Nordstrom 2015 Anniversary Sale: Must Have Beauty

The highly anticipated Nordstrom 2015 Anniversary Sale is here! I rarely write about sales on this blog but this sale is my favorite simply because there are so many beauty offerings.

There are unbeatable values on exclusive and limited-edition items. If you’ve had your eye on something, now may be the time to pick it up. Below are a few of my personal favorite items, some that I’ve purchased and highly recommend and what’s on my wish list.
Nordstrom Sale Beauty
Charlotte Tilbury ‘On the Go Essentials’ Set $155.00 An exclusive kit by Charlotte Tilbury contains a travel-size Magic Cream, full-size Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash, full-size Beach Stick in Ibiza, Full Fat Lashes 5 Star Mascara, full-size Rock ‘n’ Kohl Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil in Bedroom Black, and a pencil Sharpener. Lastly it includes a first-edition Makeup Bag featuring Lips and a Charlotte Tilbury quote. I love her makeup bags!!

True NARS’ Lip Pencil Set ($49) I LOVE NARS’ lip pencils and Yu (the shocking pink hue) is a personal favorite. Pick this up just for that color alone. You won’t be disappointed.

LORAC ‘The Skinny Palette – Black’ Eyeshadow Palette $15.00 When I saw this at the press preview, I knew I had to have it. I literally rolled out of bed this morning, grabbed my phone and ordered two. LORAC’s shadows are unbelievably buttery and pigmented, so having a travle friendly option that cost me 15 bucks is a no brainer. The Skinny Palette contains seven gorgeous eyeshadows with beautiful matte and shimmer finishes, allowing you to easily create looks ranging from soft and natural to sultry and sexy. With a $133 value, be sure to snag backups! (Unrelated note: I’m giving away a LORAC Contour Palette up until 7/22)

M·A·C Look in a Box – Style Maven’ Face Kit ($49.50) When there’s a M·A·C kit available, always pick up that M·A·C kit, haha! They usually cons is of everything you’ll need so if you’re on a budget, it’s a great way to have the necessities without breaking the bank.

Moroccanoil ‘Moisture Repair’ Hair Set ($85.00) and Body Set ($92.00): Full disclosure I work for Moroccanoil but they aren’t paying me to write this. Since I do work for the brand, I love the products and think everyone should own something from them. My personal favorite is the Body Set since the Body Souffle is my JAM!

Clarisonic ‘Mia 2 – Mod Floral’ Sonic Skin Cleansing System ($119.20) so it’s no secret I love the Clarisonic since I’ve prattled on about it before but the Mia 2 is a life saver. I owe my clear skin to this little gadget and the floral on the packaging is pretty cute.

Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum Set ($165.00) I smelled this leathery floral chypre fragrance once and fell in love. I haven’t picked it up until now but definitely added it to my cart. If you love leathery scents, try this today!

Jo Malone LondonNectarine Blossom & Honey‘ Collection ($99.00) Jo Malone fragrances are one of my favorites. I’m obsessed with Peony & Blush Suede but sniffed this lovely treat at the preview. The fragrance starts off with a cassis note then goes into an acacia honey. The bottom note consists of peach. If that sounds up your alley, give it a go.

Trish McEvoy ‘Naturally Gorgeous’ Power of Makeup Planner® Collection ($168.00) Trish McEvoy always creates a great exclusive for Nordstrom with the makeup planner. It has every single thing you could ever need for traveling while allowing you to take our look from day to night easily. The best part is this has a $546 value but is under $200.

The sale goes from July 17th through August 2nd (while supplies last), on Nordstrom.com and in Nordstrom stores nationwide.

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Disclosure: I attended a press event for the sale and received samples of some products mentioned above. I was not compensated to create this post. Affiliate links listed above.

valentine’s day makeup: getting ready

I find the getting ready process way more fun than I’m supposed. It’s a sensorial experience for me and I love taking my sweet time from start to finish (sorry to all of my friends reading this – now you know why I’m always late). Regardless of what your makeup look is, below I’ve outlined key products to kick off the mood starting from the shower.
valetines day body and hairLUSH is one of those brands that I adore and their Prince Charming Shower Gel doesn’t disappoint. It’s currently sold out on the website (update: it’s back on the site!) so stalk their stores to get your hands on this! With a blend of fresh pomegranate juice, Fair Trade vanilla pod infusion and almond oil this will leave your skin soft and smelling ahh-mazing. The shower gel doesn’t leave a reside and you don’t feel tight or dry. Perfection to its core. After you moisturize, apply a bit of Moroccanoil Shimmering Body Oil on your legs, arms, and décolleté. Not only does this have the intoxicating signature Moroccanoil  scent, it imparts a hint of shimmer (NOT glitter) so when the light hits you it’s a subtle shimmer. I love it to bits. Before you blow-dry your hair, apply a pump of Moroccanoil Treatment to your strands (mid-lengths to ends)-you will thank me.

