Relaxxxxxxx

The past couple of days have been rainy and dreary….with even a slight chill in the air.  Yuck.  I take this time to do everything in the house I should have done months ago, and then just hang around and read.  BUT, my favorite thing to do on days like these is take a bath, I don’t normally have time to do this, but I try to make it a priority when the weather is bleh.
So, during times like these I loveee having my Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Bath Soaks.  Right now I have two: Eucalyptus Spearmint for stress relief and Lavender Vanilla for sleep.  The eucalyptus spearmint is def my favorite of the two, I just don’t think the lavender vanilla has as strong of a scent…but I still like it!
The scent in both of these salts lasts awhile, my entire bathroom smells great after I use them.  They’re made with essential oils and sea salt, I usually fill the cap and use that to measure it out, I use about 3-4 capfuls.
As you can see my bath soaks are designed a little bit differently…they must have just redone the label design because I only got these a month ago.  I’m a huge lover of aromatherapy, so if you need to relax and unwind, I stronglyyyy suggest these bath salts!

Sephora Haul!!

I had two Sephora gift cards from my birthday, so I decided to go and get some stuff I’ve wanted, but didn’t wanna spend money on.  Surprisingly, the gift cards covered more than half of the purchase! YAY.
Also, yay for free stuff.  I got my birthday gift from Sephora since I hadn’t been in there in and hadn’t gotten it yet….AND…the 500 point perk for the Beauty Insider’s which just so happened to have some of my favorites in it, so it made sense I chose it.
The 500 point perk for this month was by benefit, it was some samples of my favorites that I already have, but I figured it was good to get so that I could hold off a little longer from resupplying.  The first product is BADgal Lash, which is one of my favorite mascaras, although I don’t get it often because it can be expensive just for mascara (and my absolute favorite is Falsies by Maybelline). 
 The next product is “that gal” face primer.  I keep meaning to do a post on primers, I’ll get to that soon but this is def a good one.  I’ve only used it a couple of times, but now that I have a sample I’ll use it for the next week to see how I really like it.  Last is my favorite powder highlighter, dandelion.  I love this light pink color, it looks great on my cheeks when I’m doing a completely natural look and only want a touch of shimmer, without the dewy-ness.  
Next I have the happy birthday beautiful vanilla birthday cake shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath by one of my favorite brands philosophy.  If you’re a Sephora Beauty Insider you get this for your birthday.  If you’re not familiar with the Beauty Insider program, it’s a free program that allows you to get free stuff, incentives, and more.  You get a point for every dollar spent, and then they have special days where it’s double points, etc.  When you reach 100 points you get a sample of a great product (they change every month and you have a choice from about three) OR you can do what I did, and save your points for the 500 point perk, which this month was by benefit (but it also changes every month).  It’s a great program and you get invited to special events, and when you become a V.I.B. member (like me!) you get even more offers, invites, etc.  I def suggest everyone sign up to be a member!
Sephora has been teamed up with Hello Kitty since the beginning of the year, and they just released the Hello Kitty Graffiti collection. (Disclaimer: I’m a Hello Kitty addict, always have been since I was little and I always will be for the rest of my life.)  Needless to say I died when I saw this, I watched the launch event in L.A. on Sephora’s Facebook page…and died even more.  When I saw the makeup bag I knew I had to have it ASAP, and I got the last one at my Sephora store. The colors are just so perfect and amazing, and I think the whole theme of Hello Kitty and graffiti is perfection
 I also really like the Graffiti Eyeshadow and Blush Palette for this collection, the colors aren’t what I expected with a graffiti theme, but I love them anyway because they’re super functional.  As you can see the palette is two tiered, the colors all complement each other really well and I’m excited to try it out!  Aside from the actual makeup aspect, the packaging is fabulous.
LASTLY, I love the Sephora by OPI nail poish line, Santa has been giving me some amazing colors from this collaboration the past couple of years.  I have a new appreciation for nail polish, usually I use whatever is at the nail salon but now I enjoy looking up different collections and having my own.  I loved both the Safari Luxe and The Garden of Good & Evil collections by Sephora by OPI, but I knew I couldn’t get all of the colors from each…UNTIL I saw these mini sets!  I think these are fabulous because I always switch up the colors I use so I know I won’t run out of these little ones super quick.  The Garden of Good & Evil is perfect for the fall, and I’m gonna go to get my nails done today and use something from the Safari Luxe collection.   The name of each polish is in the captions!
Don’t Feed the Hand Models — Caught With My Khakis Down — Yes, Your Lioness — I Don’t Bite
Completely Fern-ished — Eve-y On The Eyes — Tempted by Teal — Frankly, I Don’t Give A-dam

Trend: Polka Dots [Part II]

ACCESSORIES!

