Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 2013 glossybox

Black Emite eyeshadow
Mastey color protecting leave-in oil treatment
Nicka K eyeshadow brush
The Aloe Source jojoba radiance cleansing polish
Vincent Longo duo eye pencil

This glossybox was probably the least inspired of my year subscription. I have ton of black eyeshadow, they are in half the palettes I own. The makeup brush was ok. The Vincent Longo eyeliner was stiff and didn't draw very smoothly. The aloe source cleansing polish is the best of the bunch because it is a great exfoliator and not irritating. The Mastey oil treatment is not useful to me, I prefer not to weigh my hair down with oils.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 2013 birchbox recap

Chella highlighter pencil
Color club top shelf polish
Tocca cleopatra hand cream
Vasanti enzymatic face rejuvenator
Chuao chocolate

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 2013 glossybox and Byrdie recap and review

This month glossybox teamed up with Byrdie, WhoWhatWear's sister site dedicated to beauty! This is probably the earliest in the month one of my glossyboxes has arrived, such a fun surprise since I didn't have a shipping notification, I had no idea they had gone out yet! Sorry for the terrible photos, I was too excited to open up and play with everything inside this one.

Brands include Tarte, Fresh, Sesha, Bulgari, and balance Me (a UK brand). The Tarte lights camera flashes mascara is full size, worth $23. Judging by the other goodies in the box, it could easily be worth $60+ total this month.

First, the Balance Me limited edition Shine On Tinted Lip Salve in super soft beige: it's 100% natural,very oily in consistency (feels like vaseline on lips) which is no surprise because the first ingredient is sweet almond oil. It has a nice minty flavor and very pale brownish color. I like that it is natural and I like that it isn't super sticky. This is a great one for cold and windy days when the last thing you want is your hair stuck to your mouth and you need to prevent chapped lips.

Bulgari Au thé Vert eau de cologne is a lovely green fresh but sort of sweet and modern scent. I think this is a great mellow scent for everyday. It's not what I would usually go for but I think I really like it. When I don't want a heavier warm patchouli based scent (Tom Ford WHite Patchouli, and Flowerbomb are my usual fav's), this will be my go-to for sure. I keep noticing it throughout the day even with 2 dabs so clearly the cologne is making it last much better than the eau de toilette version which reviews say doesn't have great staying power. Notes: Italian Bergamot, Tunisian Bitter Orange, Spanish Orange Blossom, Ceylon Cardamom, Jamaican Pepper, Russian Coriander, Bulgarian Rose, Egyptian Jasmine, Green Tea, Smoked Wood.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes mascara is definitely up there with the best. I actually prefer this brush to the Benefit They're Real mascara brush I use during the week. Inside it contained an extra real brush head with directions on what sides to use and how which is a brilliant idea. There can be a learning curve with new advanced mascaras for sure. Start with swipes of the shorter side brush to build up the volume and then switch to the longer side to comb them out and lengthen. I found that this was also super curling, I tried it without curling my lashes first to test it and it definitely curled and stayed that way. I like that this formula somehow stays soft and flexible whereas the Benefit They're Real tends to get stiff once dry.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve face cream is one of Allure magazine's Best of Beauty for 2013. It has a nice consistency and natural scent. According to Sephora, Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream is clinically proven to*:
- Moisturize skin for 24 hours after use
- Immediately improve skin radiance
- Enhance skin brightness and clarity
- Improve elasticity

After an independent consumer testing panel used Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream*:
- 97% felt their skin was immediately hydrated
- 91% felt their skin was revitalized
- 91% felt this cream gave them healthier-looking skin
- 81% felt their complexion was luminous
- 84% felt their skin’s elasticity was improved
*In vivo.I think I would have to try it longer to really give an honest opinion on whether it holds up to these claims, I don't have dry skin so moisture isn't really a concern for me. It feels luxurious when applied and sinks in fast, I tried it after work before a shower and was surprised that it didn't just wash off. My skin still felt very silky even after washing so it clearly had absorbed very well.

Sesha Renew Exfoliating Gel is know for great results, you put it on dry skin rub in circles and it beads up on the surface of your skin collecting dirt and dead skin cells with it.  It takes some getting used to, and needs to be done over the sink or the beaded up gel will rub off on you. Matching it up against my favorite exfoliator, Exfolikate, it is probably not as effective but is probably better for sensitive skin. My skin felt cleaner after use and smoother.

