October 1, 2017

My September Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

This month has been extremely humid here in New York City. We haven't had much fall weather unfortunately but I'm still wearing fall lip and nail shades. There's some new launches I tried and some disappointments in my vegan deodorant journey. Here's what I loved and didn't love using this month:
September Beauty Favorites
FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter $34 - I reviewed some Fenty Beauty products earlier this month. Was super excited about the launch and thankfully the products I tried lived up to the hype especially this Killawatt highlighter in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal. It's great for my fair skintone and I got so many compliments when I wore it.

KYPRIS Beauty Beauty Elixir I: 1000 Roses $90 - Go with me here... lol Rose oils are a big trend in beauty and KYPRIS's Beauty Elixir is one of the staples. "A 100% active, moisturizing Beauty oil formulated with holistic principles in mind. Scientifically established nutrients, a plethora of botanical extracts, and the essential oil of 1,000 organic Bulgarian roses combine to repair signs of environmental challenge to deliver dewy, glowing, rose-petal-soft skin." Now that I'm in my 30 years, I have to invest in my quality products and I've been impressed with this serum. It doesn't clog pores, keeps you moisturized overnight and feel my skin has been healthier looking.

R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo $29 - Received a 1 oz sample in my Birchbox this month. I've given this brand a tough time so was pleasantly impressed with this dry shampoo. I like to use it on my bangs (which are high maintenance!) to give a little volume and keep them in place all day.

Not so favorite September Beauty Products
Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deodorant $14 - As you may or may not know, I've been on a quest to find a healthy alternative to deodorant. Tarte is a vegan beauty brand that I love as it's great quality and cruelty-free so was excited when they released a deodorant. As I've tried with previous ones, different "stress" situations to really ensure the endurance. Unfortunately this tarte deodorant did not hold up AND it in fact began to cause red bumps on my underarms. Eek! My skin did not appreciate this deodorant so I'd proceed with caution.

OPI Natural Nail Strengthener $10.50 - I have a nail growth issue so I'm always looking for a good nail strengthener/grower. I saw one of the nail bloggers I love recommend this so I picked it up. Unfortunately haven't been super impressed and it's not great as a base coat as every polish I layered over it peeled right off. My beloved Rejuvacote works as not only a strengthener and a base coat so I expect the same from a brand like OPI.

What products did you love this month?

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

September 16, 2017

First Impression: #FentyBeauty by Rihanna

Late last week, during New York Fashion Week, Rihanna launched her makeup line - Fenty Beauty. It was a secret passion project for Ri who spent 2 years carefully curating a collection. Fenty Beauty is available at Sephora unlike some other "exclusive" celeb makeup brands *side eye*. The collection includes 12 products from matte foundation, lip gloss to blinding highlighters. Most ground-breaking was the 40 shades of foundation that sent the beauty industry into a tizzy. Had to buy some products to support so here are my first impressions:

September 14, 2017

My September Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was all about customer appreciations since it is Birchbox's 7th anniversary. "It's all about you - and making your routine, easier, faster, and more fun." I received a lot of duplicate brands/products, which was kind of a bummer. Here's what I received:

September 5, 2017

My September Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven box theme was Flawless Without the Fuss. "Get ready to face the fall. With our September collection’s effortless essentials, it’s easy-breezy to lean into the new season and all of the change it brings. Back to school, back from vacation, or just back at it, say hello to life after summer with your fresh face forward." Fall shades are here so I opted for some new polishes. Here's what I received:

September 3, 2017

My August Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

Didn't get around to trying a lot of new products this month so not much to report on but just as an FYI. Here are the few products that I've been enjoying using and not so much:

August 22, 2017

My August Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was Easy Does It. "As you savor every last minute of sunshine, effortless days call for an effortless routine. Ease into the end of summer feeling refreshed and recharged." Loved the sunset packaging. Here's what I received:

