lifestyle blogger

Wintery Holiday Nail Look – Neutral and Frosty Glitter!

This is a great nail look for winter and the holidays. It’s neutral with a little frosty bling, so honestly, you could even wear it year round. I’ve been sporting this look quite a bit this winter season. It looks really impressive, gets a lot of compliments, and it’s surprisingly easy. Watch the video above to learn how to do it!

(I’m using CND Shellac Nail Polishes, which are a gel hybrid polish. This is a specialty nail polish that I don’t recommend unless you’re willing to put the time into learning how to properly apply it. It’s also more costly than regular nail polish (plus you have to use a UV light to cure each coat of polish), so you have to be willing to put down a little money in the beginning too. If you’re willing to put the time and money into it, then I DO recommend these polishes. 90% of the time, I’m wearing Shellac over normal nail polish. As much as I can be a girly girl, I’m pretty tough on my hands, so normal polish chips way too easily. With Shellac, I can rock a beautiful manicure without chipping for 2-3 weeks!)

  1. Apply a base coat.
  2. Apply two coats of neutral color polish.
  3. Let the second color coat try enough so that it’s not wet, but so it is a little tacky to the touch.
  4. Using a precise makeup brush or paint brush, apply loose glitter to the tips of each nail.
  5. Using your finger, wipe away any glitter from the skin, and press your finger onto the glittery tips of each nail to lift off any excess glitter (so we don’t gunk up our top coat polish brush with glitter!).
  6. Apply at least two coats of top coat (loose glitter has a tendency to poke through one layer of polish, so two will really seal it in and make the nails nice and smooth).

Here are the products I used, as well as some alternate polishes if you’re not using CND Shellac.

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  1. CND Shellac Base Coat – $13
  2. CND Shellac Bare Chemise Color Coat – $18
  3. CND Shellac Top Coat – $13
  4. Supernail Loose Glitter in Silver Rush – $5
  5. OPI Natural Nail Base Coat – $7
  6. OPI Barre My Soul Color Coat – $8
  7. OPI Top Coat – $9
  8. Tropical Shine Cushion Pink Nail File (Fine) – $1
  9. Beauty Secrets Coarse 100 Grit Black Nail File – $1
  10. Napoleon Perdis Small Eye Brush – $20
  11. Sephora Collection Cuticle Pusher – $14
  12. Revlon Cuticle Trimmer – $4
  13. Tweezerman Nail Clipper Set – $9
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My 15 Minute Makeup Routine

