This Week in Cosmetics: Beauty Basics

People often ask me about beauty products that are good for someone breaking in to a makeup routine for the first time (or are just inexperienced). I decided to compile a list of my daily routine and favorite “basic” products to get started with. When I’ve got five or ten minutes in the morning to put my face on, I don’t have time to do a smoky eye so I make do with the absolute necessities. Enjoy!!

Step 1: Remove makeup from previous day/night

This is a very important step. I am known to wake up with dark circles caused from both lack of sleep and last night’s mascara, so I use a gentle lotion (Clinique, below) and Q-tip to remove any smudges. Bonus: if you’ve got serious makeup circles, sometimes you’re left with a perfect eyeliner line!

Step 2: concealer/cover-up

I usually skip foundation. Part of the reason is that I’ve yet to invest in a really good one, and the other half is that I usually just run out of time. I never, ever skip cover-up, though, and Benefit’s Erase Paste will save your life. It’s slightly thicker than most concealers. All you have to do is dab a tiny dot of it using your ring finger, and presto! The blemish is covered. I also put it over my dark circles. I like to think of it as my dream spackle but not gross…

Step 3: Neutral eyes

Here’s where the Urban Decay Naked Palette triumphs time and time again. I simply use those free triangle brushes from Sephora to apply in this order: “Virgin” to my brow bones, “Naked” to my creases, “Sin” or “Half Baked” to my lids, and then fill in my brows with “Darkhorse” (using a brow brush). “Virgin” acts as a great highlighter if you’re fairly pale, and “Naked” matches my skin tone almost exactly so it’s easy to cover up any weird veins. Obviously you’ll have to play around with different neutrals to suit your skin.

Step 4: Mascara

I know it’s silly, but I can’t help investing in expensive mascaras. They’re an instant pick-me-up because there’s nothing better than luxurious lashes! I’m currently fluctuating between Hourglass Film Noir and YSL Babydoll.

Step 5: Eyeliner

If I really have time to get glam, eyeliner is definitely appreciated. I like Sephora’s jumbo crayons for the glide factor and ease of use. I swipe the bottom and top waterlines, but only on the outer halves to imitate that Zooey Deschanel look. I leave the inner corners blank to create an illusion of bigger eyes. Applying liner to your waterline takes practice and patience, but I promise it’s 95% confidence!! I always use dark brown liner instead of black for an appropriate daytime look.

Here’s the finished look! I added some pink lipstick. You can see what I mean about the eyeliner. {Thanks to Tyler Constance.} Shop these products below.

Weigh in! What are your favorite beauty basics?

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What I Wore: Recreation Park

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Ahh, autumn has arrived.

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This is one of my favorite fall outfits. The word “quintessential”, while somewhat overused, comes to mind.

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The story behind these boots is longer than it should be. Last August I tried them on in Banana Republic SoHo. I was happy with the look and fit, and decided I would purchase them online where I could use a promo code and get a better deal. I waited a few weeks, and BR finally ran a 40% off promo. Success!

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However, once they arrived I found them to be horribly scuffed with “factory” marks. I promptly got on the phone and sent them back…I had no idea I would receive the full price of the boots in the form of a Banana Republic gift card! In the end, I waited for them to go on sale once more, and used the extra ~$70 I had “made” to purchase this blazer from Piperlime. All in a day’s work…

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The scarf (vintage) and white button-down shirt (Banana Republic) I picked up at various thrift stores for around $3 each. I’m really into silk scarves this season, and thrift stores are practically drowning in them!

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{Sweater, J. Crew Factory, $20; headband, Banana Republic, $11; jeans, Gap (outlet), $13.}

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As for the Fendi bag, I must thank my grandmother. She gifted my cousin and I several bags before she passed on, and it’s a gift that’s both classy and classic! Above all, it is lovely reminder. I added the black leather strap for functionality (after removing it from my Kate Spade Pippa bag).

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Thank you as always to the able and artistic Tyler Constance @ Tyler Constance Photography! Shop this outfit below.

Weigh in! What makes up your favorite fall outfit?

Liebster Blog Award

Thank you Thrift Your Heart Out for nominating us for the Liebster Blog Award!

