Welllll helloooooo there! So I wanted to start a series on the blog that had to do with beauty products since it's pretty much an obsession of mine. Welcome to The Beauty Diaries, Volume 1.
For the first installment I wanted to introduce you to my latest brand obsession: Hourglass.
With the onset of a new season, I went exploring in Sephora a few weeks ago on the hunt for a new Fall foundation. I knew it was time to give up my light summer BB cream routine, and I wanted something full coverage without feeling like I was caking it on. As someone with problem skin (oh hello acne in my 20's, you SUCK), I was also looking for something that had skin benefits and not just coverage.
Luckily, I met an awesome Sephora employee who knew exactly what to give me. Originally I was looking to switch back to BareMinerals, which I used to use throughout college. I was sick of the liquid foundation problems where every time I hugged someone I feared my face imprint was left on their shoulders (gah the worst).
This Hourglass foundation is miracles my friends. It's in a pump bottle that comes out as a liquid, but turns into a powder once it's on your face. It has buildable coverage, but pretty much only takes two pumps for me to get a pretty full coverage on my entire face. It lasts almost the whole day, feels like velvet on my face, and has yet to make me break out even more, so basically...I'm in love. I was also convinced to buy the primer (feels like silk) AND their special Ambient powder that basically makes you look like you airbrushed your face in photos.
I'll also be on my way to get their concealer as well, but I had to have SOME self-control. It is a pricey brand, the products are not considered cheap whatsoever, but since I'm on my way to my later-er twenties (god help me) I've decided that one thing I am going to stop skimping on is skincare, and products that give me confidence and make me feel good about myself. I don't splurge on crazy things often, but these are definitely worth it my friends.
I'm really excited about my post today (that I'm finally writing as I sit on my couch, balancing my frozen yogurt and wine dinner. Living the life I tell ya)! I'm going to blame the combo of wine and the fro-yo sugar high on the massive online Sephora purchase I just made. Woops. Anyway, as usual, I digress.
This past Friday morning I had the opportunity through Birchbox to check out an awesome new (to me) brand at their Upper West Side store, Rituals Cosmetics. Lucky for me it was only a 20 minute walk up to their store so I checked it out before work...and I'm SO glad I did.
I'm now obsessed.
As a brand that originated in Amsterdam but uses Asia as inspiration for its products, they use gorgeous Cherry Blossom installments in every store as centerpieces.
Not only was I greeted by the absolutely amazing, friendly and knowledgeable staff at Rituals....but they had mimosas and macaroons. Hello Friday.
May have only been a 20 minute walk...yet I always arrive so disheveled....
After some mingling with the lovely other ladies that were invited, we were brought into the back to hear the background and inspiration behind the brand. This explains their foundation perfectly:
"We believe happiness can be found in the smallest of things. It is our passion to transform your everyday routines into more meaningful moments".
Then they did some scrub demos...and hand massages were involved (as if this Friday morning could get any better).
Basically, this blogger event was amazing. The ladies that run the NYC Rituals Cosmetics stores could not be more down to earth or more excited to share the story of Rituals Cosmetics. Though it's fairly new in the U.S., it growing rapidly and is apparently all over Europe already. And for good reason, their products are amazing and pretty affordable.
AND THE BEST PART....one of you guys will be getting in on the Rituals action! Rituals made the morning even more amazing by gifting each of us 3 products from one of their lines, and then doubled it so we could share with our readers!
*all images taken by me
I chose to stick with their best selling line and pick products from Sakura. It smells amazing and I'm so excited for one of you to try! One lucky reader will get sent all of the above: a full size body cream, shower foam and exfoliating body scrub. Hello, relaxing shower time :)
All you have to do for a chance to win the products is use the rafflecopter below and Like ASPL on Facebook (the best way to know when I have a new post). It's that easy! A random winner will be drawn Sunday night.
As I say every time, I'm the worst blogger, I know. Aka, one of these days Ill post here more than once every 3 months.
