Winter Beauty Essentials 2016

It’s no secret that I love all things beauty. I carry my Sephora VIB Rouge card proudly, and indulge in their products more frequently than I’d care to admit. I’m a huge fan of trying out new products and cult favorites alike. However, only a handful of those products end up being purchased again and again. All of the products mentioned today have worked their way into my heart (and makeup bag) and will definitely be purchased again.

Winter Beauty Essentials 2016

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask 10 Minute Fix: After hearing rave reviews of First Aid Beauty’s products, I figured that this winter would be the perfect time to try some new skincare products. I’m a huge advocate for having some down time with face masks (treat yo’self!) so this one was a no brainer. I’ve tried various oatmeal masks before, but they haven’t proven themselves to be ultra hydrating- which I need desperately. I slather this on 2-3 times a week as recommended, and the results are phenomenal. The dry dorm air is no match for the results from this product! Note: It’s usually a sin to leave your face mask on for longer than recommended, as it can significantly dry out your skin. I accidentally left this on for 45 minutes and had no problem!

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: If you didn’t realize this in the blurb above, I’m a moisturizer buff. I’ve tried so many, and I usually fall back on my trusty Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion that my mom swears by. However, after a while it begins to feel like it leaves some slight residue, and I’m definitely not about that. I use the Ultra Repair Cream twice a day, and my skin feels better every time. The key is to let it soak in before you apply your makeup, which creates a fresher and healthier appearance. Of course, it pairs phenomenally with the Instant Oatmeal Mask.


It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product: One of my favorite bloggers, Sydney of Summer Wind Blog recommended this product to her followers on Snapchat over the summer. I trust anyone with phenomenal hair, so I immediately went out and bought a bunch of the it’s a 10 products that I had seen. I have incredibly thick and fine hair, so I go through products like my boyfriend goes through cinnamon rolls (& he eats at least 4 a sitting). I’ve tried a few leave-in conditioners in the past, but I’ve found that many left a slight residue, aka the most disgusting feeling. It smells phenomenal, and leaves my hair silky and shiny- an A+++ in my book. 


Prada Candy eau de parfum: My favorite perfume, hands down. I consider myself to be an innovator when it comes to perfumes; I love switching things up. My mom purchases me new perfumes for my birthday every year, and this was my absolute favorite coming into my sophomore year of college. With notes of caramel, musk, vanilla, and benzoin; it’s feminine and sophisticated without the overwhelming grandma-esque smell.


Benefit Cosmetics the POREfessional: Every girl needs a good primer. It creates a smooth base for your foundation and helps lengthen the longevity of your makeup. I’ve only tried a few, but I always come back to Benefit’s. The formula has a slight tendency to leave residue if you apply too much product, so a little goes a long way. My mom and I both swear by this product!


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette: I’ve been after an Hourglass palette for years. My sister gifted me this palette for Christmas this past year and it might’ve been my favorite present for the year. It contains 2 finishing powders, a highlight, 2 blushes and a bronzer. Don’t let the packaging fool you – the products aren’t as overwhelmingly sparkly as they appear. Each one leaves a dewy finish that lasts all day – it’s perfect to refresh your winter makeup routine!


tarte Tartlette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette: I gifted this to my mom for Mother’s Day a year or so ago, and she absolutely loved it. She decided to buy me one last summer, knowing how much I love tarte’s Amazonian Clay products. Matte eyeshadows are the key to my hart, especially when paired with winged eyeliner. The formula is creamy and blends really easily. The packaging is very thin and durable, without taking up a lot of space (Naked palettes- I’m looking at you!) which makes it perfect for your on the go travel bag.


Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita: Every single YouTuber & their mother raves about this lipstick, and usually in the shade Lolita. It was sold out of my local Sephora for a long time, and I was so lucky to get a hold of it at the end of last semester. It’s a darker mauve-y nude, which makes it perfect for every day wear. I sometimes layer on other lipsticks to give it a bolder effect, although I love the product as is. It applies like a lipgloss and dries extremely matte, so make sure to exfoliate your lips to avoid them drying out or appearing flaky!


Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara: I’m a huge fan of Benefit’s products, and to me, purchasing this mascara was a no-brainer. I’ve been on a huge mascara binge lately, and to be honest, this product is probably one of the best I’ve tried. I always make sure to curl my eyelashes, (I couldn’t live without my eyelash curler in my makeup bag) but it promises that you can skip the product and get the same effect. I also really like the formula, it goes on smoothly, even after it has dried out a little. My lashes have never looked longer!