August 10, 2017

My August Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven box was Lavish Strokes. "Dare to channel your artsy side with lush, saturated hues in a textural chrome finish that exudes end-of-summer decadence." They also debuted a new product that I was excited to try. Here's what I received:

August 8, 2017

Movie Review: Atomic Blonde

This weekend among my birthday celebrations I went with Laura to see Atomic Blonde. Was super excited to see some female ass kicking especially after seeing Wonder Woman. Was even more excited when I found out Charlize did a lot of her own stunts in the movie. So the basic premise is that Charlize is a stylishly dressed spy who appears set up by the CIA so she has to kick a lot of ass. I saw someone likened it to a 2 hour Dior ad. No complaints there. Plus it's set to an '80s soundtrack since it is set in 1989.

August 2, 2017

Travel Photo Diary: San Francisco

Last week in my Cali trip I squeezed in a day trip to San Francisco. My brother just moved up there and I haven't been there in many, many years. San Fran is one of my favorite cities (granted I haven't been to too many). Definitely has it's charms (minus the hills) and each neighborhood has a little personality of it's own. Here's what I squeezed in for just a few hours:

August 1, 2017

My July Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

July Beauty Product Favorites
This month I've been dealing with a cold and itchy skin which has led to some interesting beauty quests. Didn't have as much fun with beauty products as I usually do but do have some favorites that are worth pointing out.

July 26, 2017

Cali Travels

It's that time of year again! Time to head to Cali to celebrate some birthdays. First, I'm making a stop in San Francisco because my brother has moved up there and San Fran is one of my fave cities. Haven't been there in many, many years so excited to see how it looks now and to have an excuse to visit. Then it is on to southern California to celebrate my nephews' Liam & Jacob's birthdays (and a mix of mine). Leo season in full effect!

July 19, 2017

Macy's Beauty Box Review

There's a new beauty box in town and it's from Macy's! For $15 a month you'll receive "five deluxe beauty samples, one bonus item, a collectible cosmetics bag and a $5 coupon available for use in-store and online at Macys.com." The samples are selected by their beauty experts. "This month's box is all about best-in-class beauty essentials, sample cult-classic skin care, get a perfect eye look & finish with a sexy designer fragrance." Here's what's inside:

July 17, 2017

Weekend Recap: Bodegas & Rooftops

I actually did some fun things this weekend (Thursday counts, right?) so thought I'd recap. The long awaited Desus & Mero Live was Thursday! Tickets went on sale in May and sold out literally in 2 minutes. I was shocked I was able to lock down a pair but felt the blessings. If you don't know, Desus Nice & The Kid Mero (a personal fave) have a nightly show on Viceland (previously were on Complex & MTV2) as well as a podcast, The Bodega Boys. They're two friends from the Bronx who rip off the cuff on all things pop culture. Nicole and I headed to Williamsburg for a night of laughs. The crowd was so hype and they gave the energy back. My face hurt from laughing. Brand is strong! Bodega Hive for life!

July 12, 2017

My July Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was One-Two-Punch. "Sundresses and flip-flops, a pop of color on lips and cheeks - during the dog days of summer all it takes are those ultra easy one-two-and-done combos to get you out the door." Loved the packaging! Here's what I received:

July 5, 2017

Movie Reviews: Okja & Baby Driver

Recently I watched a few indie movies - one on Netflix and one in limited release - so thought I'd share some mini reviews in case you were looking to check them out.

July 3, 2017

My July Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven theme was Neon Lights. "The days are long, the air is thick, and the mood is electric. This month’s collection was inspired by vibrant summer nights, where bright, vivid hues take the spotlight. Get ready, because this July collection is sure to bring the party wherever the summer takes you." I was in a desperate need of some summer neons so this was up my alley! Here's what I selected:

June 28, 2017

My June Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

This summer is flying by! June is ending 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. A lot of focus on skincare as the weather starts taking its toll. Let's start with my favorites:

June 15, 2017

My June Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was Face the Day. "Embrace warm weather by stripping layers off your routine so you can face whatever comes your way." I pleasantly received several vegan friendly and cruelty free products this month! Here's what I received:

June 14, 2017

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day Gift Guide

My father often forgets he has three children and gives a one item list for gifts. Gotta bug him until the very last minute for more gift ideas. So if you're looking for some last minute gift ideas, here are some suggestions PLUS there are some discount codes!

