The Mother’s Day Edit

The Mother's Day Edit

Here’s what the mama in your life is craving for a Mother’s Day treat.

  1. Let’s face it — moms are busy gals! Gift her the makeup palette she needs to easily bring her look from day to night with the Tarte Double Duty Beauty Limited-Edition Eye & Cheek Palette in Sultry Star Power ($28). With 6 shimmering eyeshadows, and a mauve blush, mom will feel glamorous. 
  2. Ralph Lauren Tender Romance Eau De Parfum ($76 for 1.7 oz) is warm and sweet, like your mom. She will love how this scent captures the sweet and gentle nature of love
  3. Maybe she’s a skincare junkie, or maybe you’d like to give her the gift of a good skincare ritual. Perfect for all skin types, First Aid Beauty Spring Into FAB Skin ($48) will freshen up her complexion just in time for the warmer weather. 
  1. New York moms need the Vera Bradley Auto Open Bubble Umbrella ($44) to stylishly stroll the city during this rainy spring! Trust me — she won’t mind when it’s raining anymore.
  2. Mom got a sweet tooth? Sugarfina Sweetest Mom 4 Pc. Bento ($34) is sweet like her. Hand deliver this treat and you night even get her to share. 
  3. Gift mom with the tools she needs to jumpstart her garden this spring. She’ll be stylishly gardening with the Marimekko for Target Adult Gardening Tool Set 4 pc. in  Kukkatori Print Primary ($20).
  4. Coloring can be relaxing, regardless of your age. Creative moms will love the intricate design in  Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book ($16).

What will your mom love this Mother’s Day? Happy day to all the mamas out there!

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2016 – The April Edit

The April Edit

  1. Though the weather in NYC has been so wacky lately, I’m starting to wear dresses and skirts. The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Body Scrub ($24) is keeping my legs soft and smooth. It’s not too abrasive, but the gel-like formula will slough off all your dead skin. 
  2. St. Moritz Instant Self-Tanning Mousse ($13) is the first self-tanner I’ve used that doesn’t make me end up looking orange and streaky. Application is easy because of the tinted formula. No more blindly slathering on self-tanner!
  1. I’ve been wearing Honest Beauty Truly Kissable Lip Crayon in Peony Kiss ($18) on my lips since I first got it earlier this month, and I’ve been getting so any compliments! The formula is demi-matte, but never drying, and looks lush and plush on my lips. The pink color is fresh and great for everyday wear all spring and summer. 
  1. Big shoutout to my boyfriend for gifting this new beauty innovation to me! Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done ($34) is the solution to all my summer skin woes — it’s kinda like a primer, concealer, and foundation in one, without being heavy. Everyone needs this for the warmer months. 
  1. It’s true that there’s no real difference between a pink beautyblender and a nude one, but I’ve been loving my beautyblender nude ($20) this month. I find that it doesn’t look as dirty and faded as the original pink. I still wash it a few times a week though! 
  1. Wow. Wow. Wow. I love a good bronzer all year long, but I’m really picky with which ones get to grace my face. Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer ($15) is the perfect light to medium bronze. It’s not matte, but it’s not shimmery — it’s pretty luminous and natural looking at the same time. Plus, it smells like coconuts. 
  1. Quick story about this shade — my aunt had a baby boy a few months back, and I was so disappointed the brand had an “It’s A Girl” shade but not an “It’s A Boy” shade! The brand launched the latter in its Soft Shades collection for spring. OPI Nail Lacquer in It’s A Boy ($10) is a beautiful soft blue color for the warmer months, on hands and feet. 

 

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11 Beauty Products To Unleash Your Inner Mermaid

Originally published on BuzzFeed.

I know you’re a mermaid. You know you’re a mermaid. Let the world know your true identity with these sea-inspired beauty picks.

1. Lush Big Blue Bath Bomb

Can’t make it to the ocean? Bring the ocean to your bathtub. Packed with seaweed and sea salt, this fresh bath treat will have you flipping your tail with glee. Plus, you’ll smell like you just stepped on land for the first time in forever.

2. Sabon Body Gel Polisher in Tropic

Brazilian women use sand to exfoliate their skin. Mermaids use Sabon’s Body Gel Polisher. This rice-powered polisher will give you glowing, beautiful skin all over. You’re also not going to want to stop smelling yourself. 

