Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Makeup Monday: Bright Lips!

I think I've mentioned this before, but as a reminder, I am NOT a makeup artist nor do I claim to be fully capable of doing even my own makeup a lot of the time. This means that if I suggest something makeup related on this blog, it's probably [almost] idiot-proof.

That said, I've gone a little outside of my makeup box (again). I have a manager at work who's always wearing bright pink lipstick. I admire this for a couple of reasons. First, she can pull it off. Second, we work in public accounting...and approximately 3% of the office gives a fuck about what their faces look like, so the people (women) who make an effort definitely stand out.

A group of us went out for dinner/happy hour and somehow the topic of makeup, specifically lipstick, came up (of course?). At some point, it was suggested that I should try lipstick. So I naturally found myself at the Nars counter at Nordies...here are my favorite finds:

1) Best Pink - Carthage: I love this color because it's not too Barbie (though the photo may look it). It's a true, matte, bright pink - not a baby/bright pink (which is what I would call "Barbie") and no tacky shimmer. I love the matte lipsticks because they tend to be a little more subtle but can be played up with a layer of gloss on top!
Nars, "Carthage"

 2) Best Red - Vesuvio: I chose this red because it's not too "classic" red. When I think of a traditional red lip, I think of a fire engine, a holly berry and/or a street walker. This is not THAT color. It's rich, but not in-your-face bright red.
Nars "Vesuvio"

3) Best Coral - Torres del Paine: I've been seeing a lot of coral these days, especially on lips. My fear was that I wouldn't be able to find one that didn't scream orange, but this is the perfect combination of a summer pink and a summer orange - and I'm in LOVE with the lip pencils. They go on super smooth and are so easy to apply!
Nars "Torres del Paine"

4) Best Neutral/Pink - Tolede: This is a much more subtle hue, which I love for an natural/daytime look. It appears a little more mauve in the photo than it is in person - "neutral pink" is the best way I can describe it!
Nars "Tolede"
5) Best Nude - Isola Bella: Again, I love this for a more natural look, especially for summer. It's super smooth and what I would describe as a "sophisticated' color.
Nars "Isola Bella"

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Work Wednesday: Make a Statement

So it only took me literally two years to commit to investing in s few statement necklaces, but I finally took the plunge. Isn't it funny how a weekend of studying for a CPA exam can really get you to dig deep into that to-do list?

This past weekend I took one of my study breaks at the Beverly Center (which I seriously visit once a year, usually for Bed Bath and Beyond) and found myself some pretty awesome accessories. And the best part? I only spent $65 on FIVE pieces of jewelry. How did I do this? I stepped inside a Forever 21. I usually avoid Forever 21 at all costs - most of them are so unorganized and overwhelming that I just cannot bring myself to spend more than 20 minutes browsing. However, if you live in Los Angeles, I definitely recommend the Beverly Center store. Things are actually (on average) in some type of order and they have a designated jewelry section that's maneuverable! The other option is to shop online - the only problem being that all of their jewelry is final sale, so you won't be able to try it on or see it in person before you commit. Considering 90% of the necklaces I looked at were under $10, you might not have a problem with that.

As I mentioned, I've been meaning to find statement necklaces for a while now. Usually when I find one I like, it's at J. Crew and costs $200 so I can't bring myself to buy it. This is a much cheaper alternative, and chances are that you're not going to keep these pieces forever anyway! A statement necklace is a great way to pull together or spice up an outfit. It makes even the simplest ensembles look instantly polished and planned. I am the QUEEN of wearing nice black pants and a tucked-in t-shirt to work, so the addition of a bright and shiny statement piece has certainly been helping me look more put together lately (especially with the summer temperatures about to heat up)!

Here are a couple more treasures I found (and I'm loving them all!):   


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Shoesday: Ankle Strap Heels

1. {Photo/Buy: Revolve Clothing}
Even though I've been quite obviously obsessed with booties lately...aka I accidentally bought a pair of YSL platform booties over MLK weekend...I've also been on the hunt for the perfect pair of ankle strap heels. I'm definitely a fan of a sexy, high, high heel (often platform), but these are just as sexy without totally destroying your foot with crazy height. My favorite in this group is definitely Nicholas' "Hari" pump. I absolutely love the texture, the shape of the heel, the color combination and the overall weight of the shoe. It's delicate without being too strappy and can be paired with anything from cocktail attire to jeans and a cute black tee.   

