Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Watermelon + Flowers

A couple of weekends ago, the humidity and temperatures dropped to give a taste of fall. Unfortunately it only lasted for a few hours but it was the perfect dip to pull out some of my new Fall favorites. Add in a fresh-from-the-garden watermelon + summer flowers for the perfect combination of the two seasons.

I snagged this olive jacket from a major LOFT sale back in July and have been itching to wear it since. It’s oversized design is the best for layering – but be sure to size down! I’m wearing a medium and could go with a small. The jeans are from American Eagle and are seriously so good! I’ve been wearing AE denim since high school and it doesn’t seem to fail. These are deemed “Hi-Rise” but frankly they’re the best height and sit an inch or so below your belly button. They’re also never stretch out but yet remain comfortable enough to run around all day.

I can’t wait to pair these two items with an oversized sweater and tall boots come fall. For now, I’ll just enjoy them amongst the flowers.

P.S. a man asked me during this if we were shooting for a Christmas card. Nothin' screams the holidays like watermelon and opened toe shoes…

Shop this post:

Sunnies - Urban Outfitters
T-shirt (Similar) - Groopdealz
Jacket (I also have it in blue!) - LOFT
Necklace - Kendra Scott
Bracelet (Similar) - Kate Spade
Jeans - American Eagle
Shoes (old) - Ann Taylor
Bag (Similar) - H&M

Photos c/o Lydia Schwoebel-Taylor

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

FOTD: Eyes Lately

Give a girl a bronzed eye, and she'll take on the world. Kind of like if you 'Give a Mouse a Cookie..." right? Maybe not. Regardless, a glowy eye combo has been my go-to lately. I've found that it works perfectly for the hot summer months and complements tans perfectly. My routine usually goes as the following:

  • Step 1: Brush brows with the spoolie on my Anastasia Brow Wiz
  • Step 2: Line and fill brows with the Anastasia Dipbrow pomade in "Taupe" and my Sephora angled brush
  • Step 3: Clean up edges with the pencil on the Brow Wiz  (I use the shade "Taupe" as well to match the fill)
  • Step 4: Apply brow gel to set things in place. The Brow Stylist Plumper by Loreal is amazing - I use the light/medium shade
  • Step 5: Put on eye base with the Urban Decay Primer Potion in "Sin"
  • Step 6: Apply "Trick" in my Naked 3 palette with a dampened eyeshadow brush all over my lid (it's the bronzed shade in the middle of the palette)
  • Step 7: Layer BareMinerals eyeshadow pot in "Bare Skin" over top for added sheen
  • Step 8: Line upper lid with Benefit's They're Real Push-Up Liner in black
  • Step 9: Top off lashes with two coats of the NYX Pin-Up Tease mascara in black

Voila! You now have the perfect look for those hazy days (and nights). 

What eye looks have you been loving lately? Do you use any of these products? You know I'm always looking for something new...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tuesday's Top Picks

Transition Pieces

Fall? It's me, Sarah - and I seriously can't wait to see you. One of the most difficult parts of this time of year is trying to figure out what to wear. Your brain wants the cooler attire but your body is still overheating from the humidity that comes with the end of August. I've been loving the simplified look lately and the idea that you can pick up pieces now that can pair well for later as well.

Keep things classic on top with stripes and a silhouette that has some movement. This shirt can also be perfect for the cooler weather by pairing a blazer overtop or a white oxford underneath. Keep things casual with distressed boyfriend jeans and all black accessories. I'm loving these pointed flats from Old Navy - and they're only $25!

The best part is that you can still keep the glowy face of summer (a win for all of the strobing aficionados out there). Just swap out your coral gloss for a brighter berry lip for the perfect pop of color. The NARS "Fanny" audacious lipstick is the creamiest counterpart to a finished look.

All that's missing is a warm latte and a messy top knot. What outfit piece are you most excited to break out come Fall? I'm always adding to my wish list so let me know in the comments! 

P.S. I'm officially addicted to Tumblr. Be sure to add me if you have one + link below!

Weekly Favorites: Week of 8.22.15.