So, my laptop has been dunzo for the past couple of days but it seems to be okay now…let’s hope. Bleh. ANYWAY, here are some fabulous and affordable (with some fun splurges!) polka dot accessories if you’re not all into the clothing aspect of this trend.

Marc by Marc Jacobs has a lot of polka dot jewelry out this season, and duh I love it.  Zappos Couture has it all, so check it out!
Polka Dot Cocktail Confetti Bangle — $62.00




Trend: Polka Dots

I’ve been looking at the Fall 2011 runway shows…again…recently to see what’s going on as I get ready for the fall.  One look that kept appearing on runways (Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenburg) was polka dots, wearable  looks that can be easily translated to any fashionista’s budget.  I’m not that big into polka dot clothing, I’m much more of an accessories chick when it comes to any trend.  


Polka dots can be fun and super cute when worked with the correct way, a head to toe polka dot ensemble would just look…gross.  SO, I’ve put together a few clothing options, that I think make a statement for this fall trend…but won’t make you look stupid. 


Lauren Conrad seems to be having a moment, so I’ll start with this dress.  I love the color, it’s perfect for transitioning into the fall season.  I’d wear this to happy hour or dinner with my girls, and pair it with simple accessories so the focus can be on the dress.  

Shop the look here. $189.99

I also really love this dress by UK favorite, Asos.  You can dress this up or down with whatever accessories you choose.  I think going with a gold set of bangles would look awesome, and if you really wanna spice it up a bit, go with bright colored heels or flats.  AND, extra plus…it’s on sale!

Shop the look here! $41.37



This first shirt is from Forever 21, of course they’re all up on the polka dot craze.  Anyway, I love this because it looks super comfy and would be great for an everyday look.  I like the slouchy fit, if you wear it to class then wanna go out after, just dress it up with jewelry and it’ll look a little more than just the minimum casual.  For this price, you really can’t beat it.

Shop the look here! $12.80



I couldn’t get the picture of this next item to save!!  But, I like this shirt by Ark & Co I found on Piperlime a lot because you can pair it with dark skinny jeans or jeggings, and make it pop with chunky jewelry.  It’s simple, but the bow adds something different, and it’s not too much. As it gets cooler out, just put on a light cardigan and you’re set.


I’m having major computer problems right now, so I’m gonna do the accessories and shoes tomorrow!! 

Lush Ocean Salt

Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub is Lush’s #1 seller for a reason…a really, really, really good reason.
In addition to my favorite Lush product, Coalface (past review linked) I’m equally addicted to Lush’s Ocean Salt exfoliate.  This is a body/face exfoliate, although I only use it for my face because I prefer some other amazing body exfoliates (past review linked).  I first bought this while I was at school in D.C., the girl helping me in the Lush store was kinda bored and just wanted to try products on me.  When she suggested this one I was slightly skeptical because I’ve always looked at salt based products as super drying…but this is perfect and is designed for normal to oily skin.
I loved the texture and consistency of this product, and decided to try the small pot (120g).  The area of my hand that she tested it on was super smooth, and when followed up with lotion was amazingly soft.  So, I figured that if the back of my hand felt like heaven, my face probably would too.  
You don’t need to use a lot of this product for it to have an effect, the picture below is about the amount of product I use per use for when I’m only exfoliating my face.  When I’m doing neck and face I’ll use a tad bit more. 
When you first buy this the mixture isn’t set…when you open it up it’ll look like the photo below.  They give you a little mixer and the first time you use it just stir it up a couple of times and you’re good to go!  It might look a little scary when you first open it, because it just looks like a pile of salt…but it’s okay no worries.
Before stirring the mixture.
After, ready to go.
Ocean Salt smells so yummy, it’s kinda zingy.…which makes sense given it’s super cool ingredients.  The mixture is composed of lime, coconut, avocado, grapefruit, and sea salt…it’s vodka based which basically just proves how much of an astringent/antibacterial it is…meaning more benefits for your skin!
I use this product twice a week, you shouldn’t use it more than that because it could potentially dry you out.  I can promise you that Ocean Salt will deliver results, I found that the longer I spend massaging it into my face the better the results are.  I have mildly sensitive skin, and because it is a serious exfoliate it sometimes leaves me red, but it’s only for about 5mins after and then my skin looks great and glowly!  
I’ve moved on to the larger (250g) pot, and gave the rest of my smaller pot to my mom to use.  My aunt recently tried it out too and loved it.  This product can be expensive if you use it all over your body, which is why I only use it for my face.  The smaller pot is $19.95 and the larger pot is $34.95.  One of my favorite aspects of all Lush stores is they will give you an ample sample (lol) of anything you want, go to a Lush store (or if there aren’t any around you they have their own stores within most Macy’s) and ask for both a sample to take home and a test right there in the store!      
Seriously, go try this out right nowwww!!!