I wanted to share my go-to 15-minute makeup routine. This isn’t my “barefaced minimalist” makeup or my “full-face going out” or “photoshoot” makeup, but it’s my go-to face when I have a lunch meeting, happy hour with friends, and most other activities.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start with a clean, moisturized face. I clean my face with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser using my Clarisonic Mia 2. I use Burt’s Bees Tomato Toner, and then I moisturize with Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15.
  2. For foundation, I mix together Tarte Amazonian clay BB tinted moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen (shade medium) with L’Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup (shade nude beige – W3) and apply it using a large stippling brush, like the Sigma F80 – Flat Kabuki brush.
  3. After applying foundation to my whole face and neck, I touch up any blemishes that are still visible by applying more True Match with my Bare Escentuals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush. I then use my BeautyBlender to blend it in completely.
  4. Next I take care of my eyelashes, by first separating them with my fingernail and then curling them with my Revlon Cushion Grip Lash Curler. I really prefer eyelash curlers with springs as you have more control over the pressure you apply to your lashes while curling. It’s important to apply and loosen pressure when curling, rather than holding firm the whole time. “Pumping” the curler like this will prevent you from leaving a crease in your eyelashes.
  5. I stick with two main mascaras: Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, Very Black and Benefit They’re Real Mascara. Unless I’m in a rush, or really want to wear minimal makeup, I do my mascara the same way…very messy! I get it EVERYWHERE to make sure I get each and every single eyelash from base to tip.
  6. Once I’ve made a mess with mascara, I clean it up using some Q-tips and Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly. (Super weird pro-tip: I swirl the Q-Tip in my mouth before getting vaseline on it to tame any fuzzies…trust me, it makes a difference! I only use vaseline on one end of the Q-Tip and then do another wipe after just with the wet end to clean up any excess vaseline.)
  7.  Next, I use my Bare Escentuals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush to apply some foundation using my Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick under my eye and on my eyelids to brighten up my eyes.
  8. Now I use a large, soft powder brush, like Bare Escentuals Handy Buki Brush, to lightly apply Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder all over my face, neck, and chest.
  9. Next I do some basic contouring using an angled powder brush, like Sigma F40 – Large Angled Contour brush, and Hoola. I apply the Hoola in the hollows of my cheeks at a diagonal line extending to my hairline. I also apply some near my temples, under my chin and jawline, and on the sides of my nose.
  10. I blend the Hoola in with a soft powder brush, like the Sigma F50 Duo Fibre brush. Blend, blend, blend!
  11. Now I apply Benefit Cosmetics CORALista Blush in a diagonal line from the apples of my cheeks up to my hairline using the angled brushed I used to contour. I also put a touch of the blush on the tip of my nose and bottom of my chin.
  12. I have very thick, dark eyebrows, so I rarely do anything to them. On a typical day, I just brush them with some Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara for Brows and Lashes to make sure everything’s under control. I always wipe most of the gel off on the edge of the container before putting in my brows – a little goes a long way!
  13. For eyeshadow, I use my Bare Escentuals Full Tapered Shadow Brush to apply a light, neutral shadow to my lids. This is not the exact shadow I’m using, but it’s really similar: REVLON Colorstay 16 Hour Eye Shadow Quad. Next I use Bare Escentuals Tapered Shadow Brush (a smaller brush than the one I just used) to apply Hoola to the crease of my eyes. Rather than wearing eyeliner, I apply a little Hoola to my lower lash line to warm up my eyes. I use a brush like this Sigma E65 – Small Angle brush.
  14. Now for some highlighting. I apply Maybelline New York Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer to my brow bones, underneath my eyes, down the center of my nose, above my cupid’s bow, and at the center of my chin. I blend with my concealer brush and then blend further with my BeautyBlender.
  15. I set my makeup with Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder using the Laura Mercier Velour Puff. I apply the powder to any areas I want to highlight or any areas that might be prone to get oily, like under my eyes, my forehead, my nose, and my chin. It’s important to press the powder onto your face, not wipe it.
  16. And LAST step…I curl my eyelashes one last time and apply a second coat of mascara.

It seems like A TON of work, but once you get the process down, it really doesn’t take too long. Let me know if you have any questions!

Weekly Uncut Blog: World Cup Final!

 

Last weekend, Germany won the World Cup Final against Argentina. It was a really good game, going into extra time, with Germany securing the win with an amazing goal by Mario Goetze. Honestly, his shot was GORGEOUS. The game was competitive, and fun to watch, but it would have been really nice to see an Argentine (specifically a Messi) goal and a bit more high stakes game-play. But like I said, very good game. Did you guys watch the World Cup? How about the Final?

Also, if you’re interested in any of the outfit items in my video, here are a few! Unfortunately, I bought some of these things a little while ago, so they’re not longer available, but I’ve posted similar ones below.
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GHEE & BROWN RICE / QUINOA PASTA (#JuneBlogADay #8)

Two things I’m digging lately, ghee and Trader Joe’s brown rice and quinoa fusilli pasta. photo5

1. Ghee.

I’m pretty new to using ghee and have been thrilled to find out that there are a bunch of health and cooking benefits. Basically, ghee is clarified butter, and is made by simmering butter and then separating the liquid part from the chunky party (yes, very technical description) — the liquid part will solidify once cooled, and that’s the ghee! (I smell a future DIY project….). Ghee is often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, but can also be used as a replacement for butter or oil.

