Happy September everyone, it’s officially Fall! I’ll save you the typical schpiel about how excited for all things boot & pumpkin related (because we know I am) by keeping it short & sweet and telling you I’m just happy to be getting into the crisper months.
J. Crew is really killing the game with their fall separates right now. They have some adorable silk & velvet camisoles that I have in my shopping cart right now, along with some super cute blazers & coats I also want to grab. PLUS an amazing fur vest in the yummiest wine color.
I‘m also in the process of building a pair of custom shoes with Shoes of Prey! I’m sure you’ve seen the shoes below on Pinterest, I feel like they are the most pinned shoes ever! They’re by Aquazarra, and retail for like $700. Since I don’t have that kind of cash lying around to spare on shoes, I decided to make a similar pair on Shoes of Prey for only $150. Can’t wait to see how they turn out!
Finally, I just stocked up on some Everlane basics. While I love a good statement piece, nothing beats have great quality pieces like long sleeve t-s for layering, crisp black jeans or my new favorite wide leg pants. Shop all the pieces I purchased below!
I don’t know if you heard, but Rihanna just changed the makeup game. Her Fenty Beauty line is TO DIE FOR. The collection is focused on skin, so think primers, highlighters, contour & concealer sticks. I bought the Universal Lip Luminizer, and am in love. While I’m not usually a gloss person, this is just so flattering and pretty with just the right amount of shimmer & warmth. You can wear it alone or layer over lipsticks and it really does look good on everyone. I also grabbed the Primer which I’ve been mixing into my foundation before applying ( I read somewhere that it works better that way) and it gives me the perfect matte without drying me out. I also grabbed the Match Stix Shimmer in Starstruck and want to get my hands on “Rum” because it’s suppose to look beautiful as a bronzed eye.
On the hair front, my hairstylist recommended these two products to me during my last visit and I’m in love. The first is an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. I have a problem scalp so this really helps both with scalp irritation and also to remove product build-up. It’s color-safe and somehow takes the place of a shampoo & conditioner, without smelling like traditional ACV. Seriously magic. The second is Marula Oil 3 in 1 Styling Creme. It’s super moisturizing and tames my frizz really well. I put it in after I shower and either let my hair air dry (90% of the time) or style. It’s like a leave-in conditioner, styling cream, and hair oil all in one, plus it smells amazing.
Healthwise, I’m trying something called carb cycling, you can read about it here. I owe you all an updated fitness post where I’ll go into more detail but essentially you cycle high carb days with low carb days as a way to decrease calories a bit & shock your body, without cutting down your carbs too much. I’m a monster on anything less than 100g of carbs per day so I’m using a moderate approach where I don’t go below that.
If you haven’t watched Narcos, do it now. I finished it in like three days, mainly because of my intense crush on Pedro Pascal. I’m also super excited that Outlander is back on! If you’ve never watched it and love period shows, it’s definitely a must! Every time I watch I have the urge to re-visit and or move to Scotland.
I also just received my first monthly task from a program called Safety Pin Box. The idea behind Safety Pin Box is to better educate white people who want to become better informed and strong allies for the Black Liberation movement, with a particular focus on women. This month’s theme is #blackreprodjustice. Repro rights are near and dear to my heart, but I know I have an inherent bias that prevents me from advocating on behalf of women of color, so I’m really excited to dig into this and make some changes to my way of thinking and advocating.
The third and final month of summer is upon us! August is always a funny month because you’re simultaneously soaking up the last drops of summer and starting to think about fall and all that comes with it. I’m focusing on getting as much of my summer fix as I can for the next few weeks!
I’ve always loved seeing bloggers round up their monthly favorites, whether it’s clothing, recipes, beauty items, TV shows, etc. Obviously, my picks will mostly fall into fashion & beauty categories, but there are other aspects of my life (and personal taste) I’d love to share with my followers as well!
So this is the first of a monthly favorites blog series I’m starting, I hope you enjoy!