Overall one of my favorites so far, along with the Dallas Shaw collab box. Glossybox definitely knows who to collaborate with! Now if only I could get my hands on the Man Repeller box from months and months ago before I signed up.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

in the shadows

Probably should have found a spot with less dappled lighting but people were out everywhere today, leaving much fewer inconspicuous places to take quick photos. To be honest, it's probably not a bad thing since this dress could be seizure-inducing with these optic stripes in bright light.

Today's list: asymmetrical Laundry dress, BR navy cardigan, Fergie navy boots (it is surpisingly hard to find navy booties these were the only ones I found all last winter, thanks DSW for carrying these), Balenciaga bag, Toms sunnies

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

a little baroque

I love the look of black and cream, and especially love these textures together. The dress is super ornate lightweight, layered chiffon with an eyelet-trimmed, scalloped top and a micro-pleated A-line skirt and a slit, open back under one of my black velvet blazers. Sort of reminiscent of romantic baroque fashion. These cat eye frames are brand new so they had to be worn too, obviously.

Today's list: Cooperative Layered Eyelet Dress from Urban Outfitters, Topshop velvet unstructured blazer, Pink and Pepper open flat booties, Matt and Nat velvet bag, and Elizabeth and James mother of pearl cat eye Benedict sunglasses

Monday, October 14, 2013





I can't pretend it's still summer anymore. Boots came out and sandals were put away over the weekend. It's starting to get awfully festive everywhere and definitely here in Old Town. I love PSL's but I've already had my fill for the season, I think. I could use a few more pumpkin beers though. I wish I weren't allergic to all the moldy leaves so I could -maybe- appreciate all the fall foliage. Can you tell I'm not really a fan of the season? It just means winter is coming, and I HATE that. Halloween is ok because it is socially acceptable and not creepy to have tons of skulls and black cats everywhere. Taking these pictures today was fun though, a good majority were of me making faces while all-out laughing. Not flattering trust me. The first two taken by Krysia Gabenski, the rest Patrick McBride.

Today's list: BR military jacket, DVF key blouse, Matt and Nat velvet taupe vegan bag (figured I'd bring it out since everyone is talking about furry/fluffy bags atm, AG knit brown pants, Wanted booties, Prada sunnies, and Bite Pomegranate high pigment lip pencil

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 2013 birchbox recap review

Folle de joie perfume- pretty average floral with a more prominent sandalwood base, pretty universal though so it would probably make a good gift
Liz earle cleanser and muslin cloths-  the cleanser has essential oils and when you clean it off with the warm muslin, it felt like a spa treatment. Problem is I would not use this frequently because multiple oils will make me breakout and the muslin exfoliates well but I would prefer to use a disposable facial cloth to keep bacteria off my skin.
Miss Jessie's creme de la creme conditioner- very softening, but has a very soapy smell I didn't like.
Pop aquatic lacquer lip gloss- I got the one in floating rose, it is a great magenta color that applies very sheer blush shade. I hate the packaging though it has one of those spatula applicators instead of a brush or sponge tip.
New vanilla creme hydration lock chapstick- the cheapest but probably the best thing in here this month. I would highly recommend, very hydrating and less waxy than any other chapstick product. It has only a very very subtle vanilla scent which I actually wish they would play up, I am a vanilla fiend.

rain-bow print

It is so gross outside but I'm hoping at least now my filthy car is clean. The rain has just not stopped all morning. The last photo should be an outtake since I am wiping the drizzle off my forehead. This maxi skirt was originally a maxi dress from t-bags which I cut the top off of. It was soooo on sale from Blue Heaven Boutique and I love the weird tie-dye splatter rainbow print so much that I thought it was worth it to get a dress even if I was going to throw the top portion away.

Today's list: t-bags maxi dress turned skirt, gap shirt and jacket, Wanted boots, and same Deena & Ozzy bag as yesterday because I'm lazy

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

back to life, back to reality

Now that I'm back at work again (and hitting snooze too many times) I barely got out the door in time. For me no time= black and gray outfit thrown on as fast as possible. Having so much time off allowed me to get on my own natural sleep schedule and wake when it was light out as nature intended. Back to reality, I have to wake up in the pitch black and I'm not adjusting well, blah.

On a less complainy note, I wanted to share one of my all time fav nail polishes. This is Butter London's Bumster. Now that polishes to match your skin tone are in, I like this one as a quirky alternative. It's actually the exact shade of peanut butter not my skin so it doesn't completely blend away the shape of my nails.

