Beauty Favorites

Okay so I’m really into all things beauty [[ i.e. makeup / hair / skincare ]], so I’ve been wanting to do a post on some of my favorite products… And I figure i’ll start with all my make-up must-haves… I mean Sephora has basically become my second home…

So listed below you’ll the products I use everyday, sometimes by themselves when i’m going for a more natural look and other times I use them as a starting point when I wanna go a little more glam..

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  • Too Faced Hangover Rx – So this is a new discovery of mine and so far I love it.  Honestly I’ve never been a huge fan of using primer on my face.  Despite the fact that everyone seems to claim it’s a must, I’ve always found that a) my make-up doesn’t look as good,  b) it doesn’t last as long and c) they sometimes cause my to break-out [[ ummm? no thanks ]].  I started using this primer about a month ago it’s amazing. My make-up lasts all day and noo breakouts.  Plus it’s super moisturizing!
  • Lancome Dual Finish – Okayyyy… This is my first Lancome product on the list, so let me start by saying I LOVE Lancome.  I’ve been using Lancome products since I first started wearing make-up in Junior High.  Their Dual Finish is amazing and I’ve no joke been using it since 7th grade. Not to mention my mom has been using it forever, which is where I got it from.  Even better it can be used both wet and dry to give you different ranges of coverage.  Personally I first use a wet sponge to apply the first layer, then apply it dry to help set it.  It gives you a great coverage without going over-board like a lot of other foundations.
  • Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer – Now this one is probably a given for anyone that’s even semi interested in make-up. This primer has been around for awhile now and is always at the top of the list for eye shadow primers.  But I had to add it in here, since I probably haven’t gone a day without in the past 5 years.  So for anyone that maybe hasn’t used this miracle product –> it’s amazing. It makes eye shadow colors much bolder, makes it last all day and prevents creasing.  Really a must-have in any make-up bag.
  • NARS Contour Blush – Dramatic contouring is really having it’s moment in the spotlight (( thank you Kardashian / Jenner clan! )), so I’ve been on the hunt for a good contouring palette for awhile now.  This particular one has become my go-to for everyday use.  It’s a powder so, unlike a cream, it goes on lighter and you can gradually build the color.  It gives you a nice subtle contour for everyday wear.
  • Lancome Mascara Primer – This primer I first discovered through the thousands of tiny samples Lancome gives you when you buy their products (( who doesn’t love free samples ?! )).  For years I’ve been using this primer without paying for it thanks to all these samples.  Then recently I ran out (( I know, terrible )) and that’s when I realized just what a difference it was making.  My lashes were soo much longer when using the primer before mascara.  So of course I ran right out and picked up a tube.  It might seem a little bit of a steep price to pay for a lash primer, but I swear it’s worth every penny.  Plus if you use other Lancome products theres a good chance you’ll get some free sample tubes with your next purchase!

So definitely head to your nearest Sephora, try out these products and let me know what you think! And if you have any other great beauty products let me know below!

xRB

Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale Picks

Soo, Nordstom’s Anniversary Sale finally started a couple days ago…and I’ve [[ of course ]] been compulsively adding more and more items to my cart ever since.  SO this sale is probably one of my favorites of the year.  First of all I just love Nordstroms in general, so when they decide to put a ton of amazing things on sale I only become more of obsessed…

Anywayyy… I figured since I’ve been spending so much time clicking through their website I would share some of my favorite picks from their sale…

