Things I Love…Candles

I. Love. Candles.  Love love love them.  I think it’s because my dad would bring home tons sometimes after business trips.  I always have a candle lit in my room and in the bathroom…always.  I hate that we aren’t allowed to have candles in our dorms at school, but obviously I totally understand it.  I thought I’d share some of my favorite scents from my favorite brand, Yankee Candle Company.  They had amazing sales this weekend for Memorial Day which gave me the idea to write this post!!
My absolute favorite candle in the WHOLE WORLD is Lemon Lavender.  Santa got me this candle a few years ago and I’ve probably bought at least 5 since.  I even have the car air fresheners and I always get compliments on the smell! This scent is fresh and clean (the lemon) yet relaxing and soothing (the lavender).  I think this will be my fave scent for the rest of my life, I swear I’ll never get tired of it!! 
Another one of my favorites is Fresh Cut Roses, I’m currently using this one in my bedroom right now.  This is a very light scent, which is perfect for the hot weather.  I have this lit all night and it’s nice to wake up to in the morning, my room basically smells like a garden (which I don’t mind at all)!!
My last favorite from Yankee Candle is Eucalyptus.  I usually use this fragrance in my bathroom since it’s very good aromatherapy wise.  I’ll have that candle lit while using my eucalyptus spa products…it’ll smell like heaven while I’m taking a bath.  It’s so fresh and really wakes you up and makes you feel alive (sounds deep, but it’s totally true). 
You can find all these scents either online at Yankee Candle or in store!  I usually buy in store because I like to find new scents to try out.  Most of the time they have great sales and if you give them your email they send great coupons!
Lastly, in celebration of Memorial Day Weekend Yankee Candle is having a “red, white, and blue jar” sale, meaning any candle, any size, that is either red, white, or blue is buy 1 get one 50% off.  Pretty good deal considering tons of their candles are those colors!  
PS: These are what I call my off-season favorites.  I love all the fall and Christmas-y scents, I’ll write about those when it’s weather appropriate!! 

Budget Beauty: CVS Eye Makeup Remover

I spend a fair amount of money on my skincare routine, but one area that I seriously save on is my eye makeup remover! I’ve been using CVS’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover a long time now and I love it.  It seriously gets the job done on stubborn eye liner, waterproof mascara, and heavy shadows for only $5.99 a bottle.



My main draw to this product is that you don’t feel oily after using it like most eye makeup removers that rely on oil to get the waterproof makeup off.  To remove the makeup I soak a big cotton pad and hold it to my eye for about 10 seconds then gently wipe away everything.  I don’t wear false lashes so I layer on mascara like crazy so I have to take a lot of extra time to get all of that off, but this remover has always worked best for that! 

I’ve used both L’oreal Dermo-Expertise Eye and Lumene Waterproof eye makeup removers and hated them.  I don’t like the consistency and I felt like I had to rub and pull to make the makeup come off — totally not good for the sensitive eye area.

Neutrogena makes a similar oil-free eye makeup remover to the CVS brand, but it’s $2 more and honestly they both work the exact same.  If you don’t have a CVS near you Target brand Up and Up’s eye makeup remover is exactly like CVS’s (and for a $1 less!!).

It’s super important to take off your eye makeup, and all of it at that.  I know it gets annoying to take off so much mascara or eyeliner, but you can seriously damage your lashes if you don’t take that extra minute or two to make sure it’s all off!!

Sophie Theallet for Nine West

Photo: Scottsdale Fashionista
 I was so happy when the doorbell rang this morning because my Sophie Theallet for Nine West flats finally arrived!!  In case you don’t know French designer Sophie Theallet has cleverly teamed up with Nine West for a spring/summer 2011 collection.  Ms. Theallet has many achievements under her belt including work with Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Her collection with Nine West is interesting because she reprises the same pattern in every different style shoe yet they all have their own individual feeling and distinguished look.  There are only two colors to chose from, pink or chocolate — I chose pink, naturally, but the chocolate is cute too!! The inspriation of the collection is Theallet taking a trip from Paris to NYC and the pattern reflects the vibe of both cities.

This line has gotten so much press it’s crazy!  All major fashion outlets have reported on it making the launch this month extremely successful. I knew I wanted a pair of shoes but I didn’t know which one (there are 3).  I opted with the flats for comfort, and I know I would wear them the most. The shoes and two bags are pretty much the same price $80-$100 but I think it’s well worth it for a capsule collection!
Anyway as I was saying…I ordered the Pila flats in pink I LOVE them!! They fit perfectly (true to size) and have a good cushion which is always important when wearing flats.  Because they’re pink and have a bow I was thinking they may be too ‘loud‘ but they actually match my outfit today perfectly and are in no way too over the top looking!  


