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.

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?


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.


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.

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 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.

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.

mercedes-benz fashion week beauty: the blonds SS2013

Known to inject a burst of energy into fashion week, The Blonds is known for outrageously amazing beauty looks.

Antonio Corral Calero, Moroccanoil Artistic Director, created fierce, glamorous hair inspired by the sultry sensuality of million-dollar mermaid Esther Williams as well as the early 90s “Sex” looks of Madonna, the avant-garde style had a strong, iconic edge. Energizing the face with blasts of color, each model’s hair was hidden under vivid, latex hoods that edged around the hairline and neck. Barbie-like synthetic hair overflowed from the caps — only natural seeing as The Blonds recently partnered with the Blondie herself — which elevated at the crown and cascaded down the back. Moroccanoil products used to create the look: Moroccanoil Treatment, Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium and Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray.

hair moroccanoil
Seeing that the models were wearing such head gear, makeup artist Kabuki and the M·A·C Cosmetics team created a contoured look. Kabuki revisited the 90s supermodel, notably Linda Evangelista in Italian Vogue and took elements of old glamour and reinterpreted it into modern day. It film-like makeup, a little Fellini.

On the skin he used Studio Sculpt SPF15 Foundation and Concealer and finished with Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation. Though the look was sculpted, it still looked somewhat natural underneath the hair look. M·A·C Pro Bone Beige Sculpting Powder was blended over low planes to contour.

On the eyes he applied Bare Canvas Paint over the eyelid with 242 Shader Brush and used Coffee Eye Pencil through the crease and blended with Wedge Eye Shadow to soften and elongate the eye, using 217 Blending Brush. Boot Black Liquid Liner was used to define, lift and separate the upper and lower lashes. Brunette Luxe Brow Powder Pencil (available next spring) was blended through brows with 266 Small Angle Brush to define and sculpt. #12 Lash is trimmed and layered over 7 Lash creating a short, spikey design with a wing tip, dramatizing the aerodynamic effect to eyes. It wouldn’t be a 90s look if Spice Lip Pencil wasn’t in the mix defining and contouring lips. Posh Tone Mineralize Lipstick (also available next spring) was blended over the entire lip for a nude look.