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  • I am obsessed with these black patent leather Kate Spade oxfords…They’re probably my favorite out of all my choices. They come in both the black patent leather and gold tumbled calf, which made it a super hard choice for me…I mean those are basically my two favorite colors [[ contemplating getting both … sigh ]].
  • I almost cried when I saw this Ted Baker coat on sale… I had been contemplating getting this all last winter… for full price !! So when I saw it on sale here it was a given. Plus the bright blue color will be a fun way to ditch my usual all black winter outfits!
  • These Kate Spade over-the-knee socks…I love them… Yes, they kinda remind me of being back in high school, but that might actually be the reason I’m obsessed? Anyway… if I’m being honest I would probably only wear them lounging around the house…but theres something so luxurious about looking cute while laying in bed [[ and binging on Netflix?? ]]
  • Okay, so this faux suede fringe jacket wouldn’t normally be my kinda jacket… but lately I’ve been really into trying to mix it up and try some things I normally wouldn’t… And this is an affordable way to do that.. Plus I could totally see rocking this at a concert/music festival!
  • So I know this dress isn’t exactly anything new, since we’ve been seeing a lot of Wednesday Addams-esque dresses for quite awhile now… but I have yet to take the plunge and actually purchase one [[ ugh, idk why either… ]], so this seems like a perfect time and choice.. It’s a pretty straightforward look and doesn’t stray too much from the intended look… [[ Plus it could also be a Halloween option?? ]]
  • And This Topshop Denim shirt is another great option since it’s super affordable and could be worn a ton of different ways.  A good denim shirt will get a ton of use.  Plus the fact that it’s black instead of the usual distressed/ worn-in blue gives it a little more edge.

So, here you have my favorites from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, but trust when I say these are not the only things in my shopping cart at the moment…So definitely take a look through their website because there are literally a ton of things for great prices!

xRB

A New Start

Sooo.. I know it’s been awhile … I guess I kinda got distracted this winter trying to stay warm and what not [[ which was impossible btw ]].

But ever since it started warming up I’ve been wanting to start focusing on the blog again…and today I finally decided to get back at it and start posting regularly again!

Anyway, I plan on adding in a few new topics [[ interior design to be specific]] along with focusing more on some of my favorite beauty products/trends and fashion.

And as for the new interior design interest? Well it’s always been an interest, but it really took over last fall when I came home to find out I had some major water damage in my bedroom… which resulted in me sleeping on a deflated air mattress for 3 months!!

Now, ever since that little fiasco, which gave me a good excuse to completely redo my room and get all new furniture [ always a silver lining! ], I’ve become obsessed with all things interior design. So much so that I’ve even decided to take some courses in the fall!

So anyway, make sure you keep checking in for new posts!!

xRB

The Truth About Greek Yogurt

For quite a while now yogurt [[ and specifically greek yogurt ]] has been getting a lot of attention from anyone trying to make some healthier choices … yet it seems like theres still a lot of confusion about whether or not it really is a healthy snack choice.

So I decided to start looking into the different kinds of yogurts and figure out what makes one healthier than the other and what brands/ ingredients to watch out for … and as usual it’s never that simple …

There are so many yogurts out there marketing themselves in deceiving ways that it has become hard to separate the good from the bad … but there are some main things you need to watch out for.

But first … what exactly is the difference between Greek Yogurt and the regular yogurt we all grew up with ??

Wellll …. First greek yogurt has been strained to remove the whey [[ the remaining liquid after the milk has curdled ]] which is why greek yogurt is so much thicker than regular yogurt … this process also results in greek yogurt typically having half the sugar and half the carbs as regular yogurt … so far sounds great right ???

Not so fast …

Unfortunately [[ unlike with regular yogurt ]] the FDA isn’t monitoring greek yogurt … so it’s very possible that your “greek yogurt” isn’t made the traditional way.

This is when it become SUPER important to start reading labels !!

IMG_0273Some companies will change the process and add additional ingredients and still call it greek yogurt.  Often these additional ingredients are thickening agents [[ modified corn starch, guar gum or carrageen ]] and added protein [[ whey concentrates ]].

Ummmmm no thank you!

So definitely look at the ingredient list … main ingredients should be milk live active cultures .

Soo … next issue ??

Flavored greek yogurt … hmmm..

Well first it’s always better to choose the plain one … Choosing a flavored one often mean an increase in sugar content.

Try adding some honey or freshly cut fruit … My favorite is mashing up some fresh raspberries and mixing it in.

