Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lately.




Of course one of the biggest things going on lately is being a Glossier Rep. There's no doubt that I am part of the Glossier (unofficial) Fan Club, so of course I'm hella excited to be a representative of Glossier. And of course there's the new Laneige face mask I bought partially because it feels so incredibly hydrating and partially because it smells like the Gogurts my friends used to have during lunch in elementary school. And it's pink and cute and makes for a good addition to my #topshelfie blah blah blah. But let's not forget that one of my favorite sayings/quotes, "Love is Love is Love is Love" has taken a new form as my newest Ryan Porter purchase. For Pride Month, Ryan Porter sold this limited edition Love is Love bracelet with 50% of the proceeds going towards HRC. Obviously I barely thought twice before adding it to my virtual shopping cart. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer


perfume: Callio Fragrance c/o

My loyalty to Callio Fragrance is unwavering. I still dabble here and there, collecting fragrances for my growing personal perfume vault, but I always come back to my tried and true scents. Of course you guys know how much I die for Adele. I've waxed poetic about the luxurious aroma of blackberry and rose in Adele here and here and I guarantee I'm going to do it again this winter, but today I'm going to fawn over Summer. I can't quite put my finger on why I love it, but it reminds me of something from my childhood. A generic concept or recurring experience of some sort; not quite a specific memory or event.

Maybe the summer camp I attended smelled like the exact combination of peaches and freesia found in Summer. Or possibly the back room of my dad's office, where I would hangout after school throughout elementary school, felt identical to the way Summer smells. I don't know what it is, but every time I spritz myself it just feels so familiar. It could even be that Summer in and of itself is the scent of old memories. I bet anyone could smell it and feel like they're reliving some kind of childhood bliss. Or maybe it's just all in my head. But do I really need an explicit reason to love a perfume? At the end of the day it's all about how great I'm going to smell tomorrow when I'm getting coffee with my friend leaving a faint trail of Summer behind me.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Beauty Brand Wishlist Vol. 2

byredo, gypsy water, charlotte tilburry, saturday skin, glossier, tata harper, natural beauty, topshelfe, top shelfie, ITGTopShelfie

One of the best things about having a blog is going back and reading the (sometimes cringe-worthy) things I've written in the past. I wrote my beauty brand wishlist two years ago when I was first learning about beauty as content creator, not just as a consumer. Now looking back, it's comforting to see that not only have I tried 3 out of the 4 brands, but one of those brands was Glossier and you guys all know how that turned out (aka I might as well have my paychecks written out to Glossier, inc. at this point).

For the second volume of my beauty brand wishlist, I somehow managed to narrow it down to Byredo, Tata Harper, Saturday Skin, and Charlotte Tilbury. Just like every other "influencer" I'm currently on the skincare bandwagon. My dream #topshelfie sports rows of green bottles covered in bright yellow lettering. The luxury of high-end skincare that is authentically natural is summed up in the Tata Harper brand. As for Saturday Skin, I'm not going to say that it isn't giving me Glossier vibes, but there is something just a little bit more luxurious and science-y about Saturday Skin's approach to skincare. which makes me want to see what the hype is all about.

Byredo, on the other hand, is not quite the millennial mainstay. I've seen Byredo prominently placed on the vanities of several bloggers and Instagram girls, but i find it hard to believe that a $230 bottle of perfume is targeted at my fellow millennials. Nonetheless, I want a piece of the luxury and not to mention that insane cult following Gypsy Water (one of Byredo's signature fragrances) has. Charlotte Tilbury speaks for itself. Despite the shift towards skincare, everyone has been raving about Charlotte Tilbury makeup. Once I found out that Charlotte Tilbury herself was a famed makeup artist and has such a passion for the artisty of makeup I decided that shelling out a few extra bucks for a CT bronzer would be worth it... one day.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

11:11


candle: Sunday Forever in 11:11

I once believed that Diptyque's Feu de Bois was the end all be all of candles for me. My candle naivety has since ended because I've spent the last 4 months searching for a signature home scent. 11:11 is my second post-Feu de Bois candle (after Gardener by Boy Smells) and first ever Sunday Forever purchase.  Within a week of discovering Sunday Forever, I became obsessed with getting my hands on this perpetually sold out candle.

Once I finally got it, I was more than a bit shocked. I was shamefully unaware of what "fig and wishes" would smell like and ,though incredibly beautifully scented, it feels oh so sweater weather-y. The coziness of 11:11 by no means is what I was expecting to accompany my bathing suit clad summer days ,yet I still burn it day after day. The warmth of fig can be comforting when I long to be back in Nashville with friends. It also reminds me of simpler times -- when each morning was about getting to class on time and each afternoon was about Netflix and homework.

Despite 11:11 not being the signature home fragrance I've been searching for, I can't wait to burn this during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Feu de Bois still holds its number one ranking while Gardener sits steadily in second and 11:11 comes in third as a classic autumn burner. Next on my list is Kitten (which I have such high hopes for) and Ghost Rose, both by Catbird. With any luck, Kitten will become my go-to scent and I'll forever have it burning on my bedside while also wearing the complementary solid perfume.

Friday, July 7, 2017

GRWM // July 2017


First // Either double or triple cleanse with Pearlescence Micellar Water, Glossier Milky Jelly, and Shiseido Creamy Cleansing Emulsion.

Second // Layer Pixi Glow Tonic and Glossier Super Bounce a few times. Wait five minutes for it to soak into my skin. Possibly followed by a sheet mask. 

