Things I'm Loving

Thursday, March 31, 2016

1. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

Well guys, after years and years (seriously) of seeing my favorite Youtubers using this concealer in their videos, I finally own it. I've been curious about MAC face products for a very long time but I've just never had the time to get matched with my color. Honestly, one day I just need to go to both MAC and Sephora and have them find me the perfect shades of things because I am so bad at trying to match foundation to my skin tone. I am the type of person that never changes their foundation color because I am too lazy to deal with that.

I digress, I picked this guy up when I was in New York and was feeling like I needed an under eye concealer. The bags under my eyes were not designer. They were horrendous and atrocious and I don't even want to think about them. The concealers I was using under my eye were a bit stiff and heavy and creased even if I set them, so I decided to try out this one. First thing, it has a pump. God, if every liquid makeup product came with a pump, the world would be a happier place. It blends nicely, it covers the circles under my eyes (I asked for a multi-purpose concealer because I didn't necessarily need anything that would color correct or brighten, I just needed something to cover the area a bit more than just foundation would), and IT HAS A PUMP. I'm very curious about some other MAC face products now. Perhaps a foundation is next for me...any recommendations?

2. Batiste Dry Shampoo Blush

I love Batiste dry shampoo (I've been using the one for blonde hair for months now). I picked up this travel size before I went to New York and it works the same as my other one, really. There's nothing special or better about it but god it smells divine. It smells sweet and florally and like happiness in a bottle. I would straight up wear a perfume that smelled faintly of this dry shampoo. I would do it in a heartbeat and then take a beautiful picture of it for Instagram. Or a semi-medicore, terribly staged photo because that's just about all you get on my Instagram feed with my cell-block of a room and mundane work/school/home life in Cleveland. Anyways...yes...Batiste dry shampoo...I give it two thumbs up, again.

3. Mind of Mine by Zayn

There is no way in hell that I am going to be able to remain chill for this section of the post. I have been listening to Mind of Mine on repeat for the past week, absolutely loving everything about it. Zayn Malik is one talented fellow and his vocal range on this album has blown my mind. Obviously, everyone knew he could sing from his solos in One Direction. Like, homeboy hits those high notes. I used to fight with my brother in the car to decide who got to sing the high note at the end of You and I (we started to alternate turns). This album is all sorts of cool and sexy and edgy and dangerous and a little bit vulnerable and sweet and honest. It's #AllTheThings to me and I haven't stopped listening, truly.

To listen to: "BeFoUr," "rEaR vIeW," "fOoL fOr YoU," "BoRdErZ," lUcOzAdE," "TiO," BRIGHT," and "SHE DON'T LOVE ME." But truthfully, "lUcOzAdE" and "TiO" are my all time faves.

4. Jack Maynard

Jack Maynard reminds me of every basic boy on campus so I'm not entirely sure why I love him so much, but I do. He's that typical young twenty-something guy, kind of a f*ckboy, but not to the sexist and terrible degree know, Nash Grier or something. He's cheeky, his demeanor reminds me that of my younger brother and his friends, but my god he's attractive. Or maybe it's because he has an accent. The world may never know. Anyways, his accent and good looks aside, I've been really entertained by his videos after my friend recommended his channel/expressed how good looking he was, a month or so ago. His videos remind me somewhat of Joe Sugg's, so if you like Zoe's little bro, then perhaps you'll like singer Connor Maynard's little brother as well!

5. Watching Studio Apartment Videos

This is a bit of a weird favorite, I'm aware, but I've been watching them a lot lately. I don't know how it started. I saw one of these videos come up in my suggested videos after an apartment tour and I fell into a black hole of studio apartment videos. Now I'm at the point where they come up in my suggested videos constantly and I have the excessive need to watch every single one. I'm trying to get ideas on how to live large in a small space because, let's be real, the ultimate goal is to move to Chicago or New York after I graduate and in order to make that happen, I have to find the cheapest, tiniest apartment I can find or else I'll be living large in a cardboard box outside of Costco. I wonder if there's a video about that...

What have you been loving lately?

Seven Things That Elle Woods Taught Me

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This post could be alternately titled An Ode To Elle Woods, My #Fave. One of my go-to de-stressers in life is watching the movie Legally Blonde. I don't know why, but it always does the trick. Watching Elle Woods get her stuff together makes me want to get my stuff together, but in an encouraging way. Also, Elle in general is just the ultimate goal when it comes to kindness, fabulousness, and her work ethic. For me, she's the ultimate fictional role model. I rewatched the movie for the thousandth time last night and decided to keep track of all of the things that Elle Woods taught me growing up (can you believe that this movie is 15 years old? I can't).

