Monday, July 25, 2016

ipsy july 2016.

First Ipsy post since returning to the States! Starting out strong too. I think Ipsy's only gotten better product-wise in the past few months.

The Bag: I don't keep all my bags, or I'd have a billion lying around the house. This one is definitely hanging around though. I love how sturdy it feels and think the design is too cute. The candy colors and umbrella print are perfect for summer!

Vasanti eyeshadow brush: I didn't used to like receiving brushes in my bags, but that changed when I started getting Luxie brushes. Since then, I've been a lot more open to them. This Vasanti one seems perfect for eyeshadow. And let's be honest, I'm not going to turn down an eyeshadow brush when it means I can get away with washing my brushes less frequently.

em Cosmetics Lash Gallery Lengthening Mascara: Although I haven't tested this out yet, I'm pretty positive it won't be a top mascara pick in my book. I tend to prefer thicker formulas aimed to create volume. Lengthening ones are never my go-to. I'll give it a shot and report back if I love it though!

Befine Night Cream: Yes, yes, and yes! First, it's natural. Second, it smells like real coconuts, not artificial chemical ones. Third, it's a thick night cream. Pretty sure it doesn't get better than that.

BellaPierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder: This brand has proven to be a winner so far (their eyeshadows and lipsticks are lovely). I'm excited to try this natural powder. I usually pass the powders I get from Ipsy on to others because I'm so content with my Rimmel Stay Matte one, but I'll be sure to give this a go. Not sold on the fact that it's loose and not pressed, but we'll see how it goes.

TwoFaced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer: Yeah I love it already. TwoFaced is amazing in general and this one has gotten stellar review after stellar review. I also like that it has coconut water in it. Any extra moisture for my skin is always a plus.

July's Ipsy bag is a 10/10 for me! What did you get? Let me know in the comments.



Monday, July 18, 2016

masks I use.

Now that I'm firmly in my 20s, I want to take as much care of my skin as possible. I use SPF, wash my face nightly, and moisturize every day. Sometimes though, my skin needs an extra boost. Recently, I've started using a mask every weekend. Not only does this give me a chance to target whatever skin issue I had the week before, but it's also a nice spa day treat to myself. Here are a few of my standbys:

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask - When I need a serious facial detox, I reach for this tube first. You have to spread a thick layer on so that it's easy to peel off later. I learned the hard way that skimping on product isn't effective and takes forever to remove. Another pro for this one is that while you're waiting the 30 minutes it takes to dry, you can catch up on your reading or watch a bit of TV. Total spa day material.

Lumiere De Vie Volcanic Exfoliating Mask - This is my other favorite for when I need some serious facial purification. I love the feeling of this mask as it dries for 10 minutes. It's slightly tingly and smells minty. To remove it, you splash some water on your face and scrub the product around for some light exfoliation. Rinsing off reveals soft, glowy skin every time.

Fresh Rose Face Mask - When I want a glow, I know that Fresh won't let me down. Not only does this mask smell amazing with its light floral perfume, but it feels refreshing on your skin and washes off to reveal that much coveted luminous face.

Lather Honey Moisture Mask With Propolis Extract - I love this mask for those days when my skin looks dull or fried after a long week. It gives me an extra boost of moisture and makes my cells feel alive again. It feels light when applied and rinses off easily.



Monday, July 11, 2016

new glasses.

H&M shirt and skirt, American Eagle shoes, Burberry glasses, Forever 21 necklace

Ah it's been a month since I last posted! I feel bad about it, but these past few weeks have admittedly been crazy. Besides the fact that I just got back from Italy at the beginning of June, I've also been super busy with work and readjusting to life in the States. I miss Italy so much and am 100% positive I'll be planning a trip back before long.

In the meantime, I'm trying to make this next stage of my life as awesome as possible. I want to continue blogging regularly (hello Monday posts!), spend quality time with family and friends, and focus on the things I love (like cooking, crafting, and reading). It's going to be a stellar summer!



P.S. I found these Burberry glasses for a steal at T.J. Maxx and I'm OBSESSED. Expect to see them in lots of upcoming outfit posts.

Monday, June 13, 2016

day trip to lake maggiore.

Lake Maggiore glistening in the sunlight.
Beautiful lavender flowers on Isola Bella.
The wind didn't stop me from enjoying the day!
Such a moody and gorgeous landscape.
Ended the night with dinner at a gnoccheria!
While I'll always love the south, I'm currently falling more and more in love with all that northern Italy has to offer. Recently, I took a day trip to Lago Maggiore, one of the major lakes around Varese. The lake itself was stunning, especially when the sun shone down upon it. I took a quick boat ride out to Isola Bella, one of the three islands on the lake. After a relaxing stroll around the island (with a stop for a crepe, of course), I headed back to the mainland for a walk in town.