June 13, 2017

My June Julep Maven

This month's Julep Maven box was Bask in the Heat. "You know golden hour? That magical (and fleeting) time of day when everything just looks extraordinary—like nature’s Instagram filter if you will. This month, we’re channeling those glorious summer sunsets into our cohesive nail color collection filled with fiery reds, rich amber, and more." Here's what I ordered:

May 31, 2017

My May Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

This month we were finally blessed with some warm days allowing me to spruce up my beauty routine. The stress was starting to take it's toll and I needed some heavy duty products to refresh my skin. And my monthly boxes introduced me to some new favorites and not so favorite. Let's start with the good, shall we?

May 22, 2017

What I'm Currently Watching

A lot of great TV has premiered lately and I've been trying to check them all out. A few I only gave a few episode chance to before ditching. Some are old faves returning for another season. I thought I'd share some quick reviews with NO SPOILERS in case you were interested in tuning in:

May 17, 2017

Self-Tanner Reviews: St. Tropez, Dr. Dennis Gross & Tan Luxe

Self Tanner Reviews: St. Tropez, Dr. Dennis Gross & Tan luxe
Self tanning season is here! We're hitting the 90s here in the city so it's time to shave my legs lol and put a little color on them. I enjoy JERGENS® Natural Glow® lotion to slowly build up some color but thought I'd give some other self-tanner options a go to see if I could find a new fave. Here are some I tried along with my thoughts:

May 12, 2017

My May Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was Low Effort, High Impact. "Longer days are upon us, which means more time to enjoy those fun moments we look forward to all year - and less cause for primping. Streamline your routine with effortless products that deliver big results." Here's what was inside:

May 2, 2017

5 Mother's Day Gift Ideas Under $50

Mother's Day is quickly approaching so thought it was a good time to share some gift ideas. Whether it's for your aunt, sister, or mom here are some gift ideas that should be a hit. And they're all under $50!

April 27, 2017

My April Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

Another month, another round up. Spring is finally sticking around here in New York so it's time to switch up the beauty routine. Swap out the heavy moisturizers for some lightweight sun protection. I also had patiently sat on my hands to not order anything from Sephora but decided to treat myself to a little haul that will help me achieve the unicorn trend. Here's what I loved and not so much loved this month:

April 23, 2017

Spring Nail Colors I'm Wearing

Finally feeling like Spring around here! Before transitioning my closet, first I transition to my spring nail colors. Still loving many of the colors from my post 2 years ago - corals, bright pinks - but with some cloudy blues.

April 17, 2017

My April Birchbox

This month's Birchbox is Magic Inside with the design of the box being on the inside, cute idea. "Pretty beauty packaging might have us at hello, but in the long run it's what's on the inside that matters the most. With smart features and dynamic ingredients - from brightening Vitamin C to purifying charcoal - there's a ton of magic inside this box (so you feel your best on the outside)." Here's what I received:

April 9, 2017

Music Festival Outfit Inspiration

Music Festival Outfit Inspiration

Coachella is this weekend and next which means music festival season is here! Don't miss my guest post on survival tips if you are lucky enough to attend this year. Music festivals are the unofficial kick-off of warmer weather and also a chance to get some fashion inspiration. Here are some pieces I'm loving and would love to wear if I was attending.