 I think that Sophie Theallet collaborating with Nine West was a great move for the company.  Sometimes I think Nine West isn’t for people my age — some of their styles can be kinda dry and boringBUT, they def changed the game with this capsule line (even their regular summer collection is good this year) and hopefully they’ll continue to do more to appeal to a younger crowd!
Almost forgot to mention, I’m a Nine Loves Rewards member and I had a $10 coupon which I put to good use on this purchase!! If you ever shop at Nine West I highly suggest signing up for this free program.  You get points per dollar spent (on special days triple points) and for every 150 points earned you get a $10 reward to use on anything (including sale and clearance)!! You’ll also get special promo codes and secret sale information throughout the year, and a birthday coupon! 


Post Party Survival Kit

One of my best friends turned 21 on Friday night, so naturally a large joyous party took place.  While the night of a party is always sure to be a good (memorable?) time, the morning may bring some aches, pains, and smeared eyeliner. SO, I make sure I always have my morning-after-survivor-kit no matter what.  It’s not too much stuff just enough to make me feel like a human being again in case I need to go somewhere and can’t go home right away (usually it’s meeting my mother for Cheesecake Factory to help me come back to life).
The first thing you’ll need is a small tote bag that can still fit a lot in it.  I always use my Marc by Marc Jacobs nylon tote, it’s not too big but it fits what I need it to!  Next, I put a big t-shirt, sweatpants, and a pair of socks in for whenever I desire to go to sleep.  I never bring shorts because you never know if you’ll have a blanket so sweatpants just make that easier!  Socks are also super important to me because I hate sleeping without socks on.   Hmm, I also keep my Hello Kitty pillow in my car at all times because, you never know when you’ll need a pillow.
NEXT, I pack my bathroom essentials.  First, a toothbrush/ small toothpaste…duh. I also make sure I have a comb, not that I’ll particularly care about my hair if I have a awful headache but still it’s just good to have.  Since most of the time people don’t wash their makeup off after taking shots of vodka it’s crucial to wash it off right when you wake up the next morning.  I bring my travel bottle of Philosophy’s Purity face wash, I use this all the time and it gets the job done even on smeared eyeliner and now clumpy mascara.
After I wash my face for a hot minute I moisturize with….Vita-Zing my favorite product on the whole planettttttt!!! And I always use Rosebud lip balm.  Usually at this point I look like a half-normal human which is always better than looking like a zombie!      
I also make sure I bring deodorant and my biggest pair of sunglasses to hide my face the best I can.  Oh, ya, Advil is probably a good idea to have on hand too (although I don’t have any right now) #justsayin.
ONE LAST THING, always have a huge bottle of water with you.  I usually bring a liter bottle…right when you wake up it’s crucial to drink drink drink…water and nothing else (including my beloved hangover drink, iced coffee).  It’ll sometimes immediately alleviate a headache and it’ll reduce redness or puffiness in your face from dehydration!! 

The Tale of the Fairy

Okay SO.  Karl Lagerfeld, AKA the genius behind Chanel just created this film for the Chanel Cruise 2012 line.  It’s called, as you can guess from my title, The Tale of the Fairy.  All fashion critics are saying this short film is his best to date, so I decided to share it on here!
Obviously I’ve watched it, and even gone back to some parts, I love it and I think you will too!! You can’t help but want to dive into your computer and be in the scene (I hope I’m not the only one…) everything is just over-the-top beautiful– except, the acting. Good thing people are only watching it for the clothes, jewelry, and everything in between (minus…the acting…).
Enjoy the opulence!

Oil Free is the Way to Be

Summertime is my favorite time of the year because my BIRTHDAY is in July!!  However, with the greatness of this season comes one annoying factor: oiliness. gross.
I focus heavily on products controlling oily skin because it’s my biggest problem that I’m still trying to overcome.  Below are two great products that have been able to help me look matte and fresh despite feroooosh humidity and sweaty days. again, gross.
First, as soon as you wake up in the morning you need to prep your skin for the summer day ahead.  I use the same 2 facial cleaners all year round (it works best for me), you may want to sub in a oil-free cleanser during the warmer months. If you think that would work best for you I suggest Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Cleanser.  If you click on that link it’ll bring you to Allure’s website, I’m the first (and right now only) person who wrote a short review on it — what can I say? I was a tad bit bored earlier.  I use it occasionally (way more so in the summer), like when I can sense a breakout, but this  is not one of my everyday, OMG I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU cleansers.

