Top 10 Beauty Essentials

Beauty Essentials

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 // I’ve read so many fantastic reviews about this tinted moisturizer. So many of my favorite YouTube personalities swear by it, so I just knew I had to have this. I absolutely hate feeling like my makeup is caked on, so I felt like this was a great product to try, and let me just say I am so hooked. A little of goes a long way, and it’s amazingly moisturizing but is enough coverage to hide a bad breakout. My Shade: Cameo

Benefit Cosmetics the POREfessional // I can’t tell you how many tubes I’ve gone through of this. It is definitely in my top ten beauty products of all time. I even got my Mom hooked on it! It makes your skin insanely smooth before applying foundation and concealer, and it makes so much of a difference. It runs a bit on the pricey side, but it is extremely worth it. 

NARS Blush // I recently purchased this blush for a big event here at school, after hearing so many great reviews on it for years. It’s extremely pigmented, and I love how it has a little bit of shimmer (I’m usually a matte blush kind of person). It works for so many different skin tones, and adds such a great glow. Not going to lie, I’m also a huge fan of the brand’s cheeky names for their products. My Shade: Orgasm

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer // This is my absolute favorite bronzer that I have ever tried. It’s a really versatile shade, and it is amazing for almost every skin tone. The brush that accompanies the bronzer makes this perfect for contouring, or just adding a bit of color. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow & Brow Gel // Over the summer, this was one of the most recommended products that I had seen on YouTube. From recommendations, I knew that this was the eyebrow pencil to try. I feel like this is the perfect eyebrow pencil for the beginning, it’s soft enough to be able to fill in without applying too much pressure (thus making you look like a cartoon with thick black eyebrows), but is pigmented enough that soft pressure is all you need. The clear brow gel is extremely long wearing, and it helps me feel so much more put together. My Shade: Dark Brown (pencil) & Clear (brow gel)

Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base // After being dedicated to the Urban Decay Primer Potion for years, I decided it was time to try something new. I’m actually a bigger fan of Nars’ eyeshadow primer than Urban Decay’s. For me, it works so much better. I have relatively oily eyelids, so I’m prone to my eye makeup creasing. 

Naked 3 Palette //  To sound like every other girl on this planet who has tried these palettes; I am so obsessed with the Naked eyeshadow palettes. I find myself constantly switching between the 1, 2 & 3, which has caused me to go through at least two of each palette. My favorite is the 3 though, I find it works best for my complexion. Each palette allows to create a neutral eye look, but with a little bit of shimmer. The palettes are so versatile, and you can create so many different looks with each one. On a scale of 1-10 this is definitely a 15/10. 

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Push-Up Liner // I’m not going to lie to you about this, I absolutely hated this eyeliner the first time that I tried it. I’m a huge fan of winged eyeliner, it’s definitely my go to. But I didn’t see this helping me at all when I first tried it. The product itself is a fast drying gel, which is long wearing but you have to move quickly when drawing lines so it doesn’t dry on you. I love the rubber tip, which makes it so much easier to shape. I’m surprised this became my new favorite eyeliner so quickly, and I’m already on my second eyeliner. However, here’s a word of advice:  practice makes perfect when it comes to this product, you just need to experiment with it to love it. 

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara // Another one of my go-to’s from Benefit Cosmetics, this is a fantastic product. I read about the product forever ago, either on YouTube or another beauty blog. Why I love it can be summed up pretty easily; the product is extremely volumizing, but this brush makes sure that your lashes don’t clump or become too spidery-looking with a few coats. If I don’t wear eyeliner, this is also my go to, it looks natural, but almost like a better looking version of your eyelashes. 

Styling Summer Dresses for Fall: The LBD (Little Blue Dress)

When I was discussing potential blog posts with my friends, one of the most frequent topics that came up was styling clothes for different events. One of my personal golden rules when it comes to styling and shopping is to invest in quality pieces. I’d rather have a small versatile closet that can be mixed and matched easily than have way too many clothes for my closet that could only be worn once. To me, a good fit, quality material, and versatility are the top 3 things I look for when I shop. However, if you find a quality piece with a perfect cut, how do you transition it in between seasons?

One of my favorite pieces that I’ve ever purchased was this Navy Scalloped dress from J. Crew Factory. I had admired it for about a year before I found one in stores, since I don’t live less than an hour away from the closest J.Crew, let alone J.Crew factory. It’s the perfect shift dress. The length, cut, and details are fantastic. I’m a huge sucker for a good LBD (little blue dress). I won’t even lie to you, it looks good online, but it’s the kind of dress that looks good on everyone. 

Navy Scalloped Dress (Sold Out) // Wedges (R) // Oxford Shirt (Similar) (L)  // Statement Necklace (Sold Out, but Similar) (L)  // Belt // Shoes (Similar)       

The first time that I wore this dress was for a double date night with my boyfriend and my other good friend in the South Side in Pittsburgh. It was one of the hotter days of the summer, around mid-August, but I surprisingly wasn’t miserably in the dress, although it is a bit thicker of a material than you’d expect. I styled it with my favorite summer wedges from Michael Kors, and a rose gold watch from Charming Charlie’s. 