A week's hiatus is sometimes just what you need. Last week was an exciting one with my birthday, lots of happy hours, and a trip to Ocean City this weekend. I'm now looking forward to taking some time to get back on track and on a normal sleep cycle (exhaustion to the fullest). I also have some awesome new products I've been testing out so I can't wait to share them all! Here are some of the other things I've been loving lately:

Hearing All things rock. My playlist of Mumford and Sons, Youngblood Hawke, and Andrew McMahon In the Wildnerness has been on repeat lately. I listened to a ton of these artists - as well as many questionable punk rock bands - in high school so it always brings me back. "Ditmas" by M+S is seriously so good. I don't think I'll get sick of it for a while.

Envying Fall makeup. Bring on the berry lips and bronzed eyes that come with fall. I'm seriously so ready for the cooler weather and everything that comes along with it. Fall is always my favorite season, but this year I'm searching for it even more. I can't wait for layers, 

Needing Relaxation. I'm officially coining this month as "hibernation time". This means lots of productivity, getting back into my spin classes, and cooking more meals at home. The summer always tends to get things out of line so I'm looking forward to starting a routine again.

Watching Pretty Little Liars. Seems like I can't stop, won't stop with this show. Thank goodness for Netflix for blessing me with the ability to marathon with my favorites. I'm currently halfway through Season 5 and can't wait to catch up to all of the excitement that's on TV! The dramz in this show is real, and I love every second of it. Team #haleb fa lyfe!

What are you loving lately? Here's to a good week (and two shots of espresso in my coffee today).

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Lusting for Lush" Haul

LUSH. Seriously, the best. I never heard of the brand until I moved to DC and now I can't get away! For those who are unfamiliar, LUSH is a UK-based cosmetics company that creates all natural skincare products with the freshest ingredients. Further then that, they believe in things such as fighting animal testing, ethical buying and campaigns, and "green washing". Those are things I can definitely stand behind.

Their packaging is minimal (to protect the environment) and every tub has a photo of the person who made it. As taken from their website, "We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud. We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again." A-freakin'-men.

While at the R29 Style Festival last weekend I took the opportunity to pop into LUSH to pick up some new products - and some of my favorites. The store is always so lovely smelling and the people working there are so kind. They helped me to find the products that work best for my skin, and which have now been essentials in my skincare routine...

"Rosy Cheeks" Fresh Face Mask The LUSH face masks are so great. The "Rosy Cheeks" formula is a newcomer to their face mask line, and my sales associate recommended it to soothe my skin. With its main ingredients of kaolin, calamine, and Turkish rose oil, the mask restores balance while nourishing and toning your face. I've been using this at night while I'm unwinding for bed and the scent is so soothing for me. I also love how the mask is cool from the fridge for hot summer nights - and how refreshed my skin feels after using! Bonus is that I can usually get 5-6 masks out of one tub, so it's well worth the $13 cost!

Daddy-O Shampoo I always am on the hunt for shampoo products that work with my blonde hair. I went into LUSH to buy the "Big" Shampoo and actually ended up walking out with this instead. Catered for blonde hair, the purple coloring strips the hair of all gunk and leaves brighter and healthier locks. I also have found that the product keeps my hair super soft and shiny - while also smelling amazing. The only downside is that the formula doesn't later as much as I like it to, so I usually add in a dab of my John Frieda Sheer Blonde shampoo to savor my bottle.

Bubblegum Lip Scrub This is a product that I've had around for a while, but is still my favorite. This pink scrub exfoliates lips and preps them for my lip color. You just scrub some onto your lips and lick off the rest - which is delicious btw. They also have other fun scents such as Mint Julips and Popcorn (without the guilt).

"Eau Roma Water" Toner I only got a sample pot of this toner but am about to rush to the store to buy a full bottle. I've been looking to get into a solid skincare routine for a while now and have always loved using a toner after washing my face. This particular kind has only two active ingredients - rose and lavender (which, as you can imagine, smells delish). This product works best for me since it calms redness and also gives me skin a nice glow, without over drying.

Have you ever tried LUSH? If so, what are your favorite products? BTW, the bath bombs are THE bomb...