Truthfully, I've sat in my apartment today and rewrote this post 3 times. Part of the reason why I've had a 3 month absence from this blog is simply, I've been uninspired. I've been bogged down by the day to day shittiness that seems to happen in waves, and this wave was a doozy. Between fighting with awesome people like NYC landlords, ConEd and Time Warner, job switches and the constant money woes that come with living in the most expensive city, ever....being a grownup is tough guys.
Pretty much I've just felt like a mess. The above sign gets me, they knew I was coming.
I've rewrote this post so many times in the last few months simply because no one wants to read someone else whine, I totally get it. I go to blogs to look at pretty outfits and perfectly arranged flowers and cheese plates. But also, I LOVE when the bloggers I follow daily get real...because seriously their lives cannot be THAT awesome can they?! If they are, I would like a trade please and thank you (I'm looking at you The Londoner).
I digress. Basically I had to get this post out of my system because as the summer dwindles, it's time to move onward right? While most people try to hang on to every last bit of sunshine and beach time, I'm pretty ready for what the next season will bring. While the summer wasn't all bad (I'm looking at you beautiful solo apartment), it wasn't what I hoped. To start up that inspiration again and not just trudge through the day to day, I've been taking a look back since I've last blogged to remind myself of the few good times this season brought.
Turned 26 and promptly signed up to live here. Pretty solid decision.
And with that, let's hope Fall brings some good luck huh? (and less horrible first dates, c'mon dating god, give me a break!). Have a happy Sunday night my friends! I'm off to do work because Jury Duty calls...(the grownup-ness never ends apparently).
So my lack of fashion posts has been for a few good reasons. One, my resident photographer and roomie is alwaysss gone (come back Stephanie!). I need to pin her down and hand her my camera one of these days. Two, and way more true, is I've been basically living in workout clothes when I'm not at work (and when I am at work my dress game has been dismal lately). I'm signed up to run a half marathon in Central Park this Sunday so for the last 2 months all my "down" time has been reserved for spin classes and running. That means pretty much the only thing I've been spending money on is workout clothes, which (un)surprisingly has become a new shopping obsession. There's some cute stuff out there! Besides my big and necessary splurge of new running sneakers, I've been loving the whole Active line by Old Navy. It's super cute, comfortable and most importantly affordable! Especially for those times when you have so much laundry that you go buy new workout clothes ten minutes before spin class....(guilty). Thankfully I don't feel too guilty because I live in their clothes after work and on weekends now, so it's totally worth it. Next obsession I will rave about: Swerve. Now, I've done spin classes before. Actually Ive done many before moving to NYC and always loved them. However the obsession with Spin in NYC is on a whole different level. There's the SoulCycle and Flywheel cults that Ive avoided simply because they are so hyped here but when Swerve opened LITERALLY across the street from work, it was hard to resist. One class, and I was hooked. I've been doing it pretty much 1-2 times a week for the last few months (my bank account is crying) and it continues to be some of the hardest workouts I've ever experienced. Every class I leave dripping with sweat looking like I just ran 20 miles but feeling amazing. The staff is wonderful and I can't say enough about it. My coworkers are hooked too and I think sadly for us the word has gotten out because the classes are continually getting sold out faster and faster. If you're in NYC, GO TRY IT. Welp, that's all I've got folks. Hopefully after this Sunday when I probably crawl across the finish line I can have my life back! I'm pretty pumped though, not going to lie :) Wish me luck!
After a pretty sad weekend, I decided Sunday night was "cheer myself up night" complete with beautiful spring flowers, new magazine and OPI polish, favorite slippers, and the staple...jelly beans. Perfection.
This is one of the many reasons I head to Florida every year. My grandma is the best cook, hands down.
THIS is one of the other reasons. Ladies and Gents: Retirement paradise.
So the reason this weekend was so sad was my family lost one of the major members, our dog Sandy. She was an old lass (almost as old as my youngest brother) so it wasn't the happiest time. We loved her so much though and we couldn't be more grateful for having such a wonderful dog all of these years.
I had to share this with my favorite people (aka all of you). Today I discovered my latest obsession, the above video.
I'm kind of an old soul sometimes and Fleetwood Mac is on of those bands I could mellow out to for a long time. WELL, combine a great song with one of my favorite people, Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf foreva), and you have a song that I've listened to approximately 15 times today already.