I bought a pair of these in black and have been wearing them non-stop. Super comfortable, amazing quality, and chic. They remind me of the Hermes ones I’ve been seeing around (but for a much lower price tag only $80 and they’re high-quality leather!)
This palette holds everything I need for a full look, all in pretty rose gold tones. I’m trying to bring as little makeup as possible on my upcoming trip to Italy, but this will definitely make the cut!
I finally took some time to check out former reality star Lo Bosworth’s blog and fell in love. I’ve never read a more honest and sensitive e blog, and I loved how varied her content was. Some of her recent posts cover healthy recipes, natural beauty picks and a vlog about how she’s healing her broken heart. I love her vulnerability and commitment to wellness and mental health! Definitely, check it out! She’s my new #girlcrush
In less than a week I’m headed to my DREAM destination, the Amalfi coast! I have all things Italian on the mind and am looking forward to sharing my trip with you all! With that, I leave you with this #travelporn image
I saw that quote on Instagram the other day and was dying. So true. Who doesn’t like to be glowing & tan during the summer?
I love having some color during the summer but I really hate laying out, and I want to protect my skin as much as possible. As a result I rely heavily on self tanner, bronzer, and other “glow”enhancing products.
Shop some of my must have’s below! I use every single one of these items regularly.
As it gets warmer I always tend to wear use fewer products. While I’m still a beauty junkie at heart and love devoting time to my daily makeup routine, come April I’m drawn towards tinted moisturizers, highlighters and products that are more transparent and natural looking.
This means that he focus on is on my skin, so right about now I’m using a lot of resurfacing & refining products to reduce pore size, remove dead skin, even skin tone, and add more brightness.
Shani is a celebrity facial artists who works on stars like Chrissy Teigan, Kim Kardashian, and one of my favorite bloggers Marianna Hewitt. Her retinol serum combines calming aloe along with power retinol to minimize pores, help acne, refine skin texture and lighten dark spots. I just started working this into my routine once weekly and have already started to see results.
I got this product last week after seeing amazing reviews online. Oh, my, god. I’ve gotten in-office microdermabrasion and this gives almost the exact same result. My skin felt baby-smooth and my pores were clear after using this.
I was skeptical about the this product at first but am a true believer now. It’s much easier to use than a Clarisonic, and the rubber nubs are anti-microbial so you never need to replace it. There are three different types of bristles depending on whether you’re using it on oiler or dryer parts of your face, and the vibration really allows your cleanser to work into the skin. My face feels much cleaner, smoother and brighter after cleansing with this.
Last week I spent four days in Cabo San Lucas at a gorgeous Villa on Chilleno Bay. The trip was filled with my favorite activities (eating, drinking, napping) but the best part was that I was finally able to wear some of my vacation pieces!
I’ve been in awe of Patrick Ta’s work for a while now. He works on beauties like Olivia Munn, Gigi Hadid, Shay Mitchell, Jenna Dewan and Kourtney Kardashian. When I saw he was giving a seminar in LA at with Revolve I bought my ticket right away.
The event was absolutely amazing, and I was blown away by how much I learned from Patrick. Each guest was given a swag bag with TONS of product, handpicked by Patrick. He’s a La Mer ambassador so there was even a small sized moisturizer in the bag! I was also super excited to go to Revolve Social club, as normally its invite only.
I’m no newbie to makeup, but watching Patrick work completely changed my outlook on how makeup should be done. He has away of making skin look absolutely flawless and natural, and even dramatic looks are effortless.
He went through two looks, each taking him over an hour from start to finish.
While you’ll have go to his next seminar to get all of his tips, here are some of the most important things I learned
If you’re only using one foundation you’re doing it wrong.
Patrick mixed four different foundations for each model. Some of his favorites are La Mer, Chanel Le Beiges, Giorgio Armani and Kevin Aucoin. He also named his favorite shade ranges. He has an amazing eye for color and when he identifies the right tone he’s a master at matching each client’s skin tone but also bring more warmth and depth to their skin .