1. Work Hard, Play Hard

Elle wanted to go to Harvard Law School. She had no back-ups, no "what if I don't get in" moments. She utilized her assets, her strengths, and then worked her butt off to study for the LSATs to receive her 179. When she got to Harvard, Elle put in the hours to study and participated in class discussions and worked toward her goal of receiving the internship from Callahan. For being an "entitled" (#vom, such a gross word) California girl, Elle sure as hell had to work her tail off in law school just like the rest of her class (besides Warner, whose dad had to beg to get his son in...yikes).

2. #ForgetThatBoy

"Warner graduated without honors, without a girlfriend and without any job offers," is hands down my favorite part from every movie ever. Somewhere in Elle's plot to win Warner back, she found great friends and her niche and suddenly the boy who break her heart mattered no longer. Talk about a comeback story.

3. There's No Such Thing As Being Too Blonde

Elle Woods smashed every stereotype that being a blonde sorority girl means you're less of a person. There's nothing wrong with being any skin or hair color, having certain interests, or certain personality traits. Everyone is capable of doing whatever they please!

4. Friends Come In All Different Shapes and Sizes

Elle Woods is the ultimate friend, let's be real. She has her best friend in a tiny little Chihuahua. She has her sorority sisters back in California. In her first week at Harvard, she finds herself a friend in the spastic, timid manicurist Paulette. And down the line, she even befriends the somewhat frigid (but misunderstood (ex) fiancée of Warner, despite how horribly she mistreated Elle in the beginning. She just wants to be friends with people! There's nothing wrong with that!

5. Knowing Haircare Is Never a Bad Skill

Whoever said knowing beauty tips doesn't come in handy was a liar!

6. Kindness Is Key

Elle treated everyone with the same amount of kindness (so long as they deserved it @ Callahan). She didn't care who you were or what you wore or what you've accomplished. She just wanted to make friends at Harvard and came out empty-handed until people saw her true potential. While they totally should've seen how great she was from the start, Elle had a certain way or worming herself into people's lives with her sunshiney personality and positivity.

7. Ignore the Haters

Despite all of the people who were rooting against her, Elle Woods came out on top after Brooke put her trust in her. Despite Warner telling her that she wasn't smart enough to be at Harvard, despite her professors putting her down in the first week, despite even doubting herself after Callahan made a move on her...Elle still dominated in that court room and eventually, law school in general.

And those are just a few of the reasons why I love Elle Woods. She is kind, supportive, driven, smart as all hell, and just an all around cheery person. Who wouldn't want to be like that?

What's your favorite Elle Woods quote? 

End of the Semester Prep

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring break has long been over (or at least, that's how it feels). Mid-term grades have been poured over. Self-amends have been made. You know what that means? The end of the semester is near.

My grandpa asked me on Sunday how much more time I had left in the semester and I nearly said "too much" until I realized that it really wasn't that much. I have six weeks of regular classes left and then one week for finals. What? WHAT? Where has this semester gone? How are there only six weeks left? How is April almost here? I am constantly mind-blown by how fast time flies during the semester.

It hit me a bit prematurely this semester because I had this huge realization last week that I had so many projects and assignments due next week that I hadn't started yet. So, I whipped out my agenda, all of my syllabi and marked up my calendars so I would not miss a single deadline or come up on one unprepared. If you haven't been hit with the end of the semester rush, good for you. Or perhaps...maybe you should get ahead of yourself and start preparing early.

The end of the semester is always a mess of a few things: final exams, final assignments, catching up on outstanding work (if you have any) and just trying to tie up loose ends with classes and prepare for next semester (if you're not graduating). Call me over prepared or call me crazy, but I don't think that it's too soon to start at least thinking about how the end of the semester is going to go. Being prepared just makes things easier on yourself when the time to buckle down finally comes around. You'll be able to go into the home stretch of the end of the semester with at least somewhat of a roadmap or guideline to get you through finals week and out into summer break.

There are a few simple things that you can do to get yourself prepared for the end of the semester. I'm not saying you have to start all of your projects or start studying for finals at this moment. But perhaps thinking a little bit ahead wouldn't hurt you at all!

1. Reread all of your syllabi. Check them out for due dates or the day of your final exam. Read them carefully to look for any rubrics for projects or any information about the set-up of your exam. Look for grading scales and any other information that might be pertinent to whatever your final assignments(s) are for that class and the professor's expectations.