 

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 [[ ^ mash up raspberries !! ]]

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mix in some plain Greek yogurt [[ I used Chobani ]]

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 [[ add some banana / cinnamon / honey & you’re done ! ]]

Now one of the best things about Greek Yogurt is it typically has double the protein as regular yogurt … but it’s still so important to read labels … Opt for the low-fat / no-fat version … Avoid added sugars … Try to always choose to plain flavor … And keep an eye out for Live & Active Culture [[ LAC ]] seal.

 

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This seal means that there are more than 100 million bacterial cultures per gram at the time of manufacturing … and this is a good thing.

So to sum this up …

The Good

  • Double the Protein [[ means longer full feeling ]]
  • Half the Sugar
  • Half the Carbs
  • Half the Sodium
  • Can replace other creamy/fatty ingredients in recipes [[ aka forget the mayo !! ]]

The Bad

  • Can still be high in Fat & Calories
  • Not monitored by FDA
  • Fruit Flavors typically mean added sugar

Soo… go pick up some greek yogurt !! Just make sure you read those labels !

 

RB

Namaste

So personally I’m a huge fan of yoga.  I find it to be super relaxing and stress relieving, yet I’m also getting in a pretty good workout while I’m at it.

Yet, I’ve always been kinda confused by all the different types of yoga out there [[ anyone else in the same boat?! ]].

Sooo … after a particularly horrible experience at a new studio [[ more on that later ]] I decided to do a little research* …  I realized there are more types of yoga than a person could possibly try in a lifetime, but I figured I would do a brief guide to some of the most popular forms … so here ya go –>>

  1. Hatha Yoga –> consider this the foundation of most other yogas … It’s super simple and straight forward.  You’ll still get a nice little workout in, but its far from the most strenuous form of yoga.  It combines Asanas (postures), Pranayama (regulated breathing) and meditation.  It’s a much more relaxing yoga and is great for stress management.
  2. Vinyasa –> This is a much more active form of yoga.  It relies on synchronizing your breath with your movement.  Vinyasa yoga is also sometimes called flow yoga because it can tend to look like a dance.  While some classes are harder than others, Vinyasa is usually open to most levels.  While it can be a physically demanding practice, the teacher often encourages everyone to go at their own pace and to push their bodies without going to far past their limits.
  3. Ashtanga –> A fast-paced yoga that is based on series of six asanas that become increasingly difficult.  Students are encouraged to work at their own pace, but since it is a fast-paced practice there is little time for adjustments to your poses before moving on.
  4. Power Yoga –> Basically it’s the Americanized yoga.  It combines meditative breathing with strength training and stretching.  It is very similar to Ashtanga, but it includes things that even those unfamiliar with yoga recognize [[ think headstands, push-ups, etc. ]].  What makes this form of yoga harder than others is the fast pace.  Unlike other forms, there is no pause between poses.
  5. Bikram –> In my opinion the hardest of them all.  If you haven’t heard of Bikram yet … you’ve been living under a rock.  The room is heated to around 100 degrees and for the next 90 minutes you go through a series of 26 asanas.  This is not a practice for first time yogis.  It is an intense and grueling practice even for more advanced practitioners.
  6. Hot Vinyasa –> MY FAVORITE!! Okay, so Hot Vinyasa is exactly what it sounds like. Its the traditional Vinyasa practice, only this time your in 100 degree room.  This is great for those that want to step up their yoga practice, without killing yourself in a Bikram class.  Its a much more flexible class and everyone can go at their own pace.  If ya need to take a break … go chill out in childs pose!

Okayyyy … so theres a few of the more popular forms of yoga out there today, but there a ton more.

But now back to my horrible experience that I previously mentioned before … I’ve been doing Hot Vinyasa for awhile now … but since I’ve been upstate for the summer I had to find a new place to go for the time being.  Well, the only hot yoga I could find was Bikram … which I had never done before.

And of course, I just assumed [[ and you know what they say about assuming ]] it couldn’t be much more different than what I was use to.

Safe to say I was wrong … very wrong.