 It’s the perfect semi-formal dress, but can definitely be styled casually or business casually. On the right, I decided to step away from the original statements of the dress itself and build from it.

 This past weekend I attended my end-of-the-season tennis banquet at a local Ital ian restaurant, but didn’t want to wear something too dressy. On its own (like in the picture on the left), the dress would have been a little out of place, especially since it has been really cold these past few weeks in Western PA. I decided to play towards the business casual look by adding a Ralph Lauren Oxford under the dress, and belting it. One of my favorite trends is to add a pop of color. The dress and the shirt are both blue which seemed a bit too monochromatic. I added red platform pumps, and a white belt and necklace to help add a little more dimension to the traditional preppy look. 

If you need an easy way to transition an outfit from Summer to Fall or Winter, I definitely suggest layering pieces. It looks polished, and yet keeps you warm. It’s the traditional “prep” look, but after adding the right accessories, such as a statement necklace or bright shoes, it will give it a modern feel. Cardigans, vests and scarves are also really fantastic for changing a look around. If a piece needs to be more modest, add a cardigan and a scarf. If you need to keep warm, add a vest, or even a trench coat. If the piece is extremely monochromatic, or a bit “blah” on its own, add color. Fall fashion revolves around jewel tones, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from brighter patterns as long as you keep one thing as the “statement” piece, and keep the rest (cut and color) neutral. 

October Favorites

October Favorites

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick -“Mrs. Mia Wallace” // I just recently received this as a birthday present from my sister, who knows my obsession with lipstick a little too well. This is the perfect fall lip color; deep reds are so flattering for every complexion, and just help you not only look, but feel really put together. I also love pairing the matching lip liner with a reddish brown matte lipstick, which is one of my roommate’s favorite lip combos as well. Not to mention, this lipstick is extremely long-wearing, and I can go through an entire day of classes without reapplying (even though I can always tell which coffee is mine because of the dark red lip stains!)

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense // Like most girls, I grew up experiencing my mom’s extreme buyer loyalty to Clinique. It was my first makeup brand, and I can honestly say that I still love it. Although, I’m much more loyal to their skincare products than their regular makeup products. I use this twice a day, and it’s also a fantastic moisturizer for your legs if you forget to bring lotion with you when traveling.

Coconut Oil Weightless Hydrating Oil Mist // I first discovered how great this product is on Tumblr, where it got fantastic reviews. I’ve adopted it as part of my wet hair routine, right before I blow dry. It really smooths out your hair and smells incredible. I’ve also found that it really adds new life to dry hair; I ombre’d my hair over the summer, which can be really damaging, but this product really helps make it look so much healthier than it is!

Apple TV // Okay, well, my roommate bringing an Apple TV back from Fall Break is the best thing that could have happened to our room. It’s absolutely perfect for college students since it connects to your iTunes library, your Netflix account, as well as other apps like YouTube. You can also connect your laptop via AirPlay to the screen, which makes sharing web pages and videos so much easier when you have company over. 

New Girl // Not going to lie, I love me some Zooey Deschanel. All of my friends and I relate to her character Jess on a spiritual level, and if you’ve ever seen the show you would totally understand. If you ever need a show to binge watch, I definitely recommend New Girl. Trust me, you’ll be hooked.

Kate Spade Planner (Large) // I surprisngly love this a lot more than I thought I would. I reviewed it briefly in my “What’s in My (School) Bag?” post the other week, but I can honestly say that it has really grown on me. It has the perfect amount of writing room to schedule my week and still have room to write in assignments as well as birthdays and events! If you think it might be a bit too plain for your taste, color code. It makes all the difference and helps you stay much more organized. 

Madewell Transport Tote // From the first time that I saw this bag in the store, I fell in love. It’s the perfect size for everyday use, and I love the caramel color. This is my new school bag, and it fits everything I usually carried with my large Longchamp, but there seems to be so much more room. You can honestly use this bag for anything- running errands, a pool bag, and of course a travel bag/carry-on. 

Taylor Swift 1989 // I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I am absolutely obsessed with this album. I’ve always been a huge T-Swift fan since her “Our Song” days, but I love the completely different vibe of this. My current favorites are; “Out of the Woods”, “Blank Space”, “Style”, and “Wildest Dreams”. I definitely recommend buying this! Especially if you find an old iTunes gift card laying around and have no idea what to buy!

Prada “Candy” Perfume // This was one of my favorite birthday presents this year. I’m a huge Marc Jacobs fan when it comes to perfumes, and have been known to collect an abundance of them in the past. I always receive a new perfume from my mom for my birthday, and it was so refreshing to completely switch it up this year. This is my everyday perfume, and I am finding myself constantly spritzing it. It’s really sad that I’ve already used up close to 3/4 of the bottle… especially since I got it on the 17th of September. I love how light and sophisticated it is, and how it contains two of my favorite notes; caramel and vanilla. If you’re looking for something youthful and fun, yet flirty, check this out!