April 2, 2017

My April Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven box theme was Relax & Remix. "Spring is in full swing and this month’s collection is redefining R&R. Rejuvenate with NEW, luxuriously soft shades of Feels Like Velvet Full-Coverage Eye Shadow Duo. Pop on our paradise-inspired polishes for that getaway feeling, and this season’s staycation is officially on." Here's what I received:

March 31, 2017

My March Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

I often discuss whether in these monthly beauty round-ups because it is an important factor into how our skin will behave and thus shaping our beauty routine. The first day of Spring here in New York we had snow. Spring has not sprung yet so my heavy duty winter products are still in rotation. I did get a chance to try out some products that I've had my eye on that you might have seen me review earlier this month. Here are the products that I enjoyed and didn't fall in love with this month:

March 29, 2017

Late Night Shows I'm Watching & You Should To

Thanks to the current administration, most news programs have become unbearable to watch for me personally. Working in social media I am on the networks all day which itself can be exhausting but adding this current presidency = soul sucking. Every morning I sign in to Twitter just anxiously awaiting to see what hell fire was started that day. It's only been 70 days but feels like years. Personally, I am mentally exhausted and drained every day by it so I've been keeping my news program watching to a minimum. However, it is important to stay tuned in so as not to be completely in a bubble. By all means, binge watch Buffy for a mental health break but once you do decide to turn back on the news (which it seems like many of you are) may I recommend these shows.

March 27, 2017

Movie Reviews: #GetOut, #KongSkullIsland, #BeautyandtheBeast

Nothing like escaping to the movies. With this current political climate and day-to-day stress, I found myself in the movie theaters recently. I haven't been to the movies in a long time since it is so expensive here in the city. I save my coins until I want to support a movie like Moonlight or Get Out. There was a growing list of new releases I wanted to check out so I decided to treat myself and go see two of them this week. It was hard to share reviews on some of these without spoilers so warning ahead!


March 21, 2017

Brow Mini Haul + Reviews: MAC, Charlotte Tilbury & Benefit

Brow Mini Haul + Reviews: MAC, Charlotte Tilbury, & Benefit
For Valentine's Day my mom got me a bunch of brow products because what more could a girl want. Plus I also did some shopping of mine for some new brow product options as I had run out of mine. Finally got around to trying them all so thought I'd share my reviews.

March 15, 2017

Battle of the Pore Minimizing Primers: Smashbox vs Benefit

Battle of the Pore Minimizers: Smashbox vs Benefit
One of the top issues beauty products try to "fix" is minimizing pores (which is up for debate can actually happen).Why I think most of it is bs, I do think some primers can help create a flawless look that can help appear to minimize pores. Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer ($31) is my usual go to and is a best seller. However, I received a sample of Smashbox's Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer ($39) and thought I'd compare.

March 14, 2017

@draperjames x @Birchbox

This month Birchbox had a curated box from Reese Witherspoon's lifestyle site, Draper James. "In honor of Women's History Month... curate a box we're calling Pretty Mighty. It may look dainty, but inside you'll find some of my favorite powerful, high-performing products perfect for powerful women - like you." Here's what was inside:

March 6, 2017

Battle of the Highlighting Primers: MAC vs IPKN

Strobing Highlighter Primer Creams

Strobing and highlighting is a big trend in beauty. Brands are developing tons of products around the trend. I got my hands on some of them from sticks to primers. The most extreme to me is a primer as it's setting the base of the full glow. I received a highlighting primer in my December Birchbox from IPKN. I have been using it on my cheekbones as a highlighter but wanted to compare to MAC's strobe cream. Let's see shall we:

March 3, 2017

5 Lessons of Angie Martinez's Book "My Voice"

Image via

If you grew up in the New York area in the '90s then you probably heard of Angie Martinez. She is the "voice of New York" heading a radio show at Hot 97 for nearly 20 years. Now she's at Power 105.1. Secretly I wanted a job like hers. She seemed to have fun, she was in the thrall of the hip hop scene getting invited to their birthday parties, getting the first listen to their music. I would have loved to been surrounded by all those talented, artistic people. She got to interview Tupac! But as we all know when we grow up that while jobs on the surface may seem fun they are actually lots of hard work.

