Category Archives: Beauty

Two words: Gel Liner

I’m back! With a heck of a New Year’s Resolution – to not neglect thee again. And also to broaden my beauty horizons.

Since having begun work at a cosmetics company a few months back one of my superiors noticed I don’t wear my eyeliner. “Why?” she inquired. I was too sheepish to tell her the truth: I’m scared of it! But when my first NYE in NYC came around I decided I needed a dramatic look – complete with (gulp) eyeliner. I don’t like pencils because they don’t give me the definition I want, but then liquid liner is just, well, liquid and scary. So I trekked my resolve to Target on Saturday afternoon only to find slim pickins (serves me right!). Then I noticed option C, which I previously hadn’t considered: gel liner. I liked that you use an angled brush (because, when I did seldom apply eye liner, I would dip my angled brush in a little water and then use my darkest shadow for the desired effect), and that the look walks the line between pencil and liquid. We have a winner! The regular drugstore brands were out of black (I’m shopping for eyeliner on NYE, that’s like saying on Halloween all that’s left is a witch hat), so I picked out the only black eyeliner left, and applied it with a mini magician:

Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Defining Gel Liner, $8.99, target.comSephora CollectionBrush Wand, $10, sephora.comSephora Collection Brush Wand, $10,





I didn’t get any closeups from NYE, but here’s a quick snapshot. To apply this look to one eye only took about a minute – how’s that for an eyeliner novice?!

gel liner + eyeliner scaredycat = well, I'm impressed

Next up, maybe I’ll really throw caution to the wind and start applying mascara to my lower lashes. Are any of your New Year’s Resolutions beauty or fashion-related?


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The cure for the common makeup organizer

When I moved into my three bedroom/one bathroom apartment in May I decided to convert the top of my dresser into a vanity so I would have to fight for face time with the bathroom mirror in the morning. Fast forward four months and I’m sick of the makeup sprawling across the top of my dresser – I’m more organized than this! Well, I finally decided to do something about it.

I loathe the way clear and opaque acrylic makeup organizers can look. Plus they’re so bossy sectioning things off and forcing you to place lipsticks in the spaces designated for them. What if I want to put my bronzer there, what then? Plus, they just look so cheap.

Exhibit A: the bossy know-it-all of makeup organizers

I decided to go another route and find something that complimented my thoughtfully designed vanity. When I found this beautiful dark wood and pebbled purple serving tray at the Beauty Sale last Friday (sorry! I don’t know who made it) from the Life and Home closet I knew it was perfect.

Ahh, so attractively organized!

Take a page from my book and find a gorgeous and inexpensive home accent tray to wrangle and organize your makeup without being bossed around and told where each piece of makeup should go.

Artisan Serving Tray (I couldn't photoshop the food out), $19.99,

Modern Serenity Decorative Mirrored Tray, $14.99, / I love that this one has a mirror on the face!

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My perfect shade

Laura Mercier Shimmer Lip Colour in Raspberry Sorbet, $22,

I hate lipstick. I really do. I don’t like the way wears off after what feels like only 30 minutes of wear and how it requires a million reapplications throughout the day (unless you’re wearing fire engine red like Beyonce in those lipstick ads – red stays forever!). I don’t like the way it melts in my purse (well, in Texas that was a valid reason). I don’t like the way it feels on my lips (to be fair, I like the texture more than lip gloss). I could go on for the rest of this post!

But all of that changed on Friday, because on Friday I found my perfect shade. The last day of my internship coincided with the Beauty Sale, where all products are sold for $1. While rummaging through the bin of lip products with hopes of finding another great lip stain – my preferred alternative for lip color, I found a tube of Laura Mercier. Wooed by the name on the tube I opened the cap and swirled the shaft to see what color lay inside. After seeing a gorgeous raspberry shade I paused. I considered for longer than one should when the normally $22 lipstick is only $1 before tossing it in my bag. When I got home I tried the color out. As the creamy smooth texture glided across my lips I was hypnotized. I couldn’t believe how great my lips looked! The color pairs perfectly with my light-almost-fair skin, cinnamon brown hair and tendency toward peachy bronze blush.

(don't mind my Texas Rangers t-shirt #gorangers)

I’m not saying I’m a convert yet, but suffice it to say that I’m a lot more likely to throw some lipstick on in the morning over a lipstain. And with a fall nip in the air here in NYC, I won’t have to worry about the lipstick melting in my purse if I choose to carry it around to reapply throughout my day. Thank you, Laura Mercier.