Navy L.L. Bean Boots 8″ // The first time that I laid my eyes on these bad boys, I thought they were absolutely hideous. However, this was during my first experiences with Pinterest, and I hadn’t yet discovered just how difficult weather in Western PA can be. I’ve been nothing but pleased with these boots so far. They are so comfortable, and ridiculously versatile. I think they’re amazing. Disclaimer: If you decide to purchase, I definitely recommend going a size or half size down: they run pretty large. However, if you plan to wear extremely thick socks you may be able to stay true to size. They’re the perfect snow or rain boots, and look adorable with both jeans and leggings. And lets be honest here, who could resist buying adorable socks to stick out the top? 

73 Questions

I am in love with these Q&A segments from Vogue’s website. The first one that I saw was from Sarah Jessica Parker, and I love her. The College Prepster originally posted the SJP video in one of her weekly “On My Radar” segments in March, and I was instantly hooked. In my little playlist I included my top 3 favorites, however other big celebs like Blake Lively, Daniel Radcliffe and Olivia Munn have their own videos which are definitely worth checking out as well.

What’s In My (School) Bag?

What's in My School Purse?

For as long as I’ve been watching beauty and fashion YouTube videos, I can remember watching the “What’s in my bag” segments. It’s always been so interesting to me to see what everyone hauls around in their daily lives. I’m a huge purse fanatic. I can remember always wanting to borrow my mom’s to play dress up when I was younger, and constantly begged for my first designer bag. At the time, I was absolutely obsessed with the Coach Poppy bags, which had just been released. I can even remember the first time that I fell in love with a purse, about seventh grade, driving through the city with my best friend and her family on the way to visit a school in the area. However, the bags that you fall head over heels with in middle school aren’t usually functional for use in college. I’ve always been a purse or tote kind-of-girl when it came to school bags, however I’ve been known to carry a Vera Bradley backpack every now and then. As I said before, one of the keys to finding the perfect bag for school is functionality. Nobody wants their new designer bag’s handles to rip off, no matter how pretty it may be, you may just spare yourself some shoulder pain. One thing that differs between high school and college is the amount of books that need to be carried between classes. I find that I’m carrying way less books in college, since I have enough time to switch out books. Since my schedule is completely different every day, I usually find that I have to switch my bags too. On super busy days, or library days, I usually take my backpack to accommodate my laptop as well as multiple textbooks and notebooks. Every other day I use either my Longchamp or Madewell Transport Tote. As a rule, I keep the same school supplies for my classes, and just switch them in between bags.

MacBook Pro: A classic, need I say more? 

Vera Bradley Wristlet: Not gonna lie, I jumped on the bandwagon with this one but it really surprised me. All of my friends are huge Vera Bradley fans, and even though I’m usually not one, this is so convenient. We use id cards to scan into buildings, and this has a front-showing id sleeve so you know you always have it with you. Plus, it has sleeves for the overwhelming abundance of gift cards that I have, as well as a zip-coin purse. If I don’t carry my entire bag with me, if I’m going to dinner or something, I just pick this up, stuff my phone in it and go!

Pens & Highlighters: As a rule, I don’t use pencils in class. It’s so much easier to write with pens for me, probably because I have that super girly half cursive half printing handwriting. I love the Sharpie pens for everyday use. I’ve already gone through 2 completely without managing to lose them. 

Colored Pens: If you’re one of those super-organized note takers who needs to have some color to prevent yourself from getting bored while studying, I definitely recommend Papermate’s felt tip marker pens. I’ve gone through around three packs of these bad boys in a matter of three semesters, between using them up and losing them. More of the second though. 

Five Star Notebook & Folders: I’m a huge fan of five star products, always have been and probably always will be. My mom always ends up convincing me to get the college ruled ones, and I’ve used them for years. I usually use a three subject notebook for every class, especially for Math classes or my Econ/Accounting classes that require a lot of writing out problems.

Kate Spade Planner (Large): I purchased this last week, and I can’t tell you how much I love it so far. Transitioning between Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade is difficult. I love my Lilly planner, but I’m so busy that I needed a little more room since I only had a medium. I wasn’t a huge fan of the patterns for the covers of the  Lilly jumbo planner, and decided to switch over to the Spade side for the rest of the year. The only complaint I have at this point is how it’s not as colorful as the Lilly, which is what initially caught my eye.
Coach ID/Badge Holder with Lanyard: This was one of the first things I bought when I got my driver’s permit, and I’ve had it for years. I don’t have the exact one in the picture- mine is pink with a cupcake on it. I use this to hold my driver’s license, and attach my dorm room key as well as my home-gym key card to the key ring.
Kate Spade Wallet: I’m a huge sucker for statement accessories. When it comes to purses, I keep it pretty neutral so why not have accessories that contrast and stand out against it? This wallet is absolutely perfect in every way.
Tumbler: While going from class to class, I find it essential to have some sort of water bottle. My schedule consists of five 75-minute classes, so I need to stay hydrated to survive. Plus, carrying a cute tumbler makes it so much more enjoyable. I’m a huge fan of my Starbucks one, or anything that has a sassy quote on it.

But besides all of the above, I also carry headphones. Which are an absolute must in between classes and for the library.

What are your school essentials?