Category Archives: beauty


my daily make-up routine

May 25, 2017

first of all, i need to give credit where credit is due. even though i love reading reviews and trying products i find on my own, i have begun to rely more and more on the suggestions of people whose make-up style i love. the four i look at the most for recommendations are Katy of The Beyouty Bureau, Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere and Kristin Lauria! Katy is SOOO real about struggling with acne and is hella honest. even though she is sometimes more glam than i am, i learn so much from watching her IG stories and everything i try that she recommends is freaking great. Emily has consistently weaned off make-up into a more and more simple routine which i admire and am trying myself as i work on my skin. and Kristin just nails that sweet, natural make-up look every time!

here’s the thing: this make-up line-up isn’t perfect. even though i really want to get to a point where everything i own, both in clothing and make-up but also in most other areas as well, is bought with the “quality over quantity” and “only natural” mindsets, i can’t just toss everything out the window and start from scratch because i don’t have that kind of budget currently. a couple of months ago, i did throw away all old make up brushes and foundation, breaking up with bareMinerals and trying tarte’s foundation which has helped my skin and has a much more natural, long-lasting finish. it’s like a thicker, fuller coverage bb cream and i am obsessed. it’s the reason i ever get a compliment on my skin, i am sure.

with all that being said, i do use e.l.f. brushes because they’re amazing and amazingly cheap, even though i’d love some big, fluffy, all natural brushes. so don’t get discouraged if you are replacing one product every couple of weeks — that’s essentially what i have doing since last november! you have to start somewhere.


my routine is simple and the purpose is to look as natural as possible, weaning off make-up as my skin clears more and more. i really struggled with girls being so forceful about “no make-up Mondays” and such because i would have/would still love to wear no face make-up/foundation. there is so much negativity about make-up but i just don’t think there’s a direct correlation for me between wearing some foundation and my strong belief in developing what’s on the inside first. so if it gives you a boost to wear something that evens out your skin tone or hides some scarring, don’t let anyone tell you that that makes you less self-confident.

so here’s what i do:

i take my foundation and dab a few dots on the top of my elf ultimate blending brush. less is more with this foundation which makes it last longer and look more natural. starting with the bottom of my face (always apply foundation first to your problem areas because you have the most foundation ready on your brush), i rub the product in circular motions, moving up my face but stopping before my cheekbones so i can still have a natural blush/flush throughout the day. i may apply a little to my t-zone (in-between my eyebrows and my lower forehead) if i need it but try not to.

then i take my concealer and apply it under my eyes in about four stripe movements, moving from the eye out to the cheek. i let it stay there and get a little tacky while i use the brow mascara on my brows, combing them into place and giving them a little more color. then i go back with the elf ultimate blending brush and tap it into place, being gentle with my under eye skin because it is so soft and pliable. i would like to try a different, lighter concealer because i don’t really have dark under-eye circles and this one doesn’t do much for me. i honesty use it more out of routine. i do love the bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener so i may buy that next!

using the elf complexion brush, i apply a TINY bit of the bare minerals warmth powders to my face, trying not to focus on my cheeks but using it a bit below and on my t-zone. then i take the well people brightener stick and apply one stripe high on each cheekbone, using my fingertips to spread and tap it into my skin, giving myself a dewy glow. i read a ton of reviews on this product and i think i like it about 80% of the time. it sometimes makes my skin look oily but i also love that i can wear it without any make-up for a natural highlight.

using the Albeit all over face brush, i apply blush to right above where some would apply contour color. i don’t contour because that is way too much work for me, but ideally you would layer your blush right above that, so not to mimic jolly cheeks of Santa Claus super high on your face but just below to make it look natural. does that make sense? i tend to apply a little more blush than i deem necessary because it is my go-to trick for making my eyes look brighter and bluer. it also looks feminine and adds a natural flush which is a look i’ve always liked! this tarte blush is unbelievable. truly. i love it.