2. Write down dates. I mention this in pretty much all of my college posts, but I do not think I can stress enough how important it is to write down important dates. Put them in your phone's calendar, keep them on a sticky note on your wall, write them down in your agenda, wherever you think you'll be able to find the dates and remember them. There's nothing worse than thinking you have more time to do something and then discovering that you only have two days to write an entire paper or create a presentation. And the last thing that you want to do is to not show up to your final exam because you forgot what day it was on. Yikes.

3. Start toying around with outlines. This one all depends on the thoroughness of your syllabi and what you've already done in your classes. I know I have a group project at the end of the semester in one of my classes and a long essay for another, but neither of the topics have been assigned or touched upon, so I can't really start outlining those two projects. On the other hand, I do have the topics for a couple of my upcoming assignments and while they're not totally at the end of the semester, they're still pushing it close! I just sat down last night and outlined what I wanted to do for each in my little notebook and it completely lifted a weight off of my shoulders. Outlining is just half of the struggle sometimes, I swear.

4. Remind yourself that you still have time. At six weeks, there is not a huge rush to get things done. But the five to six week mark is always my favorite to start planning ahead because when the time comes to put the finishing touches on final projects or the final rounds of studying come about, I feel infinitely more prepared, like I didn't wait until the last minute and decide to just wing everything. It calms me down when I start preparing for the end of the semester early because it gives me less of a chance by being blindsided by something down the line that could have the potential to completely derail me and my focus if I wasn't prepared.

When does your semester end?

Parting With My Clothes

Monday, March 28, 2016

Over the past two months or so, I've been slowly but surely cleaning out my closet of everything that I just don't wear anymore. I have a lot of clothes. Perhaps not the most clothes (obviously), but I have more clothes than I need and they tend to just clog my closet and drawers underneath my bed. It's just a lot of unnecessary items that take up space that I don't have. Ever since I was a senior in high school, clothes and makeup have been the two things I spend a majority, if not all of my money on (now it's rent, let's be real). I used to only clean out my closet once or twice a year at most and give the clothes to my aunt and my cousin as my hand-me-downs to them. They always appreciated the shirts and sweaters and what not and then whatever they didn't take, my mom would donate.

As time has gone on and I've accumulated more clothes and gone through new phases and periods of my life, I've grown out of things, both physically and mentally. I don't have the same style that I had two summers ago, despite not having a set style. I've gotten to the point in my life where my personal attachments to certain things have sort of fiddled out into the realization that they are just belongings. I'm not a minimalist in the slightest, but I have gotten better at detaching myself from objects (and people, admittedly) over the years so make picking up and moving easier.

Since the start of 2016, I've been slowly cleaning out my closet in an attempt to start fresh. Or relatively fresh. I'm trying to part with as many things as I can that I just don't wear or that just don't feel like they fit who I am as a person (or fit in the truest sense of the word, my body has changed a lot since I started college). I don't need pants or shorts that are too big in the waist or dresses or rompers that gape in the wrong spots. I don't need brightly colored shirts or quilted puffer vests in every neutral shade. They're just not things that I'm interested in wearing anymore and having them in my closet to make it seem deceptively full and bursting wasn't making my life any easier.

Now I have less things to sort through in the morning when I'm going through my typical "I have nothing to wear!" sessions. I can go into my closet and physically see all of the things that I like to wear and choose to wear rather than five sweaters that I keep it in there because I don't know how to get rid of things. While that might have been true, I have no issues tossing my clothing items into a bag to rid them from my life.

Physically taking the clothes out of your closet is one thing. The next step is figuring out what to do with said clothes. Here's a few options that you could go through, depending on the items that you have:

  1. Hand-Me-Downs Find a younger family member, friend, family friend, etc, and have them sift through your things. There's nothing better than seeing somebody wearing something that you gave them and being so genuinely pleased with it. 
  2. Donations You can find a donation box at your local Salvation Army or some sort of center where they have continuous drop-offs. There are also probably plenty of smaller niche donation centers that you can research in your area as well. 
  3. Sell online These would be more along the lines of special or rare pieces, but I suppose you could sell anything on eBay or resale apps that you want to!
  4. Consign A process I didn't know existed until September, consigning is a really cool way to make the most money from your clothes through a secondary source. At our store, you receive a 50/50 split when the item sells. I sell some of my clothes at another shop that doesn't function like true consignment and only make 30% of the selling price, but I get paid up front. There are plenty of different stores like my consignment shoppe or places like Plato's Closet (I do not go here, but the store I do sell my pieces in works the same way). 
Do you ever struggle to clean out your closet?

Happy Easter

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wishing a very happy Easter to all of my LATF readers! Hope you had a lovely day with loved ones!