Same goes for concealer
He loves mixing NARS & Tarte concealers for under eye & highlight. His favorite shades to mix are NARS Vanilla, Custard, Ginger & Honey, and Tarte Tape Shape in Medium. I usually tend to go super light with my under eye concealer but after seeing his approach, I bought the other shades he recommended. My concealer highlight looked so much more effortless when using his approach.
Use bronzer sparingly
Patrick used a light hand with his bronzer. Instead of applying a line and furiously blending out (like I do) he was so delicate when contouring the blending almost did itself. He uses Chanel Solei Tan for light cream contour and then finishes up with a dusting of powder bronzer.
You can never have too much highlighter
Looking at his instagram you’ll see his makeup is always amazingly glowy, but still soft. Its not a tacky highlight, it’s ethereal. It’s because he layers three different highlighters in most cases. Liquid, followed by cream, followed by powder.
Beauty Blender is key
He used brushes to apply most products but then patted everything into the skin evenly with a damp beauty blender to make everything meld together.
Everything should coordinate
His looks are also so gorgeous because he makes sure all of this tones are similar.
He also gave his take on what trends he thinks will be big in 2017, or at least what he’ll be doing on his clients this year (so it will become a trend soon enough). He’s excited to focus on monochrome makeup, colored mascara, lighter, more natural brows and pops of color around the eyes
Can’t wait to shoot a few looks featuring the new techniques I learned!
Happy Friday! Jumping into the weekend with a skincare post. I’ve had a number of requests for my routine and products I use so I wanted to take the time to break it down for my lovely followers.
First and foremost, I rely on an amazing dermatologist. I went through years of self diagnosing skincare issues like
as hormonal acne and finally caved and went to a dermatologist last year after my skin became out of control.
My derm prescribed me two topical medications, Aczone gel for the morning and Ziana for the evening.
Aczone is an anti-bacterial, anti inflammatory gel, while Ziana is a combination of retinol ( a skin renewing product that prevents dead skins cells from accumulating that is great refining skin texture and preventing wrinkles) mixed with an antibacterial.
Both of these products have helped my skin tremendously, even during that time of the month. I encourage everyone to go to a dermatologist to diagnose their own unique skincare issues.
I do a double cleanse method which is optimal when you wear makeup and products with SPF.
Then, I use a regular cleanser. I alternate between a mild Cerave cleanser and scrub, like St. Ive’s (yes, the one you used in middle school). I also love Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder which leaves my skin silky and smooth, you just mix the powder with a bit of water for grainy scrub that dissolves into a foam lather.
Prior to getting the write prescription products I used to over tone my skin with harsh astringents. Now that my skin is more balances I find I only need a light toner. My favorite is Blue Beautifly Organic Rose Toner. It balances oil and isn’t too harsh, and I love the scent.
I layer three different moisturizers depending on my skin and the weather. When I’m feeling a bit oily, I use Tatcha Balancing Moisturizer, which is more of a gel consistency. It gives me moisture without being too creamy.
Next, I use Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream. The consistency is perfect, it leaves my under-eye supple and moisturized so that when I apply my makeup I don’t have any dryness or creasing.
Finally, I apply Tatcha Beauty Oil all over. This oil is expensive but a little goes along way, and I’ve seen such a difference in my skin texture and tone since I started using it. Camelia oil has been was used by women in Japan for centuries to perfect their skin. I’ve also found this to be the perfect primer for a natural skin finish when I wear foundation.
I drink excessive amounts of water. Its the oldest trick in the book but I swear it helps keep my skin in good shape. 8-10 glasses a day would leave me parched, I’m probably averaging a gallon and half. If that seems too aggressive for you, vow to have a small (4-6 oz) glass of water every hour.
Happy Monday! I wanted to start this week off with a beauty post highlighting how I care for, style and manage my hair.