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Birchboxed Unboxed | August

Getting my Birchbox in the mail is always a great surprise. I never really know when it's coming, and I always get these great new products! As you probably can see, I have been investing in a lot of great makeup lately - so hair and face products have fell a bit to the wayside. Thankfully my box this month was filled with some new testers that revolve around these two areas (and it came in the cutest pool themed box!)

Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Cleanser Say that five times fast. Although the title is a mouthful, the product itself is fairly simple. You basically apply the soap to a wet face and let it sit for three minutes or so. You then rinse it off with warm water in circular motions for an extremely deep clean - due to the ashes of plaintain and cocoa pods (hence the deep coloring). As you can expect, waiting for a dripping face to dry - and attempting to not get product in your eyes - is a bit difficult. I also found the formula to be a bit drying for my skin, but it definitely deep cleans! I also love that the product is 100% natural - so it's great for those with sensitive skin.

theBalm Cosmetics Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush I love my theBalm highlighter so I was super excited to try this! The sample is so small - so it's a bit difficult to get a brush in there. However, I do like that the color gives a natural glow and I feel like it could be a good substitute if you're looking for a quick face. Just one brush of this can give sun-kissed skin, instead of using several products. 

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum This "on the spot" treatment is meant to refine pores and balance skin without overdrying. It definitely smoothes things out, but it had a heavy lemon scent. For me, this was a bit too much. However, if you like the lemon/floral scent then I would give this a go! It's perfect for when you need a little more attention to spots and is lightweight enough to wear under makeup.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray This stuff was my favorite out of the bunch and the one I was most excited to try! I have been looking for something to add some shine back into my hair and this did not disappoint. As a counterpart to the original texturizing spray, this lacks the 'salt water' feel and adds a gorgeous shine to your hair. I also love the smell and how it doesn't make my hair crispy. This may be one of those things that I invest in - but at a cost of $39, it is a bit steep.

St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion I came into using this product with low expectations from what I've read online. I LOVE the original foam tanner, so this was a bit of a departure for me. This lotion promises a build-able natural-looking glow, while keeping things smooth. The issue is that you need to leave it on in the shower (and out of water) for three minutes - which adds up when you're trying to get in and out. I also feel like the color isn't drastic enough for me and it would take a lot of applications to build and maintain a glow. I'll probably use it to uphold my pre-existing tan, but don't think I'll be making a full sized purchase.

Most loved product: Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray
Most disappointing product: St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

Have you tried any of these products? Do you get a subscription box? If so, what's included? Let me know!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Weekly Favorites

Another weekend in August has flown by! I'm especially excited for this month since it means several things: the start of transition into fall, soaking up the last moments of summer, and also celebrating my birthday with close friends. Usually by this point in the year I also have gotten my beauty essentials down pat. Between the hot heat of summer and the hope for cooler days, it takes some time to fall into a routine that fits best for my skin.

These products are my go-to never-fail items lately...

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner in Black
NARS Lip Gloss in Super Orgasm
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
NYX "Set it & Don't Fret It" Mineral Powder in Light/Medium
BareMinerals Eye Shadow Pot in Bare Skin
St. Tropez In-Shower Gradual Tanner
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Taupe

Strangely enough they're all basically from different brands, but I also kind of enjoy that. It just goes to show that certain brands cater best to certain needs. For example, I love Anastasia products for brows, NYX for face primers/setters, and Benefit for anything that has to do with drawing drama to my eyes. NARS, well, NARS is just great for everything.

What have you been loving lately? Here's to hoping this week is a calm one!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

July Favorites

Although I do weekly favorites all the time, the monthly ones are my favorite. July was a hot one! All of the products I fell in love with were ones that are long-lasting and light. P.S. all of these products were worn in this photo:

TheBalm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter: I've spoken my appreciation for this product before, but it's become a daily staple in my routine. The color is perfect for all skin types and it gives the most effortless glow. I've been using it to achieve the new 'strobing' fad - and it's been doing it's job!

Loreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24 Hour Foundation: This stuff has been in my makeup bag since it released, and I literally run to pick another one up once it's empty. It's that good. The coverage is full yet feels so light on the skin. And although it does provide a matte look, it still gives a healthy glow. A+ Loreal.