March Playlist

Saturday, March 26, 2016

It's getting to that time of the month where I reflect at all of the music I've listened to for the past four weeks. If I'm being honest, Zayn's debut album came out yesterday and I was half-tempted to make the entire playlist songs from Mind of Mine. But to be fair to the other songs I've been loving this month, I will hold off and feature them all next month, sans the few singles he released along the way because I am Zayn Trash, okay? There, I said it. I am Zayn Trash. It's fine. I've accepted it and I hope someday you accept it too.

This month, as per usual, has been a pretty heavy mish-mash of #AllTheThings. I've given up on sticking to a genre of music or even to a certain time period. I'm all about embracing all eras and types of music. Except country. I am not ready to embrace country. I am too weak for it. TOO DARN WEAK.

So, I hope you enjoy this random mix of music from the month of March that has been making my world go round. Maybe you'll know a song or two or maybe you'll discover your new favorite (or least favorite song). As long as your least favorite is not a Zayn song. Then I will have to ban you from my blog forever. Just kidding. Different opinions are cool even if yours is wrong. Kidding again. Can you tell that I just chugged a grande Flat White from Starbucks? Because I did and it was DELICIOUS.

Spring Lipstick Shades

Friday, March 25, 2016

For some, the changing of the seasons leads to changes in wardrobe, changes in moods, changes in schedules, even changes in locations. For me, the changing of the seasons leads to something a little more important: The Great Lipstick Migration. At the beginning of each seasonal cluster (spring/summer and fall/winter), I tend to separate my collection. Which means that recently, I've put all of my vampy berry tones away until September to make room in my lipstick drawer for all of the springy shades that have been hiding under my desk since early September.

I've been sorting through them, trying to figure out which shades I want to wear first this season. I figured I might as well share a few of my favorite spring colors for this upcoming season!

1. Too Faced Melted Violet because who doesn't want a vibrant lilac shades painted into a thick layer on their lips? This color is not for the faint of heart or for people who are afraid of wearing color. It's very bright, it's very in your face, but it's also very nice to wear. It paints on from the tube and leaves a nice opaque layer after one or two swipes!

2. MAC Party Parrot because nothing beats this neon coral. N o t h i n g. I have been raving over this lipstick since I first snagged myself two tubes of it back in high school, as it is unfortunately limited edition. However, Impassioned from MAC is similar enough!

3. Lorac French Rose because everyone needs a nice pinky nude for the spring time. This one is matte pencil from Lorac that has a TWIST UP LID which means that there's no sharpener necessary. Score! This is a gorgeous rosy pink that is the perfect "my lips but way better" color. Plus, must I reiterate the fact that you don't need to sharpen this one?

4. YSL Corail In Touch because these are the nicest lipsticks I own and wear so nicely all year round that I had to mention one. The best part about these lipsticks is that you can build up the color to its full opacity or wear them a bit more sheer. This particular shade is a nice wash of a darker coral color unless you build it up to its full potential of the orangey coral shade that just pops against your skin tone!

5. MAC Divine because Barbie pink shades are just fun to have in your life. This is a nice happy medium between my pale baby pink lipsticks (like NYX Sydney) and neon pink lipsticks (like MAC Candy Yum Yum) that tends to go with anything, much like the Lorac shade I mentioned. It's long-wearing, it's opaque and matte, and it's just an all around fun color to play around with when the sunshine starts hanging around longer.

6. NYX Addis Ababa because this is the ultimate spring shade. When I think of spring, I think of this lip color. I was so excited to break this shade back out the second I put it away for hibernation in the winter. It's just the perfect soft magenta color. It's not overly vibrant, but it definitely makes a statement. It's so smooth when you put it on and dries to this gorgeous matte that doesn't settle awkwardly into lines in your lips or crumble off of anything. I highly recommend checking out all of the colors from this particular range of NYX lipsticks. They're all fantastic.

What's your favorite spring lipstick shade?

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, March 24, 2016

(on the eyes, MAC False Lashes; on the lips, NARS Rikugien and Becca Opal highlighter)

1. NARS Rikugien + Becca Opal Highlighter 

Whenever I'm putting highlighter on my cupid's bow before I apply my lipstick for the day, I always manage to get some of the product on the center of my lips. And every single time I go "hmm, this might look cool with lipstick!" So I wore one of my more natural looking lipsticks to class the other day and decided that it was finally time to test out the theory. I don't want to say I told you so, but I was right. Granted, people for years have been saying to put lipgloss in the center of your lips to fake a larger appearance, but I just took it to the next level and went straight for my most vibrant highlighter in my collection. Really though, it was a gorgeous subtle effect to the center of my lips that I had to test out a few days in a row this week because I couldn't get enough of it. You know it's good when I willingly wear nude lipstick three days in a row.

