I’m a Woo Girl

No, no, not that kind of woo girl. I mean that I officially caved and purchased Mac’s Ruby Woo matte lipstick – a cult favorite. Tracee Ellis Ross and Dita Von Teese both swear by it, in addition to over 20 other beauty gurus featured on Into the Gloss alone. Needless to say, it’s perfect.

I only tried it on because I’m leaving for Spain in a few weeks and was looking for something new. It took some adjusting to at first – I have fair skin and green/brown eyes – so I sat in front of the mirror at Nordstrom for probably 10 minutes. Then I did the same thing at the MAC store. Then I did it again at Macy’s. When I finally decided my biggest problem was with its tendency for initial smudging, the clerk suggested pairing it with their lipliner in Kiss Me Quick. I layered the two and fell in love.

Still hesitant about spending money before my trip, I caved when my sister told me it made me look like a hot college student instead of a mom (my maternal tendencies are a running joke in my family). I figured, “Eh, what the hell, Europe will appreciate this.” So now, I am a loud and proud Woo girl.

In all its classic glory

In all its classic glory

The other find I wanted to mention today was this (see below) Merona Quilted Jacket from Target, on sale for $29.98. I’ve been searching for a versatile, multi-seasonal jacket for weeks now – scouring J.Crew, the Gap, Bluefly, and Nordstrom – with no luck. What a pleasant surprise when I found this on the clearance rack!

So fabulous, right?

So fabulous, right?

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Julie, you already own too much red. Give it a rest with the red. Expand your color horizons. I thought those things too until I tried it on and realized that not only was it spring-weather appropriate, but it also had an adjustable back so that it fit my petite frame. It will match most of my wardrobe and is a fraction of the price I was willing to pay. Sorry, red-hating readers, but I had no choice. I will promise to not wear it with the lipstick, though, since we all know red-on-red is tacky.

The last thing I must do is proclaim my love for Clinique’s Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator. Despite its long-winded name, this moisturizer is great because it lasts forever. I’ve always been preferential to Clinique’s moisturizers because they really rejuvenate and hydrate skin without being too heavy. Specifically, I’ve been using their Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel for years since it’s relatively inexpensive and fabulous. But as I’ve gotten older, my skin has become more sensitive and higher-maintenance, especially during the winter when I’m fighting off flakiness and breakouts simultaneously.

Refreshing and revitalizing!

Refreshing and revitalizing!

Enter moisture surge. Powerful, concentrated, protective moisture surge. I had received it as a sample a while back, and pulled it out of my makeup bag in a crazed search for my prior favorite moisturizer. Two penny-sized dollops later, and I could already see the difference. My dull, winter-weary skin was glowing; my cheeks had color again. Barely a few drops (one for each section of my face) and I looked like summertime! So, at least for the wintertime while I need something strong and long-lasting, moisture surge is my go-to.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed the first week of 2013. I’m off to catch up on some Downton Abbey and finish a vanilla spice latte. Tough life, right?

Until next time, stay beautiful.

Fall Favorites

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As we settle into our autumn academic routine, we find ourselves falling back into old patterns: using (or not using) a planner, catching up with old friends, and – my personal favorite – breaking out the cool-weather clothes.

If you know me at all, you know that I have a slight sweater and shoe problem. I own dozens of both; I never get sick of them. No matter how many of each I purchase, I can always find another that I have to buy. Usually I stick with J.Crew, Ann Taylor and Urban Outfitters. However, this summer, I had the pleasure of working with actress and fiber-arts designer Karen Allen on this piece about her gallery and store in Great Barrington, MA. She was well-spoken, witty, graceful, and oh-so-sweet. Needless to say, I immediately went home and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark and started my online shopping.

I’m not going to lie – the prices aren’t cheap. Her 100% cashmere gloves start at $75, hats at $105, gaitors at $150, scarves at $165, and sweaters at $495. Regardless, I will emphasize that they are divine. If you’re looking for the perfect autumn staple and can afford the splurge, this is where to start. My personal favorite? The Autumn Rhapsody Pullover. Soft, comfortable, and versatile.

For those looking in a lower price range (like me), try this adorable color-block sweater that I purchased this weekend during Loft’s 40% off event. The brown, pink, and orange-red hues will match any foliage, and the shape boasts comfort without the boxiness of a too-baggy fit. I also purchased a necklace and sunglasses to match.

Here’s the full outfit from today!

