For anyone who loves documentaries (I’m a bit of a nerd), I highly recommend checking out the two below (accompanied by a nice glass of wine!):
SOMM takes you on the adventure of four men vying to pass the highest level of sommelier, The Master Sommelier Exam, an immensely intimidating test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world. Aside from the a few drawn out scenes and the lack of female candidates (?!), overall I found it really informational & interesting!
city.ballet, produced and narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker, is an online series documenting the trials and tribulations behind the scenes of what it takes to ascend from a backup dancer in the Corps de Ballet, to a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet – the “ultimate stage”. The first season was amazing, and the second season released this week is just as good!
Cold temps completely transforms my normal-to-oily skin into a dry-itchy mess. Lightweight moisturizers need to swapped out for more intense versions, and coconut oil has been my favorite for quite some time now. However, there are days when I just don’t have time to let it soak in, and really don’t want to ruin my clothes and/or sheets, so I’m going to give this diy lotion bar a shot this weekend! Have any of you ever tried anything similar? You can check out more of my cold weather skin care essentials here.
Speaking of cold weather, I found the perfect wool fedora!
A couple months ago I set out to Sephora on a mission in search of a few new beauty products. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed with my tried and true regimen, but wanted to add a few new items into the mix that would make my makeup last longer, and provide a bit more coverage for those darn dark circles and sun spots. Like most of you, I work long hours! And while popping into the bathroom for a little touch-up sounds totally feasible in theory, I know myself – I get completely caught up in what I’m working on, and just don’t have time/won’t remember to reapply throughout the day. My other main issue is that I don’t like a heavily made up look on me – it looks great on some people, but I always end up feeling like a clown. Aside from occasionally sporting a bold lip, my normal day-to-day look is very natural. So after many trips back and forth to Sephora, testing out samples, here’s what I’ve tried, purchased and loved:
Initially I wanted to find a BB or CC cream that would afford the ability to combine spf, primer and a light-weight foundation into one step. I tried over 10 different samples with no luck (the sales girls at my local Sephora are truly saints for putting up with me!)! Either my oily t-zone wore them off in a few hours, the colors didn’t match up perfectly with my skin or they didn’t offer enough coverage. Ultimately, I found it was worth the extra 2 minutes to apply each component separately in thin layers with my fingertips, starting with either CeraVe’s Daily SPF 30 moisturizer or Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 55 (depending on how much sun exposure I’ll experience that day), followed by Benefit’s The POREfessional and topped off with Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation. The primer evens out my skin, filling in pores and fine lines, and gives my foundation something to stick to – similar to priming a wall before you paint! The thing I love most about the foundation is that it has just a tiny bit more coverage than your average tinted moisturizer, but is buildable for when I need it; resulting in a soft focus effect that blends seamlessly into my skin.
I’ve found as I’ve gotten older I’m in need of a concealer with more coverage. This was another tricky item to find, as I wanted something that color corrected properly, but wasn’t so thick it creased in the fine lines under my eyes after an hour of wear. I ended up going an untraditional route by way of Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick in Alabaster. Using It Cosmetics Airbrush Foundation/Concealer brush, I apply the foundation stick where needed with the smaller end, then stipple it in with the larger side. The creamy formula literally melts into my skin, brightens my face and the brush results in an airbrushed application that makes its steep price well worth the investment! I also use the brush to contour my bronzer, and Nars Matte Multiple in Alta has replaced my once beloved Bahama Mama Bronzer. The creamy formula is SO much easier to apply than its powder counterpart, and the color is the perfect shade for contouring – warm, but not orange – and doesn’t have an ounce of shimmer! After having great results with the Nars bronzer I decided to give their blush a try (in Maui), and am so happy I did! The cream-to-powder finish is so easy to apply (I use my fingers!) and it lasts ALL day!