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Nail polish disclaimer***

***If you prefer not to read sad tales of my nail polish woe, then avert your eyes, this is your warning.

I was once a slave to nail polish, always indulging my whims when it came to nail color. OPI was my favorite. I’m also the kind of girl who, at the first sign of chipping or color rising up from the tip of my nail, would always remove and re-paint. Then when the movie Burlesque came out she I it, loved it and then fell in love with the OPI colors inspired by the movie. I was most taken with the sparkly colors. In a previous post I can even be quoted saying “the sparklier, the better.” And it is here that my tale of woe begins. I went a little overboard at Ulta one day last week buying 6 of the 12 Burlesque-inspired colors of OPI nail polish, including one of the sparkly colors (“sparkle-licious” was out, so I bought “slimmer and shimmer”) and promptly gave them to my dad so he had some more stocking stuffers for me.

On Christmas day I painted my nails with “shimmer and simmer” and they looked great! Not to be outdone by the instant chipping one must tackle with sparkle nail polish, I just kept coating my nails. The texture of sparkle nail polish is different than that of normal nail polishes – you can keep adding and adding without it looking grossly layered.

When I came home from our vacation I wanted to try out a different color (since I have so many new ones!), so I head to our nail salon to have them remove the sparkle polish for me. I’ve had experience with sparkle polish and even the strongest of nail polish removers, let’s just say they agree to disagree. The lady at the nail salon fails with their salon-strength polish remove and tries a number of other things before finding thing one that worked. She was sanding my nails with a drill to get rid of the sparkle polish. When she was done it looked like I’d just sprinkled fairy dust on her station.

I learned my lesson: sparkle nail polish is best left to young girls who aren’t a control freak when it comes to nail polish maintenance. 😦

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The new me

Just in time for the holidays, a new year, a great internship and a big move I decided to change things up a little and get a new look. The bangs are new.

I’m in love with my bangs and am getting even more excited about everything ahead of me. My roommate helped inspire this change. She got bangs for the first time in her adult life this fall and she’s even more of a stunner now! I got all nostalgic looking back at high school pictures when I tried bangs and promptly grew them out. Braving my doubts – with the encouragement of my closest friends – I went for it. And I’m so glad I did. The look I went for is inspired by Anne Hathaway as Andy Sachs, Zooey Deschanel and Rory Gilmore (seasons 6 and 7).

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Is Sephora Santa’s lesser-known daughter?

Because after this uh-mazing deal I found, I’m beginning to think it’s more likely.

The other day I made a more than necessary trip to Sephora to pick up some more BADgal lash mascara (benefit, $19) and another Sephora eye lash curler (Sephora, $5). I managed to also walk away with one of Tarte’s LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain (in Envy, $24) – still on my quest to find the superior lip stain (more on that later). While in line to check out, amidst their other last minute items I was almost tempted to buy the NARS lip gloss/lip stain duo – usually $36, currently $10!!

Based on my other purchases it may be a surprise that I turn my nose to some products and brands due to price (in this case, too high), but NARS is usually a little too far above my radar. So imagine my surprise when I stumble upon this incredible lip duo for such a shockingly low price! I had to do a literal double take. I immediately got out of line so I could try the product. (Caveat: I’m not much of a gloss person because nine times out of ten it’s way too sticky and goopy and thick). Thinking back on it right now, I can’t really think of why I didn’t buy it on the spot. Probably because I was already spending over $50 when the original plan was about half that (remember the Tarte lip stain? that wasn’t on my radar for the trip). But now I’m seriously doubting my sanity in that moment. My advice to anyone with a less level head on their shoulders: give in to your more base instincts and spring for this NARS lip-duo, it’s one of the better beauty deals you’ll come across this December.

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Me as Holly Golightly

I promise, this will be my last gift idea post inspired by If you know me well, you know I went as Holly Golightly for Halloween this year (photo at the bottom of this post, I apologize that this photo does not adequately capture my costume, I really went all out). If you know me well, you also know that I must wear a sleep mask to bed. It’s sort of a long story how that began, but the point is, this particular sleep mask is freakin’ adorable and $14 – by now you know I’m going to say it’s a perfect stocking stuffer idea, so chime in if you like.

Here’s the sleep mask circa 1961.

Here’s me this Halloween, as promised (I so wish I had a better picture to show off my costume, I did Audrey proud!).

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