my favorite beauty products right now

It’s that time again! A list of my favorite beauty products of the moment. Makeup lovers unite! And be sure to leave any suggestions down in the comments, if you feel so inclined :)

1. LORAC Skinny Palette in Nude

lorac paletteThis palette is incredibly versatile in that it can be worn for a natural daytime look (which I often achieve with the 3 matte colors in this palette) or a more dramatic night-out look. I love it because shadows are smooth, pigmented and there’s a good ratio of light-dark and shimmery-matte shades. The colors are warm-toned (which I tend to graviatate to), so if you’re looking for something a bit more neutral or cool-toned, the sister palette in  Navy is available at the same price of only $15!

2. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed

tarte exposed

This color might look unremarkable. Maybe a little too brown. Boring even. Let me be the one to tell you, you are wrong on all accounts! This is the prettiest nude pink blush.  I love it so much that I haven’t worn any other blush since I picked this up at Sephora a couple of months ago. It looks completely natural, as in your natural cheek color and not overly rosy, but not overly mauve or brown. It’s kind of hard to explain because I feel like this color looks a bit different on everyone (google image search it and see). I would have shown it on me, except my camera couldn’t pick up the color very well. I liken Exposed to the “traveling pants”. You know, the pair of jeans that looks great on all the friends, in spite of their shape or size? I wouldn’t say it lasts for 12 hours as it claims, but it is still a long-lasting blush at about 7 hours of wear, which is completely acceptable to me. This goes down as one of my top favorite blushes (MAC Peaches is up there too).

3. Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Fig

melted fig

If you’re looking for rich, saturated lip color, then any tube in the Melted line is for you. Ugh, every single color is just impressively gorgeous. I’d snatch up almost every shade in a heartbeat if not for the $21 price tag. I’m particularly infatuated with Melted Fig which is a pretty plum-pink color that’s perfect for fall and winter. Although in the photo above, it photographs a tad brighter than it actually is. It’s a liquid lipstick that dispenses as you squeeze the tube, so you’re in control of how much product you use. The result is pigmented, long-lasting statement lips. Definitely not for the color-shy!

4. SEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Cream Lipstick in Charmer 19

sephora-charmer

This is an amazing everyday pinky-nude lipstick. Not the most terribly exciting shade, but it’s beautiful, flattering and I get a lot of compliments on it. Charmer is probably my most worn lipstick of the past two months because it fits all occasions so well, especially very casual ones like lunch dates or weekend errands. The formula is creamy, comfortable and pairs nicely with smokey eyes or a bare face. My only gripe would be that it highlights any dryness you may have, so moisturized lips are key! Which brings me to the next product…

5. e.l.f. Studio Lip Exfoliator

lip exfoliator

In order to pull off any matte or dark lip colors, lips must be moisturized and flake-free. Even if you’re not a lipstick wearer, soft lips are something most of us desire, especially in the cold, dry months. The exfoliator is basically a lip balm flecked with tons of coarse sugar crystals that serve to scrub away the dead skin. I found that exfoliating my lips by way of brushing them over with a toothbrush wasn’t as effective for me, so I’ve started using this exfoliator and it is very effective at getting my lips super smooth. Sure you can make your own scrub (I did for a while), but at $3 a pop, you just can’t beat the convenience.

6. Nicole by OPI Matte Top Coat

matte topcoat

It’s difficult to find matte nail polishes, but no worries because this is even better. You can transform any color into a matte shade with this clear topcoat and it completely freshens up the finish. I tend to get bored of my limited selection of nail polishes quickly, so it’s refreshing to be able to change it up. It’s a nifty product to have!

click on these

autumn in central park

Central Park

  • Morning routines! I’m so fascinated by other people’s routines so this website speaks to me.

Happy weekend!

wedding fever

twirl

Last weekend, Bob and I went to his friend May’s wedding.

justin and dominique

The event was just beautiful. The Manor (in West Orange, NJ) was so gorgeously fancy. Really made you feel like you were attending an extra classy affair. We enjoyed ourselves and I loved getting to see bits of traditional Chinese culture thrown into the ceremony and reception.

dragons

couples

Being at the wedding gave me serious wedding fever (as weddings tend to do). Recently, Bob and I have been discussing our own wedding plans in earnest and I’ve learned that we have very different ideas of what we want ours to be. I’d love something intimate: get hitched at City Hall and then have a small gathering at a nice restaurant with a few of our closest family and friends. Good food, good laughs, good people. That’s all I really need.