2. MAC False Lashes Mascara

Okay, the verdict on this one is out...I really, really like this mascara. I was originally hesitant about it because it has a drier formula than I'm used to and it just didn't seem like it was doing the job. Then my co-worker was looking at my side profile and sort of pointed to my lashes and said "these are yours?" and that's when I knew. The thing about the formula is that yes, it's not super wet, but it also doesn't coat your lashes with heavy product that you want to peel off throughout the day. It doesn't clump and fall underneath your eyes and it's really easy to remove when you want to take it off.

3. Elizabeth & James Jacquard Vest

I got this vest at work a few weeks ago and purchase ever. I used to be obsessed with J. Crew quilted excursion vests but I grew out of those (style wise) recently because I just thought vests didn't suit me anymore. So what did I do after that revelation? I bought another vest. But this isn't just a regular vest! It's a navy blue and black floral jacquard vest, if that makes any sense. It's got a great asymmetrical collar, the heavy zipper just looks cool, and the color and the shape just make it a bit more fashion friendly and edgy. I've thrown it over an all black look, over black jeans and a white sweater, but my favorite look it with my little black booties, a white long-sleeved crop top and my little black skater skirt. Boom. Done. Easy, comfortable outfit and it looks awesome. I can't wait to style it with more of my spring looks!

4. "BeFour" by Zayn 

This song released while I was in New York and you best bet that it was all I listened to while I was on the subway. Zayn's album comes out tomorrow and I am one thousand different types of excited to see what else he brings to us. This song sounds a bit more like "Like I Would" but honestly...none of the songs have sounded alike thus far so the question is...what is Mind of Mine going to sound like as a whole? WHO KNOWS. But all I know is that I am so excited for Zayn to blow me out of the water, that beautiful human being is he.

5. Vegetable Steamer

I, Francesca Gariano, finally learned how to use a vegetable steamer at the age of 20 years and 4 months. I talked about this before, but I have been an avid consumer of mashed potatoes and broccoli as of late. Normally, I just buy microwaveable bags of broccoli to save myself time but the other day I (okay, so my mom) said that I should buy my own broccoli and do the same thing! I was originally going to do it in a pan but then I realized that one of my roommates brought a vegetable steamer when she moved in. It was game over then. I googled how to steam broccoli, followed the directions loosely, and sort of just went with it. LOOK, I know how simple this process is, but this is coming from the girl who legitimately only knows how to make like one thing that doesn't already come pre-made (#GrilledChicken) so steaming broccoli is a huge deal to's like the equivalent of Leo winning the Oscar, to be honest. And I'll be damned, I steamed that broccoli perfectly, thank you very much.

What have you been loving lately? 

High School Memories

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I just sang that to the tune of "High School Musical" guessed it...High School Musical 3. What a beautiful trilogy that was...I digress, I was talking about some of my favorite memories from high school the other day and while I didn't do anything super crazy memorable (okay, Spain was great but like...#DUH), there were a few stories that made me giggle thinking about them again. So, I figured I'd share them! Obviously. Because that's why we're all here. Unless you stumbled across this page by accident. If that's the case...hello, welcome! This is my life!

The One With the Jesus Bust: It was Halloween during my sophomore year. I distinctly remember this because I was dressed in all black with black eyepaint under my eyes because that’s what I wore for Halloween every single year in high school (ninja, robber, Lindsey Lohan’s lung… #OUCH) besides that time I was a “hippie. Anyways, I digress, I was feeling stealth that day. It was also the day that my school was clearing out one of its storage rooms so that the music teacher could move his classroom there. All religion classes that day were dedicated to cleaning out this room, right? So I was in religion with one of my friends and we were cleaning out this storage room and we came around this bust of Jesus. So naturally, we went up to our teacher giggling and asked if we could keep the Jesus bust. He said it was okay because he was chill. So basically, we excused ourself to the bathroom and then proceeded to take pictures of/with this bust of Jesus around the school before we decided to just leave it in one of the water fountains before we went back to class. It was gone by the time we got out. RIP Jesus bust. 

The One With the Book of Job: If it isn’t obvious, I was a bored Catholic school student back in high school. This one takes place during sophomore year as well and oddly enough includes the same friend. So, we were learning about something from the book of Job that day during religion class, something about Job calling the people fat cows or something. I don’t remember specifically, but I do remember that the words “fat cow” were used. Instead of paying attention the rest of class, my friend and I wrote out a rap called Fat Cows, which is still, to this day, tacked onto our teacher’s wall because he enjoyed it so much. 

