My top 4 beauty products to save on


With a little extra holiday cash hopefully still available, and a new year just days away, what better time to get some brand new beauty products? Saving money doesn't have to mean scrimping and getting poor quality items, but can actually mean getting more bang for your buck, and having more money available for splurge items. Here are a few of my favorite beauty products I love to save on:

Eyeshadow: Many cheaper eyeshadows can be chalky, and not very pigmented but NYX is the exception. Being a MAC girl, I was a bit skeptical at first, but boy was I impressed. NYX shadows are highly pigmented, come in a variety of finishes, and most importantly they last! They even have dupes of  popular MAC shades. At $3-5 a piece (depending where you purchase from) get every color your heart desires, without breaking the bank.
Two of my favorites Silver and Rust (Rust is a dupe for MAC's Cranberry.)

Hair Treatments: Some of the best deep conditioning treatments can be found right in your own kitchen. Olive oil, avocado, mayonnaise, honey and eggs, in various combinations based on hair needs, help protect, condition, and moisturize hair. Over the summer, instead of selling me one of the salon treatments, my hairstylist recommended using a mixture of honey and olive oil once a week, to give my hair much needed moisture as well as shine. Like she said, "Its from nature, so it is better".

Mascara: Diorshow and Lancome Hypnose are wonderful mascaras. I have used both and love them. However, the truth of the matter is mascara needs to be replaced at least every three months and at $24 a tube, four times a year, that's a total of $96/year.  Drugstore brands, such as my personal favorites CoverGirl LashBlast and L'Oreal Voluminous, get my lashes as fabulous as their high end counterparts, at a fraction of the cost. Average savings? $72 a year.

Brushes: Makeup brushes are an essential part of the makeup application process. With brands like Sigma Beauty and Sonia Kashuk making high quality brushes at affordable prices, there is no need to spend a fortune for "designer" brushes. My favorite eyeshadow brushes are actually by Loew Cornell. Never heard of them? That's because they are painters brushes from Michael's Arts and Crafts! They are the best shadow brushes, and are identical to my MAC brushes. They come in a variety of sizes, and are under $4 a brush.  They are a staple in my makeup stash.

    Snowed in!


    The first snowstorm blizzard of the season and the last of the year has hit NY.  

    I love snow days. I love the whole idea of being inside, enjoying hot chocolate, catching up on movies, TV, magazines, reading and most importantly staying warm. Braving the elements; not quite my thing.

    Nothing is more beautiful to me in winter than the first day after a snowfall, before it turns yucky from dirt (and other things). The way it glistens in the snow and off the trees, and just how pure and peaceful it makes everything.  Kaskade's Still Still Still has pretty much become my snow day anthem as it reflects my snow sentiments perfectly:

    What are your favorite snow day activities? Do you like to go outdoors or enjoy the snow from inside?


    Merry Christmas
    Feliz Navidad
    Buon Natale
    Frohe Weihnachten
    Joyeux Noel

    However you say it, may your day be filled with joy and happiness, and the love that can only be felt by being around the ones you love and who love you back. 
    Merry Christmas all xo!

    Christmas in the city


    Tuesday meant the last of finals, and the beginning of winter break! Tuesday night was spent with family doing Christmasy things around the city. The first stop was to the tree at Rockefeller Center. I have lived in NY my entire life, and have only been to the tree ONCE! I will admit that walking out of 30 Rockefeller from the train station, I was a bit shocked at how tiny the tree was. The TV sure does add 10 pounds, or in this case, 10 feet.
    Regardless, it was absolutely wonderful to see the tree and to be around all the people full of Christmas spirit. 
    30 Rock
    I was half hoping to run into the one and only Andy Cohen, but had no such luck.
    Brave skaters at the rink

    After the tree, it was off to the theatre at Madison Square Garden to see Cirque du Soleil's Wintuk.  All I can say is WOW. The set, scenery, artistry, and ability of the acrobats/gymnast was just astounding. It was absolutely amazing and at the end of it, there was snow! Lots and lots of snow! Pictures were technically not allowed, but this was too amazing to miss, so I whipped out my Blackberry (hence the graniness of the pictures):


    All in all. it was a great night out. I have a love/hate relationship with NY, but I sure don't mind it during the holidays.

    Total Eclipse of my heartttttt


    Did anyone catch the eclipse last night? Despite having an 8am final, I woke up at 2:45am, and proceeded to run outside to locate the moon. After I did, I snapped a few pics from inside, because ya know it was COLD out.

    Beauty Review: Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector


    Product: Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector

    What it does: "A clinically proven serum that visibly reduces dark spots, age spots, and traces of acne past"

    Price: $49.50

    Pros: Leaves skin feeling soft and smooth

    Cons: Expensive,  Did not work as expected

    Rating (5 being the best, 0 being the worst): 0/5

    My Review:  While watching TV one day over the summer, a commercial came on for this new product by Clinique that would help lighten dark spots. I'm always skeptical, even though the first results could be seen in as little as 12 weeks sounded promising.  

    I went to Sephora, as I always do with big ticket beauty items, for a sample to see how it would react with my skin. The sample lasted me about two weeks, and in that two weeks my skin felt smooth, and great after application, but broke me out pretty badly (on my cheeks especially). I figured it was because I was using a new product and that usually happens as it brings the impurities to the skin. I overlooked that and continued to use the product.

    I was warned that using SPF with this product when going outside was essential, since the ingredients in the Clinique serum, could reverse the lightening process. I used my sample, despite breakouts, as recommended, with SPF, twice a day. After I ran out of the sample, I purchased a full size bottle at Nordstrom since 12 weeks was the time frame to see the beginning results.