Here are the rules for the award:

1. You must link to the person who has nominated you.

2. You must share 11 random facts about yourself.

3. You must answer the 11 Liebster questions given to you by the person who nominated you.

4. You must come up with 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

5. You must notify your nominees.

Here are my 11 random facts:

1. I’m really good at whistling.

2. I like mussels, but hate clams.

3. I handmake my Christmas cards.

4. I sold my Nintendo DS on eBay in order to buy makeup and I sort of regret it.

5. I did not have fun at Disneyworld. (Rides make me nauseous.)

6. I’m graduating college two years early.

7. Boston is my second favorite city (NY is my first).

8. I was homeschooled.

9. I dislike soda, gatorade, and most tea.

10. I’ve been to Italy three times.

Here are the questions that I was asked by Thrift Your Heart Out:

Q: 1. What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten on clothing, shoes, or accessories?

A: There are honestly too many instances to count, but I did once get passed on to me an amazing pair of purple zippered Ugg boots with embroidered flowers (for free)!

Q: What TV or movie character’s style do you covet?

A: Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel) on New Girl. My style icon!!

Q: If you had to choose between wearing a dress every day or jeans, which would you choose?

A: Dress! Much more room for movement. 🙂

Q: What color do you wear most often?

A: Black, though I’ve been trying to change that.

Q: What is your one wardrobe essential?

A: Does underwear count?

Q: Do you shop at thrift or consignment stores?

A: Both. I love a good local thrift store, but I also love consignment chains like Buffalo Exchange and Second Time Around.

Q: Classic vintage or ultra modern?

A: Classic vintage! I love Audrey Hepburn.

Q: What is your favorite drugstore beauty brand?

A: I like Physician’s Formula.

Q: What was the last book you read?

A: I just finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and loved it.

Q: What is your favorite fashion magazine?

A: Glamour. I hope to work there someday.

Q: Do you wear hats?

A: Yep, I have this one great summer hat. In the winter I actually wear earmuffs, though.

So, all of the thrift-style blogs that I follow have already been nominated 😦 Can you guys suggest me some new ones?

Take care!

Brand Spotlight: Madewell

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In honor of Madewell’s amazing sale this week(end), I picked out some covetable items. The code “BONUS40” will get you an extra 40% off sale styles, and FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS!! Yipee!!

Madewell, established in 1937, is the slightly rugged and edgier younger sister of J. Crew. It’s your one-stop-shop for casually cool pullovers, button-downs, and leather goods.

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With autumn in the air, there really is no better store to pick up some new staples. Madewell practically screams “country cabin”, and their quality is excellent. (Psst, they also deliver on the social responsibility front!)
Weigh in! Will you be grabbing anything in the sale?

Effortless Date Style

Either it’s just really visible on my newsfeed, or there is a bug that has been going around: the loooooove bug (cue throw up). Nearly all of my friends at school are getting into relationships and this has, perhaps, propelled me to get out of my hermit shell and talk to eligibles/potentials. So now I will give you gals out there some inspiration for date outfits!

The key to nailing the outfit of course depends on several variables and could be its own book with the innumerable possibilities. So for the sake of conciseness, we will assume that the date is taking place in the evening/night in fall weather (can you imagine the crispness in the air? No? Dammit, pollution. Oh, well, I’d like my lung cancer pumpkin-spiced, please.)

To further categorize and simplify,  I will divide this up based on potential date locations.

WARNING: NEVER DRESS UP FOR SOMEONE ELSE. Do it for yourself. Do it because you’re amazing and because you are the most dope person out there. TREAT YO’ SELF.

  1. WINE AND DINE

This is always fun because you will be eating (hopefully) good food with a human being other than yourself. Way to go! I suggest bringing your A-game to a fancy dinner because why not look incredible? If the weather permits, a fancy dress (if you are wary about colors, always go with black) clinched with a tight belt with heels, or dressy ballet flats if you really can’t stand the idea of heels after a long day. You could even rock a flattering skirt and blouse. Leggings can be added for warmth.

  1. COMEDY CLUB (could be applicable to your basic coffee date)

This is my personal favorite date spot (hollla). The thing about comedy clubs is that for the most part they are pretty chill – the most important thing is laughing. I generally wear skinny jeans and a nice sweater, or any flattering shirt/cardigan combination. Be casual and comfortable in your skin. (They’ll come for the comedy, but stay for your devastating charm and appeal.)

  1. MOVIES AND DESSERT/DRINKS

MAKE SURE YOU CARRY A SWEATER.  I have time and again frozen my butt off in a weirdly cold theater and had an awful time because of it! Carry a bright lipstick in your bag for an instant perk-up after the movie, and maybe a nice hair accessory if you’re feeling ambitious.

1142. Celebrity Style: Miranda Kerr

Basically, BE YOU and be COMFORTABLE.

Think like Cara and go own that date and have a blast.