3. OGX Sea Mineral Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

Drench your locks in moisture and harness the power of the ocean in your shower. This shampoo and conditioner is going to put shine in your hair and a smile on your face. It’s meant for dry and damaged hair, but it’s also light enough for any mermaid to use. 

4.  Peter Thomas Roth Blue Marine Algae Mask

Look luminous and healthy at the same time with this sea-powered, hydrating skin treat. This cooling, blue face mask is formulated with tea from the Jeju Islands of Korea, and glacial lake blue marine algae. 

5. Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara

What’s better than a natural, mineral-based mascara that promises length and volume all while not running down your face when you’re swimming in the deep blue? You’re going to want to stash this little gem in your beach bag.

6. Ralph Lauren Fresh Eau de Toilette

This may as well be the official scent of summer — magnolia, sparkling lemon, and chilled watermelon create the perfect signature fragrance for any sea (or land) dweller. You’re going to smell as fresh as a sea star.

7. Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush

The sheer, watery glow from these blushes are going to look beautiful on your cheeks whether you’re going to the supermarket, to work, or swimming with all your fishy friends.

8. Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar

It’s not called “the little black soap that changes everything” for no reason. Reveal radiant skin with this detoxifying cleansing bar powered by — you guessed it — sea mud, and 26 minerals derived from sea. 

9. Tarte Rainforest of The Sea Eyeshadow Palette

With shade names like “Mermaid,” “Seashell,” and “Starfish,” how can you resist? The colors are luxuriously pigmented and shimmery and will look great against your tan this summer.

10. Essie Nail Lacquer in Barbados Blue

Let the silvery-baby blue shade lift your mood and remind you that you really are a mermaid, even though you lack a tail.

11. Urban Decay Beached Bronzer

Get your tan on without the burn with this soon-to-be cult classic bronzer, available in two natural looking shades. 

 

 

 

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3, 2, 1… DONE: Your Guide To The Quickest Mid-day Touch-up

Sometimes it feels like I barely have a second to breathe in the middle of the day. If I’m at school, I’m drowning in books and papers in between classes. If I’m at work, I’m glued to my computer, in a meeting, or drowning in beauty products (which is not a bad thing.) When I barely have enough time to get a much needed iced coffee, it’s sometimes hard to find enough time to touch up my makeup during the day, which is also much needed. Sometimes during a bathroom break I look in the mirror and see my makeup is melting off my face. You don’t have to pick between eating lunch and ensuring you’re looking and feeling your best if you stash these products in your bag and quickly use them to refresh your look.

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain, The Body Shop, $14

I’ve been using this magic potion for years. I originally purchased it years ago because my lip color kept coming off on my boyfriend’s face! Haha. This color is rosier and a little more blue based than Benefit’s Benetint. I also like the gel formula better than Benetint’s liquid formula. I find this stain to be longer lasting and downright beautiful on lips and cheeks. One swipe on your lips, one tap on each cheek. Perfect.

L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation, drugstores, $17

Look instantly luminous with a few tap, taps of this cushion makeup. Swipe it on under your eyes, accross your forehead, down your nose, and on your chin for an instantly luminous foundation refresh. Say aaahhh. (Hey oily girls – you can wear this too!)

Urban Decay Deslick Pressed Powder, Sephora, $32

A third of a hundred bucks for a non-colored pressed powder? Yeah, it’s pricey. But it’s so worth it. I first got this powder to bring with my on my trip to Italy last summer. It was hot and I was taking so many photos outside. That normally equals being a shiny mess in photos, but with Deslick stashed in my purse, my skin looked surprisingly fresh. It’s never cakey and never looks like you just put powder on your face, which is what I love about it. A little bit goes a long way and this compact will last quite a long time. Yep, you need this. Swirl your brush into the compact and glide it over your oily parts – sides of your nose, bridge of your nose, chin, and forehead.

Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Pointed Foundation Brush No. 121, Target, $13

I love this brush for quick touchups. The dense and angled bristles are fantastic for tapping both the Lumi Cushion and Deslick into your skin.  You can seriously use this versatile brush for everything from blending contour products to applying concealer.