First impression…tastes a lot like butter, but with a consistency very similar to coconut oil. I used it on top of my pasta tonight with a pinch of salt and some parmesan cheese.

Here are just a few of the great things about ghee:photo6

  • It has a high smoke point (482* F), which means you can cook and fry with it at high temperatures and it will not break down or burn.
  • It does not spoil easily, so it doesn’t really require much refrigeration, if any.
  • Apparently, when ghee is made, the milk solids are separated (that’s the chunky part I mentioned above) and removed, so people who are lactose intolerant can usually have ghee with no issue.
  • Ghee is super nutritious: high in Vitamins A, D, and E, a rich source of K2 and CLA.
  • It’s rich in fatty acids, which are a good source of energy. It also has butyric acid, which aids in digestion and decreasing inflammation in the body.

If you know me, you’ll know I LOVE butter (a friend has even endorsed me for “Butter” on LinkedIn…it’s that serious. But more on that later…), and ghee is kind of butter 2.0. I will never give up the real thing, but ghee is a great (healthful!) addition to my cooking. Order yourself some Ghee: Trader Joe’s Clarified Butter (Ghee), 8oz.

2. Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice and Quinoa Fusilli Pasta. (Order here!)

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I’m Italian. I was also an athlete my whole life, which means I used to eat pasta ALL THE TIME…dinner, microwaved for breakfast the next morning, you name it. And being a young, spry lil thing that ran my butt off in soccer practice and other sports nearly every night, it didn’t matter one bit how much pasta I consumed when I was younger. Nowadays, not so much. Today, pasta is more of a treat. I try to eat clean 80-90% of the time, and pasta does not factor into that clean eating plan. The grains I usually eat are brown rice and quinoa. So, you can imagine how THRILLED I was to discover quinoa and brown rice PASTA at TJ’s. And I kid you not, the only ingredients are brown rice and quinoa, and guess what, those count as clean eating! I honestly feel like I’m cheating each time I eat it — it really tastes like the real thing.

First impression…It completely satisfies any pasta cravings I ever have. It’s so good! Now, if you know your pasta, you’ll notice that it’s not EXACTLY the same as the real thing…with normal pasta, it’s smooth and your teeth cut through it easily. The brown rice and quinoa pasta is “stickier” and the tiniest bit chewy, but man, for an imposter, it does the job.

Ultimately, if you’re trying to eat healthy but absolutely needing to get your pasta fix, try this stuff out. Plus, it’s organic!

Tonight, I added a touch of ghee to my boiling water instead of olive oil, and then put a little bit on the finished pasta. YUM.

Palm Desert Pool Essentials (#JuneBlogADay Post #7)

photo1 (2)We’re heading to Palm Desert this weekend to watch the World Cup, the NBA finals, and lounge by the pool. And that is it. Can’t wait.

Here are some of my essentials for a weekend of lazy pool time…

Dining and Destinations

Santa Barbara Life & Style

California Wedding Day

805 Living

Havaianas Slim Logo Pop-Up Flip Flops (Also on Amazon)

Ray Ban Wayfarers in Urban Camouflage (Blue) (Also in Grey on Amazon)

Manage Your Day-to-Day from 99u

EOS Lip Balm in Sweet Mint

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen with SPF 55

Burt’s Bees Garden Tomato Toner

U Luxury Argan Oil

Lifefactory Glass and Silicone Water Bottle

Triangl Miami Mint Neoprene Bikini

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15

What are some of your key items for a weekend by the pool? (And who do you want to win the World Cup?!)

 

Healthy & Refreshing Appetizer/Dessert (#JUNEBLOGADAY Post #4)

The other night, I whipped up a VERY TASTY appetizer that was inspired by one of the dishes we ate at AOC. It also doubles as a healthy and refreshing dessert!