The teacher was MUCH stricter than what I was use to … and forget taking a break or grabbing a drink of water … You’ll get scolded.

So anyway … I think I’m avoiding another Bikram class for awhile, but I’ll probably give it another try when the horror of that experience has dulled.

Yet despite that one bad experience, I find yoga to be a great workout that also helps you relax and focus on yourself for an hour or so.  For that short time your encouraged to forget about all other responsibilities and everything on your to-do list.  Your only concern is to listen to your body.  And what’s better than that??

 

xRB

 

[[ *Visit Yoga Journal or Mats Mats Mats for even more info! ]]

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#REDSOLE

“The red sole was born from red nail polish.  I am giving back to beauty what the shoes took from the nails many years ago.” -Christian Louboutin

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So if ya haven’t heard yet… Christian Louboutin has recently released a nail polish … and it’s pretty effing amazing !!

And in true Louboutin fashion, its modeled itself after the iconic #REDSOLE …. or is it the other way around ??

According to Mr. Christian Louboutin himself, the polish actually came before the sole … yep … you read the right.

Sooo anyway after hearing about the release of Louboutin’s first nail lacquer I decided to do a little research … on the Louboutin brand, the man himself and of course the history of the iconic red sole.

So you must all be wondering … how exactly did the iconic #REDSOLE come to be ??

Well, according Louboutin himself, it was a random stroke of genius …. while looking at a “draft” for a piece of artwork he had done … he realized something was missing … and luckily for all us girls (and you guys!) one of his assistants was sitting there. Painting her nails. Cherry Red.

And well … the rest is history.

Since then, Louboutin has managed to create not just a shoe, but a lifestyle.  Even for those that are not familiar with every high-end shoe designer … the #REDSOLE is an easily recognized brand of power.

 

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But Mr. Louboutin is not creating for just any woman … his shoes are meant for the woman that wants to be noticed.

“Men are like bulls, they cannot resist the red sole”.

Well C.L. … we could not have said it better ourselves.

I mean come on ladies … lets face it … SEX FUCKING SELLS !!

And let’s be serious … there’s nothing sexier than #REDSOLE today …

“The shiny red color of the soles has no function other than to identify to the public that they are mine,” he attested, in a petition to the court.  “I selected the color because it is engaging, flirtatious, memorable, and the color of passion.”

The #REDSOLE has become a iconic symbol of status.

Soooo … as expected Louboutin’s first nail polish is that same slick cherry red that we’ve all come to know and love … but it has received some bad reviews due to it’s pretty steep cost.

Yet, like the shoe, the polish isn’t for just anyone … The woman that is willing to a pay $700+ for a pair of shoes probably isn’t going to be too upset about spending $50 on a nail polish.

So for all you girls out there that would gladly spend a month’s pay on shoes … make sure ya go pick up your own bottle of ROUGE LOUBOUTIN !!

xRB

S.A. = Shopaholics Anonymous ?!

Sooo..if ya haven’t noticed by now I’m kinda addicted to shopping…especially online shopping. Im constantly browsing the web / shopping apps for something new … [[ love GILT !! ]] … and instagram has brought tons of great stuff to my attention lately… SO i figured I’d write a post and share what’s been occupying my mind lately…

  • marmont fadeValley Eyewear ==>> ummm so what else is there to really say about them other then they’re FAB !!  I’ve already bought my first pair [[ the MARMONT ]] and am planning on my next purchase [[ the WOLVES ]]… my fav part??? wolf leathersome of their designs are in leather!! [[ another one of many obsession … its kinda weird how much leather is currently in my closet ]]

 

  • sperryxjeffreyummmm … always love love love a good boatshoe….so obviously I have a few pair of Sperry’s laying around [[emphasis on few]]… but it’s the Sperry x Jeffrey Slip-On that has me practically drooling all over my keyboard … I mean FUSHIA + PONY HAIR + SNEAKER ?!?!?!  Do they even know what they’re doing to me??  Unfortunately they’re not actually available yet though [[ UGHH July 31st seems soo far away ]] …. but get yourself on that wait list ASAP!!

