My 6 Holy Grail Beauty Products

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I chat quite a bit about makeup bits around here, but with a lot of brands and products flying around at you from every different direction, as is often the case in the blogging/Youtubing world, it's hard to get an idea where to start. I know a lot of you are fans of the minimalist approach to makeup, and also just getting into the makeup scene, and the amount of products available is overwhelming even to the most experienced (read: not me). Should you splash out on all high-end products, should you start with all drugstore, should you mix, and if you do, where is it important to spend more money and where can you save by buying drugstore, while still not sacrificing quality?

In order to begin combating all this confusion (or at least to begin to), I've put together my Top 6 Holy Grail Products, otherwise known as my "Desert Island Beauty Needs" or, quite simply The Makeup Starter Kit. Basically, these are a fantastic place to start getting into makeup. Read on, Lizzy!

1. FOUNDATION: Rimmel Match Perfection SPF 30 Foundation in shade #130, True Ivory
This foundation does truly hit all the bases (pun only partially intended...). It gives a medium but buildable coverage, it's long-wearing, light-weight and hydrating. Not to mention it has SPF factor 30. Set with powder if you're after a more matte look; for me, I like a dewy finish and this is perfect as is.

2. CHEEKS: e.l.f. Blush/Highlighter All Over Stick in the shade "Persimmon"
This product is a one-swipe wonder. A faintly shimmery highlighter that mostly gives glow, a bit of warmth, and lasts all. the darn. day. Seriously amazing. Did I mention it's $1?

3. Tarte "Tartelette In Bloom" Eyeshadow Palette
This has all your neutral eyeshadow basics, a few shimmers, as well as a couple good grey-toned-browns that work well for filling in your eyebrows. What more could you want? This is definitely a product worth investing in.

4. CoverGirl The SuperSizer Waterproof Mascara
Limited edition StarWars packaging aside (ahhhh), this mascara has actually really grown on me since I first purchased it. The formulation, now a bit drier and better at amping up your eyelashes, provides a good, clean mascara look, completely clump-free, very lengthening and defining. Cheap as chips. (With mascara, I rarely see it necessary to branch into the world of high-end ones. Drugstore mascara is good.)

5. Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in "Eastend Snob"
Cult classic. This is my favorite lipliner. Ever.

6. M.A.C. Cremesheen lipstick in "Patisserie"
Another cult classic. You know I love this lipstick, especially paired with the aforementioned lipliner. There really is nothing like this combination for that classic Parisian-pink lip: not too brown, not too pink, not too glossy and not so matte as to be drying. Long lasting. I wear this combo at least once every week (and I change up my lips a lot, so that's saying something. :)

What are your holy grail beauty products/things you can't live without? I want to know!

Easter Sunday | #OOTD

Monday, March 28, 2016

blazer: Ambiance Apparel, old, similar | dress: Mossimo, old, updated style (love it!) | shoes: thrifted, exact | lipstick: M.A.C. "Ruby Woo" (FAVORITE) | sunglasses: Charming Charlie's | clutch: Forever 21, old, similar

This is not a sponsored post, I just really like clothing. ;)

Hello friends! I hope your Easter was wonderful, full of lots of chocolate (of course), brimming with joy, and rejoicing for Death's eternal defeat.  

Today's outfit is not actually what I ended up wearing on Easter Sunday, but I did plan on wearing it. In the end, it was a bit cold: despite the fact that we've been having 75+ degree days all week, when it came to the weekend the weather got promptly cool again. Boo.

This crochet shift dress is an old Target piece I picked up at a thrift store last summer (so really old) but I've continued to love it even through the winter months, (pairing it with knee high socks was my favorite way) and here we are again in the springtime and I'm still loving it! If that doesn't say something about the versatility of a good shift dress I'm not sure what does. The real star of this outfit, however, are these shoes.