What do you do during the day to freshen up your makeup?

 

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Beauty Rebranding

Image from Liveurvanity.com
Image from Liveurvanity.com

Yesterday I posted about Estee Lauder’s new sub-brand, The Estee Edit, now available at Sephora.com. The launch comes at no surprise (though much excitement.) Estee Lauder is often seen as a “mature” beauty brand, one that is used by many older women and not as many young faces. As part of this “rejuvination” of sorts, EL picked up KJ as the fresh, new face of the brand, which instantly harnessed much attention from a younger group. The new launch, with fresh and bold new packaging and a brand new feel, is aimed toward a young, trendy group, and is positioned to compete with brands like Urban Decay and Tarte. Will The Estee Edit launch at Sephora be enough to draw in a new market?

I think so.

I appreciate how EL is going about this new branding. New packaging and a new face might not appeal to older clientele, especially those who have been using EL for years and would be thrown off from a new feel. Creating a new line exclusively at Sephora seems to be the right move, and I’m excited to see how it pans out.

Lancome did something similar in recent years. Lancome was (is) also seen as a “mature” beauty brand, one that might not appeal to a younger market. The introduction of brighter, more trendy eyeshadow colors  without a doubt drew in the eyes of younger shoppers, myself included. Lancome’s Spring 2016 lineup is “cute and playful” and definitely is marketed toward young women. Lancome has also recently launched their “Parisian Pop” collection, which has a very  vibrant feel to it, with colorful mascaras and eyeliners.

How about the opposite? I’ve always thought of Maybelline as appealing toward a younger market. They are usually very trendy (and are the first mainstream drugstore beauty brand to launch a black lipstick next season) and their color cosmetics are appealing to a younger crowd. Do you think Maybelline could do more to appeal to a more mature market?

What do you think?

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Calling All Beauty Junkies – The Estée Edit Is Here

Image from Sephora.com

The Estée Edit has officially hit Sephora.com, and Estée Lauder brand ambassador Kendall Jenner is calling all beauty junkies to check it out. You must know Estée Lauder, or at least be familiar with this beauty counter brand from your mom and grandma. I can’t say I’ve tried anything from the brand, but there’s lots of cult favorites — everyone talks about their Double Wear Stay-In-Place makeup and Advanced Night Repair serum that originally launched in 1982. Now, Estée has launched a line of cosmetics and skincare marketed toward young women. This brand facelift will surely reach a new market, especially with KJ leading the charge.

Speaking of facelift, The Estée Edit’s packaging is so sleek. It’s bright blue, white, and silver theme carries throughout the entire collection. I’d be happy to display the line out on my vanity. 

On Sephora.com, the new sub-brand’s launch page divides products up into 4 categories: The Edgiest Attitude, The Barest Attitude, Guest Editor Attitude: Go Glow, Complexion Hybrids, and Dissolve The Drama. Page visitors can also view behind the scenes content featuring guest editors Kendall Jenner and Irene Kim, beauty influencer from Korea.

One of the coolest new products is the Lip Flip. Lip Flip is a sheer toned lipstick to transform any lip color and deepen or lighten it. It comes in two colors, Turn Up and Turn Down, which are yellow and black, respectively.

I’m also eyeing the Flash Illuminator in Spotlight. This cream is a highlighter-skincare hybrid designed for all skin types. It reminds me of my beloved MAC Strobe Cream. I imagine this cream would be great for mixing into foundation for a nice glow, or applying on top of foundation for a strobe of light. What makes this cream standout from MAC’s similar product is that it comes in 5 shades to be the right amount of light for all skin tones. Sign me up!
The Estée Edit is currently available on Sephora.com for VIB and VIB Rouge members.

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Why Relationships In College Are Underrated

Originally published on The Odyssey on 10/5/15.

Image from https://images.unsplash.com/uploads/1411070807173e4d6762d/f84a3a01?q=80&fm=jpg&s=efdcb673b079f6f3908c2ddd91f98509.
Image from Unsplash.

