Friday, August 31, 2012

Change: The Only Constant

Image via Pinterest

           If there is anything I’ve learned in the 21 years of my life, it is that the only thing constant in life is change. One minute you think you have everything planned to a T, and suddenly, your plans go up in smoke and everything does a 180.

           I just arrived from San Francisco to NYC two Saturdays ago, and I just signed the lease on my first apartment – in SoHo, one of my favorite parts of Manhattan. Along with the move came the start of a new job, as marketing coordinator, at tarte cosmetics, where I will help to plan in-store promotional events and company video shoots, work on makeup artist education and training, and help with marketing copy. It is a perfect position for me because it takes both my writing skills and makeup artistry into account, allowing me to help create facecharts and looks to correspond with upcoming products, while giving me the security you have in an office environment as opposed to freelancing. So to say that I have been busy is an understatement.

          If you aren’t yet familiar with tarte cosmetics, you should get in-the-know now. Started by Maureen Kelly in her one-bedroom NYC apartment not too long ago, the brand has an amazing line of “high performance naturals” – products that are free of many of the harmful preservatives, irritants, and other icky things we see in many cosmetics lines. Many of the products are vegan and all are cruelty free. tarte’s products are fun and trendy, but they also seriously work. The company has won a plethora of beauty awards from Allure, Elle, and many other publications.

          I covered my favorite tarte products in the past, but I want to introduce a new fall launch that I absolutely adore: the Call of the Wild palette and eye liner, only available at Ulta. Not only is the black and leopard packaging super-chic, but the eye shadows inside really work. Most are bronzy neutrals, but I love the navy shade – “roar” – which is an unexpected pairing with the shimmering burgundy, “wild”.

          I’m so, so excited to start working seriously for a line that I love, and while this fall will be plenty busy, I can’t wait for the chaos! I find that I am the type of person that does much better on a regular schedule. Between tarte, my last few credits in college, enjoying what New York has to offer, and of course, blogging, I may suffer from a severe lack of sleep but I’m fairly certain it will all be worth it.   

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pre-Fall Favorites

          I’m sick of summer. More specifically, summer in New York. Yes, beach days are great, but the city in the sweltering heat is quite unmanageable. You leave your home looking what you think is wonderful and by the time you are at work, makeup is smudged and sweat-through, hair is frizzy, and you’ve sweat through your white dress. If fall started tomorrow, I’d be quite alright. I’ve amassed quite a large inventory of fall clothing, all of which I am unable to wear, and it just stares at me, dejected, in my closet. The poor sweaters, coats, and boots!

This fall, there are a couple of things I’m obsessed with style-wise (and beauty-wise, of course).

British Racing Green
Image found on Pinterest
           I’ve always been a fan of all the greens - lime, chartreuse, kelly, and most of all, hunter. For fall, shades of green are everywhere, and I’m a fan. My main goal is to get my hands on a deep green leather bag, preferably this one by YSL. You can wear the color with everything you normally would pair black with, which makes an outfit new and exciting. Another way to wear the color is in clothing, and Aritzia’s house brand T.Babaton makes the perfect button-down (only available at Aritzia stores), a steal at $110 compared to the classic Equipment blouses.
          A deep green cat eye is an unexpected, yet subtle twist on a classic – Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Liner in Ivy Shimmer Ink and an angled brush is ideal for this. Or line the inner rim of your lower lashes with MAC’s Technakohl Liner in Jade Way, for a louder look.


Deep, Dark Lips
From Oyster Magazine via Le Fashion
          As I’ve gone gradually blonder over the past  two years, I’ve tried to go “darker” in my accessory and makeup choices, to prevent myself from looking too bubblegum. Blonde hair needs to be toughened up. I recently picked up these earrings from Topshop, which are almost like a faux gauge, but simple spike studs also do the trick to go bold.
          For makeup, the easier way to go from Barbiesque to something more Daria (the 90’s tv show, obviously) is a dark, plum-tinged matte lip. With clean skin, a touch of highlighter, and just mascara on the eyes, this look is modern and edgy. Don’t be afraid to rock it if you happen to be brunette or redhead, but be sure to prevent it from going too gothic by pairing it with hyper -feminine ruffles or lace.
          My pick for this look is Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, which I picked up at the gorgeous Nars boutique on Bleecker Street this weekend. A subtler, sheerer option is Tarte's Lipsurgence Lip Luster in Moody.
         I’m just waiting for the first leaf to fall before I pull this soon-to-be-staple out of my makeup archives.