I  mean, they're embroidered. You don't just find embroidered shoes, you have to buy designer ones online for your whole month's salary. But, by some miracle, I spotted these at Plato's Closet over Spring Break while I was checking out and didn't think twice before adding them to the order. Not to mention the fact that they were $8. I'm convinced that the longer you thrift, the better deals you find: not for any scientific reason, of course, but it just seems to happen, and I'm so okay with that. XD

Best part? I found the exact shoes online so you too can join in the embroidery love. They are very affordable, even at regular price - score one for LuLu's! Click here to get them while they're still available.

Did you do anything fun, special or interesting for Easter? What are some of your traditions (traditions are my favorite)? Are you as obsessed with embroidered shoes as I seem to be??

What I Learned Fasting From Sugar

Friday, March 25, 2016

Awhile back I did a post on What I Learned Working In A Cafe, and I had a lot of fun writing it and tapping into all the quirks and perks of the cafe-worker's life! Since, as you know, I gave up sugar for Lent (which will end this weekend. whaaat.) and I'm currently reading a fascinating book by Eve O. Schaub called "Year of No Sugar",  I've had the topic on my mind for a while, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my trials and tribulations (ha. not really.) for any of you joining along or just plain interested in the process!

"Wait no sugar?!" "But do you eat honey? What about fruit? Does that count?"


But you really can't do anything about that, because people are inquisitive -  and it's better to tell them simply what you're doing and why you're doing it, than to storm off and let them think you're a sugar-deprived moron. XD

3. YOU MIGHT FEEL ALIENATED (and its okay)
To share a meal with someone, to break bread around a table and share conversation: that is a special experience, and to alter that by abstaining from a lot of food (sugar eliminates a lot of options - or at least, premade options) it can feel very awkward. It's not so much about not eating sugary things because you want the taste of them, it's about not eating with everyone else, not fitting in and joining the communion. I've learned though, that as long as you have some similar food to eat, you'll not really feel separate. It's when you're not eating anything that it gets to ya. XP

...And incredibly good at winging it with recipes to make them fit your guideline. Or, at the very least, you will be very creative. There's credit for that, right??

Sometimes, you're going to have an amalgamation of nuts, fruit, cheese and whatever veggies you find in the fridge (with hummus, because all dressings have sugar.) This usually happens when you've been out all day and neglected to meal-prep the day before. Don't worry, you'll survive. In these instances, I've discovered that...

Seriously. It's filling, natural, builds strong bones - and best of all, it's a fabulous dessert with a few dates on the side (think milk and cookies. yum!)

I can't emphasize this enough. You'd think normal food like toast and deli meats and pasta sauce would be fine, but really they aren't. Read the labels y'all! Find out what exactly you are putting into that temple of yours.

The thing about eating sugar-free is that it can be remarkably simple: you only have to take what you eat back to basics, using simple, everyday ingredients. You'll probably find during the process that you're doing a lot of cooking and preparing at home, but is this really a bad thing? True, it takes a bit more time - time that sometimes you don't have, and that is when it gets harder - but in the long run you're doing your body a huge service to be taking better care of it. And that's worth it to me. :)

The Elegance Files, No. 10: Karlie Kloss

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Just a little series on being elegant, from tips my mother taught me and beyond. Click here to read more from the archives...

Karlie Kloss has been a style inspiration of mine for a good long while, and she's one of the very few people who I look up to in the industry who's style it's actually very easy to imitate: not just because it's very me (literally love almost everything she wears) but because it's refreshingly relaxed. Karlie dresses like an Everygirl, whether running from the gym to a shoot in fabulous athleisure (few pull it off. Karlie is one of them) or carting around the world, she always seems to be wearing something practical yet stylish.

One of the main assets of Karlie's style I love so much is her Parisian 90's nods - Parisian fashion in the 1990's can either be incredibly chic and timeless, or borderline dull, and she seems to have taken the best parts of the era and mixed them with modern pieces, playing them to their best. Of course I'm jealous of her mile-long model legs, being able to pull off amazing wide-leg pant silhouettes that would dwarf me, but for the most part her American-meets-retro-Paris look is remarkably easy to pull off -- and at every price point. She keeps it elegant and classy, plays with trends, but sticks to her basics too. There really is something to be said for that simple, played down, no-nonsense look that still somehow boldly declares style. 