The One with the Hot Spanish Teacher: I suppose this is three different stories in one, but we’ll just loop it under one thing: Mr. L. Holy hell, Mr. L was by far the hottest human being I had ever come in contact with. Up until Mr. L got married last year, I was convinced we were destined to be together. I was ready to be the Aria to his Ezra, it was sickening. But, I digress, I was blessed with Mr. L for all four years in high school. Mr. L was a god: hot, handsome, sculpted, smart, hilarious, need I continue? Mr. L also had an incredible class structure and I just genuinely enjoyed his classes. He was always really encouraging of creativity and overall weirdness. So, here are some of the weird things that Mr. L let me and my friends get away with:

  • Sophomore year: My class was assigned a project where we had to create a business and make a commercial for it. My friend and I chose the business Rent a Llama (genius, right?). Our poster had over forty different clip-art versions of llamas on it as well as enough glitter for an entire fairy forest. Our presentation involved our other friend pretending to be a llama while my partner rode on his back around the entire room. Totally epic.
  • Senior year: During Spanish 5 in my senior year, we were required to be in charge of four conversation Fridays throughout the year. At first, they had to be related to Spanish culture. But the last two could be about anything, as long as the presentation/conversation/activity was entirely in Spanish. So naturally, for my last two of the year I chose well: The Amish Mafia and “Love Games.” For the Amish Mafia presentation, I brought in cannolis and my class and I played pin the fedora on the mobster. We also played musical chairs with Spanish music because…why not? Now Love Games was less of a conversation and more of…well…a dating show. My partner and I created a presentation in which we created dating profiles for some of our teachers and then matched them up to their celebrity love matches. We brought in heart cookies and then we had our class play Know Your Boo, a-la Parks and Recreation. It was brilliant.
And that just about sums up high school for me! 

Dream Closet, Vol. 15

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Damn Franiel, back at it again with the pipe dream clothing pieces! I know, I know, we are on volume fifteen of this series (which, now that I think about it, is pretty wild!). I celebrated my two years anniversary of Life According to Francesca last week, which is pretty wild if you ask me. I've had this blog since summer 2012, but I didn't create this URL or daily blogging presence until March of 2014! And now here we are, fifteen months into this dream closet series! I spent a lot of my second year of college scouring Net-A-Porter to see what was new in the world of fashion (well, not new new, but new for purchase). It was my favorite waste use of time during my breaks (or sometimes during classes, sorry professors...). And it still is! I'm a goal oriented person and my goal is to be able to purchase something along these lines some day. Full price, no second hand consigning necessary (but I will never give up consignment shopping, it's way too fun).

NYC Beauty Haul

Monday, March 21, 2016

When I was in New York last week, a majority of my money went to food and makeup. I haven't purchased new makeup in quite some time so it was nice to go to some stores that I don't frequent and makeup counters that aren't readily available to me. I made some trips to MAC, Sephora, as well as the Charlotte Tilbury counter at Bergdorf Goodmans.

I didn't take individual of the MAC products I purchased, but I got the Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, which is my all time favorite primer for my lid. I am literally scraping the product out of my current jar, so it was definitely time for me to get a new one. Then, I got the Pro Longwear Concealer in the shade NW20. My favorite thing about this, other than how easy it is to blend in, is the pump. God, I love any makeup product with a pump. I also got a sample of their False Lashes mascara because I'm always looking into trying new mascaras. It's a bit dry for my liking, as I prefer a more wet formula, but I don't hate it! And last but not least, I purchased one of their Retro Matte Liquid Lipsticks in the shade Divine. I need to test this one out more because I really loved it the first day I wore it, but I really need to give it a few more tries. I'll do a full review on it down the line, once I really test it out.

My friend has been talking about her Charlotte Tilbury products since we started chatting and I swear to god, I've been so intrigued by their existence and I've been waiting to test them out in person. I was so close to just ordering these products on Net-A-Porter because I wanted to try them so bad. But, lo and behold, I got to play with them in person!

First, I picked up one of the Eyes to Mesmerize cream shadows. Well, actually, I hesitate to call them cream because they feel nothing like the MAC Paint Pots or the Color Tattoos from Maybelline. It's more like...a mousse? It applies like a powder in my opinion and the payoff is incredible. I applied a thin layer of Marie Antoinette to my lid with my ring finger and then I applied another thicker layer to the outer corner with one of my spare brushes and blended it into the crease to create an eye look with just one color. I was stuck between the shades Jean, Marie Antoinette, and Bette. The one I got was a happy color medium between the other two, both on the lighter/darker spectrum. I'm really happy with my choice! It's such a warm and gorgeous bronze color that it so low maintenance. It's going to be amazing for the summer, I just know it.