2. {Photo/Buy: Shopbop}
This style is so versatile, which is a huge selling point for me (and you, depending on what you have to work with in terms of "dress code" at work). I really try (keyword try...clearly YSL booties are not gonna fly at an accounting firm) to buy both clothing and shoes that will work on the weekend as well as in the office. Living in L.A. makes that a little easier for professionals, as guidelines for attire are on average less conservative than other cities. However, I think there is certainly at least one ankle strap heel that will work in your office (and after hours). Case in point, option #2: Jeffrey Campbell's "Soltair" pumps. They're a comfortable height and they're neutral but have that bit of texture to keep it interesting!

So, those first two options are my favorites, but I found so many I loved that I couldn't leave them out! The best part is that two of the three are under $150! I really love the Pour La Victoire wedges (center), so get them before I buy them first...

{Photo/Buy: Revolve}
{Photo/Buy: Piperlime}
{Photo/Buy: Revolve}

Monday, January 27, 2014

Make-up Monday: Brows

Buy @ Sephora
So I am the FIRST person to tell you that my expertise is not doing makeup. However, my lack of skill in this department has led me to look long and hard to find products that are basically idiot-proof and make my morning a little easier. 

Eyebrows are one of those things you really don't want to screw up. First of all, they're on your face. Second, there's that whole symmetry thing you have to worry about. I have blonde eyebrows, which is way more awkward than it sounds - natural blondes out there feel me on this - but I'm terrified of eyebrow pencils or powder to fill them in. I'm always like one swift move away from looking like a hooker. Through high school I just kind of let them be blonde out of laziness. When I moved to L.A. for school I had to find a new place to get my eyebrows done, which was a daunting task. My roommate/sorority sister (yes, I got a bid even with the blonde eyebrows) and I asked every girl in our dorm from Beverly Hills that had good eyebrows for recommendations. We ended up at Benefit on 3rd, where I was convinced to tint my brows a few shades darker. Genius. I HIGHLY recommend this if you have blonde eyebrows.

{photo: Benefit.com}
Fast forward to last month...I went in to get my eyebrows waxed and tinted on a weekday morning (because people at work believe that I have a "doctor's appointment" at 11am once a month and don't care that I come in late...). Normally, I get them done either on a weekend or on my way home from work so I don't have to worry about redness, etc., but this time I asked her to clean them up so I didn't get busted at work when I walked in with freshly waxed eyebrows.... She used Benefit's "Gimme Brow" fiber gel product to fill in and make my brows stay in place. I was immediately addicted. It's kind of like mascara for your brows: it makes them look much more full, defined and clean. I use the light/medium shade and it's perfect. It's also great for that "in-between" period when you don't quite need a brow wax yet, but the color starts to fade because you can kind of layer it to get a slightly darker tint! Thank you, Benefit, for saving me from the street-walker eyebrow look.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bootie Time

Annnnnnd it's January. When did that happen? After spending a little time in NYC and Chicago, I have a true appreciation for you people that spend an entire winter actually having to wear winter clothes and deal with snow all whilst keeping track of two mittens and a pair of earmuffs.

That said, "winter" in L.A. is a big joke, and refers to the point in the year when temperatures drop below 65 degrees. I once thought outsiders were being a little dramatic about the reaction of Southern Californians to "cold" weather, but I have recently witnessed some pretty ridiculous ensembles in response to temperatures that would warrant shorts in the Midwest. For example, earmuffs/headbands. This piece of apparel will LITERALLY NEVER BE NECESSARY IN LOS ANGELES. My mom was in town at Thanksgiving and we walked to Starbucks one afternoon. We passed a couple walking three small dogs and they were BOTH wearing full jackets and headbands. It was almost 70 degrees. Like come on, I know this weather is a good excuse to break out really cute booties and sweaters, but let's get a grip on the winter accessories. 