I've linked a few of my favorite Karlie-esque pieces throughout this post, if you'd like to recreate her style. :)

Mastering the wide-leg pant is a feat. When in doubt, more structured is better with a pant that can quickly overwhelm your shape. Try something like this.

Sneakers are everything in capturing that effortless French vibe; the right pair can be worn with almost anything. Keds are a great, affordable option.

Athleisure done right: nice sneakers (I own these & can speak to their quality!), a good coat and a pair of sunglasses can keep your outfit street-appropriate when you're running on a tight schedule! 

Who said French braids and pink lipstick are only for little girls? This pink lipstick from Milani is a favorite of mine, and very similar to the shade Karlie wears here.

Airport style goals! Adorable rucksacks are always a good airport option (but keep an eye behind you for pickpockets). Similar option to Karlie's here.
What do you think? Do you like that cool French vibe? Can you tell Karlie Kloss has influenced my style? XD 

"In the eye of a hurricane, there is quiet." | #OOTD

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tee: old, similar here | Jeans: old, similar here | Shoes: Old Navy, old, similar here | Scarf worn as kimono: vintage, unknown, similar here

As I enter the last quarter of the last year of my high school life (dramatic, right? XD), a lot of things are happening. Events, banquets, final papers and projects, graduation parties to plan (not to mention graduation itself); basically we're down to the crunch-time of my scholarly life, and I have every reason to be stressed and overwhelmed. So much is happening in so little time, so much is changing, so much is uncertain - it's very easy to feel lost at sea in all of it.

In some ways, I definitely am. How can anyone look at this transition from one lifestyle to the next without some sort of apprehension, uncertainty, curiosity? But amidst all the swirling feelings and emotions, my heart is strangely quiet.

Right now, when I should most be bursting with words and thoughts and actions, I feel, quite oddly, drawn apart from it all, as though some wide moat separates me from the field, and I'm looking on it from a distance. I have found a calm in all of this, even if at times I feel uncertain, and for that I am grateful.

What's new with you, friends?

"Why Do You Write Like You're Running Out of Time?"

Friday, March 18, 2016

I recently listened to the entire Hamilton Musical on Youtube, and aside from being a thoroughly enjoyable musical (warning: profanities) it reminded me of a topic I've been meaning to write on for a very long time.


via tumblr
That's the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful. I think of this a lot, because there seems to be a consensus among our generation that time is no longer an issue; after all "you have your whole life before you" and "why rush?". This goes for a lot of things, from getting in a relationship with someone, to working hard. But there are a couple of things that we forget upon falling into this way of thinking, and today I want to debunk them, and tell you why I think everyone should be writing like she's running out of time.

Hard workers are called that not because they're actually working spectacularly hard, in fact, but that everyone else isn't. A moderate amount of work in an age of laziness looks fantastically productive, but in comparison with other ages, the amount we write - the amount that I write - looks very little indeed. When we are so accustomed to doing so little, it's easy to see someone wasting less time and think they're just working unnecessarily hard. Which brings me to my next point:

The main reason people of past generations worked so much harder than we do was mainly due to their limited life expectancy. If you didn't think you'd live past 30 years of age, wouldn't you be working a lot harder too?

But though none of us generally think we'll die before at least the age of 50, none of us are promised that amount of time either. We don't even truly know if we have tomorrow, so why do we waste so much time today? We are only promised now, so why aren't we using it?

I'm good at procrastinating - really good at procrastinating - but recently I've been feeling especially aware of the short length and transiency of life here on earth, and more than ever, I don't want to waste a minute. If my life is taken away tomorrow, I want to go with the peace that I did everything I could today. I want to know that even if my books aren't finished, I wrote what I could with the time I had, and that those unfinished manuscripts would be at least more than they were yesterday. I don't want to waste a second. 

