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August & September Beauty Favorites 2017


transition to fall beauty 1

With the exception of the holiday season, the transition into fall is one of my favorite times of the year. In fact, everything from September on is usually my cup of tea. But this year has been something out of a strange fable: 80 degree weather in October, hot and humid days that seem to never end. It’s an anomaly.

That’s exactly why my August and September favorites looks more like mid-summer favorites. But, to be completely fair, I’ve made do with the weather that this unseasonable warm “fall” transition period has given me. And in result, I’ve been rocking a very subtle, natural look for the past two months: soft pink blush, nude lips, chardonnay highlighter. It’s a look I’m very familiar with and verrryyy happy to continue wearing. So before I whip out my seasonal berry lip and golden eyeshadows: a toast to the end of summer. May these hot 80 degree days come to an end, and may these coveted beauty products take me into the fall with one unfaltering swoop.

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray

Rarely do I find a product I’m willing to buy over and over again, but here I am, on my third bottle of Rosarco Milk. This leave-in conditioner leaves my hair feeling soft and detangled, but — here’s the best part — the formula doesn’t weigh my wavy and curly bits down at all. I like to sprtiz evenly on towel dried hair before I add my other hair products. The resulting effect: smooth, playable hair that doesn’t get knotty throughout the day.

transition to fall beauty 2

Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in “Paaarty”

This deluxe-sized sample blush comes in the Sephora birthday gift this year for reward members. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted it, but at the last second, I decided to stop by and get the little set during my birthday month. Boy am I glad I did. The matte pink blush is the most flattering color — and the formula doesn’t fade overtime. As well, with all the traveling I’ve done over the past couple months, I’ve been really enjoying the smaller size. I’m so used to using blush in big palettes, but this guy is easy to throw in my bag for use on-the-go.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

In 23 years, I had never met a lip gloss I would wear every single day for the rest of my life — that was until I met this Fenty Beauty lip gloss. Yes, I did jump on the Fenty Beauty train like everyone else. And, yes, it is worth the hype. This lip gloss happens to be the most amazing gloss. It’s actually moisturizing, so I never feel like my lips are dry and chapped with a gooey outer layer. But it’s also hella pretty. The light pink shade has golden reflects and a natural-looking finish. It’s a bit pricey at $18, but it’s worth every single penny in my books.

transition to fall beauty 3

NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick in “Chardonnay Shimmer”

I have used cream highlighters at three or four times the cost, but I’m here to tell you that none of them stand up to this $8 formula. The shade “Chardonnay Shimmer” is ridiculously flattering on what I can only imagine to be almost any skin tone. And it’s ideal for transitioning from the hot days of summer (where skin is always shining and illuminated) to fall, where an illuminating stick is oh so necessary to maintain a “lit from within” highlight. To apply, I sweep on to the high points of my face and diffuse with my fingers. Bonus: this color is so pretty as a quick fix eyeshadow too.

Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiageing Concealer

This potted anti-aging concealer is so so good under the eyes. Even though it’s potted, the formula is creamy and blendable. Plus it’s a buildable coverage so I can swipe it on for a fresh look or pack it on when I need it more. I don’t necessarily love this for acne spots — I still stand by my Nars concealers for redness. Unfortunately, I can’t find this anywhere online. But I did link out to what appears to be Korres’ newer formula, which I’m sure is just as good.


Fall Is Finally Here — But Also, Holy Sh*t, I Chopped Off Most Of My Hair


Everyone always says that spring is the season of rebirth, but I’d like to offer up a different perspective. For me, fall has always been my season of rebirth. When I was younger, fall always signaled back-to-school season. And being the organized and orderly person I am, that meant time to shop for new school supplies, start a new planner, and — I shit you not — create School Year Resolution lists (I wish I was joking, but this was, in fact, something I always did). And as time has gone on, the association of fall with rebirth has always stuck with me. Something about the time of year gives me hope and optimism instead of dismay for the summer days behind me. That’s why I’m so excited to be writing this post.

You see, recently I happened to do something a little crazy. I chopped off six inches of my hair. Six. That’s like the most hair I’ve had in a long time. But that’s not the only thing that’s giving me a new sense of optimism. I’m happy to announce that this post is in collaboration with Madalyn Joy Designs. My good friend (and former classmate) designs bespoke lingerie — and guys, she’s good. Madalyn, knowing my quest for refreshing my lifestyle and wardrobe for fall, made me the most wonderful pair of silk and lacy shorts (in my trademark pink of course). And, with all these changes, I’m finally feeling myself again.