I also have a hard time wrapping my brain around spending more than a few thousand dollars for one day. That’s partly why an intimate get-together appeals so much to me.

bridebride2

me and bobBut Bob would love something bigger. He doesn’t want to leave anyone out of the equation, so his idea would be a banquet hall to fit both his and my family and friends which totals to approximately 130 people. He wants a high-quality selection of food, a space for dancing and an open bar. These are his must-haves. He’s concluded that this + other expenses will set us back over $10,000. In my opinion, it’ll easily be over $10,000. Perhaps closer to $20,000.

laughing john

In an ideal situation where money is no object, I’d say, hell with it! Let’s do this thing grand! I want the Kleinfeld experience! I’d love to have our families celebrate with us. I was talking to Bob’s friend at the wedding who’s in the middle of planning her own wedding and she told me, “I finally decided to give in to a big celebration because there is never going to be another time in our lives where we will plan something of this caliber with our families and friends all in one room. That means something to me”. I get that. I’m not one for being the center of attention, but there’s something really nice about a bunch of people coming together to celebrate something monumentally joyous in your life. It’s a way of shouting from the rooftops, “I love this person and we’re going to be together forever!” Plus, it’s FUN. Large weddings are fun! But the more practical part of me still can’t help but think, we need to play this thing smart and cheap.dessert

photo booth

Right now, we’re at a point where one of us is trying to convince the other that our idea is best. We’re not officially engaged, but after eight years together, the topic of a wedding and marriage comes up frequently. Long ago, we both agreed that it would happen eventually and since we felt committed to each other already, there wasn’t any rush. Now that we’ve been together for so long, “eventually” is a lot closer. Both of us acknowledge the legal benefits that come along with marriage (romantic, right?), but we also recognize that, hey, maybe it’s time to start thinking about this thing already…for us.

group

So that’s where we’re at right now. We’re in our “thinking” and “dicussing our options” stages. There’s lots of compromising to be done. Either that or I’ll find ways to make my idea sound more and more appealing to him ;)

a very late post about halloween and scary movies

decorations

I feel like I’ve passed that window to blog about Halloween. Everyone’s kind of over it by now and ready for the next holiday (Thanksgiving! One of my faves), but I figured I’d be that kid in class that misses the assignment, but totally makes up for it by handing in said assignment before the semester ends. Did they allow you to do that in school? In my case, it depended on the teacher, but if you were one of those kids who never did homework and then made up them all up in one week at the end of the term, then my hat’s off to you. No really. Because doing all that in one week takes some serious focus. I was always the one that missed about 2 or 3 homeworks and when it came down to making them up, it turned out to be such a pain because every assignment focused on different topics. Some of which were almost completely gone from my head at that point.

cake

Anyway. Halloween.

I wasn’t super into Halloween this year, but since my sister was throwing my nephew Jaxon a Halloween-themed 5th birthday party, I figured I’d get into the spirit of things. But with minimal effort, of course. So I whipped out my black and white striped top, Bob’s fingerless gloves, a ski cap, a mask (made from Bob’s old skip cap) and came out as bandit. Cost: $0. That’s how I roll.

Going through handbags (as thieves do).

mepick pockets

But the kids. The kids are really the spectacles of the party anyway. Superheroes, vampires, monsters…costumes just look especially adorable on the little ones.

cat miles2

A riveting game of Freeze Dance.freeze dance 3freeze dancefreeze dance2

My vote for best dressed. So cute! ↓

miles1

Our entire weekend was almost entirely consumed by aspects of Halloween. Friday night, Bob and I spent the night watching the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Shawn of the Dead. Bob has this yearly tradition of watching his favorite horror films on Halloween that he’s absolutely strict about. It has to happen on Halloween. And since I live with the guy, I’m kind of roped into it too. But I don’t mind as long as the movie isn’t going to terrify me. I could deal with slasher flicks and blood and guts, but ghost stories, demons and creepy possessed children, just NO. I can’t. I couldn’t sleep for weeks after watching The Ring. The visual of sewer girl coming out of the television will forever be burned into my brain. You know what’s an underrated horror film (underrated as in, not really considered horror)? Fire in the Sky. I remember watching it when I was 10 and that was the first movie that legitimately freaked me the eff out. I had nightmares about being snatched from my home by aliens so that they could perform painful and torturous experiments on me. I was even more horrified when I learned from a friend that  it was based on a true story. Um, excuse me? NO. Why would you say this to me?

michelle

Anyway, we loaded up on all sorts of candy and junk food that lasted us through Sunday. I’m not usually big on candy but I was gobbling up the stuff like crazy that weekend. The power of the almighty and addictive Kit Kat. But! It’s Halloween and it’d be silly not to eat lots of candy. This is what I told myself.

happy birthday happy birthday2

Going back to scary movies for a minute: I’d love to know what’s the absolute most horrifying movie you’ve ever seen? Like gave-you-nightmares-and-had-to-sleep-with-the-lights-on-for-weeks scary? I’ll be sure to file them into my “I will never watch this” movie list. It’s a long list.

thoughts in list form + the beach in october

 unprotected beachGreat Kills Park in Staten Island.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I didn’t mean to not blog for 3 weeks, but…hey, that’s what happened. No specific reason either, just general life busyness and for that last week, sheer laziness. After a busy and supercharged summer, this fall has been relatively uneventful, but I’m kind of digging the low-keyness of it. It’s been relaxing, peaceful and it feels needed.

boots on the sand

Officially boot season.