Everyone’s hair-type varies, and that factors a lot into how well a certain routine works for you. I have thick hair, with medium-coarse strands, so I can get away with slightly less washing and tend to be a bit more heavy handed with product, since it often seems to disappear into my hair. That being said, I think my routine and products work for a variety of hair types (with a few tweaks) as the focus is on keeping hair as healthy as possible.
Cut & Color
Some may disagree but I think think this is where you should spend the majority of your haircare budget.
Cut is the foundation of your hairstyle, a good cut will make styling much easier and allow you to use less heat & product overall. Of course, the best cut isn’t always the most expensive. I have girlfriends who swear by their 25$ stylist ( you know who you are!) and they have great results. I think it just depends on your hair type, desired hair-look, and overall dedication to styling your hair. You need to fine someone who understands your hair the the “vision” you have for it. I like my hair to look messy, lived in, with piecey ends. I also don’t like super visible layers but definitely need them blended into my hair in order to make it more mangeable and give it some movement.
Color is probably even more important than cut; that is, if you choose to color your hair. I’ve gone through various shades of brown and “bronde”, starting with forays into drugstore hair dye in college, moving to brighter rooted golden toned looks, to my current subtle brunette balayage. I prefer the most natural look possible. I like my highlights to look grown out and blend easily with the rest of my hair. While most colorists are well versed in this look, its helpful to bring in pictures, even if you’re going to the same colorist you’ve been going to for a while. I don’t know hairstylist jargon, and sometimes my vision of “cool toned” is completely different from theirs, so pictures bridge that gap.
When I’m in San Francisco I go to Ricardo at Elan Salon SF. I started going to him years ago when he was at Cowboys & Angels and was thrilled when he opened his own salon. He’s a color god and has always given me exactly what I wanted, I really can’t recommend him enough. If I still lived in the Bay Area I would never stray from him! I’ve been to a few different stylist for cuts at his salon as well and they’ve all done a great job.
I’ve been going to Ramirez Tran salon where trademarked the term “lived in color.” Their cuts follow the same suit. It’s definitely an expensive salon, but I love my results and feel its worth it. You can scroll their Instagram and see some pictures of their work to see what I’m talking about.
Prior to Ramirez Tran I went to Luxe Lab and had great results as well. They’re slightly more affordable depending on the tier of stylist you choose.
I LOVE this line and I’m using a bunch of their products at the moment. Its created by celebrity stylist Jen Atkin, who styles celebs like the Kardashians, Chrissy Teigan, the Hadid’s etc. The products are decently priced for a high-end hair line, and the packaging is beautiful. My favorites are the Wave Spray for beachy texture, the Texturizing Hair Spray for volume and a “lived in look”, the Oil for shine and heat protection, and the Finishing Creme on my ends for separation and shine.
Blue Beautifly is a certified Organic, Vegan, Cruelty free beauty brand. They have an amazing skin & hair care line that uses botanical extracts. I love their Pure Argan Oil for deep conditioning on the ends of my hair, and I use their Rose Toner when I want to refresh my hair, its a great light mist for reactivating any products applied earlier.
Drug store Products:
Psst Dry Shampoo is the original dry shampoo and you can buy it at almost every drug store Its cheap and is great for building volume.
Loreal Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner are great options for affordable cleansers for color treated hair
Wash & Prep
I wash my hair probably 3-4 times a week, depending on how much product I use and how intense my workouts are. I’m also incredibly lazy about blow drying my hair, which fortunately I can get away with. I wash my hair in the evening, coat it with a moisturizing hair oil and go to sleep with it wet. In the AM I put it in a top knot before the gym and use copious amounts of dry shampoo post shower, along with a quick refresh with the blow dryer aimed at just my roots.
I generally don’t like how my hair looks straight so I mainly rely on a curler.
I’ve used Numee products for a long time, and I prefer a wand style curling iron because I like the ends of my hair to stay straighter to give me waves more of an un-done look; I have a 1 inch wand I use frequently.