So anyway, the point of mentioning "winter" is to talk about boots - duh. I know I'm obviously a little late to the game here...as we're on the verge of Spring, but that just means it's a great time to score some sweet deals on cute boots that you can definitely get a few more months of use out of (especially if you live in the frigid tundra that is anywhere east of California and north of Texas).

Exhibit A: The Rag & Bone boot that might be the most versatile investment of the season. It comes in lots of colors - both suede and leather. 

Exhibit B: These Madewell "Weathered Biker Booties" are comfy, casual and will definitely weather this and many seasons to come.

Exhibit C: Everyone needs a sexy black bootie. This black Rachel Zoe boot is one of my favorites - they're not too high, they have a pointed toe and lots of texture. 

Friday, March 8, 2013


Berry & Paprika

I know, you think I lost my shit. I went from black/white/gray to freaking neon brights in a matter of days. It's okay, I'm feeling fine and I'm wearing a neutral-toned outfit as I sit writing this. I also shouldn't be given too much credit for originality when it comes to this outfit because I definitely stole it from a Facebook post by L*Space last week, in which they highlight the berry/paprika combo for summer swim. Buuut they include clothing ensembles as their inspiration, which is what caught my eye. 

At a few points in my life, I have expressed my absolute, unwavering distaste for red/pink, pink/purple and purple red combinations. Somehow, this is different. It's like the chic version of purple with a brighter version of red and I really love the way they play together. I also didn't expect black to work in this instance, but it totally does--especially accented with gold. I wore this on a Wednesday, and I think it helped me break up the week a little; add a little spice in the midst of monotony. You might say that I've taken Brad Goreski's "pop of color" theory a bit too far. Reversed even. This might qualify as a "pop of black" situation. Either way, I'm obsessed.

Before you think to yourself that this is way too much for you to pull of in your serious office environment, think again. Keep in mind that I'm an accountant--a first year accountant even--at a huge firm. Granted, it's in LA, so we're a little less serious, but still. I got compliments all day (and a few confused looks from the older partners-not bad though, confused). The only profession I would label this "inappropriate" for is law. So sorry lawyer friends. But at least you have the weekends (unlike me right now).


Viva Vena retro shirt / Juicy Couture slim pants, $155 / Michael Kors gold bangle jewelry / Fendi , $335

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


So everyone knows that NARS Laguna bronzer and Orgasm blush are like the best two makeup products ever made. Well let me introduce you to the third: NARS "Pure Radiant" tinted moisturizer.

Let me start by saying that I am NOT a big makeup person. First of all, it's expensive. Second, one of my biggest fears is looking like one of those crazy cake-faced girls that wears way too much of it. If you're not good at makeup and you wear a lot of it, you typically end up looking cake-faced...and I am not very "good" at makeup. I wear bronzer, blush, a little eyeliner and mascara. Oh and I dye my eyebrows darker because they're blonde,  but I let someone do that for me. Messed up eyebrows are impossible to fix so I leave it to the pros.

Anyway, I went to order my night-time moisturizer last week and a free sample of this new NARS product came with my purchase (from Nordstom, and the promotion is still going on). I am pretty light-skinned (luck of the Irish) and somehow I ended up with the medium shade "St. Moritz" as the sample. The shade did actually work for my skin once I let it soak in a little bit, but I ended up going back to the store and buying the lighter "Alaska" shade for keeps. 

I don't normally use any foundation because I'm afraid of it causing breakouts--in addition to the cake phenomenon--so I was skeptical about using something so "make-up-y." What did attract me to it is the SPF 30 protection it offers. I used to use a Mario Bedescu daily moisturizer with SPF 15, but they changed their formula and only offer an SPF 30 product that is specifically sunscreen (and smells like it). The NARS tinted moisturizer offers (non-smelly) sunscreen protection as well as a little tint/coverage to smooth out my complexion, without that obvious make-up look that I hate fear to see on women. It's really lightweight and blends perfectly. Best of all, you can apply it just like you would any daily moisturizer--no brushes, sponges, makeup pads, etc. It might be one of the only makeup products I feel compelled to post about (I feel a post about the Laguna/Orgasm combo has been done one too many times)...so it MUST be good, right? Obviously.