Third // Sunscreen and facial oil are mixed together and layered, just like with serums and toner. Shisedo Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector and decanted rose + peony face oil.

Fourth // After letting my sunscreen and facial oil settle, Glossier Haloscope in Topaz practically all over my face layered with Nars Soft Matte Concealer to cover tons of scarring.

Fifth // Boy Brow in Black, Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, and Rose Balm Dotcom. Always.

Sixth // Finding Ferdinand Lipstick in A Glamorous Revelation or Kim K. If not, Julianne Hough's "Perfect Nude" for L'Oreal.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Essentials ft. The Chic Machine

4 Summer Pieces to Spice Up Your Wardrobe


Sometimes I forget that I am about to be a junior in college which means I’m expected to make adult decisions and do adult things… and every now and then act like an adult and wear a put together outfit. Most of the time, what I’m wearing falls between just-rolled-out-of-bed, classic, college grunge or completely (but unashamedly) overdressed. Nonetheless, there are still a few pieces I always have in rotation that my wardrobe couldn’t exist without. But instead of just throwing together a Buzzfeed-esque article with random Pinterest pictures and obvious choices (everyone in college wears athletic shorts, we know *rolls eyes*) I’ve collaborated with Dymond from The Chic Machine to create a lookbook with every “must-have” piece. I can’t remember how I happened upon Dymond’s blog over a year ago, but ever since then she’s embodied #BlackGirlMagic so much that I’m a little jealous I wasn’t as cool as she is when I was a senior in high school. You can check out her blog for all the looks that go with my picks below here.
1. A Striped T-Shirt
I hate using the term “must have” because I really don’t think there’s anything that every girl or woman must own. But in college, a black and white striped t-shirt is the sartorial equivalent of killing two birds with one stone because it’s casual enough to be a cool jeans and a t-shirt look for summer, a la Kendall Jenner. But it’s also nice enough that you can wear it under a blazer and look completely professional.
2. A Nice Sweatshirt
I know this may seem ridiculous at first. However, while in college you’re probably going to get a lot of free university t-shirts and hoodies with your school’s mascot on it, and sometimes that’s just not the look you’re going for. Having a cute sweatshirt (think Glossier not Gucci) automatically transforms your study outfit into effortlessly chic athleisure.
3. Denim Shorts You Love
Unless you’re going to school in an area that doesn’t get hotter than 65 degrees throughout the entire year, finding a pair of shorts you love should be on your summer to do list. With the amount of walking you’ll be doing on campus in the August and September heat (on the first day of fall last year it was in the mid-80’s in Nashville) you’re going to want to your favorite summer shorts for your mid-afternoon classes so do yourself a favor and find a pair of go-to denim shorts.
4. A Cute Hat
I’m a little biased because I love wearing hats, but bad hair days do happen. So does waking up 5 minutes before you have to get to class. And “I’m just not feeling it” days where you couldn’t be bothered to plug in a flat iron or pick up a brush. Of course baseball caps (or dad hats, if you’re into trendy rebranding…) are the typically hats of choice, but feel free to pick the style that suites you best. I’m particularly partial to beanies, even during the summer.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Glossier: What I Hate & What I Love

Glossier, Haloscope, The Supers, Super Glow, Boy Brow, Cloud Paint Haze, Emilly Weiss, Glossier Rep Program,  Balm Dotcom, Into The Gloss

Glossier (L-R): Haloscope, Cloud Paint, Super Glow, and Rose Balm Dotcom

 Among the many crazy things about the Glossier phenomenon ($10 Million from VCs, the 10,000 person Boy Brow waiting list, the sudden ubiquity of little pink Ziploc bags, etc.) I have come to the conclusion that the craziest thing about Glossier is that everyone who loves Glossier the brand seems to love every. single. Glossier product. That's not to say that there aren't some beauty bloggers out there that are head over heels for their whole lineup; but there's something to be said about the overwhelming and unanimous "We love all Glossier products" feeling I'm getting from the Instagram beauty blogger community. It could be a testament to how Glossier is just that good. However, as someone who's placed well over a dozen orders for a multitude of their products, it seems a little...odd? 

So to turn the tables just a bit, I've decided to write about the best and the worst Glossier products I've tried. I've written several Glossier reviews (Phase 1 + Masks, Milky JellyPhase 2, and the Flavored Balm Dotcoms) so this time around I'm just going to pick the few that fall into the "Love" and "Hate" categories and give a little explanation why. But first, let's be clear -- "Love" doesn't always equal die hard fan (though you could make a pretty good case for Boy Brow) and "Hate" hardly means I've reserved a special place in Hell for the duds. More than anything it's a scale of each product relative to everything else Glossier has to offer.

LOVE

1. Boy Brow in Black : I can wax poetic about how great this product is, but I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times from a thousand other bloggers. This is the one product I can say that no one is faking it when they say it's amazing. Super easy to use and flawlessly makes your eyebrows look great.

2. Milky Jelly: First and foremost, Milky Jelly is amazing because it's noticeably hydrating. I've come across a fair amount of hydrating cleansers that are really just non-drying cleanser, but Milky Jelly actually moisturizes your face as you massage it in. Also, the texture is perfect for light to medium makeup removal.

3. Cloud Paint in Haze: Mostly, I just think the colors for Cloud Paint in general are spot on. Blush can look quite comical on my dark skin but Haze looks so freaking natural I don't mind the nuisance of dispensing it from a tube. 