I wasn't going to do it then. I just wanted to swatch the next product I purchased, but I had this incredible #YOLO moment in which I decided that I worked hard and deserved it (and the girl helping me agreed, though I's her job to do that). I ended up leaving a happy with, toting around my brand spanking new Filmstar Bronze and Glow Palette. Other than the fact that the packaging is absolutely gorgeous, the powders are so soft and buttery and just glide onto my skin. I'm very picky about the shades of bronzer I use on my face so to find something that blended so seamlessly into my foundation without looking orange or muddy was incredible. The highlighting powder gave me such a healthy glow, sans any chunky glitter or oily sheen.

Last but not least, I picked up this single eyeshadow shade from Burberry. This was another purchase made completely on the whim. I was at Sephora with my friends to kill time before dinner and was wandering around, trying to find a corner that wasn't completely packed with other customers (it was the Sephora in Herald Square AKA crowded as hell). There's a shade of a Burberry eyeshadow that Allison/Amarixe raves about and I've always wanted to try it. This is not that shade, but it is a Burberry eyeshadow, so that's something! I swatched this on the back of my hand and immediately reached for one of the boxes. I knew I needed it instantly. It's the most lovely metallic taupe shade that just adds such a nice sheen to my eyelids. It's not too dark, but it's also not too light where it rivals a highlighting shade. It's the perfect lid color for me and I can definitely see myself using it all year long.

I'll probably do more in-depth reviews of these products as I use them more, but this is all of the beauty items I picked up while I was in New York! Yikes @ my bank account, am I right? 

March Madness

Sunday, March 20, 2016

I have vivid memories of high school in which, during the month of March, teachers would set up the TVs in their classrooms to stream the March Madness college basketball games and wouldn't discourage students from stopping in during their breaks to see how their favorite teams were doing during the tournament. Brackets were written out, bets were made, all most likely against school rules now that I'm thinking about it...

It didn't hit me until I was in college living with a bunch of Ohio State and Duke fans that March Madness was a massive, massive deal.  We had viewing events, equipped with snacks and soda and a lot of smack talk. One of my roommates was a diehard OSU fan and the other loved the Blue Devils. And me...well...I'm sort of neutral when it comes to college sports. I know squat about them. It's pretty pathetic, the measly amount I understand about them, honestly. But the idea of March Madness gets me hyped! I loved watching those games! I liked rooting for both teams! I just liked watching some good basketball games, really.

TickPick inspired me to share my own game day outfit. I'm always game for a sporting event and TickPick offers tickets for NFL, NBA, and even NCAA  games. I'd like to call this outfit Neutrals & Leather Bra(Ja)ckets . Despite UB making it to the tournament this year (Go Bulls!), I have no loyalties when it comes to college basketball. CSU's team is...not...great...and I just genuinely have no interest when it comes to finding myself a team that I'm die hard over. I like cheering for everyone! So here's my best attempt at a sporty and game day neutral outfit!

Nothing says GO SPORTS!!!! like an oversized grey t-shirt and a pair of slip-ons. But really, whenever I go to games, my biggest thing is being comfortable. I want to be able to move my arms so I can cheer, I want to wear pants that aren't going to dig into my stomach when I sit down, and I want comfortable shoes so it's not a pain to get up onto my feet or to climb the stands. Game days are my time to chill.

Shirt: Zara
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Steve Madden
Jacket: Stolen Borrowed from my mother

So, if you see a girl cheering for both teams the next time you're at a sporting event, there's a good chance that it's going to be me. I didn't make a bracket this year (but remember that time I won my family's Fantasy Football league with my team Literal Fantasy Football, with a roster only including attractive players?), but I'm going to say...Wisconsin as the winner. Final answer. Sorry if I just jinxed your team...

The One With the Last Brunch

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Friday morning started with waking up and heading out for breakfast with my friends! We headed over to this lovely little place called Artopolis Espresso in Harlem. It was this adorable little place across from St. Luke's and had the most aesthetically pleasing marble table tops that I have ever seen. I started off my morning with a nice iced latte, because really, me starting off my morning without caffeine is a terrible life choice. I will get a headache and everything from then on out will be miserable. And I generally always prefer iced drinks over hot drinks, so I was very excited to see that they offered their drinks both hot and iced. 