Makeup Forever Ultra HD Concealer: I had tried their Ultra HD Foundation over the summer and instantly fell in love. Being pale, it’s really hard for me to find foundation and concealers that match my skin tone. I really like the consistency of this concealer- it’s full coverage, so a little goes a long way. The formula is thicker, but it proves to be best when buildable without looking cakey, which is perfect for every day use. For best results, set undereye concealer with translucent or yellow powder- it’ll last all day!

What are your favorite beauty obsessions? Let me know in the comment section so I can try them out!


xoxo

Brunching in the Blizzard

Much to everyone’s chagrin, Western Pennsylvania was hit with 1-3 feet of snow this weekend, leaving most of my fellow college students snowed in on campus. Don’t get me wrong: I love binge watching Netflix as much as the next girl, especially when curled up in pjs with a cup of tea, but my go-getter side prevents me from doing such for an entire weekend.

I’ve been planning a brunch date with my best friend Annie’s 21st birthday for what seems like months. We went to my absolute favorite spot for breakfast and dinner- the Kitchen on Main in Ligonier. I’ll be honest: I’ve always been an extremely picky eater, and finding things to eat for brunch when I was little was kinda difficult. My favorite thing to order for breakfast is the Joz E (pictured below!); an omelet with grilled shrimp, roasted corn salsa, pepperjack cheese, and avocado (my fav!). And if you need some recommendations for which homemade jam to get with your toast, my favorites are the peach moscato (AMAZING) & strawberry mango.

If you’ve been reading along for a while now then you probably understand my argument for navy as a neutral. I’m also a huge advocate for navy on black, although my grandma might argue that it is far too taboo to wear together. I’ve been loving this J.Crew wool blend turtleneck lately! (& it’s on sale for almost half off!) I’ll always opt for pieces that make me feel classic and chic, so pairing this sweater with my (absolute) favorite Calvin Klein trench was a no-brainer.

J.Crew Turtleneck  (on sale!) // Gigi Pants (winter wardrobe staple)

CK Trench Coat // Over-the-Knee Boots // Scarf (similar & on sale)

Sunglasses // Ring

 

 

Kat Von D’s Lolita Everlasting Liquid Lipstick has been on repeat lately as the perfect nude for winter. Any long-lasting lipstick with easy application that lasts for hours (even with eating and drinking) is a great product in my book. The color sells out pretty quickly, so if you want to order catch it while you can! I’ll be talking about my favorite winter beauty products in an upcoming post, but I couldn’t wait to talk about how much I love OPI’s Big Apple Red. The perfect red (lipstick, nail polish, shoes) is so hard to come by, especially when you’re pale enough that most reds make you feel like Snow White. It’s my new favorite mani/pedi color for winter!

 

 

Annie (& my parents) and I were so lucky to get brunch during Ligonier’s famous annual Ice Fest weekend. The sculptures are sponsored by local businesses and are absolutely amazing. Our favorites were the Giant Eagle Pineapple, the giraffe & this gorgeous ice throne. We just had to have our pictures taken in it!

Annie channeling her inner Elsa.

Also, I’d like to give major props to my fabulous mother for always being the best support system & photographer that a girl could ask for. Thanks Annie for capturing us in our natural habitat!

xoxo

 

Christmas Playlist

Christmas time is finally here! (a.k.a. my favorite time of the year). Scientists here at Pittsburgh & Pearls have allegedly compiled the perfect playlist for decking your dorm room, the halls; or just helping you get in the mood to put on your ugly sweater and chug some egg nog!

And as Buddy the Elf said… 

I’ll be updating the playlist throughout the season, so don’t forget to follow along on Spotify if you have an account! (and if not, I highly suggest getting one!)

Happy Listening!

NCJW Pittsburgh Designer Days 2015

Any girl in her early 20’s who tries to be stylish while staying on budget knows that doing so is no easy feat. When I stumbled upon the National Council of Jewish Women’s (NCJW) Pittsburgh Designer Days event, I was pleasantly surprised. New and gently used designer label clothing, shoes and accessories for an affordable price is every girl’s dream. Seriously, where can we all sign up?!  

I was lucky enough to be able to take a break from the stresses of college life to attend the NCJW #epicstyle kickoff VIP patron event on Wednesday night. This weekend long event is housed at the soon-to-be-home of the new Thriftique boutique in Lawrenceville, one of the trendier and more accessible neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Besides featuring incredibly generous deals on top-designer labels such as Christian Louboutin, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Calvin Klein and Eileen Fisher, the event also offered beauty and style tips from some of Pittsburgh’s top stylists! 

