26th Birthday Haul!

I had an amazing birthday this year, in spite of my injured feet. 
I decided to share a few of the treats I received from loved ones. 
Reviews will come as I use them, of course.

OPI Nail Lacquer
Stay the Night {Liquid Sand} | Oy-Another Polish Joke! | My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours

(I have already dipped into Stay the Night & My Paprika)

Benefit "They're Real" Mascara | Cover FX Cream Concealer

Yes, I still swear by this mascara. I shall do a post on my application method. A friend taught me when we were going out in Miami last year — she changed my life!

I have been looking for a "grown up" concealer. By that I mean, chosen and tested with a professional present as opposed to scratching my head in the drugstore for an hour before saying "Aw eff it!" and snatching one off the shelf. This one is pretty impressive!

Sephora Collection Color Lip Last
No. 7 Natural Pink | No. 23 Elegant in Brown

Lipstick is my absolute favorite thing to buy. At $12/each, these may be my new obsession if they can stay on my lips all day. We shall see...

Sephora Beauty Insider Benefit Gift Set
Soft Focus Highlighter | Mini "They're Real" Mascara

I love a highlighter — who doesn't want to glow? I'm really excited to try this out. And a mini mascara for my clutch...yesssss!

Remington T Studio Hair Dryer

So, something tragic happened with my old hair dryer...the power button popped off, so now it's stuck in the "on" position. A bit of an electrical hazard. I added a new one to my wishlist; my only requirements were multiple power and heat settings.

Vintage Houndstooth Blazer

My loving roomie, Jess Jess found me this houndstooth blazer in a thrift store in Maryland.

Yes, I squealed.
Yes, I put it on and wore it for the rest of the night...in the house.


Monday Night Mani

 My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours! | Stay the Night

I just discovered OPI Liquid Sand and thought it seemed like a great idea...


It dries as a textured matte. Feels like sand, but not in a gross way.
It also dries pretty quick — much quicker than the regular nail lacquer — which will come in handy when I'm rushing to get ready for a night out.

What do you guys think?



Most of you know I went to Paris earlier this month with my family. I wanted to share a few photos from the trip with you guys. I'm not the type to randomly scroll through old photos, so this time I decided to record a bunch of stuff so I could put a video together to watch when I want to reminisce. I'm no iMovie expert, so don't expect anything fancy! :)

I had an amazing time, and I'm truly thankful to my parents for feeling like it was absolutely necessary to send me on this trip. This also wouldn't have happened if my genius of a baby sister wouldn't have been accepted as a genetics intern in a lab in Paris this summer. She's awesome.

The video is at the end. It was on facebook for all of 10 minutes before it was removed because
of the song. 

Oops :-/ Maybe I'll change it. Probably not.


P.S. - Of course, I went shopping. Stay tuned for the haul post ;)

Notre Dame

Musee du Louvre
(check out the fancy toilet paper they sell in the bathroom, hehe)

Eiffel Tower | Arc de Triomphe | Sacre Coeur


The Love Lock Bridge | Cruise Tour on the Seine | Macarons | Going out


Why Matte?

Oh...hello there. Thought I was gone forever, eh? Nope! I'm back with another post. People were actually asking me what happened with the whole blog thing. I felt like a slacker for blogging and not working on my own portfolio, so I had to get that done. Back to the fun!

This is about the wonders of matte lipstick. If you are new to lipstick, never worn it, or wear it all the time but haven't tried the matte look, let me tell you something. Meh, I'll show you.

I wore my new RiRi Woo to dinner with a friend this evening. I was home sick all day, wanted to feel pretty. Any who, the difference between the two photos above - the left was taken before, the right was taken after I stuff my face with an obscene amount of cheesy, beef brisket nachos.

Yup, I'm a fatty. I love food. All of it. Cooking it. Smelling it. Eating it. Rubbing my face in it. 


Matte lipstick does not budge! Any color you love, find it in a matte as well. I've got a matte alternative for every lip color mood I'm in so no one knows I just shoved my face into a bacon cheeseburger. It happens often...


Quick Natural Look (I Promise!)

Please excuse my absence...I lost my iPhone and with it my will to live. But I'm back now!
So let us proceed.

I will never understand how people do "natural" make-up looks with primer, concealer, foundation, powder, eye shadow, liners, blush, bronzer, lip color, lip gloss, eye lashes. 

Seriously? Stop it.

Here is a BASIC face of the day for when you wake up and say "you know what face? I'm going to let your natural radiance lead today" or "oh sh*t...is it 7:40??" The latter is more like my morning...

Here's what I'm working with:

Flawless Concealer in Toast | Black Opal
Dream Finish Beauty Balm | Maybelline New York
Cinnamon Blush | NYX
Lustre Finish Lipstick in Touch | MAC

I started with the concealer just a bit under my eyes. I was up working pretty late last night so they were looking (and still look) pretty rough this morning. I skipped the minor blemishes around my face...I just don't care today. I applied the BB cream all over with my finger tips. It rubs in like moisturizer and doesn't make a mess at all. I blushed my cheeks, colored my lips and that was it! Took 3 minutes. I would have been on time to work, but I got stuck in the car listening to Elle Varner.


