beauty • travel • lifestyle

January 17, 2017

Getting To Know Sisley

Over the past month I've been lucky enough to test out some of Sisley's best products. While I wasn't new to the brand it's one that I had only experimented with a few times. What I had tried had been absolutely gorgeous (masks, eyeshadow sticks), so it's no surprise that I've discovered some new favorites in the brand. They are, of course, on the more luxe side of the spectrum, but I'd say skincare is an investment worth making and if you're going to do it - these are top of my recommendation list. Think beautiful packaging, gentle botanicals, and noticeable results.

Sisley Sisleyouth Anti-Aging Treatment - My new go-to face cream - but it's not just that. It's a treatment-in-cream that works day and night (thank you, Sisley) to combat early signs of aging and keeps my skin feeling smooth and supple. I also love that it seems to calm redness thanks to the gentle ingredients, while providing instant plumping. I find myself reaching for this non-stop, as it sinks in in seconds so that you can get on with your makeup routine...and get out the door faster.

Sisley Eye Contour Mask - I've spoken about this product's magical powers before, and I'm back to sing its praises once more. Whenever I'm feeling tired or my eyes look puffy, I layer on a coat of this soothing gel and it instantly gets to work de-puffing, moisturizing, and brightening. I've never seen eye masks worthwhile until I found this beauty. Try it for yourself, and thank me later.

Sisley Gentle Facial Buffing Cream - A beautiful product that's super effective and a joy to use. It's the only exfoliator I've been reaching for because it doesn't create redness or irritation, but instead, softens and brightens skin while clearing dead skin away quickly. I find this to be such a relaxing, almost ritualistic new step in my routine...and my skin has thanked me for it.

Sisley Botanical Floral Toning Lotion - There are few toners that provide true benefits enough to keep me using them consistently. This one, however, smells incredible and brightens, softens, and calms my skin after washing. It also removes any excess makeup left over on the skin, so you can tell you're getting a thorough clean. I swear when I use this before moisturizing, my skin stays hydrated longer. What more could you want?

Sisley Phyto Lip Twist Matte in #18 - The most perfect red I've found in years. It instantly brightens my complexion, and never goes dry or patchy on the lips like some mattes tend to. It's moisturizing and can be built up in color, and even works beautifully as a stain.

Have you tried any of these Sisley favorites?

*pr samples included.

January 16, 2017

Cozy in Pink

Yes, I know. I'm always on my phone - but at least that means these photos are an authentic depiction of how I truly look wearing this outfit. I'm loving frayed hem jeans paired with either fluffy or bomber jackets lately. I feel like a pink teddy bear when wearing this jacket, but what could be better?

Zara Pink Coat (Similar option here) // Zara Jeans (Similar options here and here // Rag & Bone Boots (Similar options here and here) // Ray Ban Icons Round Sunglasses  


January 14, 2017

Winter Night In Beauty Essentials

Lately, with the exception of the few odd warm days, it's been bitter cold. So much so, that I find myself preferring cozy nights in with a bottle of red, instead of braving the cold. It's the perfect excuse to bundle up in cozy layers, and slather on a few pampering products. You'll wake up feeling - and looking - rejuvenated. These are the products I'm digging into at the should try them for yourself!

Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask - The clay mask to end all others. This one is soft and contains sandalwood oil to soothe and moisturize, while the mineral-rich clay works wonders at vacuum-cleaning clogged pores. I love how my skin looks instantly brighter and poreless, instead of dry and irritated like it can be after using certain clay masks. Trust me, you'll become fast addicted like I did.

Sisley Eye Contour Mask - I've never been one to *need* too many eye products (the odd cream here and there gets used) but Sisley has changed my mind. Whenever my eyes are feeling tired, or puffy - like they do after a long week of work - I reach for this tube and I'm instantly relieved. It helps brighten the area and provide serious moisture that makes applying makeup the next morning a dream.