 

  • and finalllyyyyy…last but not least… TRIANGL SWIMWEAR … honestly I’ve been obsessing over this line for what feels like forever [[ as in over a year ]] .. no clue what’s been stopping me … [[ maybe the lack of funds in my bank account?? ]] anyway no way I couldn’t throw them in!triangl mismatch

Now of course this isn’t all that’s on my list … but it’s definitely at the top … But, like I said before, a lot [[ and I mean pretty much all ]] of the time I find these new obsessions over the web … soooo if ya see anything interesting and different … let me know!!

xxRB

Candy Land Fashion

Every child loves a good sweet shop. I mean what kid doesn’t love candy? And recently it seems fashion designers are trying to reminisce about those childhood days in a store surrounded by candy.  Only their way won’t give you a mouth full of cavities.

Multiple brands seem to be debuting new designs which channel memories of all our favorite sweets.

One of the brands bringing us back to our childhood is Kate Spade.  Recently Kate Spade has come out with a whole line featuring candy and ice cream.  Just check out some of these fun and different items:

photo cred: Kate Spade

But for those that don’t want to walk around with a huge ice cream cone printed on their bag, there are brands like Christian Louboutin that remind of us those child hood sweets without explicitly displaying them.  Recently, the infamous Red-Soled brand has come out with some new items that look suspiciously like Candy Buttons.

photo cred: Christian Louboutin

These new direction these brands are taking can give any outfit a fun and youthful vibe for those days when you wanna be a little different.

But its the candy inspired fun isn’t stopping with the clothes. There has even been some photo shoots that have taken on a sweet theme.  Probably one of the first to take on this theme was New York Magazine when the interviewed Elle Fanning.  The photos showcase the young actress in multiple sets and designs meant to look like cake, candy and just about any other type of sweet you can think of.

Photo cred: New York Magazine

Now while some of the designs and mentioned earlier may be out of most peoples price range, it seems as if this candy inspired fashion is starting to pop up all over the place.

So keep your eye out for some of these sweet designs!

xRachel

Purchase

Kate Spade:  Ice Cream Bag, Ice Cream Heels

Christian Louboutin: Stud Backpack, Stud Pumps

Fashion Copycats

We’ve all experienced that heartbreaking moment when we find out an item we’ve absolutely fallen in love with, is absolutely out of our price range.  Maybe it’s the extremely popular Celine bag or those spiked Christian Louboutins.

Whatever it is, most of us are forced to just admire them without actually being able to own them…right?

Well, it seems as if many of the more affordable stores are trying to bring those high end designs to us.  While sometimes it’s through collaborations with luxury designers, often it’s through flat-out copying them.

H&M is pretty much a go-to for cheap basics, but lately it seems as if they’re trying to branch out and bring in even more shoppers by copying popular designs on the runway and making them cheaper.

Just check out this dress they introduced and then compare it to the much more expensive Celine dress:

Left: H&M/Right: Celine

And this is only one of the many copycat designs you can find at H&M.  While it’s great that all these enviable designs are now being made available to more people, is it really worth it?  As soon as they’re put into all these stores around the world (sometimes at price as low as $20!), they start to lose there appeal.  They no longer have that feeling of uniqueness and it becomes much more likely that you end up sitting in class with another girl wearing the same exact dress.  There’s also the fact that they’re basically just stolen designs.  I mean does H&M actually put any design thought into these items themselves?  And how is this even allowed?

Now don’t think I’m completely against H&M because I know it definitely sounds like it.  I love H&M. Like I said before, it’s great for all those simple basics, like tees, tanks and sweaters.  But, I think they need to make some changes.  Either start coming up with their own designs and layoff all the copycats OR  follow Target’s lead and collaborate.

