Sunday, February 16, 2014

spring forward

After my wonderful experience with Nars “Ratin Jot” nail lacquer last month {reviewed here}, and an unquenched thirst for majorly in-your-face lipstick, I remembered one of my most lusted after lipsticks: Nars Funny Face.  Semi matte and extremely bright, this fuschia lipstick is now one of the first ones that I reach for when making up my face each day. The formula isn’t the most moisturizing, but I don’t find it to be too drying, either. With exfoliated lips, this lipstick smoothed on in about two light-handed coats achieves the perfect bold lip to capture the attention of anyone and everyone that passes you by.

In addition to a hot pink mouth, my floral scarf and chartreuse driving mocs are yet another attempt to encourage balmy, sunny weather from the cold, snowy days that we’ve had just about every week. Bring on the flowers, sunshine, and blue skies. At this point, I’d even welcome my atrocious spring allergies with open arms. I think that it's obvious that I'm tired of shoveling snow.

Both scarf and moccasins are from Isaac Mizrahi’s line for the home shopping television network, QVC. If there’s snow on the ground and I can’t do anything else productive other than sit on the sofa in my pajamas, at least I’m spending my inside time effectively by buying cute shoes and accessories... I’d say that’s pretty productive (even if I do the same thing even when there isn’t snow... oops).  

The yellow driving mocs are quite comfortable, not to mention stylish.  I’ve long been a fan of wearing moccasins, but these just feel a tad bit more grown up than the usual fringed counterparts. Listed as chartreuse on the website, I’d say these would be better described as a true mustard color. Perfect for pairing with crops and a light jacket when spring comes. The peony blossom scarf  in Begonia Pink, on the other hand is nice and soft—perfect for tucking into a jacket for a nice splash of floral right next to your face. Dreamy. Although both pieces are distinctly “spring”, that hasn’t stopped me from stepping out with my floral scarf bundled around my neck as I wander around in my winter coat. 

Even with the piles of snow as far as the eye can see, I can’t help but feel smug. A little snow never stopped anybody, and it certainly won’t stop me from being the brightest and springiest girl in the neighborhood, that’s for sure. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

young, wild, and free (runs)

I’ve never been very athletic. Actually, that’s a complete understatement. Not once did I get the “important” Presidential Fitness award; I always managed to get the “you-participated-here’s-an-award!” award.  I generally found myself tripping over my feet and chosen last for most athletic expeditions in my elementary and middle school days.

Fast forward a few years and here I am, walking four miles a day and generally following a pretty healthy lifestyle. My younger self probably would have just scoffed at the idea of me doing exercise, but when you have so many fun colors to choose in athletic shoes, the concept of exercise quickly gets a lot more interesting. Hey, if the shoe fits, right?

First off, the shoe of choice: the Nike Free Run 5.0+ in Volt. I’ve seen plenty of people rave about these babies and I can certainly see why. Completely and utterly obnoxious (but super adorable) in color? Check. Comfier than walking on a pillow? Double check. I had previously only worn the Free Advantage trainers and a few random pairs of Adidas runners in the past, but these new Nike babies are my absolute favorites to wear. They certainly put a happy smile on my face as soon as I look down at my feet, but then again, they glow so much that I don’t even have to look.

A few other necessities for me include Nike hair ties--they don't kink--in hot pink and bright blue, the MapMyWalk app that calculates time, mileage, and pace for all of your walking endeavors, and my favorite of the bunch, KT Tape a.k.a. "savior of all aches and woes". My favorite applications include those for runner's knee and peroneal tendonitis, but the possibilities are endless. With strategic placement and stretching of the cotton tape, muscles are raised under the skin and provided with immediate relief. Always nice when one has bad joints from long years of dancing... Needless to say, I've come to rely on my Kinesio taping quite a bit.

If that's not enough incentive for getting outside and exercising (and looking cute, cough cough), I don't know what is. Besides, you never know... Being outside in your cute kicks and sassy hair ties might even get the attention of that cute neighborhood boy. Ah, the joys of exercise.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

clarisonic mia 2

{ksny x darcel 'gia' - similar here , clarisonic mia 2 in 'key lime'}

Earlier this year, my face was an absolute, miserable mess. Nothing was working quite right, and my skin wasn't liking any product that I tried. Everything just left my features red and irritated, and my attitude didn't fare much better. I was doomed to ultimate disappointment, constantly trying facial products in an attempt to find the right one. The right one ended up being three. I found my "holy grail" concoction through plain Ivory bar soap, a discontinued (boo) Korres face wash, and a cheap bottle of witch hazel. Who knew it could be so simple? Things were instantly starting to look a lot brighter. A few months down the line, along came the pièce de résistance to my face-washing routine: the Clarisonic Mia 2. 

I had seen its face-washing claims before: takes off all makeup, gets things clean where your hands can't, evens out your skin's texture, etc. To me, it was just an electric toothbrush for your face, and an expensive little toothbrush could never do anything for your face. Then I tried it. How wrong I was. Used once a week for my sensitive face, the Clarisonic's magic powers work wonders at sloughing off dead skin and bringing back the glowy complexion I strive for. A little drop of face wash and a quick scrub, and a squeaky clean, makeup free face emerges. With two speeds, compact size for easy storage, and cheerful neon color, how can you go wrong? Your face will definitely thank you.

Monday, January 20, 2014

you can't take me anywhere

You can't take me anywhere...

I rarely move away from the same products, but I have been exploring the depths of the beauty counters (and the occasional TJ Maxx trip) to satisfy some beauty discovery urges.

{click product names for links}

tarte colored clay CC primer in "Fair" - The one step product for the beginnings of a flawless base, or, if you're lucky, primer and base all in one. I've used this product for a few days now after finding it as a new product at the tarte counter of my local Ulta. With a creamy, matte texture, this product covers excess redness and dullness from the winter weather. Albeit it has to be blended out considerably for my pale skin, but the end result? Totally worth it. {full review coming soon}

Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in "Romantic" - After searching for the perfect red lip without too much pigmentation, I stumbled across this balm stain from Revlon at the drugstore. The scent is reminiscent of candy canes and menthol, but it's far from being offensive. More importantly, the color output, like most other Revlon lip products, is stunning. With a light hand, this stick can be a sheer, candy apple red, but if applied a little more liberally, can be the perfect red lipstick to appear pulled together--even if that's far from reality. The staying power is also incredible. When applied, it takes on a glossy sheen, but as it wears off, the red pigments stay behind, leaving you with slightly stained lips that don't require any reapplications unless you choose.

Thakoon for Nars Nail Polish in "Ratin Jot" - I found this little gem from the Thakoon and Nars collaboration from Summer 2012 at my TJ Maxx for about half of its $19 retail price. Nars describes this color as "orchid", and I'd have to agree. The perfect magenta shade when you're busy wishing for warm breezes and sunny skies, and the staying power is more than worthy. On my chip-happy fingernails, this polish stayed for about four to five days with just a little tip wear.

tarte Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in "Blissful" - A constant favorite for me, this tarte blusher isn't a shade I haven't seen too many people review, but it's my absolute favorite from the Amazonian clay 12-hour blush range. Although very peachy in the pan, this color is perfect for all times of the year, even when the complexion is a little lackluster from being constantly whipped with cold wind. The initial swish is a little sheer, but this color builds up to the perfect flushed glow for both day and night.

Although not necessarily the perfect day to day beauty application, these products have definitely seen some love from me from the last year and into this year. Just make sure to keep me away from the beauty counters... I'm always bound to find something I don't need.