HATE

1. Generation G in Like: Probably one of my biggest Glossier disappointments because I am such a lip product fiend. Pink lipstick has been the cornerstone of my beauty routine for YEARS so I know a thing or two about what I love and what I don't... And as it so happens, Like is exactly what I don't. It takes a minimum of 5 swipes for a hint of pigment to appear and when it does it's about 10 shades deeper than pretty pale pink the sticker on the bottom purports. 

2. Haloscope in Topaz: I held out on purchasing Haloscope for almost a year only to pick it up from the showroom during my trip to New York. The color payoff and shimmer were so good I was upset I hadn't gotten it sooner. But as it turns out, the unbelievable glow Topaz left on the back of my hand didn't translate to the hollows under my eyes. Over makeup, the balm formula just made me look sweaty and smeared off my concealer with one stroke of the tube.

3. Balm Dotcom in Cherry: The major downfall of Cherry Balm Dotcom is that it lacks so much of the OG Balm Dotcom's appeal -- versatility, no makeup aesthetic, convenience, etc. Unlike the original (or even Coconut and Rose, for that matter) Cherry takes effort. Very minimal effort, mind you, but effort nonetheless which is exactly the opposite of what Balm Dotcom means to me. I can't just grab it and swipe it on while I'm waiting at a red light, I can't rub it on my cuticles after I've done my nails, and I can't bask in my moisturized lips five minutes later because all I'll be thinking about is the overwhelming Lipsmackers smell radiating from the bottom half of my face.

Now it's your turn to tell me about the best and worst Glossier products you've tried because I know I'm not alone in my love for Glossier's best products and disappointment in their let downs. Share your thoughts!

Friday, June 2, 2017

A Fashionista's Reading List: Summer 2017


I came across Big Shots while browsing the Urban Outfitters website and I was excited to see a Polaroid photo book that wasn't riddled with industry insiders that I'd never heard of. Instead, you get both candid and posed photos of fashion and entertainment big names to fawn over. 

Thankfully, "wall scouting" is a thing of the past and we can go back to enjoying urban art without thinking about it as an Instagram backdrop. Street Art displays the most renowned and underrated urban street art from around the world. 

The name says it all -- Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style. Street style has become so tired that this might be the only saving grace. It's a new way to view streetwear: through the "black dandy" lens.

The Social Life of Kimono by Joanne B. Eicher
I'm not a fashion history buff, by any means, but I love the story of any iconic piece that has changed the industry. The Social Life of Kimono is particularly amazing because it delves into a piece of fashion history that goes beyond the fashion industry's four walls of New York, Paris, London, and Milan.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

4 Internet Posts I Loved This Month


I loved reading about the Cupcakes & Cashmere staff's days as college students, especially because they weren't self-described ambitious perfectionists as I would've expected. (Cupcakes & Cashmere)

This article about Kendall's Pepsi ad was hardly a favorite of mine, but I did love the discussion that arose in the comments, even though it gave me a fair amount of anxiety. (Man Repeller)

I'm going through an intense skincare obsession so a blog post about Kierra's recent skincare purchases definitely piqued my interest. Plus, she's finally back in the blogging game! (In The Grey)

Combine loving the Charlotte Tilbury episode of Fat Mascara and my recent obsession with Violet Grey, this interview with one of the most talked about makeup artists of the moment is easily a favorite. (Violet Grey)

Friday, May 26, 2017

What's New // Finding Ferdinand

Finding Ferdinand, The Overnight Palette, The Overshadow Palette, The Rose Palette, custom lipstick, FFGirl, custom makeup
photo by Finding Ferdinand

My custom Finding Ferdinand lipstick has been my go-to for the past year and a half -- yes, I've been using the same amazing shade of lipstick for the last 18 months. I happened upon Finding Ferdinand when their only product was the Starter Kit and customizable lipstick. Since then they've introduced lipstick crayons, which I have yet to try despite my undying love for sheer lip crayons, and mini lipsticks. More recently ,though, they've forayed into all areas of makeup and now have completely customizable makeup palettes. Rather than just going to Finding Ferdinand to create a one of a kind lipstick, you can now put together your own palette with the exact shades and color combinations you want. 

The Overnight Palette, as it's been dubbed, includes your choice of bronzer, blush, highlighter, and eyeshadows in whatever shades you choose. There are literally thousands of possible combinations and each set comes with two double sided brushes for applying each step. However, the fun doesn't stop there. Finding Ferdinand just introduced The Rose and The Overshadow palettes which are completely customizable sets of 6 blushes, bronzers, and highlighters (The Rose Palette) or your choice of 8 matte, metallic, and/or shimmery eyeshadows (The Overshadow Palette). Now you can carry all of your makeup around in one, custom palette and not have to worry about dealing with that one shade of eyeshadow or blush that you know you'll never wear. 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Summer Pick Me Up

lipstick palette: Finding Ferdinand; perfume: Callio Fragrance c/o
necklace: Little April Showers; greeting card: Tayham
lipgloss: Trust Fund Beauty c/o; nail polish: Trust Fund Beauty in "Blow" c/o

This summer is already showing signs of overbearing heat and long work days. I will be the busiest I've ever been for the next three months and am hoping to find joy in the little things whenever I inevitably feel like I'm going to drown in my responsibilities. So far that has been bubble baths and endless sheet masks (I've indulged in one every night this month...), but I've also found some solace in some long time favorites such as my Finding Ferdinand starter kit and my artwork-as-jewelry hot air balloon necklace from Little April Showers, which closed back in 2015 to my chagrin.