XO.
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The Body Shop Body Butter

I was in the Body Shop about a month ago and picked up their Body Butter which I’ve been wanting to try for awhile.  I was instantly hooked.  I chose the Pink Grapefruit body butter, I had a birthday coupon so I thought it was a perfect time to try out something new!
Bodyshop.com
I knew the Body Shop was known for their body butters, most recently the Body Butter Duo, one side is regular body butter while the other side is formulated specifically for dry skin.  I’ll buy that the next time around to try out.
Anyway, the smell of the pink grapefruit is lovely for summer, and in the morning after I shower really wakes me up.  It’s super refreshing and natural.  Some people don’t like using a body butter in the summer, but I enjoy using it all year…I love the results it gives, my skin is always super soft and healthy looking.
The main ingredients are shea butter, cocoa butter, and glycerin.  When applying this moisturizer you can literally feel it melt into your skin, which proves just how much of these great ingredients it’s really made of.
There are so many different types of body butters, and they all serve different purposes depending on your skin type.  I have normal skin, which is why I can use this product all year round…and the pink grapefruit is in this category.  There are a bajillion different types, so click here to see which would be best for you!
PS: I’ve recently become obsessed with abuncha Body Shop products, and I’ll be doing a lot of reviews since I’ve been using them long enough now to have solid opinions. I love how the Body Shop supports community trade by getting ingredients from poorer countries to help villages generate income.  They also do not test on animals, and currently have a campaign running to raise awareness of human trafficking.
Watch this video to learn more about the Body Shop’s Community Trade efforts!

Essie Mint Candy Apple

This is one of my favorite Essie colors…next to Fiji of course.  I got a manicure/ pedicure and I just wanted to show you all this fabulous  color if you haven’t seen it yet!  This came out in the Winter 2009 collection, but I personally like it better for the warmer weather.  I wore it last summer too, it’s very popular and def a statement color!  
It looks like Tiffany blue, which I love!  If you’ve seen this in the store or salon before you may think this color on my nails is slightyyy different from what you saw.  In my opinion, the color while in the bottle appears much lighter/pale than what it is on.  Some people love it, other people think it’s too loud.  I think it’s unique which is why it’s one of my faves!!

Happy Birthday Zoe Report!

I die for this closet. Freakin ba-na-nas.
Today is Rachel Zoe’s Zoe Report’s second birthday!  If you don’t know, the Zoe Report is a daily email highlighting something fabulous in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle world.  I’ve been subscribed to the Zoe Report since it started, I’ve watched every single episode of The Rachel Zoe Project (and have the third season on my iPhone), read her book A to Zoe, been all up in her contributions to Piperlime.com AND went to Neiman Marcus yesterday to look at her new collection.  
Obvz, I love her.  She truly is a style and stylist icon, we’ve all seen Anne Hathaway, Eva Mendes, and Cameron Diaz (pictured below) look absolutely gorg on the red carpet…besides their natural beauty you can credit all of that to Ms. Zoe for putting it together.  
Anne Hathaway styled by Zoe for the Oscars.

Cameron Diaz styled by Zoe for the Oscars.

Eva Mendes styled by Zoe for the Golden Globes.
 Not only is she awesome with everything she does (if you think I’m craycray for being obsessed with her, just watch her show…or read her book…) BUT she went to my college (GWU) AND majored in sociology.  Just. Like. Me.  OH, and she also grew up in Jersey, like myself…it really doesn’t get much better. 
Zoe recently launched her new high-end collection, check out the YouTube video of behind the scenes action she made with…one of my favorites…Shopbop.  PS. She also has a line with QVC, so check it out for super affordable finds. 