When our parents (and their parents) were in college, they were socialized to pair off. Everybody knew a friend of a friend you would be perfect for. Parents would phone their friends to set up a dinner with their family, who just happened to have a son or daughter your age. Of course, this still goes on (think Rory Gilmore), but our culture has drastically changed when it comes to relationships, especially in college. Young adults are hooking up more, and settling down less.

According to TIME, 25 percent of millennials will not get married. Those who do get married are getting married later than previous generations. More women go to college now than in the 1950s, when the median age for marriage was just over 20. Now, that age has risen to 25 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There are definite reasons for this change, such as more women attending college and focusing on careers, the desire for financial stability, and just not finding the right person.

Meg Jay, PhD, psychologist and author of “The Defining Decade” writes that the 20s are an “emotional sweet spot” for growth. Eighty percent of our life’s most important moments happen before we’re 35.

In her book, Jay writes, “Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. Eighty percent of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. Two-thirds of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our twenties than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. When it comes to adult development, 30 is not the new 20. Even if you do nothing, not making choices is a choice all the same. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do.”

Having a serious relationship in college is amazing, and severely underrated. In your 20s, you will emotionally mature and grow the most. When you have a partner by our side during this time, you will grow together. You will learn together and support each other through life’s most important moments. College is not a breeze, and having a boyfriend or girlfriend with you can be the biggest support and source of motivation. A significant other will push you to be your best self and challenge you to not only exceed, but to try new things and have new experiences. Besides having a deep and meaningful connection with another similar human, you will always have something to do on your weekends, whether you go out and dance all night, or stay in, cook together, and snuggle all night.

This isn’t a call to action to get moving and go on hundreds of dates in the next few weeks. It’s a message to realize that your 20s are not a decade to just waste away, lounge, and put off figuring out what you want in life. Besides, who doesn’t love snuggles, anyway?

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My Top Contouring Picks

Damn girl.

Contouring products are everywhere — it wasn’t just a 2014 trend! It seems like every beauty brand has their own contour/highlight duo or palette. How do you know which ones to try? If you’re like me, you want to try EVERY product out there. Unfortunately, that would make my wallet cry. I can’t claim to have tried every product, but out of the many I own and have played with, these are my favorite products that grace my face almost every day.

tarte the sculptor contouring face slenderizer in park avenue princess

This is $24 well spent. I’ve been using the same product for months and it barely looks like I’ve made a dent in it. tarte always wins at industry trends, and the sculptor take sthe cake in contouring sticks. The color is so beautiful on my skin — not too bronze, not too taupe. It has a very subtle shimmer and blends so easily. I sometimes use the slenderizer brush that tarte released at the same time, but I mostly use my Real Techniques sponge. Applying and blending the cream in is seriously foolpoof.

Maybelline FaceStudio Master Conceal in Light

 Since I purchased this little gem last month, I haven’t used any other concealer to hide dark spots, under eye circles, and to highlight my face. The texture is so silky, but not so creamy that it doesn’t make me look like an oil slick. I squeeze a blob of product on the back of my hand, and apply it with a skinny, flat concealer brush, and blend with my sponge. Plus, if I covered up the label, you wouldn’t be able to guess that it only costs about 8 bucks.

NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Glow

The color name “Glow” is so accurate for this blush! At first, when I dot it on your cheeks, it looks so bright and almost neon. It blends so smoothly and seamlessly into my skin, and looks like a natural flush. $6 is an outrageous price, especially considering that it compares to higher-end makeup, like stila Convertible Color.

tarte Amazonian clay waterproof bronzer in park avenue princess

Another park avenue princess favorite! I can’t get enough of this iconic tarte shade. After I have completely blended in my contour cream, concealer, and blush, I sweep this highlighting bronzer on my cheekbones. I then use my concealer and flat brush again to draw a line under the bronzer, and blend. My cheekbones look flawlessly sculpted like Angelina Jolie as Maleficent. Okay…maybe not that sculpted.

 

What are your favorites?

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How To Kick This Semester’s Butt, And Hard

Originally published on The Odyssey Online on 9/28/15.

Kick it!
Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/49503214348@N01/3435484065

I enter every semester with the same mantra: this time, I will be organized. It wasn’t until my junior year that I really started following that. You’ve got to kick this semester’s butt, and you will with these three tips.