I really like the luminous look that brighteners achieve, and have been obsessed with Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat for years. My only real complaint was it’s a little pricey and you can’t tell when you’re running low on product until it’s completely depleted due to the packaging. So when one of the girls at Sephora recommended Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector SPF 25 in Moonstone, I figured why not?! This stuff is liquid gold, literally light in a bottle – and the bottle is huge, considering what a small amount you need! I apply it on tops of my cheekbones, bridge of my nose, brow bone and cupids bow. And for nights out, I mix a dab of it into my foundation for a really radiant look.
Heavily made-up eyes are not my thing, and I absolutely loath when eyeshadow leaves little specs on my face. For years I solely wore mascara, until recently falling in love with Sephora’s Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear in Taupe. It’s super easy to apply (again, I just use my finger to blend it in), waterproof and is the perfect shade of taupe/rose that compliments my green eyes nicely (but it also looks fabulous on my sister’s baby blues!).
Cold temps completely transforms my normal-to-oily skin into a dry, itchy mess. Lightweight moisturizers need to swapped out for more intense versions, and extra steps need to be added to my general routine.
Let me preface my love of coconut oil with saying, I have insanely sensitive skin! I breakout in hives or a rash from the majority of products out there. Because of this, I always stuck with buying more expensive brands, thinking it would avoid allergic reactions – this turned out not to always be the case. About 1 1/2 years ago I started using coconut oil in my hair as a deep conditioner on a weekly basis and was amazed with the results (check out my process in this post). Then I slowly started expanding its breadth. First it was my feet after long runs, then other dry areas like my cuticles, knees and elbows. Now come the winter months, I just slather it all over after a hot shower. The key is to warm it between your hands first, do a good job rubbing it in and let it soak in for a while. After applying the oil, I do my hair and makeup in a light terrycloth robe, then lightly dab areas where it has not completely absorbed before I get dressed. This is my absolute FAVORITE skin care product!
I received Tarte’s Maracuja Oil as a free sample with a Sephora purchase a few months back. I had absolutely no idea what maracuja oil was, so I tossed it in the back of my makeup drawer and completely forgot about it. Then right after the holidays I ran out of my regular eye cream, so I used the oil as a substitute. I was pleased not to awake broken out in hives, so I figured I’d continue using it until I could get to the store to replace my eye cream. Then I started noticing great results in the overall texture and brightness around my eye area. Now I used it as a eye “oil” nightly and apply it all over my face once a week for an intense treatment (although you could probably do this more often if you have normal-to-dry skin).
I’m a bit of a germ-o-phobe and cannot even fathom how many times a day I wash my hands and apply hand sanitizer. Because of this, my cuticles require extra attention. While coconut oil doubles as my cuticle cream during the spring, summer and fall; come winter I need something more intense to avoid those annoyingly painful little hangnails. Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream is actually more like a paste. I work it’s gritty texture into my cuticles nightly until it’s completely smooth. And I ONLY trim a hangnail right after a long hot shower or bath. I can’t tell you how much this combo has improved the appearance of my hands!
So, what are your winter skin care essentials? Any great products I should know about?
The Top-Knot:When it comes to fashion and makeup, I have a little arsenal of go-to “looks” that can get me through any situation. But when it comes to my hair, I’m completely petrified of change! I always wear it down and wavy – a little security blanket of sorts – and while I have no intention of changing the length or color anytime soon (I actually have bad dreams about this occurring!), I’d love to add a simple up-do to my daily repertoire.
With that said, I’m really not good at doing my own hair (I’ve only recently been able to achieve a proper diy blowout through the instructions in this book), so it has to be super uncomplicated. Above are a few looks I’ve been eyeing on Pinterest.
Any tips or pointers? Any products or accessories that I need to get? I’ve heard this little scrunchy-sock thing is good for buns, but the look of it kinda freaks me out!
Last week I was all about Emerald, and this week I’m completely smitten with – cabernet, cranberry, burgundy, ox blood, aubergine – the color has so many names, but I prefer to call it wine (it is one of my favorite drinks after all!). It’s one of those colors that looks great on any skin tone and perfectly compliments the warmer tones of the Fall season.