For breakfast, I ended up getting a nutella crepe because...well...who doesn't love that heavenly chocolate hazelnut spread on absolutely everything? It was honestly so good and I couldn't even finish it. I ended up pawning off the last few bites to my friend. Breakfast was a whole lot of fun and we tried making the best of it, as I was leaving for the day to spend time with my family. We bid farewell on the 1 train back downtown and I don't think I've ever been sadder. I MISS MY FRIENDS SO MUCH! If you're reading thing, I can't wait to hoop your noses again!

One of my last stops on Friday afternoon was heading back out to Midtown Manhattan to visit Bergdorf Goodmans. I've never stopped into Bergdorfs, mostly because I will never in a million years be able to afford anything at Bergdorfs. However, they do have a Charlotte Tilbury counter, which are extremely rare in the U.S. So of course I had to run in and grab a couple of products. I'll talk about them soon enough, after I test them out! My plan was to stop into Central Park, but it got really overcast and windy when I left Bergdorfs and I didn't think it was pleasant enough to hang around.

I traded Midtown for the East Village for dinner. My cousin and I made the walk from Chelsea through the Union Square area over to the East Village to meet our other two cousins for dinner. We went to Veselka the last time I was in New York and it was just as glorious the second time around. I had the absolute best time with my cousins, as per usual, and I was positively stuffed after dinner. Though that didn't stop me from running out at nearly 10PM to get my last New York bagel and iced coffee around the corner...

New was real. I miss you already (you too, Natasha and Bex). I can't wait to be back!

The One With the FIT Museum

Friday, March 18, 2016

Just be warned...there are going to be lots and lots of pictures as a result of going to the FIT Museum. You've been warned.

My day started off kind of rocky. I didn't get a chance to get coffee or breakfast before I headed uptown to meet up with my brother, cousin and their friend. We were supposed to meet at Rockefeller Center, but there must've been some sort of miscommunication, which setback our meet up time by about twenty minutes. Then, the Zara that was supposed to be there wasn't actually there and we had to wander around to try to find it. All the while, the St. Patrick's Day parade was going on and made 5th Avenue an absolute nightmare. Needless to say, it was hellish trying to do anything around the area, which was unfortunate because we wanted to take our friend to Central Park for the first time. It took a lot of rerouting and frustration, but we finally made it!

I don't remember the last time I saw this Love artwork. I think I was in middle school? So wild.

We, of course, had to stop into the Nike store off of 5th Avenue. It was massive, with five modernistic floors. I'm not one for athletic wear, but it was pretty damn cool.

I nearly pooed my pants walking down this line of stores. It was Saint Laurent, Burberry, Miu Miu, Dior, and Chanel. God, it was heavenly.

Look at all of that red!!!


I had my brother take some photos of my outfit in Central Park. I mean, for someone who was doing me a favor he could've certainly done worse. And yes, it was way too hot to wear this outfit that day. I didn't think we were going to be walking around the park that day, so this was entirely the wrong outfit to wear. It worked out fine, but god were my feet store. My white furry jacket is from Forever21, the sweater is my mom's from Loft, the jeans are my American Eagler black high-rise jeggings, boots are Nine West, purse is from Kate Spade, and last but certainly not least, my sunglasses are Chloé.

Next on the agenda was the FIT Museum. It had a few free exhibits that, to me, were incredible. There was a fairytale themed exhibit that had garments pulled from various collections over time, from designers like Tom Ford, Rodarte, Dolce & Gabanna, etc. Then, these garments were organized in displays based off of which classic fairytale they related the most to. There were also some pairs of shoes too, including a pair of ruby red glitter Louboutins for The Wizard of Oz. There was also an exhibit that detailed the history of denim over time in fashion as well as a small exhibit about the women of Harper's Bazaar. Plus, it was FREE!!!! I swear, I could've spent forever staring at this gowns. FOREVER!!!




For dinner, we ended up at Stella Trattoria on the sixth floor of the Macy's in Herald Square before we headed off to the theater to see the Carole King based music Beautiful. I got the Zuppa Di Pollo Arrosoto (AKA, the chicken soup, as my waiter Melvin decided to tell me after I butchered it). The food was delicious and the play had me near tears. I learned a little bit about Carole King and Gerry Goffin when I took my Roots of Rock and Soul class freshmen year of college, as well as the era of 60s music with girl groups and male groups like The Shirelles and The Drifters. Plus, seeing the story behind King's legendary album Tapestry was incredible. I was so so so in love. The night ended with me reading Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Maldovsky aloud to my friends until two in the morning. A night well spent, I'd say!

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