February 14, 2017

Products I Actually Keep In My Bag

Does anyone else find that somehow when you actually need a product on-the-go, that somehow all you have on you is a basic lipbalm? I have always been that person. I own more products than a normal person would encounter over the course of an entire lifetime, yet, don't have what I need when I need it. So, over the past few months I've devoted a pouch inside my bag to holding my essential beauty products. You know, for those just in case moments. I rarely touch up my makeup throughout the day, but when I have to be somewhere on short notice, I'm ready with these:

Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex - Just like they say, it's like a vitamin for the face. Have you ever looked at your makeup midway through the day and just felt like your skin looks parched? This is exactly where this product comes in. I'll roll some into my palms and press it into my skin to reawaken and energize my skin. It also makes for a great skincare treat when you find yourself on-the-go and without a proper moisturizer...

By Terry Rouge Expert Click Stick in Bare Me - A hydrating, yet matte nourishing lip color in the best nude shade I've come across in quite some time. I love the way this clicks up as you go, so you're always getting a fresh bit of color. It's also perfectly shaped so that you can define and color in just one swipe.

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Travel Spray - I purchased a set of these Byredo travel sprays last year, and I they are the best for travel. I am currently having a moment with Rose of No Man's Land; it's an amazing winter rose with a hit of pepper and fresh green notes. 

RMS Uncover Up - Coconut oil based cover up = the ultimate refresh. While I use powder to set my t-zone after I apply my foundation in the morning, I'm not one for adding extra layers throughout the day. This does the job of adding coverage where I need it without looking like makeup.

Aerin Beauty Cool Gel Eyeliner in 02 Essential Brown - I sort of "shopped my stash" a month ago and discovered this again. I'm absolutely in love with the cool brown shade that's flecked with a hint of metallic (no glitter) shine...not to mention it lasts all day without smudging. This is the ultimate product for amping up a look to make it evening appropriate in just a few seconds.

*pr samples included.

February 13, 2017

Ireland Day 4: Exploring More of Dublin

It always takes much longer than I'd like to get my travel diary posts up, quite honestly because the longer I wait, the harder it gets to remember the names of restaurants and specific places that I want to recommend. Luckily, this time I took notes so that I could share my top picks with you all when I returned. On the fourth day in Ireland we decided to devote more time to see the best of what Dublin had to offer. By the end of Day 2, we had already fallen in love with this easy-to-navigate city and couldn't wait to see more and spend an afternoon soaking up the atmosphere of the pubs and session music. 

We started out the day making our way toward St. Patrick's Cathedral, the national Cathedral of the Church of Ireland, making it the largest as well. It was quite a stunning church with richly colored tile floors displaying Celtic motifs. We spent some time reading about the church's history (which I'd recommend doing if you're at all interested in Irish history) and admiring the stunning architecture and massive size of the vaulted ceilings. We decided afterward to head straight for St. Stephen's Green, which is probably Dublin's most famous park. The park was absolutely stunning and so green - even in the dead of winter - something we don't experience too much of in Connecticut. The park is actually situated right at the end (or beginning, maybe?) of Grafton Street, a major shopping street filled with stunning storefronts and restaurants. We found a cozy spot called Lemon & Duke and sat down for a few drinks and lunch. If you find yourself in the area, this restaurant definitely gets my vote! 

We wandered the city a bit more, weaving in and out of alleyways and purposely getting lost just so that we could see the most possible. Somehow, our wanderings *conveniently* landed us right back in Temple Bar in time for some of the session bands to start. We popped into Temple Bar (yes, the bar is named that as well) and were lucky enough to find to seats right near the band by chance. In such a crowded and popular bar, we were lucky and happily sat down with two pint to enjoy the music. I do have to say that the atmosphere in these pubs is just incredible; people from all over the world are dancing, singing, and drinking together and everyone seems so...happy. It's a nice change from the ordinary and a great place to take advantage of the conversation to learn a bit more about your surroundings - and even pick up some more recommendations. 