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream - Hands need some love too! This Tatcha hand cream is dry winter hand's best friend. I apply as much as I need without that nasty hand-cream residue, or overkill scent bugging me afterward. It's super calming as well - so if your hands are chapped and burning - this is your guy.

Sisley Gentle Facial Buffing Cream - The most gentle, yet effective, exfoliator I've yet to try. It softens and soothes the skin while clearing dead skin cells away in one fell swoop. I also love that it prepares the skin to receive (and optimizes) the next steps in your skincare routine. Amazing stuff.

Orlane Creme Royal Sublime Mask - Consider this instant youth in a jar. After just a few minutes (I love using it after a clay mask as well) it wipes away signs of fatigue and plumps up dehydration lines. It contains fresh royal jelly and vitamins that nourish skin in need of a refresh. I swear the results are like a trip to the spa, but you never had to leave your couch. We all need this in our lives.

& A Luxe Candle - My current favorites are Diptyque Rosamundi, Creed Spring Flower, Jo Malone Lavender & Lovage

What are your favorite pamper essentials for the winter?

*pr samples included.

January 09, 2017

The Best Beauty Discoveries of 2016

Trying beauty products is tough business, but someone's gotta do it. 2016 saw quite a few great new launches and even rediscoveries, but there was definitely one common theme for me when it came to favorites. This was a year that I was definitely after the glow and became a bit more minimal in my routine, if only to save on time. I also found myself falling in love with some skincare bits that I stayed true to for the first time in years. Sometimes, true routine does the skin good! Anyway, here's what made this years "best of" list! 

I hate to admit, but I haven't had a single haircut this whole year! It was the first time in my life that I truly decided to grow my hair, and as a result I've stuck with a minimal styling repertoire. I've fallen in love with loose curls and wavy texture, and a good hair oil and some finishing spray with serious hold are the two products I can't achieve this look without.

I've been much better this year at maintaining a more streamlined and regimented skincare routine. I've found products I really love using, especially during the colder months. I've been using a serum layered under an oil for nighttime, and including a moisturizer if I'm extra dry. For day time I've been using a serum, either with an oil or moisturizer layered overtop if I'm feeling dryer. The Rodin Olio Lusso has been the ultimate game-changer for me and has allowed me to remove so many other unnecessary products from my routine. The Darphin Serum has been a glow-giver like none other, and the Sisley Moisturizer sinks in on contact and is helping prevent wrinkles!

This year I really have lightened up base wise. It's funny how the older you get, the less you feel you need to hide. Embrace who you are, and you'll be much more comfortable. These lighter foundation and concealers provide just the right doses of coverage while remaining clean, glowy and natural looking. I also have been much less into contours and overdoing it on cheek products. Most days I opt for a swirl of the By Terry palette for a bronzey, peachy glow, or I dab my sponge into the Lancôme cushion blush for a dewy healthy pop of color. For eyes I've really lightened up and tend to go for liners or cream shadow sticks, but the one standout has been the discovery of a new mascara love that never clumps, flakes, or transfers. And, how can you blame me for choosing Tom Ford Lips and Boys as my favorite lipstick? This one is a plummy raison shade that I like to mix with a bit of balm for a just-there color.

I tested quite a few this year, and have found some true scent loves, but when I look at my stash this was the one that calls out to me, begging to be worn time and time again. 

What were your favorites of 2016? Best wishes in the New Year! 

*pr samples included.

January 07, 2017

Ireland Day 1 & 2: Dublin Diaries

To be honest I had a certain image of Ireland in my mind; it's hard to explain, but if you're a traveler you'll know that before you visit somewhere, you usually have a certain image in your head of what it's like. I was told by so many that I might be crazy visiting Ireland in the winter, but being from Connecticut I was quite sure I could handle the cold. We completely lucked out weather-wise, the days were dry and, while sometimes a bit cloudy, never below 42ºF or so. It was our first time in Ireland and I was determined to see as much as I could, while using Dublin as our base. The first two days I left completely open with nothing more than dinner reservations scheduled, so that we could do some exploring in the city and get our bearings. 