    When I started the full bottle at the end of July, since I was scared of the reverse affects, I was only using the serum at night, and twice on days when I was home. I started using toner and eventually the breakouts subsided, but not without leaving new scars. I continued to use the serum, and loved the way my skin felt after, because it made my skin very soft and smooth. 

    I really wanted this product to work, and continued to use it religiously. However, after 5 months, (or more than 12 weeks), my skin has not changed. The scars I had before, I still have now, and as mentioned before, I got a few new ones from the breakout that occurred when I first started using the spot corrector.  For $50, it is extremely pricey, and after reading reviews on a number of websites, success has been hit or miss. I had a miss, maybe it will be a hit for you.

    *All products and their reviews are solely my opinion.

    Designers make suggestions for Kate Middleton's wedding dress


    Its no secret that bridal anything is one of my obsessions. Since the announcement of the  royal engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton, there has been much speculation as to who she will pick for her big day, as well as what type of dress she will wear. After all she has big shoes to fill, in terms of the wow factor (i.e. Princess Diana's 25 ft train).

    Please do not think I am being disrespectful to any of these designers, because it is not my intention, and  because I truly love many of them. But in my opinion, a designer wedding dress shouldn't be something that you would see, say in an editorial piece or as a show stopping piece during Fashion Week. It should be about the day it represents: romantic, flowy, classic. A girl dreams about her big day for as long as she can remember...why should she be dressed like a pirate?

    Ok, enough of my personal ranting, here are some of the suggestions:

    Here are the ones that had me a bit...confused:
    Pirate bride
    Also think it looks like Lindsay Lohan

    Rachel Roy
    In mourning

    Baroque-era bride

    However, I absolutely LOVE the following:
    Flowy, romantic, elegant

    Simple, yet extremely elegant

    Monique Lhullier
    Are there every any other words for Lhullier besides breathtaking?

    So what are your thoughts? Check out all the designer suggestions on Shine from Yahoo here.

    Christmastime is here


    Today officially marks 12 days until Christmas. This could be looked at as procrastination to studying for finals, but for the most part its anticipation of the most wonderful time of year... I absolutely love the holiday season!
    My little tree!

    Dreaming of a white Christmas...or a blizzard to cancel finals

     Charlie Brown is tradition. I play this soundtrack all season long, and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas while I wrap presents... and every time it happens to be on tv.

    What gets you excited for the holiday season? Have any favorite traditions? Let me know :)

    Pesto Genovese


    penne with chicken and pesto

    I don't know why, but up until I went to Italy last year, I don't remember ever having pesto.
    Boy, was I missing out.
    Pesto goes great with SO many things: pasta, on poultry or fish, in place of tomato sauce on pizza, on crackers with goat cheese...the possibilities are endless. And the best part is it freezes nicely, so its always at your disposal.
    To make the pesto sauce, I used a combination of this recipe (specifically using cashews instead of pine nuts), and the recipe that came with the basil packet I purchased at Trader Joe's. I don't use the amount of oil given in the recipe, only enough to liquefy the mixture, and of course I cheated and used a blender instead of a mortar and pestle. Either way, its by far one of the easiest and most delicious things to make. 

    Blake Lively


    So I may or may not be mildly obsessed with Blake Lively. I find her to be one of the most beautiful, and naturally beautiful people in the world and I absolutely love her style wether its on Gossip Girl, off set, or on the red carpet. 


    I cant wait to see the supposed ad campaign she shot with Chanel.

    Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice at Home


    Nothing makes me happier then the holiday menu from Starbucks. I feel like its the unofficial start to the holiday season...and winter. I always pick a new beverage as my favorite, and it started out as the Gingerbread Latte, but quickly became the Caramel Apple Spice (I drank it 5 days in a row....).

    On day 5, as I sipped my beverage, I couldn't help but think two things:
    1.This is $3.65 of warmed apple juice
    2.I could make this at home and save the aforementioned $3.65

    So I got to thinking, and voila!

    Caramel Apple Spice:
    Apple Juice
    Cinnamon syrup (can purchase at Starbucks) or Cinnamon stick/ powder (I used a cinnamon stick)
    Whip cream
    Caramel Syrup
    • Warm (not boil!) the apple juice, either by stove top or microwave, and the cinnamon (syrup, stick, or powder)to go cup
    • Pour into favorite mug to enjoy at home or tumbler/ disposable to go cup
    • Top with whip cream and caramel
    • Save $3.65 and Enjoy!

    Clearly I got a little whip cream happy, but that's it!

      Walking in an Americana Winter Wonderland


      Thursday night, my good friend Owen and I took a walk around the Americana Manhasset, located on Long Island's North Shore. Walking around the Americana is one of our favorite past times, as we both love to admire the work that goes into the displays, and make wish lists of everything we love at stores such as Hermes. It is such an aesthetically appealing and amazing place, even if you don't shop, its just so nice to take it all in.
      Every holiday I say I'm going to go around and take shots of the holiday lights and displays but never get around to it. This year, I have made it my mission to do so. Here are a few shots:

       Michael Kors

      Tory Burch

      Hermes ashtray that Owen wants

       Owen hands down is my most fabulous and fashionable friend. TDF.

       Tiffany & Co.

       Ralph Lauren
      Owen always leave me at this point because I am obsessed with RL kids and talk about dressing my kids in RL. That red/plaid outfit is so adorable for my future little daughter.

       Running away


       Oscar de la Renta

       Louis Vuitton

       St. John