Of course, Trust Fund Beauty always makes an appearance in the summer because Blow, which is no where to be found on their website, is the perfect non-opalescent white nail polish for warmer weather and Pretentious Pout is about as bubble gummy, prep girl pink as they come for a college woman like me who still wishes she could go to summer camp. I'm planning to switch back to Callio Fragrance's "Summer"' scent once the temperature gets into the triple digits, but there's something about Adele that I absolutely love. I've never been more in love with a fragrance since my elementary school days when I begged my mom to repurchase Still by Jennifer Lopez every time I ran out. Also there's something about getting the 5th bottle of your signature scent that makes you feel like a real adult, ya know. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

My Little Obsession: Violet Grey


Violet Grey, Violette_fr, The Violet Files, french girls, beauty routine,Into The Gloss, ITG,

I can't believe that it took me so long to finally jump down the rabbit hole that is Violet Grey. Actually, I've never really been a devout reader of magazine-esque beauty blogs. But as it turns out, I have just been cheating myself because Violet Grey is the answer to so many of my beauty dreams. In particular, The Violet Files. Violet Grey presents itself as an online destination for shopping high end beauty while simultaneously discovering the world of beauty. The subsection "The Violet Files" features interviews and how-to's and celebrity beauty routines and pretty much various peeks behind the curtain of the ever-so-exclusive beauty and entertainment industry. 

My obsession with Violet Grey goes even deeper into The Violet Files. I've been binge watching/reading all of Violette's videos/articles on Violet Grey. Violette, the resident "French girl" has her own sub-subsection within The Violet Files where, for the most part, she does fairly average beauty things but somehow makes it 10x cooler. I'm a little ashamed to fall for the "let's all fawn over the cool French girl and be jealous of how effortless she is." I have been so opposed to the glorification of French women in the fashion and beauty industry, but somehow this feels different. Maybe it's her French accent that reminds me of my french professor from freshman year or maybe it's because she has just a little bit of that unconventional beauty that eurocentrism typically lacks. I can't quite put my finger on why I love Violette and Violet Grey as a whole so much, but I do and sometimes things you love don't need an explanation.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

4 New Releases To Get Excited About

Milk Makeup, Ouai Haircare, Ban.do, So Worth Loving, Rose Hair Oil, Bando Agenda, Blur Stick, Blur Spray, Sephora, Summer Must Haves

The month of May is always littered with product releases and new collections from smaller Indie brands. Because I have way more free time and make more money during the summer, I'm always hyper-aware of the new summer must-haves. However, in between all of the major releases going on there seems to be quite a few gems that are flying under the radar. So Worth Loving quietly came out with a brand new muscle tee in burnt red and I barely heard about it amid Glossier SPF Instagram posts and The Ordinary's serum foundation uproar.

Everyone was so hyped about Milk Makeup's holographic stick coming out in the new shade Mars that they seemed to forget about the new Blur Spray that might just be my knight in shining armor this summer. Asia Jackson raved about how great the Blur Stick is as a primer so I can only imagine that the mist will be perfect for keeping my makeup matte throughout the summer heat.

On that same note, both Ouai Haircare and Ban.do dropped amazing new products in the shadows of their other highly anticipated releases. Just last month, Ouai came out with its inaugural collection of hair supplements that Jen Atkins and her squad promoted for months leading up to the release day. Then, seemingly out of the blue, Ouai drops their two-in-one Rose Hair and Body Oil. I'm still on my rose scented skincare kick (I just bought Jurlique's rosewater balancing mist) so I've already added it to my wishlist despite my disappointment in their original hair oil.

On May 1st, Ban.do had their annual, highly anticipated agenda release. Per usual, the covers were amazing and everyone freaked out about just how amazing everything about Ban.do's agendas is, but what no one seemed to notice was all of the other insanely cool things Ban.do also dropped that same day. The "Agenda Shop" was filled to the brim with new goods and an entirely new batch of tech accessories and drinkware on the horizon.


Friday, May 12, 2017

My Thoughts on Life... & The Tassel Fairy



...Out of the blue, Studio Mucci had a sample sale two weeks ago and now I have two more tassel garlands to add to my collection. The Tassel Fairy is back in business, my friends!

...And of course, Glossier released its new Invisible Shield. The jury's still out for me, but it's not looking too great unfortunately.

...I've been obsessed with skincare Instagirls lately because 1) I'm uber-jealous of their #TopShelfies and 2) I need to find out all of the products that I'll inevitably end up spending my next paycheck on.

...Now that I'm officially on summer break, I've spent every night relaxing in a bubble bath with my favorite candle and a sheet mask.

...Speaking of summer break, this past semester was killer. I'm honestly just happy I made it out in one piece.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Everything You Need To Know About Glossier's Sunscreen

Glossier, Sunscreen, Invisible Shield, Every Single Day, Emily Weiss, Into The Gloss,
photos from Instagram

I know you've heard by now that Glossier is finally releasing its highly anticipated sunscreen this week. News travels fast in this digital world we live in. So fast that I was upset that it took me so long to find out about the new release when I saw the Instagram post 3 hours after it was uploaded (I know. Shameful, right? But I am a millennial and you know how we want everything and we want it all now). The funny thing is that I was already planning on publishing a blog post about Glossier sunscreen this week ,because over the last 18 months there have been so many hints that I knew it was only a matter of weeks (or in actuality, days) until Glossier sunscreen was available for the masses. Invisible Shield, the official name of Glossier's sunscreen, has been a long time coming. Emily Weiss & Co. obviously didn't expect it to take this long to formulate. Comment threads on Into The Gloss have been saying "very soon" in response to sunscreen inquiries for nearly a year. And let's not forget when Invisible Shield was featured in a Cosmopolitan editorial spread last summer before the magazine got wind of the (very, very) delayed launch date. So after two years of waiting, Glossier sunscreen is just days away and here's everything you need to know before it's released.