Today's list: Gap cowl sweater, Free People skinny moto pants, Coconuts wedge booties, Deena and Ozzy neon skull bag, Glassing white angular aviators, Member's Only leopard jacket

Monday, October 7, 2013






I was very lucky to have earned a 6 week sabbatical from work. I went to the beach for a few days during this time off and one of my bbags came with me. I think miss galet twiggy enjoyed her vacation too lol.
I officially crossed the line into crazy by personifying a handbag now haven't I...

September 2013 birchbox recap

Davines sea salt spray (love this, works as well as Bb Surf spray and smells lovely)
BCBG bon genre sample (Jasmine and a little fruity)
Grand central beauty smart skin perfecting polisher (meh)
Ruffian nail lacquer (nice colors, kind of ridiculous bottle)
Soak heel foot cream (smells like cucumbers and is very moisturizing)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Birchbox October sneak peek and promo code!

Exclusive offer for 15% off any purchase of $50+ in the Birchbox Shop, use code BIRCHBLOGGER15 at checkout to get your discount! They are carrying Laura Mercier products in the shop now!

Monday, August 26, 2013

futuristic for fall: fashion illustration

Thinking ahead to fall, I did a sort of futuristic fashion illustration sketch of some white boots, chartreuse skinny pants, and dark gray short coat. Someone find me these things IRL.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 2013 glossybox US recap

Anatomical face mist- this stuff smells awesome. I can't wait to use it as a cool refresher on my face and neck after walking the dogs tomorrow.
Novex Brazilian kerarin hair treatment- very excited to try this.
Jelly pong pong lip blush- tons of color, nice texture. The plastic feels a little cheap for something that is 18$ fullsize but the product inside seems worth it.
Modelco eyeshadow duo- I'm not sure how this is supposed to be 25$ full size. As far as I'm concerned the quality is very underwelming. The lighter shade is like coarsely crushed pearls, gritty and much to glittery for my taste. The upside is the built in mirror. I love those.
Sue devitt triple c-weed pressed powder- this is very pale but a nice texture and well made packaging.
Denim makeup bag and coupon from guess jeans

Friday, August 23, 2013

watercolor flowers

I have seens some really perfect floral blazers this season, and short kimono type jackets too. This one happened to be on sale at UO so I had to have it.

Today's list: silky floral blazer from Urban Outfitters, BCBG silk pants, Gap wedges, Balenciaga seafoam first bag

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Best of the best: 10 beauty products that actually work

One of my friends asked me the other day,
"Since you've tried a million products, is there any that actually do what they say they do?"
The only thing I could think of was Bumble and bumble surf spray.
Looking around my home though there's a few others I continue to buy because I think they really live up to their claims.

I use surf spray anytime I want messy beach hair with extra body, that works great wet and left to air dry. If you need thickening messy hair when it's already dry, try this. It can help to revamp your beach hair after it's gone flat. It also seems to have a bit of a dry shampoo effect by dulling down any shininess. 
This was in an Origins value set for prevention. I tried it once and fell in love! I can't say I've ever found a mask that absorbed oil so well while still leaving my skin soft, clean, and not dry. Will definitely get the full size when done with the little tube. I had been using the Boscia Luminizing black mask, but this is much more effective.

This is the first bronzer I've used that is matte (now everyone is making one). It is much more natural looking than most with shimmer and its really brown not warm brown or orangey. I use a highlighter with shimmer along with this for some contouring. If my bronzer is shimmery too my whole face would shine and that's not the look I'm going for! Also you can actually smell the cocoa and I love it.

This is far and away the best concealer I've ever used. I had been using the Laura mercier camouflage compact after trying everything under the sun but this is even better. Complete coverage and dry matte finish. Thank you clinique! I've heard that the MUFE is also exceptional but this is a better price for sure.

I like this lip crayon better than the Clinique Chubby Stick which for me was not as shiny as this and better than Tarte's Lip Surgences because they are minty flavored. This one from Soap & Glory has a super sweet vanilla flavor. I got it in nudist and it is a nice pinky natural nude tone. Highly recommend these. My full review and swatch, here.

I found this to be the best buildable mascara. You can put on one coat for a day look that's still noticeable and volumizing or 3 for super dramatic evening lashes and it still won't clump or stick your eyelashes together awkwardly. I'm pretty sure I'm not imaginging it, but after going through a deluxe sample of this stuff my lashes were actually longer and thicker again... leading me to believe my previous one was damaging them but this definitely does not. They seemed healthier. I would say it's definitely worth trying Supernova especially if you can get in a value set of Fresh items! The only problem is Sephora doesn't sell this anymore.

If you are looking for a real concealer, this isn't it. It's light and sheer and slightly shimmery. I like it for under my eyes on top of a heavy concealer or my cheekbones because it is a little bit reflective. The main thing is it's so portable, it's perfect for any small fixes during the day.