February 28, 2017

My February Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

This month was full of changes not only personally but for my skin. I took a trip upstate for a few days and when I returned I had a bad breakout. Then going from a blizzard to 70 degree days, the changing weather pattern finally caught up to me and I was sick for the last week of the month so my beauty routine was all about keeping hydrated while letting my skin breathe. Needed a lot of rescuing! Here are the products that I loved this month:

February 19, 2017

My February Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was about showing your lips some love. "This month is all about giving your lips some love—and making them pop with swoon-worthy hues." I decided not to opt for any of the customized add-ons. Here's what I received:

February 17, 2017

VERDAD Fall 2017 Runway Show

LA based label VERDAD debuted its Fall/Winter 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week. "VERDAD took its mood inspiration from Fall on the streets of LA – with tops, separates and dresses in a range of dark colors, floral and watercolor inspired prints mixed with crisp cream looks and shimmering paillettes for evening." I've lived in Los Angeles and there really isn't Fall fashion lol but these looks definitely had cool girl vibes that work on both coasts.

February 16, 2017

Review: Rimmel Magnif'Eyes Eyeshadow Palette & The Only 1 Matte Lipstick

New Drugstore Beauty Reviews: Rimmel London
Rimmel had some new launches in January included three eyeshadow Magnif'Eyes palettes. I picked one up in my local drugstore! There are grunge glamour, nude, and golden glow. Each one features 12 shades for $7.99. "The line-up is a mix of twelve high-shimmer and matte shadows, which offers the perfect complementary colour range for infinite creations. Sculpt, shade and define your eyes to create day to night, and nude to daring looks. The beautifully blendable, ultra-smooth powder can be used on the lid, in the crease of the eye and as a liner to enhance and magnif’eye your eye color and shape. The non-crease, non-fade formula has serious staying power for eyes with lasting impact."

February 13, 2017

4 Valentine's Day Manicure Ideas

Why not show your nails a little love? I always enjoy getting in a festive mood even if I'm not particularly a fan of the holiday lol. Here are some simple nail art ideas in honor of Valentine's Day:

1. Glitter top coat - Julep's Hartleigh is perfect for Valentine's Day as it features little heart cut out graffiti to top off any polish.

February 11, 2017

Katie Gallagher Fall/Winter 2017 Presentation Recap

Despite a snowstorm, fashion week goes on here in New York! I decided not to venture out in the weather conditions but still wanted to recap one of the presentations I was looking forward to this season. Katie Gallagher is a New York designer that I've enjoyed covering season after season. For her Spring 2017 collection she showcased a very '90s goth look titled "Eclipse." For Fall, she continued some of that grunge theme with "Hallow."

February 9, 2017

A Single Gal's Beauty Guide to Valentine's Day

Whether you're having a Galentine's Day get together or going out on an awkward first Tinder date, here are some beauty product must haves for a single gals Valentine's Day celebrations.

February 5, 2017

My February Julep Maven Box

This month's Julep Maven theme was Crazy In Love (cue Beyonce). "What’s better than romance bundled up in the cozy embrace of luxury? How about a heavy dose of chic newness to top it all off?This month, we’re falling hard over our elegant new nail collection and four plush new shades of our beloved lip crayon. It’s safe to say that February’s elegant winter palette is leaving our hearts racing." Here's what I received:

February 3, 2017

Mini @elfcosmetics Haul + Reviews

elf cosmetics mini haul reviews
I went to e.l.f. with the intention of restocking up on my favorite nail polish remover pads only to find that they were no longer on the website. So I browsed the new releases and came across some intriguing products and went down the rabbit hole. Here's what I ended up with:

January 30, 2017

My January Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

January Beauty Product Favorites
It's the first round up of 2017! I ran out of some beloved products so I took that opportunity to try some items that have been on my list. The weather has been up and down so been trying to nail down a regular skincare routine this month. Unfortunately there were more misses than hits for me but I tried not to be too harsh.
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