PERFUMES
For those who love a warmer fragrance, diptyque’s Eau Duelle Eau de Parfum is a gift from above. Key notes include vanilla (are you seeing a trend with me?) spices, and black frankincense. It’s a seductive fragrance without being too excessive or loud.

212 Sexy by Carolina Herrera is a lighter fragrance than Eau Duelle with notes of tangerine, bergamot, rose pepper, and gardenia but the musk tempers it and stops it from being a little girl’s perfume. This is a perfume that you can wear all day and still feel sexy.

Carven Le Parfum is fresh and simple. It’s not the overly sexy perfume and it’s great for the girl who wants to smell pretty. With jasmine and ylang ylang, this perfume is clean ad fresh without smelling like soap. Being that it’s from couture house Carven, it’s sophisticated but not “old.”

Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede I’ve contemplated buying this fragrance for a year before biting the bullet a few weeks ago and I am kicking myself for waiting so long! I don’t normally gravitate towards fruity florals but this is a beautiful blend . Another perfect for daytime but great to wear at night scent. It’s a soft floral with musky undertones. The top note is red apple but not annoying; middle notes are peony, jasmine, carnation and rose; base note is suede. The suede isn’t leathery for those who favor notes of leather in their fragrance. Overall, I think this is a lovely scent and I’ve gotten more compliments from guys when wearing this recently than anything else. So…win?

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Disclosure: some products were provied for editorial consideration. That said, I only feature products I love. Also I work for Moroccanoil but they don’t pay me to blog about them, unfortunately. 

updated skincare routine

For the past two months my skin decided to join the rebellion and go nutso without my consent. Between breakouts galore, dull skin, and an overall blegh look I was not in my element at all since I typically pride myself on the care I take of my skin. Alas I allowed myself to sleep in makeup and stay up way to late coupled by the fact that I practically ran out of all of my holy grail skincare products and relied on testing new products (not ideal). After noticing that my makeup just wasn’t doing it for me anymore, I knew I had to whip it back into shape. I’m a firm believer that your makeup can only do so much and if your skin isn’t on point, your makeup won’t be either.

And so began the updated skincare routine you see below.

skincare

Morning:
Dermalogica breakout clearing foaming wash ($19): yes, the Clear Start line by Dermalogica is geared towards teens and no, I don’t care. Since its main role is to wash away dead skin cells, dirt and excess oils that clog pores and cause breakouts I figured why not give it a go. It contains salicylic acid (known to clear skin), 8 botanicals including Tea Tree and Lavender (soothes skin), and Orange Peel extract (revives skin) this is gentle enough to use every morning.

Olay Fresh Effect {Bright On Schedule!} Eye Awakening Cream ($13) this isn’t pictured as it’ll be available in January 2014 but I just received a sample of this and I fell for the tri-rollerball applicator that cools and massages my gentle under eye area.

Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream ($60): this is nothing new but after trying other moisturizers for day I had to go back. Lately moisturizers have been leaving my skin feeling tight and dry but not this. With ingredients like vitamin E and squalane, my skin is left feeling hydrated and supple. It’s honestly a great moisturizer to use underneath makeup because it’s not greasy so nothing is sliding off.

Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Sunscreen SPF 55 ($32): I received samples of Hampton Sun products over the summer but was too stubborn to let go of my Kiehl’s Activator Sun Protector Sunscreen to try anything new. Well, after finding sample packets of a few of the brand’s items I decided to go ahead and order a full sized product to layer over my Rosa Arctica cream. What I love most is that it offers oil-free broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and doesn’t make my skin feel heavy or greasy. I simply spray it over my face and rub it in to make sure the product is evenly distributed. Sounds like a lot, but I swear it isn’t. This stuff is gold.