If I throw away my shot, is this how you remember me? Maybe this is my legacy! What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see...

We cannot count on tomorrow; "all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." 

Spring Wardrobe Wishlist

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

It's that time of year again, and I'm getting antsy with my closet - I want to get rid of the old and bring in some new (okay, let's be real, when do I not? oops.) But without goals in mind, spring shopping can very quickly become dangerous, and overspending is easy. Here's a streamlined list of all the things I'm looking out for this season, whether at the retailers themselves or something similar at second-hand shops!
via tumblr
Olive Green Nike Airs - I love the earthy tone of green these shoes are, kept sleek and chic by luxe fabrics. I have a pair of black Nike's, which I wear multiple times a week for my workouts and/or running errands (who says sneakers can't be stylish?) so I'd love to add another pair to switch them up a bit...

via tumblr
Karen Walker Sunglasses - Okay this is dream-world talking, but I would love to add a pair of Karen Walker sunglasses to my wardrobe someday. I mean just look at them. 

via tumblr
Button-front jean skirt - Ever since last summer, the look of the jean skirt has been growing on me, and I'd really like to give it a try again (the last time I wore a jean skirt I was probably 7 lol!). I think with the right elements (blue-and-white striped silk blouse, strappy sandals, leather bag) it could look really cool and chic. What do you think of the trend?

via Kingdom and State website
Kingdom and State leaf-print 2 piece - I have heard nothing but good about this company and their classy, affordable suits. I bought a hi-waist 2-piece (top, bottom) swimsuit set last year from LimeRicki, and though I love the suit, I'd love to mix and match it with some of the adorable Kingdom and State prints (namely, this leaf one or these adorable gingham ones - love!).

via pinterest

Long knit midi dress - Spring is the perfect time for dresses, and one of my favorite ways of shaking that up a bit (sundresses can get old after a while, and it's not quite warm enough for them yet where we live!) is a long t-shirt dress. I've seen so many cute ones in the shops, it's really just about deciding which one I want at this point...;)
via tumblr

Roll-Neck Tank - This is the perfect, on-trend middle ground between Winter and Summer: a sleeveless knit. Styled with a pair of skinny jeans and some flats and sunglasses, you're comfortable and stylish, while still staying warm enough on blustery days.

via tumblr

Gingham button down - The small side of me that is preppy got really excited seeing so much gingham on the runway back in the fall, and she's still dancing now. I've never really been a fan of gingham, but sometimes it just looks right. And you can't go wrong with a gingham blouse; it's about the safest way to test the trend and see if you like it!

via pinterest

DVF bright print neck scarf - Straight up this neck scarf is just gorgeous (click through to see!). I have no other reasoning behind this one, but that should be enough. XD

What are you looking to add to your wardrobe this spring?

The Girl Who Waited | #OOTD

Monday, March 14, 2016

plaid blouse: h&m, similar | olive shorts: unknown, similar | tights: ASOS | navy converse: converse | satchel: forever 21, old, similar. | gold rings: various; cute ones here

After my post a couple weeks ago where I wore an outfit inspired by Jenna Coleman (or more specifically, Clara Oswald) I thought it would be fun to wear another character-inspired look. I love wearing things that are my style (remember this tights-and-shorts combo so long ago?) but that subtly reference fandoms. Why is that so much fun? XD

Today's look, if you couldn't already tell, is very much Amelia Pond. I've loved the looks the stylists gave Karen Gillian from the first episode she features in all the way through Series 7, which we're currently watching. I've definitely felt influences from that look this past Autumn/Winter as I add to and develop my own (also: can we talk about how flawless her nails always are?). The key elements of the look are the long, middle-parted locks, heavily ringed fingers, earthy colors and tones (olive, especially) as well as red elements, and of course, a classic pair of converse. These ones I found at the thrift store last week, and I love the subtle David Tennant nod they give. 

(Wow. So much nerd in one post.)

What do you think? Do you have any subtle fandom pieces you love? Do you like Amy Pond's style?

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