I recently bought Hot Tools curling irons, both the 1 1/4 inch and the 3/4 inch and I love having more versatility.
While my exact technique varies depending on the look, I generally follow the same formula.
I take air-dried hair and divide it into 5 sections using large clips.
I spray each section with a light coat of texturizer or hairspray to give some grip, I then wind about an inch wide section around a curling wand at a time, leaving the ends loose.
In the bottom 3 sections I alternate each way I curl my hair first away from my face, then towards it, so all the curls don’t collapse into one wave, you want a big of dimension so it looks natural.
With top layer or two I wrap the hair away from my face, and I always tug on the pieces near my face so they’re the loosest and most natural looking. Each time I release I curl I cup my hand under it so it doesn’t fall to quickly, as my hair is heavy and tends to lose curl fast.
I finish by “butterflying” my hair– pulling it out to the side while spraying texturizer throughout. It takes the the place of teasing by adding volume, and breaks up the waves so they look a bit messy.
Depending on frizz level, I smooth a bit of styling oil over the top and use The Ouai Finishing Creme on the ends to give them some separation.
I’ll go into more detailed techniques for specific looks in the future, but I hope this gave you some fun tips for how to style your hair and what products I recommend!
Lately the trend in beauty is skewing towards fresh, clean skin with minimal distraction from heavy contour, shadow or color. While going out the door barefaced with only a swipe of mascara sounds appealing, its not realistic for those of us who have less than flawless skin. Here’s my routine for getting glowing skin with minimal definition around the eyes, cheeks and brows.
Step 1: Prime face with a beauty oil. I’ve transitioned from primer to a beauty oil for a base underneath foundation after reading an article that mentioned Mario Dedovenic (the mastermind behind Kim K’s flawless skin) uses this method, thereby eliminating any barrier between the foundation and the skin. I’ve been loving Tatcha’s Gold Camellia Beauty Oil . It’s pricy but 2-3 drops is more than enough for your entire face
Step 3: Apply Bodyography Concealer under the eye. This concealer is amazing. Again, I stole this tip from Kim K. Its pretty opaque (which makes it creaseless) so you really only need I tiny bit. Dab some under the eye, focusing more on the dark circle area vs directly under the lash line, then blend it up with a Beauty Blender.
Step 4: Lightly (the key is lightly!) contour with Nars the Multiple in Atai. I draw a stripe under the cheekbone and down the sides of my nose, then blend it out with a Beauty Blender.
Step 5 : Set all your hard work! I’ve been using Chantecaille powder in Peach. I use the same Beauty Blender to apply, and use only a tiny bit of powder, really patting the product onto the skin to help it fuse with the foundation.
Step 6: Use Benefit Hula Bronzer to warm up the face. Using a large fluffy brush, lightly dust the areas you contoured earlier. Depending on what kind of looking I’m going for, I switch up the brush I use to apply powdered bronzer. For this look I wanted the effect to be soft so I used a larger brush to diffuse the color more.
Step 7: Using the Beauty Blender press a cream blush, like Bite Beauty Multistick in cashew onto cheeks. Focus hire on the cheek then blend the color forward.
Step 6: Add some glow with a highlighter. I love Anastasia Glow Kit in “That Glow”. There are four different highlight tones to choose from. Use a highlight brush or tapered bronze brush to apply just at tops of cheekbones down the bridge of the nose, and lightly over lids.
Step 8: Define brows with Anastasia Brow pencil in Taupe. I fill in my brows a bit differently depending on the type of look I’m going for. With a more natural look I like the brow to be defined but light. I focused on the arches mainly, filling in any spots and letting those little sparse hairs towards the nose go wild. Feathered, natural looking brows are in right now.
Step 9: Mist face with Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist and use that Beauty Blender one last time to lightly press the products you’ve applied into the skin. This last step will melt all the layers together and make your skin look flawless but natural. I just applied a clear balm to the lips for this look.