One of my girlfriends is very in-the-know when it comes to anything beauty and recommended How to Look Expensive to me over a year ago. I’m not big into beauty books, and to be totally honest I judged the cover by the title (it sounds a bit pretentious) so I forgot about the book and moved on. But then I ran into my friend a few days ago and in addition to looking fresh-faced and perfectly put together (like she always does) she was sporting the most gorgeous blowout. After embarrassingly complimenting her somewhat profusely, I asked if she had found a new stylist – I needed her number stat! She smirked at me and said, “You never read the book did you? I blew out my hair myself.” I was astonished and a little embarrassed I hadn’t taken her recommendation the first time around!
Of course I immediately ordered the book, and let me tell you guys it’s a total game changer! Written by Andrea P. Lustig, a longtime beauty editor at Glamour, How to Look Expensive pulls back the curtain on everything hair, skin, brows, teeth and nails; providing strategies and specific product recommendations on how to achieve an easy, glamourous look that’s attainable on any budget. Chapters are divided up into four categories that women tend to mirror: the classic Park Ave look, bohemian glamour, European sophistication and hollywood hipness. The how to blow out your own hair section was worth the cost of the book alone! So if you’re anything like me, and become somewhat anxious when trying to choose one of the 250 concealers available in Sephora, I can’t recommend this book enough (even though I still think the title is pretty terrible!).
Just like my summer beauty essentials, warm weather completely changes my arsenal of hair products. Humidity takes my naturally wavy-frizzy hair to new heights and damage control is necessary! My hair is kinda tricky to work with. It’s long and I have a lot of it, but the individual strands aren’t thick so it can go flat fast. Traditional frizzy hair products meant for those with super thick manes just leaves my locks limp and greasy – not an attractive look! In my younger years I spent copious amounts of time frying my waves with a straightening iron, resulting in temporally frizz free hair that was completely damaged. I have since wizened up and learned to work with what I’ve got.
About a year ago I discovered that coconut oil acts as an unbelievable deep conditioner. A weekly application leaves my locks hydrated and shiny, and best of all – not weighed down! Starting at the ends, saturate dry hair with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil, then cover with a shower cap and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse out thoroughly with two cycles of shampoo, condition as usual. My hair has never looked so healthy!
I learned about It’s a 10from my friend Hanna over at Gadabout and decided to give it a try. It’s incredible! I use it religiously before I blow dry and it keeps my frizz at bay and hair super soft.
Oribe products are not cheap but work so well with my hair I don’t have to justify the splurge. The Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray is an amazing non-sticky formula that produces perfect silky tousled waves sans the salty stiffness. The directions read: “Shake. Spray on wet or dry hair. Tousle to taste and let dry in the St. Tropez air. Follow with lipstick and heels”, which always makes me laugh when grumpily blow drying my hair at 7:00 AM!
Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray is hands-down the best dry shampoo ever! My hair appears freshly coiffed on day 2 and 3 of my blow dry without the white powdery residue! And the spray’s volumizing capabilities lend themselves perfectly on days I’m looking to channel Brigitte Bardot – which is pretty often!
Elnett Satin Hairsprayhas a colt following for good reason! The fine micro diffusion spray creates a long-lasting matte hold that can be brushed out without a trace of sticky buildup.
Warm temperatures completely change my beauty routine, and sticky air makes barely-there-makeup essential! Contradictory to the amount of products I own (which is A LOT!), I always end up using the same items over and over again.
Here’s my tried and true essentials:
I am slightly neurotic about applying sunscreen after spending my teenage years on the beach without enough of it (I should have listened to my mother!), and religiously apply CeraVe’s CeraVe Facial Lotion with SPF 30 every AM. It’s gentle enough for my super-sensitive skin and doesn’t leave a white cast like so many other SPF moisturizers.
I dab on just enough of Jouer’s Luminizing Moisture Tint to even out my skin tone. The light-infusing formula provides the perfect summer glow and SPF 20 adds an extra layer of protection.