As I’ve mentioned before I use Origins Vita-Zing moisturizer religiously.  I still use it everyday but now that the weather is changing I’ve been combining my Vita-Zing with Murad’s Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15.  I really love to mix the two together, and just by looking I can see the results of both after I’ve applied them.  The Murad moisturizer really does control shine (their website says 8 hours, I’m not sure I 100% agree with that) and having the SPF, minus the greasy-look, is perfect too!

Go to Murad’s website and check out their entire line of skincare– I got interested in this brand when Massage Envy began using this brand for their facials.  While I haven’t tried out as many products as I would like, what I have tried so far I’ve loved (reviews to come)!  Right now they are offering 20% off until tomorrow– just enter the promo code “THANKS” at checkout. ALSO, just like the wonderful Sephora, Murad’s website offers free samples with every order and has some great limited edition promotions!!
PS: I’m taking advantage of this 20% off coupon as I type this. =]

April Favorites

I know I’ve been seriously MIA lately, but with junior year almost ending things have been hectic and for some reason, super dramatic!  BUT, I’m back with my April must haves and I’s super excited about them!! 
 
The first product I’ve noticed I cannot stop using is my Bumble and Bumble Classic hair spray.  This hair spray definitely isn’t light– and I’m going to have to disagree with the website’s claim of it’s easy to brush through.  BUTTT I LOVEEEE using this for when I go out at night– I know I won’t frizz or fall limp (meaning my hair of course) while dancing the night away.
Urm, this is actually empty…  
I have combination hair, it’s have wavy but not really…and can get super frizzy.  Most hair sprays in my opinion are too sticky and just leave my hair gross– the Bumble and Bumble Classic spray doesn’t do either.  I would use another one of the Bumble and Bumble hair sprays to begin with while styling your hair, but def end with the Classic for the strongest hold and shine.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My second love of the month is my Present Clear Makeup Primer by Philosophy.  It really is like clear makeup.  The key to using this product is not using too much– a little bit seriously goes a long way.  During the warmer months I like to go light on makeup, so using this product def helps me have that bright, clear, and super even complexion without loading up on foundation or anything else (besides concealer).  When I used too much (although I didn’t think I had) it made me look shiny, so make sure you use a small amount.  Remember, even though it is a thicker formula and you’ll think you need more to cover your entire face…YOU DON’T!
Can you tell I love this?
You can also use Present at night before you layer on your bedtime products.  I would suggest you trying it for a week with just layering serum on top since Present is already moisturizing.  If you don’t think it’s moisturizing enough then add a small amount of your typical nighttime moisturizer on top of the serum like usual!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My last favorite product I’ve been using is Zero Oil by Origins.  You already know I loveee Origins, so this product was quick to become another one of my favorites.  I tend to have oily skin in one area of my face, so this is a perfect way to mattify and treat that one area.  I put this on top of my VitaZing in the morning (esp since it’s getting hot outside which equals humidity yuckkkkkkkkkkkkkk).  HOWEVER, Zero Oil is totally liquid…like water…so I just pat it into my skin–VitaZing has pigment in it so if you rub in Zero Oil on top it’s not too pretty.  
Shake the bottle well before using!
As great as Zero Oil is I reallyyyyyyyyyy wish it came in a spray bottle, it’d make it way easier to use! Nonetheless, I have seen a great improvement in my complexion throughout the day when I don’t always have time to touch up and focus on my shiny areas!! 
 
Click the links above to shop each product!!

Summer Skin

Thank god winter is over and spring has sprung. I can tell because I can’t stop seeing and my eyes are always watering. Gross. ANYWAY yesterday it was 80 degrees in DC and everyone was wearing their shorts, sundresses, etc. and it made me think of one thing…exfoliating that yuck winter skin away. I have three fabulous remedies for getting lackluster winter skin ready for sundresses!
The first is my absolute favorite, Trish McEvoy’s N° 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk Body Polish Sugar Scrub.  This is a little pricey at $48.00 but I got it for my best friend and I last year and we both love it!  To conserve it, I only use this product once every other week.  I got it last summer and I’m just about to finish it, so it lasted me about a year!  The smell of this scrub is so good, it’s not super overpowering and it makes the bathroom smell great too after you use it, which is always a plus.  
I put the scrub on pre-shower which is extra exfoliating.  It also has tons of moisturizing agents in it so your skin feels hydrated instantly, you don’t even need to moisturize once out of the shower (although you always should)! You can find this product at BlueMercury (one of my favorite stores) or the Trish McEvoy website!    
Photo: TrishMcEvoy.com
My second favorite exfoliate comes from my first love, Lush Cosmetics.  This exfoliate is a little different than most scrubs you’ll find, but its amazing none the less. Buffy Body Butter will literally leave your skin feeling like silk, even more so than the Trish McEvoy scrub.  The reason I like the Trish scrub better overall is because it does what it’s supposed it do, exfoliate.  I find the Buffy Body Butter bar to be more relaxing and accomplishes more moisturizing (hence butter) than exfoliating.  
The bar contains ground rice and almonds, and is a vegan product, like most Lush products!  One down side to this product is that it melts away very quickly, I never use very warm or hot water because it just melts away and that’s no fun.  This product is less expensive than the Trish McEvoy ($23) and can be bought at any Lush store or online!
Photo: The Gloss
My last option for getting beautiful sundress-ready skin is Neutrogena’s Energizing Sugar Body Scrub, Fresh Citrus.  I really like this product in the morning before I shave if I know I’ll be wearing a dress/ shorts that day.  The citrus smell is amazing and wakes you right up!  If you tend to use a lot of product in a short amount of time, this is perfect for you!!  This citrus scrub is sugar based and basically has the same effects as the Trish scrub, although I would def still moisturize after using it, but is much more less expensive at $10! Click the link above to purchase this scrub from Ulta!  You can also find it at CVS and Walgreens, super convenient!
Photo: Total Beauty
So, here is the final break down (in order of how much I love them)
Trish McEvoy’s N° 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk Body Polish Sugar Scrub: luxurious “save for something special” exfoliate
Lush Cosmetics Buffy Body Bar: more moisturizing, less exfoliating
Neutrogena’s Energizing Sugar Body Scrub, Fresh Citrus: everyday exfoliate, gets the job done