Evening
As part of the whole time-to-show-my-skin-who’s-boss project I went out and bought the Murad Acne Complex® Kit ($60) after having a TERRIBLE reaction to the Clinique Acne set (it literally burned me and I had scabs around my eye area…never again!). The Murad kit is pricey but worth it in my opinion because I’ve already fallen for the Clarifying Cleanser ($26 if purchased outside of the set) and Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel ($54). You can already see the value as the treatment gel alone costs nearly as much as the entire set. Though the cleanser left my skin a little bit dry, my skin simply looked better after one use. The breakouts were calmed and I’m now in week two of use. The Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel is good for controlling and preventing breakouts so I’ve been applying right before bed only. I do use the Skin Perfecting Lotion (not pictured) but only every other night as it doesn’t really moisturize as much as I’d like.

Moroccanoil Pure Argan Oil ($50; launching on moroccanoil.com soon!): absolutely no secret that I’m obsessed with argan oil so when we came out with this product I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s non-greasy, contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and absorbs pretty quickly into skin. I use it prior to bed because I wake up with soft as a baby’s butt skin.

Disclosure: samples were provided for editorial consideration. Also, I work in digital for Moroccanoil.

in which i shop for the apartment i don’t have (yet)

Over the past two months or so I’ve been in my own personal hell that is apartment hunting. In NYC for every one apartment available there are about six people looking to rent (and in my case, there’s always that one person who applied right before me). Not only is the demand outrageous but the apartments are practically rooms with a fridge tucked in there. Nevertheless, I’m looking for a place to call my own and I’ve caught the decorating bug. With the holidays rolling in, I can’t help but bookmark (or pin!) little things here and there.

home
Party In A Box – Snowdrift ($149): how can you not want this? It’s party essentials in one convenient location – decor, drinkware and serveware.

‘#nodoubledipping #chips’ Chip & Dip Server ($38): I’m a sucker for anything social media related and these hashtag chip and dip server are too cute to pass up.

NEST Fragrances ‘Holiday’ Scented Candle ($34): a lively scent for the holidays NEST’s Holiday candle is sparkling with notes of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla and amber.

Moroccanoil Candle ($52): For something a little less bright and a lot sexier, the Moroccanoil® Candle is perfect. Since I work for the brand, I’ve been burning this deskside and it’s soooo calming!

Glimmer-Wrapped Glassware ($16-$18): If you’re going to entertain, you might as well have something fun! These jazz up your glassware with gold detailing making drinks with friends a bit more fun.

Branch Lights ($39-$49): Rather than depend on regular ol’ lighting, these branches are great to set the mood while giving your home a more intimate feel.

Melissa Joy Manning 3-Light Pendant ($399): If you ARE going to have lighting it might as well be this chic pendant. It’s like fine jewelry dangling from your ceiling!

for short hair…

I’m pretty sure I’m never going to master the art of doing my hair alone and I’m okay with that. I’ve spoiled myself with weekly trips to the Dominican salons having started at the age of 16 and never looked back. That said, it’s kind of ludicrous that even with a pixie/ short ‘do, I’m unable to leave the house looking less than stellar.

All that said, I have recently discovered a few products that allow me to tame these tresses without having to worry about product build up or weighing my hair down.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Touch of Gloss Melt in Balm, $38
This melt-in wax allows you to smooth and sculpt the hair without fear of it drying and hardening your hair to a crisp. After receiving a sample from an event last month, I’m convinced this product was made for me. It has a glossy finish and allows you to create a piece-y edgy look or slick hair back. It’s enriched with rose sakura essence, rich in fatty acids to regulate hydration and leaves a subtle fragrance. This has quickly become my favorite hair product because it is so versatile.

Moroccanoil® Hydrating Styling Cream, $34
Think of the Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream as a leave-in conditioner. I love using this on days where I need to combat dryness but don’t want to put a ton of products in my hair. This was the first hair product I nabbed once I started working for the brand and I’m glad I did. It’s lightweight and lets me create frizz free looks and provides a soft hold.

In the off chance that I don’t go to get my hair done, I allow my hair to air dry since a) I can’t blow dry the back properly and b) I don’t want to blow dry my hair. After washing, I apply my styling product of choice, style my hair how I’d like for it to dry and tightly wrap hair using wrap strips on my wet hair. I then cover that with a velcro mesh wrap and let hair dry. I may sometimes cheat and use a blow dryer to speed up the drying time.

You don’t have to have short hair to benefit from using them so go ahead, have a go at ’em.