1. The basics: Emily gave the basic deets about Glossier's new sunscreen on Into the Gloss yesterday. It offers UVA and UVB protection, which is pretty standard. Weirdly enough, it will be a serum formula rather than a lotion in order to give invisible coverage while still being 100% protective. This likely means a price hike, but it also means it will work with all colors and complexions.

2. The ingredients: Unfortunately, Glossier chose a chemical formula over a mineral alternative which means it won't be a "clean" product and if you have ultra-sensitive skin it might cause irritation. On the plus side, however, it's going to be SPF 35 which is a a step up from many makeup SPF's that are typically on the lower side. And yes, pretty much anything above SPF 30 will effectively shield you from the sun's rays so there's pretty much no better coverage you could get.

3. The packaging: This is where the disappointment might come for you Glossier die-hards. The Glossier team decided to deviate from their signature millennial pink packaging and put Invisible Shield in a white and light green cylinder bottle. It feels reminiscent of Drunk Elephant's BabyFacial (but much smaller and no pump) and sticks out like a sore thumb next to all of Glossier's other products.

4. The price: After a little bit of digging (okay, not really but it still took some work) I've confirmed that the price is going to be $34. With the watergel/serum formula you can expect a high quality formula worth the price, but nonetheless you might have to count you coins  before clicking "Add to Cart" because that's a steep price to pay for daily sun protection.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Oldies but Goodies

jour d'automne thermal styling spray, ouai haircare, blogger trends, bauble bracelets, dalmatian jasper
bracelets: Harper Designs, Britter & Jo; hairspray: No. 4

I'm a girl of tradition and a creature of habit which means when I find a product I love that love will likely last a lifetime. Such is the case for my first ever "blogger" purchase -- these dalmatian jasper bauble bracelets from Britter & Jo and Harper Designs. Just a few months into blogging I saw these bracelets on Instagram and became obsessed. After hours of going through endless Instagram hashtag searches, I placed an order in hopes of writing the article that would start the bauble bracelet trend.

As for the hairspray, it came with my graduation gift to myself senior year of high school. I purchased the Cupcakes + Cashmere Birchbox and received this travel size No. 4 thermal styling spray. Thus began my obsession with owning the perfect hairspray. I have yet to find a drugstore strong hold hairspray that doesn't leave my hair offensively crunchy and smells delicious. This has lead to an embarrassing percentage of my paychecks going towards Ouai's medium hold hairspray (which, despite the name, has amazing hold) and lusting after No. 4' s Jour d'Automne Thermal Styling Spray. If any of you have somehow cracked the code and found a good drugstore hairspray that works as well as a luxe hairspray please let me know. I doubt I'll end up buying it but maybe I'll be less willing to drop $30 on my next bottle of hair product if I know there's a $6 bottle sitting on a shelf somewhere in Walgreens.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The New and Improved #GirlBoss

Sophia Amoruso, #Girlboss, Netflix Original, Girlboss Foundation, Nasty Gal, Nasty Galaxy, Nasty Gal Media
photo by unknown

Nothing says procrastination like binge watching the entire first season of Girlboss in one weekend. I bought #Girlboss, the memoir Netflix's highly anticipated show is based on, in March to read on my trip to NYC and didn't even crack it open once. I've since read about one-third of the half condescending half hilarious retelling of Sophia Amoruso's past, but now that I've watched the show, I don't see myself finishing it any time soon. That's not to say it isn't a worthwhile read (that's also not to say that it is either, though), but it is a little uncomfortable reading a book about a woman who made it to the top of the world mere months after her empire came crashing down. I've tried to shove that itching feeling to the side, but you can't quite shale the awkwardness no matter how hard you try.

 That's why I think Sophia Amoruso's success story goes beyond the Nasty Gal behemoth that once was. What makes her incredible is almost entirely separate from what made Nasty Gal great. Case in point: what has Sophia been up to since the bankruptcy and subsequent closing of Nasty Gal stores? For most other entrepreneurs you'd struggle to answer that question. But since November 2016 (and long before that, too, because a bankruptcy filing doesn't come out of the blue) she has been hustling with her #Girlboss enterprise. Let's talk about Girlboss Media, Girlboss Foundation, the Girlboss Rally, and of course, Girlboss the Netflix show. 

Girlboss as a brand represents what I aspire to be: supporting women, creating content, being a platform for amazing entrepreneurs and artists. The new and improved #Girlboss, the one that goes beyond Nasty Gal, is a summation of what female success really is. Whether it's by donating to the Girlboss Foundation, binge watching Girlboss the show, or just generally being a woman who supports other women, there's no excuse to not be part of the Girlboss movement.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

24K Classics

Ryan Porter, Pangea Nashville, Custom Jewelry, Friendship Bracelet, pink nails, Smith and Cult, ShopRyanPorter
Ryan Porter, IV Jewelry, Irinia Victoria, Pangea Nashville, Custom Jewelry, Friendship Bracelet, pink nails, Smith and Cult, ShopRyanPorter
bracelet: Ryan Porter; rings: Irina Victoria (ring finger) and Pangea (middle finger)

When I was a kid, my mom wouldn't allow my sisters and I to wear jewelry that wasn't gold. We had our fair share of plastic baubles and barbie barrettes in our play sets, but once we were off to school or church it was serious business. Twenty-four karats or bust. I like to think that's why I have such an affinity for these delicate gold pieces I've collected over the last couple of years.