Despite the uneventfulness, let’s get into a few random updates and thoughts anyway. Because it’s been weeks!

I loathe our upstairs neighbors. They just moved in about two weeks ago and already they’re driving me crazy with their guitar-playing (the same song over and over and OVER) and loud stompiness (seriously, it’s like there’s lead in those boots) at all hours.

We’ve had leaks in the bathroom and a possible leak in the coat closet. The bathroom drains have been clogging up like crazy. I have nowhere to put my new blender, so it sits on the counter, which of course uses up precious cooking space. Not only are we outgrowing this apartment, but it’s like the place is now rejecting us. It’s almost like it knows, we’re over it already.

jennifer

My friend Jen has a thoughtful moment by the water.

That said, we still have our eyes firmly set on our moldy little dream home. But there have been no developments. We’re in this position right now where we’re just waiting to hear back on an adjusted price, so right now we’re just twiddling our thumbs while all the behind-the-scenes stuff gets figured out.

I had these fried alligator bites for the first time at a place called Bayou in Staten Island. Damn tasty. File under: Tastes Like Chicken.

TV stuff (spoiler-free!): I’m so impressed with Walking Dead this season. The first episode was explosive—literally and figuratively—and the second was full of a crazy amount of tension. Can’t even handle what’s about to happen. Sons of Anarchy, also very tension-filled. Any second, I’m like he’s going to find out the truth, he’s going to find out the truth. But then…no. I bet they’re saving up that doozy for finale. I’ve been marathoning Gilmore Girls on Netflix and I’ve been LOVING it. Now that I’m older, I get a lot more of the pop-culture references and I find my opinions on some characters have changed slightly. I actually understand Emily now (not when she’s trying to break up Luke and Lorelai though). And there’s all these before-they-were-celebrity cameos, like Jon Hamm and Nick Offerman that I’m spotting every now and again. Random!

yellow

It may be cold here, but the flowers are still a cheery shade of summer.

I am absolutely determined to not get sick this year. I’ve already ordered a pack of Vitamin D3 tablets and am looking into the benefits of elderberry syrup and fire cider. I felt a bit scratchy in the throat yesterday (this is how it always starts), so I had soup for lunch and dinner, drank copious amounts of water and washed my hands a record number of times. Today the scratchiness is gone, thank goodness. I am not getting sick this year, I am not getting sick this year, I am not getting sick this year… If I say it enough times, then it won’t happen, right?

I’m not into Hallowen this year, though I’ll be attending my nephew’s birthday/costume party this weekend. Bob told me there was some girl on Jimmy Fallon the other night that said she wore a shirt that said “Life” on it and then handed out lemons, as her lazy Halloween costume. So clever!  I love it. I want a cool/lazy/cheap idea like that. Got any suggestions? I do have a backup costume planned, but I can still be convinced to do something else ;)

verrazanoSouth Beach, Staten Island (and the Verrazano in the distance)

a spontaneous day trip to sleepy hollow and tarrytown

sleepy hollow

Bob and I had rented a car to deal with house-related stuff in Jersey, but that appointment fell through so we were left with a car for the entire day and nowhere to go. Initially, I thought we could use it for an easy trip to the grocery store (lame), but thankfully, I thought of something way better: a day trip to Sleepy Hollow. And what could be better and more appropriate than Sleepy Hollow in October?

fall colors

Our first stop (or second, if you count lunch at Sweet Grass Grill – recommended, by the way!) was Washington Irving’s Sunnyside in Tarrytown. His home was beautiful and romantic with its wisteria vines, European influences and its gorgeous view of the Hudson. The inside was cozy and cute, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

We learned a whole lot about the author of Sleepy Hollow too. Interesting tidbit: Washinton Irving was the first known American writer to support himself on solely on writing. Impressive! I enjoy educational tours, but there should be a rule about hiring a guide who’s sooo dry and monotone. We were standing in front of the house and the guide was going on about something or other (in his best Ben Stein impression, might I add) when Bob nudged me and said, “I’ll need to call this guy when I have trouble sleeping”. Or something like that. I’m paraphrasing, but it was funny and made me laugh. I like to think we were the bad kids in class.

irving

book

We did our own self-guided tour of the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, which was Bob’s favorite part of the day. He loves looking at old tombstones and grand monuments.

cemetary1

irving's grave cemetary2

Me? I was more fascinated by the nature aspect of it. We came across the headless horseman bridge overlooking Pocantico river, which looked straight out of a fairy tale. I loved it.

headless horseman bridge

These views!

pocantico river

pocantico river4

And last but not least, a Sleepy Hollow post would not be complete without…

headless horseman

a headless horseman sighting!

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