On Day 1, we arrived quite early on a direct flight from JFK and, after checking into our hotel, we got straight to exploring. We were lucky enough to be staying right on the river, which made a great central location for exploring. The first thing I noticed was the beautifully colored Georgian-style townhouses that were speckled throughout the city - I'm a sucker for a good pop of color! Of course, we were anxious to check out the pub scene in Dublin, and lucky for us we happened to stumble across The Brazen Head, Ireland's oldest pub which dates back to the 12th century. The atmosphere was cozy, and much to my delight, filled with locals even though it's such a popular tourist destination as well. It was here that I tasted my first true Irish Guinness - and I have to say it won me over! 

After a pint and some fish and chips (which were delicious), we headed into the center of town toward Christ Church Cathedral. The Church was initially established by the Normans and then of course became a Christian church, which is absolutely beautiful and a must see while in Dublin. I love how it sits in the center of two busy streets, on a peaceful green, providing a breath of fresh air in an urban setting. We then made our way down Dame Street toward Trinity College. The college was absolutely enormous and the grounds were stunning. It was founded in 1592 via a charter obtained from Queen Elizabeth I and is still an operating, and bustling school today. It is one of the seven ancient colleges and universities that can be found throughout Ireland and Britain today. If you're making a visit, make sure to leave yourself enough time to wanter the stunningly manicured grounds and of course, visit the Book of Kells inside the Library.

After all that history, we thirsted for a pint and to check out a bit more of Dublin's bar scene. We walked toward the "Old Stone Church" and said a quick hello to the Molly Malone statue, and found ourselves in the old Victorian O'Neill's pub on Suffolk Street. The townhouse-style pub was littered with nooks and crannies perfect for enjoying a drink and some shelter from the cold. I loved the décor of this pub, it was so authentic and you could really tell that it hadn't changed one bit since it was opened in the late 1800's. After our drinks we headed back toward our hotel to get ready for dinner. We ate dinner at a delicious restaurant along the river called The Woolen Mills, the sister restaurant to Dublin's popular Winding Stair. It was the perfect way to end our first day in Dublin. 

On Day 2, we decided to head over to the Guinness Storehouse bright and early (we had purchased tickets in advance to avoid lines, which I would highly suggest). The sheer size of the property that Guinness owns in Dublin is massive; the clearly marked buildings take up a number of blocks and run alongside the river. This is where Arthur Guinness first brewed the now world-famous stout, and I have to say that this place really lived up to its expectations. We took the whole morning to wander the exhibitions, learn how to pour the perfect pint, and of course admire the view with one in hand in the Gravity Bar atop the storehouse. I swear, the Guinness tasted even better from the top! 

After the beer, we were quite hungry and headed back toward Dame street, wandering through adorable neighborhoods with brightly colored doors. We found an adorable spot to have some lunch called the Ivy. It looked like an old Georgian library and we nestled in the perfect corner to enjoy a bit of a rest and a meal. I would highly recommend stopping by if you're ever in Dublin! 

Next we headed to Dublin Castle, where we popped in to explore the state rooms and to see where the Irish President gets inaugurated every few years. I have to say the outside was quite unassuming, and aside from the one standing Medieval tower, you'd hardly know it was a castle at all. However, once inside, the rooms were beautifully restored and decorated to mimic the style of the last family who inhabited it. 

After wandering the castle, we did a bit of shopping in the area and then found ourselves in the Temple Bar area. It was around the time that all the session bands had begun, another words, perfect timing to pop into a few pubs to see this old Irish tradition for ourselves. Our favorite bars were The Quays Bar (pronounced "keys"), The Palace Bar, and of course The Temple Bar itself. After an afternoon of music and socializing we headed to dinner at Toscana, which was a nice reprieve from the pub-style food we had been eating for the past two days. 

Dublin Day 1 & 2 gave us a great taste for the city. We were in love already!

Have you ever been to Dublin; what were your favorite spots?
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