The first piece of gold jewelry I bought myself was an Irina Victoria rosebud ring. After browsing the interwebs, I stumbled upon their romantic and delicate yet durable designs. I bought the OG rosebud ring for both my sister and myself, and haven't taken mine off in ages. I followed it up a year later with my treasured Ryan Porter gold chain bracelet. I mulled over my personalized message for far too long, but it was obviously worth it since it has become one of my all time favorite gifts. The classy gold chain mixed with the school girl letter beads makes me feel young enough to still consider P.F. Changs a fun night out but adult enough to communicate with my friends via email rather than text.

I was pretty satisfied with my little golden trinkets, wearing them every day like a little girl with a shiny red balloon. Nonetheless at one of the many festivals Nashville has to offer, I came across a little jeweler's boutique with handcrafted gold bands. I opted for a thin, textured 18 karat piece that would put the final touches on my collection of golden masterpieces. And just last month, while wondering around the neighborhood, I stopped by Pangea (a true Nashville gem, if I do say so myself) and picked up a midi ring that sits atop my finger like the crown jewels sit atop the Duchess of Cambridge. Except mine aren't real diamonds. And I'm not heiress. And I don't have millions of precious jewels at my disposal. At least I'll always have my humble stash of golden pieces.

Friday, April 21, 2017

My Little Obsession: Marble Tiles

photos by Tamira Jarrel

Tamira Jarrel can convince me to do anything, including go to Home Depot all the way across town just for blocks of stone. A marble backdrop is (usually) so chic and sleek and put together, which are all things my pretentious self likes to be. Not surprisingly, I don't have any marble in my house or my apartment. But thanks to TJ, who mentioned how easy it is to get marble tiles from a hardware store for blog photos, I now have three different marble tiles to make my desk look "so aesthetically pleasing" and "messy chic," according to all of my friends that see my work space. I can't promise your  desk top will look as cool as TJ's with absurdly priced but so very much worth it perfumes and candles sprawled across her desk top (I long for the day that I get to indulge in a Byredo shopping spree). What I can promise, though, is that you'll feel so chic and even if your layout isn't 110% Pinterest-worthy it'll bump your own perfume/skincare/jewelry/etc. collections up a notch in terms of aesthetic appeal-- which is all that matters anymore, right?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Aix-en-Provence

Nashville, Provence Bread and Co, nashville Cafe, Bluebird Cafe, Tennesee, Music City, Hillsboro Village

nail polish: Marc Jacobs; sunglasses: local boutique; food: Provence Bread and Cafe

Oh ,Nashville, how I love thee. The food, the beautifully delicious food. Hillsboro Village, one of the many Nashville neighborhoods I enjoy spending my weekends in, has the amazing Provence Cafe literally across the street from the famed Pancake Pantry. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why tourists spend hours in line waiting for a buttermilk stack when there is the best French cafe Nashville has to offer just a few feet away. The coffee selection gives everyone a little something to enjoy and the french menu makes my little french-loving heart pitter patter with glee. My last visit featured an Anchor Down cappuccino and a decadent croque monsieur supplemented with leafy greens. I held out on the macarons since I was days away from visiting the Laduree in New York City, but I'm not gonna say I don't regret that decision. The seating inside is admittedly cramped (so be warned if you're going with a party of four or more) and I've never tried their cold products in the deli display by the door. But, I can hardly imagine the Provence my friends and I know and love serving anything short of a cute, delicious French inspired meal within their intimate four walls. 

I mean, I'm not going to tell you that you have to go to Provence if you're ever in Nashville's Hillsboro Village. But, I will say that if you ever find yourself waiting in an offensively long line for pancakes and happen to see a French cafe across the street you might want to consider crossing that street...

Friday, April 14, 2017

There's Only One Ouai

Ouai Haircare, Feu de Bois, Diptyque, Beauty, Jen Atkins, Kendall Jenner Hair, Kodak
candle: Diptique; hair spray: Ouai Haircare; hair lotion: Ouai Haircare; camera: Kodak

It's no secret that I have commitment issues with hair. Because of my fleeting hairstyles, it can be hard to commit to any hair product that isn't an amazing hair oil (which is always useful). Nevertheless, I bit the bullet and dove into the luxurious pond that is Jen Atkin's hair care line. If you didn't already know, Jen Atkin is a celebrity hairstylist that is responsible for the many looks of both Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen as well as the entire 2016 Victoria's  Secret Fashion Show in Paris. Jen followed her entrepreneurial itch and released a streamlined line of products, Ouai Haircare, that creates the effortless, model off-duty, "I woke up like this" look.

My first Ouai purchase was a full sized bottle of Finishing Creme with the hope that I'd never have to straighten my roots in the morning ever again. I guess it goes without saying that my flat iron is still in rotation, but it's only working part time now thanks to this sinfully priced, but oh-so amazing hair lotion. Half way (ouai?) through the bottle I purchased the Style Edit set with a mini Wave Spray, Texturizing Hair Spray, and Finishing Creme along with a little to-go pouch of hair ties. I was unimpressed with the Wave Spray which is almost undoubtedly because my hair is not real and I don't wash it nearly enough. On the flip side, I've been saving the mini Finishing Creme until the (very sad) day when I use the last drop of the full size. I didn't hate the Texturizing Hair Spray, so there's that. But I also am not sure I'd buy the full size because even if my hair looks like Jen Atkins did it herself, $26 is a bit of a stretch.