After a month of getting used to the new changes of the fall season — and my dope new hair being one of many —I’m pretty sure I nailed the secret to achieving the perfect lazy day waves. Ever since the big chop, I’ve gotten used to a little bit of a routine: throwing just a little product in my hair, letting it air dry, sitting down for a quickie face mask or a few chapters from my current book, and of course, lounging around in those adorable pink shorts from Madalyn Joy. After all, is there any thing more relaxing than a lazy fall morning with coffee in one hand and a book in the other?

My go-to hair products: I start with a leave-in conditioner (distributing from root to tip) when my hair is damp. Next, I go in with a styling cream. My absolute favorites are Bumble & Bumble Don’t Blow It (for medium to coarse hair) and Redken No Blow Dry Just Right. I’ll rub a nickel-sized amount between my hands and then finger comb throughout my hair, ever so slightly scrunching. The real scrunching doesn’t come in until the last step: mousse. I’d like to make an argument for mousse: it’s no longer the crunchy, stiff texture it once was in the ‘90s. My favorite is by Dove and it costs less than $5 (seriously, you need to try it). Notice: this lazy hair routine does not include brushing or combing with actual tools. I prefer to let my natural texture speak for itself.

I’d like to say that this autumn is turning out to be a pretty great season already: crisp weather, drastic new hair, new lingerie. I feel sexy, confident, and ready for anything life might throw at me. Who knew one little hair cut could even do that?

A special thanks to Madalyn Joy Designs for these amazing shorts. To see her designs check out Madalyn’s website or hit up her blog

Photos by Alexandra Folino.

The Reason Why I Love This $3 Lip Balm More Than *Anything* Else

Beauty, Skincare

I have a confession: my favorite beauty product of all time is less than $3. I have one on me at all times. And the number of times I’ve used up and repurchased is probably well near 20 by now. It’s not like I haven’t dabbled in trying other formulas and brands. Trust me, I have. But time after time, I always turn back to my good friend. Because — here it comes — my favorite beauty product of all time is Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment.

I know what you’re thinking: “Seriously? We all use lip balm.” But I’m here to tell you that this balm is hands down the best balm I have ever used, and most likely ever will. And in order to prove to you that I’m not crazy, I’d like to take a trip down memory lane and recount one (of the many) times I’ve suffered from an allergic reaction on my lips. You see: I have very sensitive skin and even the slightest fake fragrance or nasty chemical will disrupt it. Unfortunately, it took me one allergic reaction too many to consider the harmful effects of irritation on my lips.

It was right after I moved to New York City last summer when I was really getting into skin care. I was trying whatever I could get my hands on — and in particular, I was loving smaller indie brands. That’s why I was so thrilled to test out a lip balm from a small-batch brand that specialized in products with honey and propolis. Little did I know, after one day’s use of this magical honey lip balm, my lips would inflame and grow to almost three times their normal size. And, let me tell you, this was no sexy Kardashian lip. I desperately looked up every at-home treatment I could find on how to cure this irritation, and although I do find that ice helps, the one thing that cured my allergic reaction more than anything else was this Blistex balm.

And it’s been soothing my lips ever since. Sunburn? Blistex. Chapped lips? Blistex. Post-liquid lipstick dryness? Definitely Blistex. And I do happen to believe that there’s specific reasons this formula rises to the top.

For starters, there’s no artificial fragrance. Unlike those cherry, mint, and vanilla scented balms you see everywhere, this one doesn’t offer up a scent. And while, yes, that does mean you won’t have something yummy to slather on before giving your partner a kiss, it does mean that people with sensitive skin (like me!) are less likely to break out. Second, this lip balm is made mostly with allantoin and beeswax. Contrary to other formulas that are made with harsh chemicals, both allantoin and beeswax are safe moisturizing agents commonly used to treat dry, scaly sensitive skin. And finally: the formula isn’t addictive. Of course, I say that jokingly. But some brands, like Chapstick, actually make their products with ingredients like added fragrance, camphor, menthol, and salicylic acid that provide short-term moisture only and actually leave lips dry or irritated in the long-term.

So yes. You might be sitting their thinking, “This girl is crazy. Her favorite beauty product is a $3 lip balm.” But the evidence is here. And let me tell you, the $3 is well worth it.