Stay with me the next few weeks as I am pretty behind on posting. These were taken about a month ago when I jumped on the train to escape the city for a few hours and visit my cousin out in the LI 'burbs. It was one of those days that was still very, very grey, but felt warmer than it had in months. My head gets confused on those days and I end up looking like a Crayola box because I just want to wear COLOR. So, the above happens. Yellow jacket, pink shoes. Oh well. It was a happy relaxing day full of girl talk, baking, tv and puppy loving. I couldn't do this post without featuring my main man Baxter. He's just the cutest.
TGIF friends! Woah, this week was a doozy. I'm not sure what made it feel SO extremely long and just...blah. Nothing exceptionally bad or good happened, it was just one of those weeks where I kind of felt like a hamster in a wheel just running and running with no end in sight. The bitter cold didn't help either. Man March is a tough one.
Does anyone else out there feel like they're in a rut this month? I've been trying my best not to let the winter blues get the best of me. One way I combated a particular dismal day recently was to be spontaneous and book myself a little R + R trip down to Florida*. It might be the only thing getting me through the next few weeks.
Some other fun things that have brightened up my days a bit lately:
The above print came in the mail! I've been staring at it for months and months online and finally pulled the trigger.
I'm obsessed with this song. I just play it over and over....really his whole spotify page.
So, it's been a while since I've posted because honestly, I've been hibernating. These pics were taken on my apartment terrace before the freaking winter blast took over where snow and ridiculous temps have been knocking NYC for weeks. There was a beautiful weekend day when it was still lovely enough to spend time outside without hating your life (I can't wait to experience that again this weekend...yay 50 degrees!).
I've had this leather skirt for a while now and I wanted to play down the edginess and make it a little more casual with one of my favorite comfy winter sweaters. Not gonna lie, I'm loving the leather trends at the moment and hope they stay for a while. Makes me feel kinda awesome.
So I know I've said it before, and you will surely hear it again, but I really, really love makeup. Though many of my coworkers may disagree with me (it's hard enough getting to work on time in appropriate clothes, forget about hair and makeup), I do love wearing it and trying out new products. I'm constantly reading blog posts about the newest product or a brands line that is blowing up everywhere, and now I've even been lucky enough to integrate it into my work lately (it has made my obsession pretty much skyrocket). Anyway, regardless of the list of new products in my head that grows with every Sephora trip, there ARE a few products that I absolutely love, and find myself actually buying again when it runs out.
The POREfessional: I'm a true believer in primer. It creates such a smooth surface for your foundation to just glide right on...and this primer feels like silk on your skin.
Hot Mama blush: I actually got this as a sample in a Birchbox quite a while ago, and am down to the last particles of dust. It's a perfect peachy/coral-y shade that I think would look good on anyone. It's not too much, but just enough.
Benefit Brow Zings: In my post college years, I've become obsessive with my brows. They can make or break your face. I don't splurge on many beauty appointments, but brows is a different story, I will ONLY go to Benefit Brow Bar now. No matter who I get, they do an awesome job. So no surprise I'm obsessed with their brow kit.
Sephora Liquid Liner: Since my competition dance days when I perfected my liquid liner cat eye at the age of 12, I've never gone back. Liquid liner is the only way to go, and this one is cheap, simple and looks great.
Amazing Concealer: Last but not least, my number one favorite product. Sadly, I have not been blessed with great skin. I am always stressed and my face likes to let everyone know, especially since moving to NYC. But this stuff, its so concentrated it just takes a tiny dot and will cover anything. I swear by it. Seriously.
Sorry I got so wordy! Get me on this topic and it's hard for me to shut up...
So these were obviously taken before NYC got hammered with extreme snow and cold (I thought I wasn't living upstate anymore...). I got this cape last year while doing a major shopping trip with grandma (see a reoccurring theme here? My grandma has good taste). At first I was doubtful, but now, I'm in love with it. It's so warm and cozy and I love changing up my outwear. Then...there's the boots. I saw these babies while shopping with my mom and was surprised with them. I know, shopping runs in my blood. I'm going to blame it on them, they must have taught me from a young age.
Whatdya think...have I convinced you to try the cape?