In fact, if I'm being honest, I really like the THS; especially for when I have brand-spanking-new, super sleek extensions that need to look a little more lived in. But when it came to buying a full sized bottle, I decided to try the Medium Hair Spray instead. Mostly because it's the strongest "medium hold" hair spray I've ever come across, but also because I can use it to texturize my hair and make my roots lay flat all day which has been my goal since Ouai purchase numero uno. Having smooth roots throughout the day seems to be the ultimate hair goal of mine? Question mark because I didn't actually realize this until three weeks ago when Jen did a tutorial on her Snapchat using Matte Pomade and the Hair Oil when styling Chrissy Teigen's roots. You better believe that I took a bus to Sephora and spent $52 on Ouai Matte Pomade and Hair Oil the very next day. I'm ashamed, yes. Buuut it hasn't not worked yet and I haven't given it enough time to prove it doesn't not not work. Only time will tell, as the saying goes.

Until then, someone please stop me from purchasing the Repair Conditioner and Shampoo because I am currently testing them out and they also haven't not not worked yet but they also haven't not worked either. Send help.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pillow Pie

Smith and Cult, Ryan Porter, Nail Polish, Pink, Pillow Pie, nail art, Pink nails

Smith and Cult, Nail Polish, Nail Lacquer, Pink, Glossier PMR, I love NYC, Finding Ferdinand
nail polish: Smith & Cult in Pillow Pie

I believe in loyalty and if there is anything that I'm loyal to it's the perfect pink nail lacquer. I find my comfort in either jet black or pale pink nails. I've been building an arsenal of the best pink nail polishes for something like 5 years now. My impromptu trip to a The Shops at Green Hills (such an amazing place to hang around when the weather is beautiful, by the way) resulted in my inaugural encounter with Smith & Cult, a company I've been wanting to try since it first came to be.

I was more than a little disappointed to find out how pale-as-a-ghost pink this color is, but then I thought about how "CEO boss babe/my nails but better" and professional it looked on me. This lead me to realize my mound of bottles filled with pink nail polish seemed to lack a fashion-over-function nail polish in the color of a Swedish babies' rosy cheeks. That's a weird description of Smith & Cult's signature pink, I know, but I kid you not that is exactly what I think of when I see it. Or maybe a mix of Glossier pink and the color of nude, cotton underwear but a little more pale. You'd think that I hate the color by the sound of my odd descriptions, but I'd have you know that Pillow Pie is on my nails at this very moment and I love it. Maybe even a new nail polish classic...?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Raves & Rants: Instagram Live

Tamira Jarrel, Instagram Live, How to Use Instagram Live, Social Media

I dread the day social media becomes obsolete. My life seems to revolve around Twitter.  My friendships are sustained via Snapchat. Instagram is the most important aspect of my career. No joke. Those are all true statements. Now that I've finally (and begrudgingly) updated my iPhone I've gotten to experience the wonders of social media's newest technology: Instagram Live. Although I waited until my New York City trip to do an official livestream, I've been drooling over Instagram live videos from Brittany Hampton and Tamira Jarrel for months.

When Snapchat stories came on the scene, I fell in love with the behind the scenes access I got from my friends, family and favorite celebrities. Now that Instagram Live has stepped it up another notch I feel like the next logical step will be me moving into their homes, literally. Live videos on Instagram have such a temporary existence and are so incredibly intimate and unfiltered. More so than a 24 hour Snapchat story or a one-off Twitter Q&A, Instagram Live is an actual door into the hilarious/emotional/glamorous/messy lives of the world. Tamira did a Live video in her kitchen while she was making dinner for her kids. Pause. Let's repeat that: Tamira Jarrel, uber-popular beauty and lifestyle blogger, did a Live video in her kitchen while she was making dinner.  I was literally having a conversation with my favorite blogger while she was chillin' in her house! I asked her about her favorite perfumes -- Replica vs Byredo -- and I watched her unfiltered thought process as she concluded Byredo was the superior choice.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New York Part III: Laduree Soho

Laduree, macarons, NYC, Laduree Soho, Laduree Madison, Marie Antoinette Tea, marble phone case
phone case:  TheCustomCase on Etsy at Laduree

Possibly my favorite part of this whole New York trip was the afternoon we spent at Laduree. Rather than visit the tourist filled Laduree on Madison in the Upper East Side, we ventured a few blocks from the Glossier Showroom and Man Repeller Bazaar (which were literally thirty seconds from each other) to Laduree Soho. 

I'm going to say right here, right now that you will never regret choosing the Soho location over the one on Madison unless you actually like waiting in unnecessarily long lines and witnessing approximately 37 Insta photos being taken per minute. I wouldn't dare describe Laduree Soho as quaint, but the seating is very intimate and the usual patron is a well-dressed, a little snobby, French or Francophile millennial. There are hardly any iPhones in sight and the low rumble of friendly conversations makes you acutely aware that you're in a room full of people who can afford $6 croissants every afternoon. But despite the steep prices I highly recommend going because if nothing else their tea is utterly amazing. I'm not much of a tea drinker, however, my roommate went to the Laduree in Paris and said that their tea could convert anyone. She wasn't lying. I got a whole teapot of Marie Antoinette for only $7 (about 3-4 cups) and oh was it good. I've been trying to buy a box of their Marie Antoinette tea bags since we left (literally... I  called in the Uber back to the hotel) and the easiest way so far would be me buying a plane ticket to Paris and picking one up myself which I briefly considered. If Laduree can convert me, I can almost guarantee you'll fall in love too. 