We popped into a few more pubs in the neighborhood and then headed to Pheonix Park back by our hotel to watch the sunset. Once there, we climbed atop the Wellington Monument and enjoyed the views over the rolling green hills and the city. Once it got dark we headed back to our hotel to freshen up for dinner. We ate at a great and really authentic pub called FX Buckley's, another place that I would recommend at least for a drink. 

Have you been to any of the restaurants or places I've mentioned? What was your favorite?

February 12, 2017

Natural Beauty Necessities

In the midst of all the overdone makeup tutorials on YouTube, another movement has emerged...and it's popularity only seems to grow as time passes; natural beauty. Of course, this isn't the first you've heard of this trend or idea in general, but it's something that has become easier to create thanks to the bevy of product releases in the past few years that help us to achieve the whole 'me, but better' look right. This look is all about being fresh, glowing and a just a generally more polished version of yourself. Here are some of my standby products that I'm always reaching for to achieve this...

Glossier Haloscope in Quartz - Like a swipe of dew, this stick highlighter is easy to apply and moisturizing thanks to an oil-based core. You'll never have to worry about a chalky, flaky shimmer ever again.

Guerlain So Volume Maxi Lash Mascara - interesting name, great product. This mascara is intense, yet never leaves a flake, clump, or smudge in sight. It is the ultimate your lash but better product, but I also love that it can be layered up if you're into a more intense lash look.

One Over One Cream Color in Alizarin Rose - These cream color duos come in a few shade combinations, but I love this shade in particular for its ability to add a touch of pink to the cheeks and a bit of bronze to the hollows for a naturally sculpted and blushed look.

Giorgio Armani Eye Tints - Any and all neutral shades in this range are essentials for a naturally-enhanced look. The formula is easy to apply - just dot on lids and smudge with fingers and this creamy shadow stays put all day.

*pr samples included.


February 10, 2017

Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation

Foundation is probably something you haven't heard me speak much about over the past few months. Truth be told, I've sort of fallen off the foundation bandwagon and really have been using the same few (and very light) products. Nothing new has caught my attention in particular until now; Giorgio Armani's Power Fabric Foundation

Having been a long-time fan of Armani's foundations - hello Luminous Silk - I had high hopes for this newcomer as well. Let's just say it didn't disappoint, it glides on smoothly and provides flawless medium to full coverage. I personally like to apply it best with a beauty blender or stippled into the skin instead of brushing it around, as it sets quite quickly. 

I do love the look of this foundation without setting powder overtop, as it allows the formula to mingle with the natural oils in the skin, providing the perfect balance of glow and matte. Think of this as Luminous Silk's slightly more matte and fuller coverage sister, that moves beautifully with the skin. I would say if you have very dry skin, that this would work best with a very intense moisturizer layered underneath. However, if you need flawless coverage in a wonderful array of shades that match a multitude of skintones, this is your guy.

*pr samples included.


February 08, 2017

Ireland Day 3: Cashel, Blarney & Cork

Day 3 in Ireland was a busy one at that. We started off early in the morning headed into County Tipperary with the goal of seeing the Rock of Cashel, a beautiful historic site where St. Patrick began his work converting the Irish to Catholicism. It was absolutely breathtaking to see; this cathedral-esque structure sitting atop a hill in the midst of rolling green hills and surrounded by Celtic crosses. It was truly the most peaceful site, quiet and abandoned but still a site that attracts visitors from all over the world and, of course, religious pilgrims. This is a place that is definitely not to be missed if you are within a few hours drive in Ireland. I could have spent all day admiring the ancient architecture and gawking at the 10th century tower, but onward to Blarney we went. 

You know the reason for my visit to Blarney; having the "gift of the gab" bestowed upon me in return for a kiss. It was a beautiful, cool day and the castle looked so at home in the rolling green hill upon which it was perched. I really have to say people don't make a big enough deal about the castle itself; it really is a stunner of a tower, and the gardens surrounding it speak for themselves. After exploring we headed into town for some lunch and shopping at the famous Blarney Woolen Mills - a must for buying beautiful Irish wool pieces. 

