

June 17, 2016

My June Birchbox

This month's Birchbox was Everyday Magic. "Pulling rabbits out of hats is adorable, but we prefer an everyday kind of magic. This month, we'll be showing you the right products and techniques for that presto-chango payoff. Bright lipstick and blush are no-brainers, but we have a few other tricks that might just transform your routine." I went with the regular box rather than the curated and selected a sample from benefit. There was no tissue paper in the box so it felt a little thrown together in my opinion. It's been awhile since Birchbox has slacked. Here's what I received:

June 16, 2016

Mini NYX Beauty Haul + Reviews

NYX Mini Haul + Reviews
A little while I go I had a Harmon haul. You may have seen me unboxing unbagging on Snapchat. I picked up a few NYX items as I've only tried a few because I can't typically find them in my drugstores. Now that I've used them a few times, I'm ready to report!

June 14, 2016

My June Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven box theme was Midsummer Light. "With June comes the promise of summer; days are longer and warmer, and our thoughts are all about bright colors, beach bonfires, and finding the perfect mani to coordinate with the swimsuit we bought two months too early. The June Collection has got that summer beauty on lockdown with vivid pastels for your fingers and toes, plus some seriously stepped up shades of Skip the Brush for your contouring, highlighting, and bronzing needs." I got the Classic With a Twist box and added on a few items. Here's what was inside:
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