Normally, I wouldn’t use such a broad and boring title, but we all know that this is the only post I’m going to get in this month. Might as well lean in to it.

That said, of course, it has been a wonderful fall (and beginning of winter). The unseasonable warmth is off-putting to some, but for me it’s been a dream come true. It’s like summer carried over just enough to keep the parkas in the back of my closet.  I really should have kept a running list of all the stuff you should know about, but unfortunately I have to settle for what I can remember off the top of my head.

  1. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show took place earlier this month, sparking some unanticipated and confusing feelings.
  2. I finally had a chance to try out Tom Ford’s Nail Lacquer in African Violet, which has been sitting on my dresser for the better part of seven months.  It’s a really beautiful color — especially for the holidays — and lasts far longer than the Chanel equivalent. A worthwhile investment if you ask me.
  3. Gossip Girl doesn’t quite stand the test of time.
  4. Larsson & Jennings watches are currently topping my Christmas accessory charts. Understated, timeless, and elegant.
  5. I will never forgive the girl at Ted Baker London’s holiday party who stole this scarf from me in a white elephant gift exchange.
  6. Living by this $8 lip pencil, this one-step hair mousse, and this mascara for the holidays.
  7. Currently wearing this $17 vest from Old Navy. It looks expensive as hell, but is obviously a bargain and I’ve been perfectly toasty all day!
  8. Simultaneously thrilled and horrified by The Wall Street Journal’s write-up of my neighborhood. Obviously, great press! This area is great and I feel lucky to live here. On the flip side, it is quiet and residential and cheap, and I would like it to stay that way, so youths KEEP OUT.
  9. How I plan on coming back to a nice, clean apartment.
  10. 99 percent sure this is the best pizza in NYC.

Alright, that’s all for now. It’s a #treatyoself kind of Sunday with wine and face masks. See you all after the holidays…

Sonia, Lashxtend, and Almay

This is my second of three posts I’ve been meaning to write for the last two months.  The next one will be about restaurants I’ve tried, but this one is going to be about makeup because it’s easier and I’m in-between important assignments, so bear with me.

Since being here, I’ve added a few favorites to the list of products that will always travel with me. They are as follows: Sonia Kashuk’s Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Berry Nude from Target, ModelCo’s Fibre LashXtend Lengthening Mascara from Birchbox, and Almay’s Makeup Eraser Sticks, available at the drugstore of your choice.

Sonia Kashuk introduced her lip crayon to me during an interview for Passport Magazine, but I wasn’t really hooked until I started packing for Spain and had limited room in my toiletries case. (Yes, I know, I packed three toiletries cases. Not the point). So anyway, after trying on a gazillion lipcolors to determine my “can’t live withouts” for the spring, I stumbled across the lip crayon.

My favorite shade: Berry Nude

My favorite shade: Berry Nude

I was stunned. Unlike Ruby Woo (which I still adore), the crayon looks relatively natural and doesn’t budge. Berry Nude goes on smooth, layers beautifully, and compliments my winter-fair skin without overwhelming the rest of my face. To be fair, I should add that I apply lip crayons like I do lip pencils – line the outside of the lips first, then shade the inside and layer to your liking – so it was easy to find the right color balance. But I honestly believe that this would easily look great on anyone. And the $7.59 price tag doesn’t hurt, either.

ModelCo’s Fibre LashXtend Lengthening Mascara arrived with my Birchbox a couple months ago. But, being a spoiled brat about mascaras, I left in untouched for an embarrassingly long period of time until I finally ran out of Covergirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara (another staple I can’t live without). Though I already had a backup of my longtime favorite, I thought “Eh, what the hell, I’m just going to the movies and no one will see this anyway.” Two coats later, I was dying to change the plans so I could show off my false-looking lashes! Thick, dark, long and defined – I could literally feel them hitting below my eyebrows. And it lasted through the night, without flaking, so I woke up the next morning looking bright-eyed and ready to go. Birchbox, I will never doubt you again.

image courtesy of Birchbox

image courtesy of Birchbox

(Note: I should add that this mascara sometimes irritates my eyes when removing with cleanser or while in the shower)

Of course, this can’t hold true 100% of the time. We’ve all experienced it: waking up late, pulling on clothes, checking the mirror and realizing you don’t have time to clean up the raccoon look. Or spending full days out of the house – both working and playing – only to find that your primer has betrayed you and you resemble the joker. Frustrating, and generally difficult to prevent. For me, the solution came from beauty guru Jenn Falik’s blog post on how to “Melt-Proof Your Makeup.”

image courtesy of Allure

image courtesy of Allure

Almay’s makeup remover sticks are an easy, quick, portable way to clean up the smudges without disturbing the rest of your makeup. They’re pre-filled with a skin-conditioning, oil-free cleanser that’s released to one end of a q-tip when the other is snapped, and are available for between $5 and $6 at various drugstores. I use them mostly when I oversmudge my eyeliner and/or accidentally poke myself in the eye with a mascara brush and end up swiping my face…both of which occur with embarrassing frequency. I also keep a handful with me during the day, so I can do a quick touch-up while running between classes, work, and various social commitments. You’ll see no love lost to the days of finger-licking from me!

On that note, I’m off to watch Carne Trémula for my film class and write a scholarship essay for the summer. Check back soon for my list of favorite restaurants thus far in Spain.

Stay fabulous, my friends. XX.