D.C. Happenings: Fashion for Paws 2011

This passed Saturday night I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to the 5th annual Fashion for Paws, which benefits the Washington Humane Society.  I intern for the WHS’s special event department, so I was more than happy to help work at the event.  The event was held in DC’s National Building Museum, I was expecting the venue to be gorgeous but what I saw when I walked in FAR exceeded my expectations! 
The colors of pink and turquoise were absolutely stunning.  The VIP tables were so elegantly set, and the white runway was bright and stood out beautifully with the purply-pink trees lining it.  Opposite the runway, in the general admission area, vitaminwater (a mayyjahhh sponsor of the night) set up quite an interesting runway.  The background of the runway (as seen below) was covered in vitaminwater bottles.  (I still haven’t figured out how they got those bottles to stay on like that, I need to ask someone)
Once the event started at 7pm models representing 4 different types of vitaminwater just stood on the runway for a couple hours. #ouch. BUT they looked beauitful, so I guess that’s all that matters!
Check out the video below, which highlights some of the two and four legged models strutttinnn their stuff on the runway! All clothes were provided by Tyson’s Galleria (my fave mall in the area). 
I’m SO happy I was at this event, and I CANNOT wait for next year!  
PS: I was interviewed by the CW news..on camera…which is terrifying. I need to find the video so I can post it. #prayingimnotsuperembarrassed
XO.
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Spring Splurge: Kate Spade

I’m a magazine junkie, and I’m honestly loving all the Kate Spade spring campaign ads with Bryce Dallas Howard I’ve been seeing for months now.  I don’t think its possible to not instantly perk up when you see these ads, I mean COME ON they’re so bright and as I like to call them, candyesque.  I. want. everything.
I love Kate Spade, I remember my mom let me one of her Kate Spade black bags when I was likeeeee 12, and I was on cloud nine when I used it.  Although, I’m sure the general public thought I was weird because it’s just so classic looking, and I was 12. ANYWAY, I don’t care! 
Another reason why I’m so pro Spade right now is their efforts to help empower women around the world!  The Women for Women International campaign has helped to heighten awareness of women empowerment issues throughout Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Rwanda.  I def plan on purchasing this straw tote, which was made by women in Rwanda.  Proceeds from the purchase of this bag will go directly back to the Rwandian women.  And, since I’m always skeptical about things like this I have made sure that this is 100% true.  While I wouldn’t use this as an everyday bag, I’m a huge beach girl and would def bring this down the shore!
Although Kate Spade may be pricey for some, their shoes will certainly last you a long time!  I have flats and sandals that I’ve had for years and they still all look great!  As far as spring 2011 goes I’m wanting more neon in my life, which fits in perfectly with the shoes below!
I know for an absolute fact I’ll be buying the Tipsy flats in pink!  They also come in yellow, but I’m much more of a pink girl.   I love the mix of neon and canvas, which can be seen through the spring collection in shoes and bags.
Photo: Fashionologie
For an everyday sandal, I’m loving the Hula Too photoed below!  It’s functional and you can build on the intensity of the color with great accessories.  And, I’m all about the extra glitz so I also love the top of them.  
Photo: Polyvore
For right now, the bag and two pairs of shoes are on my wish list for April and May! Def check out the Kate Spade website for tons more spring options that are to die for!