But why just tell you about it, when I can show you?

I’ve always been super into scarves, so I was in heaven! 

SO. MANY. PURSES.

The food at the event was phenomenal. It was catered by a few of Pittsburgh’s favorite local eateries, including: Crazy Mocha, Hambones, La Gourmandine, Square Café, and a few others! 

Women’s clothing as far as the eye can see… 

I think anyone can appreciate the power of a nicely tailored suit jacket, so why not save a lot on something that can last him a long time?

(Some of the featured brands above: Prada, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Calvin Klein)

Designer Days offers apparel, shoes and accessories for men, women, and children! Some of your finds could make for some seriously interesting Christmas gifts.

A few of my favorite menswear finds: an olive Burberry trench, Brooks Brothers ties, and leather driving gloves

Some of the featured (and best!) items can be found all over the event in and alongside their displays!

Wadria Tyler, (right) creator and director of Style Week Pittsburgh and founder of Style & Steel, demonstrating her styling skills on a model while showcasing some of the items being sold at Designer Days.

Women get serious about their shopping at Designer Days!

So many great options to “shoe-se” from! 

OOTN: Top // Skirt // Heels (similar)

Purse (old, similar) // Necklace

At the end of the night, I was a very happy camper. I found some amazing deals on some really awesome items, including: an emerald green swing coat, a Chanel crossbody (which cost me less than $50!) , a Ralph Lauren blazer, a few ties for my boyfriend, and a few wool-cashmere Burberry-inspired scarves! So, what was the grand total you may ask? Exactly $146.00. 

If you’re a college student in need of some new additions to your wardrobe, but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to look fabulous, seriously consider stopping by the Designer Days event. Your closet will thank you, not to mention, the event is a fundraiser for a great cause. Proceeds from the Patron Event and the entire weekend sale will support NCJW’s efforts to make a difference in the lives of women, children and families through advocacy and many nonsectarian community sevice projects. 

Designer Days continues on Thursday the 5th with a 3-day free admission public sale! On Sunday, for $10 admission, you can get access to all of the remaining merchandise, which will then be discounted an additional 50% off! Shoppers will also receive coupons to shop at Thriftique post-Designer Days!

For more information about the Designer Days sale, visit the event’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DesignerDays), the NCJW website (www.ncjwpgh.org) or contact NCJW at 412-421-6118

20 Things I Learned Before Turning 20

Wow, I’ve been alive for TWO DECADES! That actually blows my mind. As one of my first entries after my posting hiatus, I decided to share some of the life lessons I’ve learned in the past year! 

ONE // You are what you do. Not what you say you’ll do. 

Do you want people to respect you? Put your all into one task at a time. Do the job, and do it well. Nobody (especially a potential employer) will want someone who can complete a few tasks carelessly and quickly. Quality > quantity in almost every regard.

TWO // Wake up early, but never understimate the power of a good night’s sleep.

You’ll be so surprised as to how much you can get accomplished in a day with a few extra hours attached! Even if you have nothing significant planned for the day, waking up early to have a little you-time is always beneficial. 

THREE // Always make your bed first thing in the morning.

In his speech at the University of Texas in 2014, U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McCraven spoke about how important it is to make your bed each and every morning, as soon as you wake up. “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished your first task of the day, it will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed”. Plus, it makes your room appear cleaner, and most people perform at higher levels of efficiency in a clean environment.

FOUR // Eliminate self-hate one step at a time.

You will always be your harshest critic, and your worst enemy. Start by trying to control your negativity one thought at a time. You’ll be amazed how much of a difference that can make! 

FIVE // Stop comparing yourself to other people – OWN YOURSELF!

After discussing this in a few of my classes, I’ve ultimately come to believe that social media has killed self-esteem. Everywhere you scroll, you’ll see the bits and pieces of everyone’s life that makes them appear to be so interesting. Well, you can’t compare your normal life to everyone else’s highlight reel! It happens to me all the time. But, no matter how many likes she gets, you aren’t her. 

SIX // Eliminating the negative people from your life is hard, but ultimately so worth it.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is realize who your true friends are. You’ll never need anyone who tears you down, laughs at your expense, or makes you feel inferior. Seriously, cut them out. I know, it probably sounds a bit daunting but I promise it isn’t as hard as you’d assume.

SEVEN // Never try and change yourself for others.