Weekend Mani: Lucky Lucky Lavendar

I decided to go with a purple in honor of the Ravens playing today. I'm really a Redskins girl, but being from Maryland I feel obligated to go for the Maryland team. 

Go Ravens!

Lucky Lucky Lavendar | OPI

This time I took Pabvon's advice (see her comment on my last weekend mani) and did the following:

Base coat
Wait about 10 minutes
Color again
Let it dry for an hour
Top Coat

In a few days I'll freshen up the top coat and hopefully this manicure will last all week!


January Favorites

Here's the stuff I've been attached to this month!

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream
I've been using this on my great skin days and when I go out. It has a light coverage of a foundation, but it gives me the dewy glow I've been looking for. I have dry skin, so it works well for me and lasts long. I wouldn't recommend this if you have oily skin, since it does stay kind of dewy-looking. You may look a bit too oily. I'll have to find a replacement once the summer comes around.

Benefit "They're Real" Mascara
I posted this on instagram a few weeks ago for all the mascara obsessed. This stuff is crack. I only wear it when I'm going out because it really makes my eyelashes so dramatic that it's not appropriate for the workplace.

Mac "Taupe" Matte Lipstick
You saw this already in Coloring My Smoochers, but I had to add it here again. I wear this everyday...as you can tell. I'm running low.

EOS Lip Balm
Move over Burt's Bees! This stuff is super moisturizing. I don't have to reapply as often as I do with other lip balms...but I do anyway out of habit. My lips are so soft!

Burt's Bees Hand Salve
I keep this on me at all times. I absolute hate dry hands! And it smells like Christmas, which is just delightful.


Archie's Girls

Coming soon!
I'll be making my appointment at my favorite MAC counter to check out the new collection.


Weekend Mani: Bulter Please by Essie

I'll be attending a few parties this extended weekend, so I decided to go with something festive and bright. This one is new to my collection {which is quite vast} and may be a new fave.

I've been trying to figure out the perfect manicure formula. This time I did:

Strengthening basecoat
Watch Scandal and don't move while they dry

This was last night and my nails haven't chipped yet. Hopefully this works out and my nails last all weekend. We shall see.

Happy Friday!

My nails lasted a day and a half.

Instant Gratificiation: Face Mask Review

I have been paying a lot more attention to the condition my skin is in. I finally got my face cleared up {dark spots and all} so now I only have to focus on keeping it smooth and moisturized. This winter has been particularly harsh on this one stubborn dry spot right in the middle of my forehead.

So, I thought I'd try a face mask for some extra umph. My first instinct is always Lush when it comes to solving skin problems. Their shaving cream {plus the new 5-blade Venus razor} gave me the smoothest shave ever and their soaps are absolutely delicious. So I searched through their options and found Oatifix.

This yummy face mask is made with oatmeal, bananas, vanilla, almonds, and illipe butter. I had never heard of that last one, but after some deep research {read: googling} I found out it's pretty much the Southeast Asian version of Cocoa Butter. We know our brown skin loves cocoa butter!

Check out their video on how it's made!

Process: I applied it last night before bed. My face smelled like a delicious and healthy breakfast for about 10 minutes while I let it sink in. Then, I rinsed. I sealed in the moisture with almond oil, which is the only oil I'm comfortable using on my acne prone skin. It's very light and doesn't clog my pores at all.

Results: The following day {today} my skin looks and feels amazing. I actually started to put on foundation, and then changed my mind. My forehead spot only needed a little almond oil instead of several layers of a thicker shea butter based cream. I'm all for instant gratification, and it doesn't get better than overnight results! I do wonder what would happen if I open up my pores a bit first with a warm towel, so I'll try that next time. I'm going to keep using this twice a week so it can continue to do wonderful things to my face. I'm hoping my dry spots will be a non-factor in a few weeks.


Coloring My Smoochers

I used to be afraid of lipstick...well, more so afraid of looking like there was entirely too much color on my face. But I have since learned that girls who look like clowns do not represent the entire make-up-wearing population. Now I'm obsessed. Check out my top 5 obsessions below.

Taupe | Matte

Red Dwarf | Pro Long Wear Lipcreme

Chatter Box | Amplified

Girl About Town | Amplified

Ruby Woo | Matte



Leopard Skully | 10 Deep
Black Satchel | Zara
Pumps | Zara
Floral Makeup Bag | Forever 21
Leopard Print Flask | Etsy
Eucalyptus Mint & Guava Candle | Bath & Body Works
Candle Holder | Bath & Body Works
Creamsheen Lipstick - Apres Chic | MAC
Matte Lipstick Hot - Chocolate | MAC
Mint Julip Lip Scrub | Lush
Bohemian Soap Bar | Lush
Buffy Exfoliating Body Butter | Lush
Jungle Coasters | Betsey Johnson
Gray Bow Gloves | Lauren by Ralph Lauren (TJ Maxx)
Black Bow Gloves | Target