after curling my lashes (i had heard SO much about this curler and i do like it! it fits my eye shape better!), i apply the benefit mascara, top with a couple of coats of the lancome mascara and sometimes add a little bit of eyeliner to my top lid to make my eyes look bigger and brighter aka when i am tired. 🙂 i never go all the way across my lid, starting from the outer corners and work in about 60% across my lid. i don’t have many secrets with mascara and honestly, would love extensions because mine are so pitiful. could be worse.;)

as for lips, i usually just use Smith’s Rosebud Salve that i will get you hooked on if i talk to you for more than 30 seconds about it. it’s this perfect lightly tinted, rose-scented lip product that’s $6 and make you feel truly impeccable. the l’oreal nude lipstick is killer for a light color and looks good truly on anyone (also v cheap). one swipe of the buxom lippie is my go to now that i have a little bit of a tan! it’s such a cute color and so pigmented so i only have to use a little!

the point of this routine is to merely accentuate my features. i am not trying to recreate my face everyday. i just want to add some color, even out my skin and help with my super light eyelashes. i have ALWAYS loved that girls with thick, dark lashes and brows look amazing without any mascara but i truly look like i haven’t slept in a couple of days. i use to take it really personally when girls were like oh i never wear eye make-up but everyone is different! cheers to them and their luscious lashes. mine are short and light and need some tender loving care.


i put a star next to the products i would definitely buy again! the others i will compare others to  see if there’s something better.

*NYX Professional Makeup Tinted Brow Mascara in Chocolate

bareMinerals BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum Concealer in Medium

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara in Black

*tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 in Medium Sand

*Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Creamsicle

Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara in Excessive Black

*L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Collection Lipstick in Jennifer’s Nude

W3LL People Bio Brightener Stick 

*Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

bareMinerals All-Over Face Color in Warmth

*tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Captivation (bright peach)

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx

*e.l.f. Ultimate Blending Brush

*e.l.f. Complexion Brush

Albeit All Over Face Brush


a skin routine that works

May 23, 2017


today i am sharing my struggle with acne (yes, even as a 23 year old) because i am honestly just super frustrated with reading loads of blogs and either no one has acne or no one wants to talk about it. which confuses me but that’s the harsh side of social media for ya: we all complain that no one is real but then never talk about real things. #bahhumbug

for some reason on lifestyle blogs, i find everything except chatting about the following: Aunt Flo/Mother Nature/that time of month i feel like i might shave my head and eat my weight in ice cream and acne. why? i don’t know! we all experience both as women so it’s just very bizarre to me that we pretend they don’t happen?

so i am going to talk about them. 😉

**period chat will come at another time. i have cramps that have sent me to the hospital before and i have been working on getting them more under control because honestly, i am terrified to get them anywhere other than my bedroom because they cripple me and my hormones rage so freaking hard that i have written down on my calendar exactly when i start to feel loony so i can remind myself it’s just that time of month. BUT ANYWAYS! that post will come in a couple months because i am currently working through some solutions but i don’t want to say things that don’t work — so stay tuned! let’s chat Aunt Flo soon.

today i will go through my skin care routine which consists of two products i use everyday and a couple of lifestyle changes.

S K I N C A R E //

wanna play never have i ever?

i’ll go first.

never have i ever had someone tell me my skin looks good.

until about two months ago and i just about passed out.

i have struggled with acne prone skin since the first days of puberty in middle school. and you know when people are like, oh it’ll go away in your 20s? yeah, no. mine didn’t. it was so sensitive for me this fall. i felt so awful about my skin and the winter didn’t help. here in st. louis, it gets so dry and bitter cold, making your skin wonder why you’re trying to sabotage it.

i was SO frustrated and bitter with girls who had grown out of their acne and mine had came back on my jawline in these cystic pimples that just lay there for freaking ever, hurting and sometimes itching, and then leaving behind small scars. i literally couldn’t even pop them if i tried so i felt like i was losing the battle but not even doing anything wrong!!!

my mom and i did loads of research and found out that this is very common for girls in their 20s as your hormones continue to shift and settle (although do they ever?). this is part of the reason i continue to cut it out sugar more and more (more on that later!) and limit my dairy. i started drinking loads of water and really paying attention to what i put in my body, knowing that it would show on the outside soon enough.

but even though that helped, it didn’t cure it. and it was painful and embarrassing. so i finally just sucked it up and went to the dermatologist, who ended up being the sweetest lady who also shared that she’ll probably have acne for forever too. it was such a cool moment of her just chatting vulnerable woman to vulnerable woman.

i know many girls take birth control and other oral medicines to help with acne but i try to do things more naturally and only use medicine as a last resort (which is why i have been trying essential oils through my friend ashley!). at this point though, i needed something more than the creams and potions my mom gave me.