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Here’s what you need:

1 peach (sliced)

1 apricot (chopped)

Handful of pomegranate seeds

Dollop of ricotta cheese

Squeeze of half a lime

Mint sprigs to garnish

Aside from the full fat ricotta (you can use low-fat if you want, but trust me the real stuff is AMAZING…and worth it), this is a pretty healthy appetizer/dessert. Enjoy!

HOUSE PAINTER (#JUNEBLOGADAY POST #3)

My family owns a rental house in town, and we recently decided to give the place a mini-makeover. So, for the past two weeks, I’ve been helping out by painting it. It’s a four-bedroom, two-story house…and we’re doing ceilings, walls, and trim all different colors…so, no small feat. THANKFULLY, I was able to convince a friend to help me out. If I had to do it all by my lonesome, it’d take me 2 months and I’d have punched at least 3 people in the face by now…yeah, it’s suuuuuper fun.

I realize that I’ve only had a small taste, but this kind of steady physical work is exhausting! As silly as it might sound, this project has given me such appreciation and respect for people who work physically demanding jobs every day. Yes, your body probably gets used to it to a certain extent, but man…I’m a pretty in-shape person and painting whoops my butt…blisters, paint in my eyes/hair/nose/ears, jacked up fingernails, hand cramps, back muscles all knotted up and spasmy — YES, FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS, I KNOW — you get it, though, it’s tough!

(At the same time, there is something almost soothing about doing repetitive physical work like that…letting your mind wander and focus on something entirely separated from what you’re actually doing.)

To commemorate almost being done with painting, here are some really glamorous selfies. ENJOY.

Dinner at AOC (#JUNEBLOGADAY Post #2)

 

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On Sunday night, we went to AOC in Los Angeles for dinner to celebrate Charlie’s sister’s birthday! I’m pretty sure we ate one of everything off the menu. And it was INCREDIBLE.

Here’s some of what we ate (apologies for the photo quality — most of the time we ate them up as soon as they hit the table so snapping pics was tricky!)…

Cocktails

The “Oxaca Sour” – la penca mezcal, angostura, lemon, vanilla & egg white

Appetizers, Small Bites, & Main Courses

3 cheese plate

Bacon-wrapped dates

Marinated olives

Brioche, prosciutto, gruyère & egg flatbread

Grilled peaches, ricotta & pistachio aillade salad*

Curried cauliflower*

Spanish fried chicken*

Hanger steak with gorgonzola butter & shallot rings

Half roasted chicken

Baby broccoli with garlic & chili*

Desserts

 Vanilla pot de crème with spanish chocolate & marcona almonds

Butterscotch pot de crème with fleur de sel & salted cashew cookies*

Chocolate torta with coffee cream*

Medjool dates

Candied almonds & hazelnuts

Assorted house-made chocolates

Mini s’mores bites*

* = SUPER FAVORITE (let’s be real though, I loved everything!)

June Blogging Challenge! #juneblogaday

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I’m doing a June blogging challenge with two of my friends (Madeleine and Jess) in which we plan to blog each day. It’s June 2nd (well, technically June 3rd because it’s past midnight) and this is my first post…so I’m off to a great start…

We’re currently reading through 99U’s book Manage Your Day-to-Daywhich is all about establishing routines that help you maximize your focus and reach your creative potential. The book is a collection of essays from some pretty smart (and successful) people, like Seth Godin, Gretchen Rubin, Stefan Sagmeister, and many more. So far, I’ve found it to be incredibly insightful (I highly recommend it!).

In one of the first chapters, the various authors emphasize consistency when it comes to your creative practice. Don’t wait for creativity to strike you in order to do your creative work. Build a routine for it. Do it consistently, pure and simple. Over time, it will improve. Over time, it will get easier. Over time, you will achieve a lot. This basic idea of cultivating a consistent creative practice resonated strongly with each of us, and thus, the DAILY June blogging challenge was born.

…now I gotta go write day two’s post.

…and probably day three while I’m at it.

CONSISTENCY.