Your friends, signifcant other, parents, everyone will love you so much more for being yourself. That’s the reason they stay around (well, the parents have no choice, but you know.) 

EIGHT // If you have to even consider something as being a bad idea, it probably is.

This was something my parents drilled into my head as a child. Eliminate second guessing- go with your gut instinct and you’ll make a better choice every time. 

NINE // Fall in love with yourself first, and others second. 

You’ve definitely heard the old cliché; you can’t fall in love with someone until you love yourself. In my experience, you need to have some stable sense of self before you can let someone else in. You shouldn’t always have to depend on someone besides yourself when the goings get rough. 

TEN // Exercising and eating well is important, but losing weight isn’t everything.

As a girl in today’s society, it’s really hard not to get caught up in obsessing over your weight. Wake up early, go for a run, and run for the sake of learning to love what your body can accomplish. After a while, it won’t be a chore anymore, and you might love how you start to feel. But never feel guilty for eating an extra piece of pizza. Don’t deprive yourself of happiness! 

ELEVEN // Count your blessings everyday.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the trials and tribulations of everyday life. When you start to get down on yourself, or things start to feel like they’re going downhill, write out what you appreciate about your life. Grab a PostIt, and jot down what makes you happy. Good health, family, love. Appreciate what you have; as cliché as it sounds, there are so many people out there with significantly worse than you. If you’re reading this on your laptop or your phone, you should consider yourself so lucky.


TWELVE // Stop worrying so much, go with the flow, and everything will fall into place.

Take a deep breath. The second you stop fighting for ultimate control of every aspect of your life, the happier you’ll be. Coming from a self-proclaimed control freak, this might be one of the best things that you can do for yourself! 


THIRTEEN // To do lists will always be your best friend.

As someone who has always struggled with time management, to do lists will always be the best thing you can do for yourself. Make them the night before so you know exactly what to expect with tomorrow. It’ll keep you in line, and future you will thank you after all of the items are checked off. Start with some easy little tasks that can be accomplished without much effort, and move up to the bigger ones!


FOURTEEN // You don’t always have to be the “yes man”. 

You. Don’t. Always. Have. To. Do. Everything. You’re allowed to be selfish, you’re allowed to say no. You’ll 100% overwhelm yourself if you help everyone or take up every task that comes your way!


FIFTEEN // Always make time to voice your affirmations.

If you appreciate something that someone does, tell them. You don’t know how much little comments and compliments can make someone’s day. Always stress your “I love you’s” and make sure people know that you appreciate them and what they do for you. 


SIXTEEN // Nobody needs to know everything.

I’m obsessed with social media. THANK GOD that society as a whole isn’t as obsessed with posting every little detail and thought of their lives as they used to be. But keep that in mind, you should value your independent thoughts and privacy offline as well. Keep things to yourself, nobody needs to know every part of your life! It makes some situations more special.


SEVENTEEN // Try to make someone’s day everyday.

This is so much easier than most people realize. Something as small as a genuine compliment on someone’s outfit, going out of your way to voice your affirmations, or even something little for a stranger can make someone feel that much better. My personal favorite is the idea of paying it forward for strangers. If you aren’t familiar with “paying it forward”, it’s basically returning the favor of someone’s kind gesture by going out of your way to do another nice thing for someone else.  If you have a few extra dollars, pay for the person behind you in line at the drive thru at Starbucks. And if you don’t, even smiling at a stranger can help. You’ll never know how much that person needed a kind gesture!

EIGHTEEN // Stop asking for opinions. Just do. 

I struggle with this a lot. I’m an incredibly indecisive person, and sometimes it makes my life easier when I can talk situations out when weighing my options. Just go for it. You’ll learn how to be independent and how to live through your own reasoning. 


NINETEEN // Experience is so much more important than material things.

I can’t stress this enough. Put your phone down. Experience all of the times you have with your loved ones, especially on dates, at dinner, etc. Value the time you have with the people around you. I’ve learned lately that the best thing you can have in life is the presence of the people who mean the world to you. It shouldn’t matter how much your date costs. You shouldn’t expect expensive things from other people. Meaning is so much more important than cost when it comes to any present, or experience. 


TWENTY // Try to switch out “sorry” for “thank you” as much as possible.  

Don’t apologize for who you are, or how you feel. You are who you are, and the second you stop saying “sorry” you begin to accept yourself wholeheartedly. Instead of feeling sorry for feeling a certain way, own your opinion! WORK IT.

What is the one life lesson that you’ve learned that you’re always willing to pass onto someone else?