so here’s my routine!


i use two products every day. one is the Cetaphil cleanser and lotion combo. Cetaphil is great for acne prone skin and it’s very inexpensive. it’s recommended by like every dermatologist ever. i would love to invest in something more natural when it runs out but at the moment, it’s getting the job done.

i have used Cetaphil products for years and what i love is how gentle the cleanser is. i chatted with my dermatologist about scrubs and those little electric brushes you can use and all those fancy tools and she was literally like “just use this gentle cleanser, be consistent with the topical cream and be patient.” she was totally right! as tempting as it is to get these cool scented, beaded, exfoliating, glow-in-seconds cleansers, your skin is sensitive! treat it gently!!!

i am not the world’s biggest fan of the lotion because it’s a bit oily so i am currently hunting for a new one i like so stay tuned on that — i am sure i’ll share about what i find on my Instagram stories per usual. but it’s good for now! i used to love this Aveeno one so maybe i’ll go back to that? i am trying to buy products that rate low on the Think Dirty app though so i’ll have to see how that one rates!

although many people say to wash your face in the morning, i don’t unless i have worked out! my skin does way better if i don’t and i just wash it at night before i go to sleep after taking off all my make-up. ALL THE MAKE-UP. GONE-ZO. EVERY NIGHT. CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.

the second product is a prescription topical cream called Epiduo. it. has. worked. wonders. i first used Epiduo Forte because it’s a big stronger (and my derm could tell how self-conscious i was). it did get worse before it got better but now my skin is the best it has been in a REALLY long time. seriously. and it was nowhere near that 6 months ago. the oral pill has some cray side effects so i chose the slower route via the topical cream but it truly only took me about 6-8 weeks to start seeing really great results. that might sound like a long time but when it’s already been bad, waiting  is relative.;)

T H E  R U N D O W NNNN //

  • pull back hair with a scrunchie
  • remove all make-up (going to start using coconut oil because my friend jenna said it’s been helping her eyelashes so YA COUNT ME IN. also #cheap #natural.)
  • splash face with lukewarm water
  • gently rub one pump of cetaphil cleanser all over my face and a little down my neck. GENTLY. no pulling or scrubbing. ain’t nobody want wrinkles.
  • rinse face.
  • PAT FACE DRY. my mom screeches at my when i pull at my face with a towel v aggressively and she has amazing skin. so i take a leaf out of her book and i pat pat pat and leave it a little moist!
  • let dry completely and then cover problem areas (for me — my jawline and lower face) with a thing layer/one pump of Epiduo.
  • the end. 🙂

if i do wash my face in the am, i just use the cleanser and a moisturizer! make sure to (again) be gentle and pat the lotion in. don’t pull and rub. pat. pat pat pat. GENTLE LADIEZ.

O T H E R  T I P SSSS //

i begged my derm to let me use fancy masks and she was like fiiiiiine every couple weeks you can. haha! she really swears by being consistent and simple and the freaking routine works. but i do use this #1 best seller $10 mask every 3ish weeks because it makes me feel like i low key got botox. it is unbelievable. and so natural and so cheap! BUY IT AND THANK ME LATER.

i guzzle water. i use the my water app to track it and just flush everything through my system.

i stay low-sugar, choosing when to eat sugar instead of it hiding in everything, and eat as many raw foods as possible.

minimal caffeine — i only drink caffeinated tea.

minimal dairy.

i tryyyy to keep sodium low.

i read through all ingredients of everything i buy to make sure i can recognize and understand what i am putting in my body. what you put in WILL reflect on the outside!

BE GENTLE. SEE A DERM. my two biggest tips. your face doesn’t need every scrub under the sun. it needs a personalized, consistent routine. make the investment to see a recommended dermatologist because you deserve to feel confident in your own skin.

i know how hard it can be when girls are screaming left and right to wear less make-up when you aren’t comfortable with your skin without any to help cover. but keep trying until you find the sweet spot. it took me from november til now to confidently write this post and even now, i am trying new products. the more natural the better. i think i’ll even try essential oils!

my goal was to get it to a manageable place and then reevaluate at my follow-up appointment with her this summer. so stay tuned! 🙂


remember that what works for many might not work for you! keep trying new ways and combos until your skin starts reacting positively. also, remember that the make-up you use will also have an impact on your skin — since it sits there ALL day. thursday i will be going through my whole routine and products! see you then.