1. Microsoft OneNote is my hero.

Microsoft OneNote is amazing. I keep an online notebook in the program for each new semester. Within that notebook, I create a new page tab for each class I’m taking. Within each tab, I create a new page for every assignment. I also copy and paste the course’s syllabus on a new page so I can access it from my computer even offline. OneNote is like having a five-subject notebook without having the pages fray and the cover rip off halfway through October.
2. Ditch the cute micro-planner for a normal-sized one…and actually use it.

Every year, I get a new planner and say I’m going to use it and stay organized. Every year, I abandon it in the first few weeks of the semester. I realized last year that this because the planners I was using were so small and I would lose them or leave them in my car or at home. Last semester, I found a cute planner that was the same size as my other notebooks and I stuck to using it the entire four-month period. It’s bigger, you can’t really lose it unless you try, and it won’t even fall out of your hands when you’re carrying the rest of your books across campus because you’re too lazy to use a backpack. To benefit from using a planner, you have to actually use it. You should go through your syllabi and mark down all important due dates for the whole semester, so you are sure to not miss anything that will mess up your grade. It takes such a short amount of time to do this, yet will have a huge impact on your semester
3. You need a folder. And a notebook. And maybe a binder. No excuses.

In high school, I would stick any papers my teachers would give in my notebook. This lead to extreme un-organization and papers everywhere. I could never find anything easily! Now, as a senior, I’ve mastered the notebook-paper-folder organization. I take all my in-class notes in notebooks and put all papers and articles in a folder. I stick the folder in the notebook for easy access and to ensure I don’t forget to bring the folder to class. For one of my classes this semester, it’s all reading and note-taking. My professor puts her lecture notes up online, so I print them out and take notes on those in class. Instead of the notebook-folder method, I hole punch my notes and put them in a binder. Easy!

Once you start on the right track, you have a better chance of staying on and not falling off. It’s easy to just write down assignments on random post-it notes, but it’s also easy to lose them and then forget to do your work. This semester, adopt my mantra and actually get organized! You’ll feel a lot better about your semester, and I bet your GPA will too.

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What I Learned On My First Flight

Originally publihed on The Odyssey Online on 9/21/15.

Image from https://images.unsplash.com/uploads/14114640960629b5c3fa0/116dc05a?q=80&fm=jpg&s=8a48f069b474daee874fc131a7429cd9
Image from Unsplash.

My boyfriend planned a trip to Europe for my 21st birthday and gave me the tickets on Christmas morning. A predictable reaction would include lots of jumping up and down and hugging and smiling — which I was doing — but I was also starting to panic. I’d never been on a plane before and I was completely terrified.

I can’t remember when my acro- and aero-phobias really started, but I do remember getting stuck on the cable cars at Great Adventure when I was a kid. I remember being stuck on the wild mouse ride at Hershey Park. I can recall crying in a glass elevator at Madame Tussaud’s a number of years ago. I can’t pinpoint what sparked my long lasting fear of being off the ground, but it wasn’t just a little nervousness.

The next few months I went through many emotions. I created Pinterest boards for all three countries we would be visiting. I purchased guide books. I planned outfits for every activity. But I also had nightmares about the seven-hour flight there and double flights back. I spent time reading and educating myself on planes and their pilots, and I was able to talk myself into getting on the plane with a smile on my face.

I learned that the risk is almost always worth the reward. Had I not gone on that plane, I wouldn’t have had the best two weeks of my life!

A little bit of bravery can go a long way. Yes, I was terrified of that first flight. The small bit of courage I mustered up got me through all the turbulence and weird noises.

You can be afraid, but don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. How will you grow otherwise?

When you have a problem, you don’t have to try to fix it on your own. On our flight home, the airline made a mistake and my boyfriend and I got separated. This was a huge problem for me. Rather than moping about it or trying to ask other passengers to switch, we talked to the flight attendants. They were able to find a solution with the help of some kind people so that we could sit together and hold hands during take off.

The flight was fine, as you could have guessed. Hell, I even enjoyed it. I loved looking out the window. I loved the friendly flight attendants and the snacks they brought. I loved playing trivia for hours on the screen in front me. I can’t say the full-day flights were my favorite part of the trip, but they definitely weren’t worth all the stress I had put myself through over them.

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