The Balm’s Bahama Mama Bronzer is perfect shade for contouring (warm, but not orange), and doesn’t have an ounce of shimmer – which I think just defines wrinkles. I also use it as my contouring eye shadow.
Tarte’s Cheek Stain in Flush produces a natural rosiness and the gel-like consistency doesn’t cake-up in rising temperatures. It plays double duty in my makeup bag as a cheek and lip stain (love multi-functional products!). They don’t make a mini version, so I filled a pill container with the product and always have it with me.
$40 seems ridiculous for the little pen, but Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat works magic masking sleep deprived eyes and that makes it worth every penny! It’s also the perfect highlighter to complement Bahama Mama’s contouring. I’ve tried other brands, this one is the best!
So, what are you summer beauty essentials? Any great products I should know about?
Check back tomorrow for my hair product essentials!
From interiors to fashion – mixing a few luxurious “investment” items with more affordable options strikes a nice balance in a room and an ensemble. Nothing thrills me more than to accessorize a custom sofa with a set of pillows from Ikea, or pair my Miu Miu sandals with a skirt from Forever 21. These are the items that I’ve recently been shopping with high style and great price tags.
On one of my “in-and-out” runs to target for laundry detergent I emerged two hours later with a full cart, including two of these umbrellas (on sale for $79 in stores). In addition to being obsessed with the ikat print, the wooden pole makes them look high-end. The Bungalow backyard plans will have to be adjusted a bit, but so worth it! I also found this Mara Hoffman-esque beach bag ($34.99) and gorgeous light blue shagreen shade ($19.99) for a steel!
I learned about this children’s dress (on sale for $8 in stores) through The Glitter Guide and went to check it out this weekend. The XL fit me perfectly and will make for a great coverup or throw-on dress this summer. I also picked up this tunic ($26.94), which looks very similar to a much more expensive version. Now all I need is for the weather to warm up! *Save an additional 20% with code ONSAVE20 through 5/6!
This pillow ($10) looks very Madeline Weinrib-ish, sans the three digit price tag, and my local Ikea finally has them back in stock! I picked up a few for a client project along with this Saarinen inspired tulip table ($199) and a box of these taper candles ($3.99). I am not usually a fan of colored wax but made an exception when I saw this perfect shade of turquoise – they look great in brass holders!
These festive foil dot napkins ($4.95) have been on my wish list for some time and when I found them majorly marked-down I couldn’t resist! I’ve blogged about these planters ($10) before and sill can’t get over what a great deal they are – I picked up my third one this weekend!
I learned about this Forever 21 skirt ($22.80) through Chassity’s blog and went on the hunt to track it down – girl has a great eye, I’m very pleased with my purchase! I also picked up this neon nail polish ($2.80) which has actually held up pretty well. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it brightens up my day!
How was your weekend? Found any great deals lately? Would love to hear about them!!!
My home is filled with medleys of my treasures – art, vintage ashtrays, blue and white pottery, antique silver napkin rings, design books, brass figurines and vintage glassware just scratch the surface. Little collections like these add so much personality to a home, reflecting who the inhabitants are and what they love. When I work with clients I always try and incorporate their own mementos into the design. Maybe it’s a few vintage family photos that we’ll have reframed, the husband’s college football helmets accessorized in the son’s nursery or displaying some of grandma’s china that rarely gets used because it’s packed away. And if they haven’t already, I encourage them to start collections of their own in something that interests and excites them!
One of my more recent collections is this jar of pretty packaged soaps. It started on a trip to Italy when I essentially raided Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella, grew on our trip to Paris last year at Compagnie de Provence and Diptique, and now I rarely leave Anthropologie without taking home at least one of their beautiful options. I took note from the European perfumeries, displaying my collection in inexpensive glass canisters. The soaps make for a luxurious bath, and the pretty packaging adds a punch of color and character to my bathroom, cheering up the grumpiest of mornings!
Collections are all about the execution of display – essentially what distinguishes them from hoarding! Do you collect packaged soaps? I would love to hear your favorites!
Images via my Instagram account @christinedicorcia – follow me here!