Peter Pilotto for Target Photo: Fashionista.com

Peter Pilotto for Target
Photo: Fashionista.com

Now I have to be honest, I don’t really shop at Target, but I can appreciate the fact that they offer more fashionable designs to the public at a much more reasonable cost, and all without copying.  I don’t know how many times I’ve seen their ads and commercials advertising some new collaboration they having coming out with a luxury designer.  The most recent being their collaboration with Peter Pilotto.  Pilotto is famous for his elaborate and intricate graphic prints and now he’s brought that style to target.  The line, which launched this past week in various Target’s, has already been quite a success, and I must say, I’m even tempted to try and combat this snow to take a trip to the nearest Target!

Peter Pilotto Spring/Summer '14 Photo: freakdeluxe.co.uk

Peter Pilotto Spring/Summer ’14
Photo: freakdeluxe.co.uk

So, to all of you who have been yearning after some luxury designer item, just search around at any of these stores and more than likely you’ll find something similar!

xRachel

Sweaty Saturday: The Fitness Junkie’s Fashion Night Out

So as we all know fashion week is still reigning over New York.  This brings a lot of people out to Manhattan for lavish parties and events.  But contrary to common belief this doesn’t always mean extravagant and outrageously priced clothes and champagne…not that we don’t still love them both.

So what does Manhattan offer us when we need a switch of pace?
Sweaty Saturday 2012 at Barry's Bootcamp Photo: Well + Good

Sweaty Saturday 2012 at Barry’s Bootcamp
Photo: Well + Good

Yep, thats right…a full day event city-wide dedicated to health and fitness.  But what exactly does this mean?  It means all our favorite studios are opening up their classes to the public and throwing in fun giveaways, goodies along with snacks and refreshments.
Starting to sound slightly familiar?  Maybe that’s because Sweaty Saturday got its inspiration from our much beloved Fashion’s Night Out.  Sweaty Saturday first debuted in 2012, but unfortunately did not make an appearance in 2013….maybe that’s the reason behind those extra pounds??
During last year's Sweaty Saturday Photo: Well + Good

During last year’s Sweaty Saturday
Photo: Well + Good

The day-long, city-wide event can be attributed to Amanda Freeman, SLT owner.  Freeman first began her slide into becoming a fitness junkie after trying a SLT workout on a visit to LA.  But unfortunately there were no SLT studios in New York at the time.  So whats a girl to do? Well if your Amanda Freeman you open your own.  Fast-forward.  SLT, which stands for Stengthen Lengthen and Tone is now a huge success in New York and Freeman has become even more involved in the fitness and health scene.
Which brings us back to Sweaty Saturday.
On February 22 studios all over New York will be offering New Yorkers fun classes with live DJ’s, nutritional advice, limited-edition goodies, giveaways and much much more.
But it’s not only about the music and free snacks and goodies.  Participators of this relatively new event will actually be sweating for a cause.  This years proceeds will be going to Partnership for Healthier America.  This non-profit program is devoted to working with the private sector to help solve the nation wide problem of childhood obesity.
Name starting to ring a bell?
That’s because our First Lady Michelle Obama (you know?? the one with super toned arms…), is an honorary chair and has done a lot of work with PHA to improve children’s health.
Now while there are a ton of studios all throughout Manhattan opening their doors to Sweaty Saturday, there are a few that stand out from the rest:
  1. Tracey Anderson Method:  Best-known for her work with celebrities, especially Gwyneth Paltrow, her studios are usually members-only, but this year she’ll be opening her studio to the public for 3 classes.
  2. SLT: Of course you have to give this studio some recognition considering it’s founder helped start Sweaty Saturday.  Also, donate $100 and you get to choose the playlist for a future class you take.  Donate $500 and you get a private class for you and 9 others!
  3. Barry’s Bootcamp: Another NY favorite, this studio will be having a “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun” themed class!
  4. Sweaty Betty: London based workout clothing brand will also be opening it’s doors all day for Sweaty Saturday participators.

So, Sweaty Saturday is the perfect chance to get out there and try a new routine or class in a fun atmosphere with either lower prices or at some places even free classes! And who doesn’t love free?!

xRachel