 

The daily Zoe Report is amazing, giving great advice to every fashionista in the world, even giving some awesome discounts along the way.  Sign up for the Zoe Report here!  I promise you you’ll love it and be excited to read it everyday.
Oh ya, and her baby Skyler Morrison Berman, will be the best dressed child…in the whole world.  Duh.

Makeup In Chicago

Today waking up in Chicago, I realized…I had to go shopping.  My first stop was at Saks Fifth Avenue, and boy was it a good stop.  Walking into the beauty department I was immediately stopped by a woman working for Giorgio Armani cosmetics.  She said she saw my eyelashes from across the room and had to stop me…yeah right, but I went with it because I do have pretty great lashes.  She offered me a makeover, and we all know what that means, I’ll have to buy products at the end of it.  Honestly, I didn’t really care, I’ve never tried Armani makeup before so I was intrigued.  I’ve heard amazing things about Armani’s foundation, so I was especially excited to try it out!
I love the look she created for me, I ended up walking around the entire day exploring the city.  It’s so hot here in Chicago, I felt like all of the makeup literally melted off my face, but it was so natural and she took a lot of time to teach me how to recreate the look which I appreciated.
So, as I had expected…the foundation is absolutely amazing.  I’m in the middle of a breakout right now and it didn’t even look like I was wearing any makeup after she applied it!  This foundation won Instyle Magazine’s “Best of Beauty” award, and I think it was well deserved.  I got the Luminous Silk Foundation in #5, it matches me perfectly.  The consistency is honestly the best I’ve ever used, and even as I blend it into my hand right now as I’m typing this I just love it…it gives amazing coverage while remaining super light.
Accompanying the foundation I bought the Fluid Sheer in #2, Jane [the makeup artist] told me to mix one pump of this into the foundation for a dewy look.  This reminds me of Benefit’s High Beam [click the link to read my post on it] except this is slightly more sheer and blendable.  Once again, while blending it into my hand it’s super sheer and lightweight…perfect for the summer. AND, as I said earlier, I was sweating from walking so much…I was afraid the luminosity would make me look oily…it didn’t! YAY.  
The next two items I purchased are live savers if you’re like me and tend to get the strangest weirdest random annoying breakouts.  I was super surprised by what Jane said about this first product…the Master Corrector in #1.  Most of the time to cover up redness I’ve always used a green base, which counteracts redness.  Well, this is red based…I was a little scared at first…red on red just didn’t sound right…but I could not believe the way this covered up my under-eye circles and blemishes.  As you can see the brush is super thin, so I thought it wouldn’t cover much.  WRONG.  The less the better and the way the brush applies, very minimally, is great too.
The second concealer I got is a skin tone matching concealer, High Precision Retouch, it has the same brush a the master corrector.  Jane taught me to just lightly sweep over the area I want to cover, on top of where I put the master corrector, and then anything that was once there…is magically gone!  PS….it totally works.
The last item I bought was the Blender Brush.  I’m obsessed with brushes, and I loved the way this one felt and blended in everything.  Not only did Jane use this for primer, foundation, and concealer…she also used it to apply my eyeshadow base.  I was amazed by the way it perfectly set and blended in everything [even the eyeshadow], my current blending brush was made by Sephora and to be honest…it sucks.  So, I’m really glad I got this one!
I think I’m gonna become a big fan of Armani makeup, I knew Megan Fox was the spokeswoman for the brand this past spring so I included some videos and an interview so you can familiar yourself with the brand a little more!
XO.
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Chicago: Shedd’s Aquarium

Yesterday I went to Shedd’s Aquarium here in Chicago!!  I absolutely love aquariums, so of course it had to be the very first thing I did in this city.  Below are some pictures I took while I was walking around.  It’s redic hot here, but it was so nice to walk around the city, especially since I’ve never been here before…the skyline is absolutely beautiful!!
I love coral, hopefullyyyy in a couple of years I can do volunteer work at the Coral Reef.  The colors are crazyyy beautiful.  When you look at it it’s kinda hard to believe it’s real…likeeee living real.
Lastly, I saw these two dudes and I just loved their faces.  I mean, really…their just super cool.
XO.
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