I ended the night at a gnoccheria, or a gnocchi restaurant, in the Varese area. The restaurant, aptly titled La Pancia Piena (The Full Stomach), served what was undoubtedly the most delicious gnocchi I've ever tasted. My friends and I savored flavors like classic pesto, squid ink and shrimp, and fig and fontina. We ended the night with happy stomachs and smiling faces.



P.S. Have you read my last travel post yet? My vacation to Lyon was a foodie's heaven!

Monday, May 30, 2016

makeup I've repurchased.

My makeup bag essentials.
I love a lot of makeup. Whether it's sparkling eyeshadow, dewy foundation, or lasting lipstick, there's always a handful of products that I can't seem to do without. Oftentimes this obsession is only temporary; I switch lipstick shades like the seasons. The real test comes once I've finished a product. Do I repurchase it or relegate it to the garbage bin forever?

These four basics have become a necessary part of my makeup bag over the past few years. I've repurchased all of them multiple times and will likely continue to keep them stocked in the future.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief - This is so much more than your standard lotion. I slather it on whenever my skin is feeling particularly dry. It's a lifesaver during the winter and whenever I take a flight.

O.P.I. Natural Nail Base Coat - O.P.I.'s base and top coats are phenomenal. I've gone through a number of bottles, which is saying something since it takes forever to finish a regular colored polish. When I use the base and top coats together, my manicure is guaranteed to stay on my fingers for at least a week.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion - This lotion is consistently voted "best moisturizer" in beauty awards, and for good reason. It feels light on your skin and soaks in instantly. The moisture it delivers is so good that I never feel the need to reapply. I use this on a daily basis.

L'Oreal Magic Lumi Concealer - Many makeup bloggers have commented on the fact that this is a pretty excellent dupe for the YSL concealer pen. I don't think I could ever shell out that much cash for the high end product when the drugstore version is so effective. This is currently my third one (in Light 862). I know I'll be buying it again as soon as it runs out.

What makeup do you repurchase regularly? I'd love to hear your faves!



Monday, May 23, 2016

springtime in milan.

Navigli at the golden hour.
I had the best lunch at Panino Giusto.
Followed by dessert of course!
Macedonia is the way to go in spring!
Outside Teatro Nazionale.
Seeing Fame in Italian was such a cool experience.
After the show.
Strolling along the canal in search of aperitivo.
Best apericena ever!
I know it sounds cheesy, but Milan has carved out a special place in my heart. Not only is there an endless selection of things to do, but there is also an innate charm and beauty to the city itself. My friend and I took the train in on a beautiful spring day to see Fame at Teatro Nazionale. The performance was fun, and I enjoyed seeing the Italian twist on the classic story.

Before the show, we stopped by Panino Giusto, which is reputed to be one of the best gourmet panino restaurants in Milan, for a quick lunch. I can honestly say that the reviews were correct. I ordered the Orientale panino, a medley of eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and hummus atop a perfectly toasted ciabatta roll. It was especially delicious paired with the zenzero (ginger) juice. I couldn't get enough! My friend and I split two desserts - a chocolate and pear cake with whipped cream and a macedonia (fruit salad) bowl with strawberry syrup and ice cream. Both were wonderful, although I have to admit that the macedonia really hit the spot on such a lovely spring day.

After the show, we headed down to the canal zone in the Navigli neighborhood. Strolling along the water during the early evening hours is such a magical experience. The setting sun makes the water and all the buildings take on a golden hue. As the temperature got cooler, we settled into a table for aperitivo. Of course, with the amazing buffet selection offered, it ended up turning into apericena!

We left the city stuffed and satisfied. Just another stellar day in Milano!



P.S. Want to know what Milan is like in fall? How about in winter?

Monday, May 16, 2016

haircut inspiration.

haircut inspiration.

If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm not one to shy away from changing up my 'do. I've been through every stage of hairstyles that you can name, including bangs, long and layer-less, lots of layers, bobs, lobs, pixies, and everything in-between. I think it's fun to switch things up and experiment with my look.

Case in point: I'm getting the haircut itch again. I had a chop in January when I got rid of my layers and went for a straight, long lob. Now that it's back to being past my shoulders, I think it's time for something new. Currently, I'm leaning toward a choppy bob that goes just past my chin. It seems like the perfect summer style, since it's off of my neck but still long enough to put into braids or other styles.

New hair is coming soon!