After Blarney, we drove the short distance to Cork, and crammed in a few of the sights in the short span of an afternoon. The most impressive was St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, and I personally fell for the stunning array of colored buildings lining the streets and flowing together up the hill. I really wish I had been able to explore a bit more, but I'm glad I got a (short, but sweet) taste for the city. 

On our way back we stopped in a Medieval town called Abbeyleix, where the main purpose for our visit was to visit the much talked about Victorian pub, Morrissey's. This pub was so well preserved, it looked as though time had not touched the space at all. I'd highly recommend a stop and a pint (or two) if you visit Cork from Dublin. 

February 07, 2017

Atelier Cologne Clémentine California

When you need a dose of spring smack in the middle of a gray winter (thanks East Coast), fragrance is the not-so-obvious way to get it quick. Atelier Cologne recently launched a new fragrance, Clémentine California, and while I still love my smokey, warm scents, this fresh and zesty citrus is just what the doctor ordered on dreary mornings.

With juicy, refreshing citrus notes and a touch of green from juniper and cypress, this scent is walks the line between fruity and leafy. It smells natural instead of overtly sweet and reminds me of a walk through a coastal garden perched atop a lush green cliff somewhere in the Mediterranean. 

The mental getaway is a nice aspect, but there's also something to be said for the longevity and cool vibes that this fragrance seems to emulate. 

Have you tried this yet?

*pr samples included.

February 06, 2017

Some Handbag Favorites

I have always loved handbags, and over the past few years I've invested in quite a few pieces that I know I will keep and treasure forever. Not everyone will want to invest in designer pieces, but to me they are something that, if taken care of properly, will carry you through the years and elevate outfits that would be otherwise pretty basic. I thought I would share a *few* of the pieces I've worn frequently over the last year, because if I tried to show you all of my bags in a photo-heavy post, you'd probably make it through about 1/10th of it. Here's a quick overview of some favorites, for all you handbag addicts out there...

Balenciaga Mini City Bag - I love this little blush pink bag. This bag is a small, but powerful statement that I love to wear with an all black outfit. It surprisingly fits everything I need as well, including a pouch with a few makeup products, my large Ferragamo wallet, phone and keys. I'm also a fan of how well the leather wears, as it already has a distressed look to it. 

Valentino Lock Medium Shoulder Bag - This is probably one of my most-used medium sized bags. I'll admit that it's a bit bulky as a cross body (size down for a better crossbody option), so I tend to use it as a shoulder bag. I carry it often when I travel, as it fits a bit more and always maintains its structured shape so well. The hardware is also undeniably beautiful, and a great option for those who want to make a statement without wearing a logo.

Gucci GG Small Marmont Camera Bag - For the logo lovers, this is probably my all-time favorite logo. The rebirth of the retro "GG" was such a great idea on Gucci's part. I love the smooth, scratch-resistant leather and the quilted chevron pattern. The color of the hardware is also something special - it's almost brassy, so it goes well with any type of other metal you may be wearing in your outfit. It also fits the same amount as my mini Balenciaga, but it zippers a bit more easily. This one is seriously love.

Chloe Marcie Small Crossbody - When I need a crossbody for a summer outing, this is the one I always reach for. I do have to transfer my wallet contents into a cardholder instead, but once that's done, this is a lovely bag that holds the essentials and is super comfortable to wear. I also think that Chloe's leather and detailed stitching is always stunning quality.

Miu Miu Matelassé Leather Clutch - The perfect pink clutch that reminds me somewhat of candy. I've always had a thing for Miu Miu's designs, and this piece is perfect for dinners out when you really don't want to lug around the kitchen sink with you. Such a feminine pick.

What are your current favorite handbag picks? Would you like to see a bag collection video next?
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