Friday, March 31, 2017

New York Part II: The Glossier Showroom

Glossier, Emily Wiess, Cloud Paint, Haze, New York City, Glossier Showroom, Lafayette New York, Into The Gloss
Glossier, Emily Wiess, Holiday Collection, Phase 2, New York City, Glossier Showroom, Lafayette New York, Into The Gloss
Glossier, Emily Wiess, Bow Brow, Ask Me About My Brows, New York City, Glossier Showroom, Lafayette New York, Into The Gloss
Glossier, Emily Wiess, Face masks, Moisturizing Moon Mask, Phase 1, Rose Face Mist, Self Checkout, New York City, Glossier Showroom, Lafayette New York, Into The Gloss


all products: Glossier

One of the best parts of my trip to New York was visiting the Glossier showroom and internally freaking out about being in such a ~chic~ place. First of all, if you live in the New York area and haven't been to the Glossier showroom yet, you are absolutely ridiculous and need to spend your next free afternoon on the corner of Lafayette and Canal Street testing blushes and concealers and cleansers and face mists. No inch of the intimate space is wasted with the pale pink walls and giant mirrors. In the back corner was a mermaid-esque "bathroom" where you could get comfortable and try on Glossier's face masks and cleanser. Jars lay sprawled open and lipsticks stood upright in little compartments as if we were in the Glossier production factory testing all of the products.

Of course, I visited just one week after the Cloud Paints had been released and got a chance to try out Beam and Haze (the two I was deciding between) and Puff (just for kicks) before getting in line to purchase my fourth tube of Boy Brow in Black and Haloscope in Topaz. I'd been holding out on Haloscope for a while, hoping that I would have a chance to see how it would look/apply on my skin with my makeup routine. If nothing else, the showroom is the perfect place to try out any Glossier product you're mildly curious about before pulling the trigger and forking out the cash for it. I ended up loving the Topaz Haloscope (way more pigmented than I was lead to believe) and added it to my IRL basket before checking out.

With the brand new Cloud Paint in mind, I had already planned on purchasing at least one color when I stepped into Glossier paradise. However, I was not prepared for how crazily pigmented it would be or how incredibly long lasting it was. The tubes are sold in mere 0.3oz portions, but so little goes a long way that I see this little guy lasting me months. Haze was the perfect shade for my skin tone (on darker skin it appears in the perfect blush-y pink rather than the deep plum/burgundy it seems to be when you squeeze it out) and blended out so well that I am almost worried that I'll end up wasting product almost every time I use it if I don't master the art of the delicate bottle squeeze.

I used my trio of products for the rest of the trip and haven't stopped using them since. I am still awed by how long lasting the Cloud Paint is while I'm still navigating how to use my Haloscope tube. If only I could go back and plant myself in front of a showroom mirror for hours practicing.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New York Part I: Manhattan

Manhattan, Weekend Getaway, What to do in NYC
photo by unknown

Unless you're going skiing, snow and frigid temperatures are not what you typically think of when someone says "spring break". Nonetheless, a few weeks ago I headed to New York City for a five-day excursion in one of the world's most infamous cities. I must confess that this trip was less about being a tourist or even experiencing The City in its truest form, boroughs and all. When planning our trip, my friends and I pretty much just said that we want to go and do the things we want to do without the pressure of seeing all the sights or making sure we get the true essence of what New York is about. Naturally, this meant we were in Manhattan for the duration of our trip, but that hardly means we spent our days wondering Times Square or perusing city passes. 

Over the five days, we did a lot of ultra-touristy things like taking pictures in Central Park and making an obligatory trip to The Met. However, our trip was full of haphazardly planned adventures and genuinely fun NYC experiences. We saw the Statue of Liberty by accident, we saw the Little Girl with the Wall Street Charging Bull that was erected for International Women's Day; I fawned over my everlasting love for modern art at MoMA; we (semi-successfully) tried to sneak into Hamilton... you know just the usual stuff. But we also went to a hidden pizza shop in the Financial District, wondered around the cutest dessert shop filled to the brim with elderly ladies in Chinatown, and visited the Man Repeller Bazaar at the Canal Street Market. A few of my favorite parts of the trip are going to be subjects of their own blog posts in the coming weeks so be prepared to here about all of the shopping I did and the amazing tea I had because I'm still reliving those amazing moments.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Style Envy: Janelle Monae

Hidden Figures, Janelle Monae, black girl magic, mod style, women tuxedo, shirt dress, black and white outfit ideas

Janelle Monae is a goddess. I have loved her since her style exclusively featured black tuxedos and a poofy, afro faux hawk/reverse mullet. Her style never wavered and even from the beginning was so integral to who she was as a musician. In the most recent years, Janelle Monae has pivoted to face the ever changing styles of Hollywood without losing her classically mod identity. She always looks stunning with a touch of brightness in the twinkle of her eyes or the color of her lips. Accessories mustn't be over the top to make you feel the tingly feeling only a great "lewk" can. As much as I appreciate how iconic Lady Gaga was circa 2008 and the greatness that is each and every extravagant red carpet event, there will always be a place for women who remain 100% true to their signature style. 

Flouncy pussy bows and topknot pigtail buns -- original? no. undeniable stylish? always. There are very few people who can toe the line of musician and actress without succumbing to mediocrity at one or the other. Janelle Monae not only navigates her career like a trapeze artist, she has a style persona so definite that she cannot be considered anything less than a triple threat. Gorgeous women who wear gorgeous clothing and have amazing talent while proving to be incredible activists will (hopefully) never go out of style. If only I looked that good in a white button down shirt dress, I could truly conquer the world.
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