Stubbs & Wootton
Super-heroine shoes

          Ah, smoking slippers – the new ballet flat. This shoe shape is everywhere, from Steve Madden to Christian Louboutin. But my pick for the slipper of the season is the quintessentially preppy classic, Stubbs & Wootton. These embroidered loafers come in every style of embroidery imaginable, from yacht-clubby crests, to a more punky version featuring one shoe with a devil wing and the other with an angel wing.

          While they are certainly not cheap, starting at $330 per pair, these shoes are timeless. Even my grandmother rocks them! J.Crew currently has an exclusive collection, and Stubbs & Wootton also several boutiques in preppy mainstays: Madison Avenue, Palm Beach, and East Hampton, where you can get a glimpse of the entire collection and choose a loafer that truly fits your personality.

Mizuki Jewelry
Image via Fragments
          If you haven’t noticed, tiny pendants of crosses, owls, hamsa hands, stars, and everything in-between, are all the rage right now. Featured on the necks of every girl from Brooklyn to Birmingham, they are a fun way to give a glimpse of your personality and tastes. As an April baby, I am partial to diamonds, and when I discovered Mizuki pendants (particularly the moon symbol necklace; yes, sometimes I want to channel Practical Magic), at one of my favorite boutiques, Red Bird, in Berkeley, CA (a must-see for anyone in the Bay Area: they have a perfectly-curated collection of clothing, jewelry, and accessories, that is unmatched anywhere), I was in love. While the moon pendant I am lusting over is a little (read: a lot) out of my price range right now, a girl can dream, right?
          Black diamonds mixed with gold are less bling-bling, but just as luxe, as the typical platinum and crystal combo. A peek at Mizuki’s website reveals the stunning assortment of pendants, charms, and chains they offer, which are also available at Neiman Marcus stores nationwide. This is not just a fall pick, but a forever pick, the ideal (albeit pricey) gift for a friend, parent, or sibling.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sunburns 101

Picture from Pinterest
        Sunburns, are, without a doubt, the biggest fun-killer of summer. Your lovely beach vacation almost instantly turns to torture when that lobster-like tone appears. And, while religious sunblock application (my pick is Josie Maran) is the best preventative measure, sometimes, let's face it, we can be stupid with the sun.
          One of those especially stupid moments was me, yesterday, laying out, sunblockless (THE HORROR!!) for one hour in my yard. 2PM on a California summer Sunday, I did not think I'd get burnt. Yet here I am, having to avoid my religiously-attended Bar Method class for fear that I might frighten people with my degree of redness. Thankfully, it does not hurt to much, but boy am I pink. And the most attractive part? A strange diagonal line down my neck that is not burnt.

So, what is a girl to do?

Here are my top tips for dealing with sunburn.

1. Brew some strong Lipton or PG Tip's black tea (I'd say four bags for 8 oz. of water). Wait for it to cool, and then dip a washcloth in the blackened brew and wring out the excess. Pat the washcloth all over your burn. The tannin in tea will help relieve the burn, and some even say that it will have the redness gone in 24 hours. Repeat every few hours.

2. Mixing pure lavender essential oil with an aloe vera-spiked lotion (or what I'm using, Sibu Beauty's Sea Buckthorn Body Cream) will help calm the sting of the burn. Lavender is an anti-inflammatory.

3. My favorite fix? The amazing Solar Recovery Spray, which I've mentioned here several times. It really does the trick in healing and preventing burns from forming. Unfortunately, the Whole Foods in CA doesn't carry it, so I was left with the previously-mentioned remedies. 

4. Aloe. The real, pure stuff, not the electric green, alcohol-tinged gel that just makes it worse. Sticking it in the fridge before application will make a great after-sun refresher, even if you aren't burned. It can get sticky though, which is why I prefer other methods.

Anyone have any secret cures for sunburn? I'd love to find out about them!