Bareminerals Eyeshadow Pot in "Bare Skin": Technically I picked this up at the end of July but it was so good that I knew I had to include it in this lineup. I was looking for a glowy nude shadow when I came across this shade. It is the perfect coloring to give a beautiful shimmer on the eyelid, without being too overbearing. I've been layering it over my Naked3 "Trick" lately (a bronze shade) and it's allowed for the most beautiful summer eye.

Essie Nail Polish in "Ballet Slippers": This color is timeless, but has been working so well with my busy schedule lately. I've been pairing it with Essie's "Blanc" on my toes and it's just such a fresh departure from my usual pink or black. I also love that the color is light enough that it doesn't show every nick or chip - especially because I haven't had the time to reapply.

Clinique Chubby Stick in "Woppin' Watermelon": Again, another product that's been sticking around for a while. The formula of these sticks are so creamy and lovely. I also love the tube application because I can just pop it on midday and not have to worry about checking it out in the mirror. The color is the perfect pop of pink for hot summer days - and it's rumored to be used on Ashley Benson's character in Pretty Little Liars!

NARS Gloss in "Super Orgasm": I have Sarah from Sarah Loves Makeup to thank for this one! As the Queen B in nude lip products, I went to her when I was looking for a gloss to add to my collection. I hadn't really owned (or worn) glosses since the days of Middle School - and let me tell you, they have changed immensely from the sticky sweet Victorias Secret kinds. This gloss is so smooth and long-lasting. And OMG the color is perfection! It has little gold flakes which can't be seen when applied, but just give the best shimmer. I've been layering this over my Woppin' Watermelon for a color that lasts long through the day.

Benefit They're Real Liner in Black: Although I'm not a huge fan of the rubber applicator, this tube delivers the deepest dark line of any liner product i've used. Lately I've been grabbing my Maybelline liquid liner to add a quick line across the lid, then have been using it as my guide to apply the Benefit liner. It also gives the perfect flick for a more dramatic eye - which I love! I may pick up one of the color range samples over the Fall to test out some new colors - the Blue and Purple have been all over the blog scene and I love the fresh take!

BONUS Favorite - Agenda: For the past few years I've been picking up the Kate Spade agenda but when announced their new line I knew I had to have it. This agenda is so cute and fun. It makes scheduling appointments so much more enjoyable! I also just picked up their sticker book and I almost feel like a kid again - in the best way possible.

What are you loving this month? I also have been on a major makeup kick lately, so I feel like next month is gonna be a good one...

Friday, August 7, 2015

Weekend Update

Phew! Finally got the chance to catch a breath and put together a little update on my life. As you can tell, this week has been a whirlwind. For those who follow me on Snapchat: I apologize for all of the depressing black-and-white shots of endless coffee cups and views from my desk. 

Last weekend was the best. Me and Faith finally got to the time of year where we went to our annual One Direction concert (hold the excitement). We rented a car and filled the weekend with yummy snacks, lounging in the non-humid air (damn you DC and your sweat box), and time catching up with friends (especially those three British - and one Irish - ones)...

1. car ride adventures with our little friend // 2. the view of Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington // 3. Saturday night happy hour at Hofbrauhaus // 4. catching up with my love!
 1. braving the heat + crowds to see the city views // 2. the best donuts from "Peace, Love, and Little Donuts" and coffee from "21st Street Coffee and Tea" // 3. #OOTD for Sunday morning strolling // 4. college roommates back together again
1. #OOTD for the concert (inspired by Niall Horan) // 2. the Pittsburgh skyline on a gorgeous evening // 3. our seats were seriously the best! // 4. our annual 1D photo opp

I'm looking forward to using this weekend to catch up on many things: sleep, errands, and my sanity. I'm also looking forward to a Refinery29 event over at the Pentagon City mall + drinks with close friends. The weekends always seem to go by so quickly so i'm hoping to make the most of this one. 

What are you excited for this weekend? Is anyone attending the R29 event? Love to hear how you're planning to unwind!

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