I wrapped up the afternoon with a trip to the NARS counter in Nordstrom. Though I walked in without the intention of a purchase, I walked out with their “Larger Than Life” long-wear eyeliner in Abbey Road. Now, I know you’re thinking: “Julie, you have two different color eyes, and neither of them are fit for teal eyeliner.” But I promise that this is an investment I will never regret. The color is  bright without bordering aggressive, and it applies even smoother than my favorite Make Up For Ever pencil (purchase always in “shimmering plum”). My brown-and-green eyes have never looked bigger or better!

NARS Longer Than Life in Abbey Road (left) and Make Up For Ever in Shimmering Plum (right)

Finally, I’ve fallen in love with Lollia hand lotions. Which is huge.

I’ve always detested these kinds of products for their gross residue and synthesized smell, so I was hesitant when I received this “Petite Treat” as a birthday gift. My hands are also in terrible condition (both in terms of dryness and my nervous habit of picking my cuticles), so I was pleasantly surprised – no, thrilled – when I opened the tube to find a sweet-smelling, non-greasy serum that immediately worked wonders.

The scent of my particular tube is officially called “Calm” – designed to smell of hyacinth and honey – and is made with shea butter, macadamia nut avocado oil. I used to only apply as-needed, but now I find myself craving it’s buttery texture and elegant fragrance on my skin. Even the packaging makes me smile! For someone who hates being cold, I’m awfully excited for the seasonal chill that will justify using even more of this stuff, finishing the bottle, and having an excuse to try a new one.

Photo courtesy of http://www.lollialife.com

On that note, I’m off to start my spanish homework and prepare for my shift at the library. Keep your eyes peeled for another post this week, including my top five(?) fall staple items. (Hint: there will almost definitely be more than five).

In the words of the always-fabulous Roséline, “I hope it’s beautiful where you are…”

Must-Haves for Collegiate Interns

After day 4 on the job, I’ve come up with a brief list of must-haves for any collegiate intern. Specifically, these must-haves are all tote-friend to make your internship experience a tiny bit easier.

1. A Day-to-Day Planner/Notebook:

My planner is my best friend. Seriously. I can keep track of assignments, hours, miscellaneous notes (email addresses, etc.), and anything else I need throughout each day or each week. My favorite is this Lilly Pulitzer Agenda. It comes complete with tabs, sections for notes and contacts, a hardcover, and an elastic bookmark.

2. Laptop:

I know, I know, lugging around your laptop can be a pain. But your boss will appreciate that you can bring it to meetings, in addition to the fact that it makes your work space portable. Since the computers in this office tend to be a tad temperamental, I can’t even express to you how much easier it has made my life to have my Macbook around when I need the internet. If you’re worried about scratches or damage from traveling, pick up one of these durable and inexpensive covers or cases!

3. Lip Stain:

After a long day at the office, lip stick comes off after eating, talking, sweating, and licking envelopes. The same goes for lip gloss, and we all know we could do without the stickiness. But I will absolutely swear by Tarte’s Lipsurgence Lip Tint and Fresh’s Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment (with SPF 15). Personally, I prefer the Tarte stain in Joy, and the Sugar tint in Sugar Rosé. They’re long-lasting, moisturizing, and the colors are perfect for the summer!

4. Comfortable, Stylish Flats:

Now when I say flats, I don’t necessarily mean flats. I just mean any kind of everyday shoe you can wear without pain or blisters. Personally, I’m a big fan of J.Crew’s ballet flats (you can find them in a beautiful turquoise on sale here). Or if you’re looking for something a little less pricey, try these fabulous DV knockoffs from Target. They come in four fabulous colors for a fraction of the price. I purchased two pairs last week, in mint and black, and I’m in love. My best recommendation for convenience and style? Cityslips. They’re foldable, adorable, affordable, and the case turns into a tote.

5. Hand Sanitizer

It sounds silly, but think about how many surfaces you touch throughout the day. Especially as an intern who’s responsible for delivering paperwork, making copies, answering phones, organizing closets, what have you, it’s reassuring to know that you’re avoiding all the bacteria that comes with it. Not to mention that during the colder months, you’re much less likely to contract that cold going around the office. Pick up a couple of these Bath & Body Works PocketBacs. They’re transportation-friendly, available in dozens of scents, and constantly on a “5 for $5” sale.

If you have any questions, recommendations for additions to the list, or simply any comments, feel free to share!

I’ll be posting the list of DOs and DO NOTs later this week. Until then…