I love the shades and how pigmented these are. The only downfall is I think they can be a little drying. This line has the best color payoff of any brand. I personally have found my red HG shade in Underage red, perfect for us cool-toned ladies. Backstage Bambi is the best 80s bright pink too. Just use some balm before applying.. the color makes it worth it.

This is worth the price for sure because it will get any dead skin off in no time. This is the only exfoliator that I think can really do that. It makes a great once a week treatment so your skin doesn't get overly sensitive. Leave this on for a couple min's without even rubbing in, and then take a wet washcloth to gently wash it off.

I guarantee you this is the best nude lip on the planet. Enough color to really cancel out the pinkness of your lips, but still fairly natural looking unlike some nude lipsticks that look like you put concealer on your mouth. It is glossy and sticky and perfect. Just trust me.

Real talk: there's a ton of products I "like" but are pretty interchangeable. Like all of my primers, Laura Mercier, Smashbox, UD, and a million others, they are work great but none stand out as the best. Brows too, I have a UD brow box that is the cutest thing ever, but is exactly the same as the new Benefit one. Anastasia brow sets and palettes are also great but are exactly the same as the Too Faced one. Foundations/BB's/CC's are too personal to recommend really. I love my Dr. Jart+ BB black label detox because of the skin care benefits but also because this is the only BB that comes in my exact skin tone. All the other color adjusting formulas don't work for me. At the same time, I imagine that anyone with medium to dark or warm/olive skin couldn't use this and those other formulas could be perfect, like the one from Dr. Brandt. There are so many out there, I would seriously consider doing Sephora's color IQ in store and taking home a few samples of ones that match. Sephora lets you have 3 samples of each category: makeup, fragrance, etc per visit so take advantage!

Friday, August 16, 2013

gauzy dress illustration

I felt like fashion sketching today. When I was in high school I was sure I wanted to be a fashion designer and grow up to draw beautiful clothes all day. I took fashion courses and realized I DO NOT like sewing and guess what.. until you get money or a name for yourself you have to sew your own samples so you can market them.. blah. I just liked designing and drawing them which I guess is how I ended up at art school for illustration and design and now my career in editorial graphic design and art direction.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

TIL...mystery shirt


So I have this fun linen thrifted men's shirt. Upon watching The Rum Diary for the second time, I notice that Michael Rispoli's character is wearing 3 or 4 different versions of this shirt, same pockets, same tiny pin-tucked pleats down the front on both sides etc. I figure this shirt must be a certain style of that time or region (it is set in Puerto Rico) and check my label. It is Botany 500 which turns out to be originally from Philadelphia and has been around since the 40's!.. but this is irrelevant to what is it called, Botany 500 makes all kinds of suits and men's clothing (see ad above). More googling and eventually turns out this shirt is a Guayabera, also know as a "Mexican wedding shirt". I'm thinking there are plenty of people I know who would have known this, but I still feel accomplished for figuring it out lol.

(excerpt from Wikipedia)The origin of the garment is Creole, a mixture of Native American and Spanish wear developed in late 1800s. Various claims for the distinctive style have been made in several Latin America countries as well as the Philippines.[3][4]
A version of the shirt's origins claims that Mexicans either originated it in Veracruz state or the Yucatán Peninsula. One theory holds that it was during the era of trade routes through the Caribbean that the Mexican shirts got to Cuba, and were taken to the Philippines by the Spaniards, where the evolution of the intricate embroidery started. Alternatively, others speculate that the shirt, which has documented origins in the Philippines prior to the arrival of the Spanish, made its way to Cuba through Mexico via the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade. The origin of the Guayabera shirt remains a mystery, and a similar prototypical shirt has existed since the 18th century, probably imported from Spain.[3]
Guayabera may come from a Cuban legend that tells of a poor countryside seamstress sewing large patch-pockets onto her husband's shirts for carrying guava (guayabas) from the field.[3][5] Guayabera may also have originated from the word yayabero, the singular nickname for those who lived near the Yayabo River in Cuba.[3][6]
Though commonly called guayabera, in Yucatán, Mexico, it is also known as camisa de Yucatan. In 2010, Cuba declared the guayabera shirt to be its "official formal dress garment"

Consider yourself educated.

And now today's outfit with my guayabera:

Today's list: Botany 500 shirt, James Jeans dark emerald green knit pants, Kimchi Blue floral sandals, Balenciaga city bag, and Elizabeth and James Bowery sunglasses