up your ‘do: my hair routine

April 6, 2017

i am so excited about this post!!! i feel like my hair is truly different since using these products and tricks for the last 9ish months. err — my ‘do is different. 😉

we’re going to dive right in. after a tale…

when i was living in france, i got my hair trimmed by this super darling lady. the first time i went in, my hair was in a bun and was a gross mess. you know how it is when you go in to get it cut. who cares at that point, right? anyways, she told me this metaphor for hair that i always think about now: hair is like a plant. it needs water, sun and nutrients. that’s why our hair doesn’t grow as much in the winter – we eat worse, it’s cloudy and we aren’t playing in the pool or in the ocean. we also usually drink less water. if you treat your hair like it’s a living thing, which it kind of is, you’ll treat it differently.

so here we go.

i am going to run through my whole hair routine with you starting with…

lifestyle changes //

yes, LIFESTYLE changes. i have a couple of blog posts in the queue about how some of these changes have also helped my acne, energy and wacko + really painful periods, but hang tight for those!

  1. drink water. drink literal gallons of water. no more “i drink a lot of water” and downing one nalgene and thinking you’re through. download the “my water” app, set a goal and meet it every single day. this has made an enormous difference in my eating habits, hair, skin and energy. i feel more clear headed and have almost no headaches. WATER. the first medicine of the people, as my dad would say. i also use these true lemon packets (naturally flavored – woohoo!) to help me get to my goal. just a nalgene, water and some flavor.
  2. sleep more. this is obvious but the more/better you sleep, the better you will feel and the healthier your hair will be. bada bing bada boom.
  3. relieve stress. this is a bit much to get into now in this post about hair but i definitely notice that i lose more hair (i used shed like a dog in college) when i am under stress and not taking care of myself. tips on that in a future post! it’s definitely going to affect your body in so many physical ways. in a VERY short version, getting physically active everyday, realizing that i can only change me and reading more has helped me manage anxiety. that’s about as brief as brief gets. 😉
  4. shower less. i just mean wash your hair less. PLEASE BATHE. i wash my hair once or twice a week thanks to dry shampoo and caring less. seriously. when i lived in california this summer, i decided i was going to train my hair (that’s not a thing but also a thing) to be less greasy. so i washed my hair like once a week and just did lots of little braids and up do’s and changing my part. and the funny thing is that no one cares about your hair as much as you think they do unless it’s straight up dripping in grease. so just push yourself to shower less for a couple months and i PROMISE you’ll see a difference. this is coming from a girl who used to think she would have to shower everyday. success story right here. commit to it – so easy with summer around the corner and being able to pull off updo’s because of the heat.
  5. eat raw. what you eat will affect your skin and hair. fact. i am living proof. my hair is stronger and grows more quickly since i stopped eating loads of sugary, empty carb foods and started having balanced meals, including proteins and greens, and eating more raw foods, less processed ones. these changes were a consequence of severe allergies but has also helped me realize how many times i was putting something in my mouth that i couldn’t even read the ingredients list. i have a rule that since i am reading the allergens list already, i have to make sure i know every ingredient. really can’t stress this nutrition bit enough!! i think it’s why when you see photos of girls who live in hawaii, their hair is so lush. there’s so much produce and they eat so well and their hair reflects that! and they take showers by swimming in the ocean so there’s another reason. just a little hypothesis of mine.
  6. get frequent trims. just do it. i know it’s annoying money spent but the longer you wait in-between, the more they will have to cut off.

tools //

some random blow dryer that needs to be replaced (source: costco? kohls? france? who knows. not fancy is the bottom line. anyone have one they love?)

sedu revolution styling iron (use these irons ’til they die and then i buy another.)

a random brush (this is something i haven’t changed but also should probably look into what brushes are best to use…but i don’t use anything special currently!)

products //

so here’s the whooooole run through of a shower by moi

brush hair out

wet hair, wash with this l’oreal shampoo that i love, rinse

wash with the twin l’oreal clay conditioner*, wash body/stand there like i am in a fancy spa when i am not, rinse conditioner

*DO NOT IMMEDIATELY RINSE YOUR CONDITIONER. all caps because i am being very serious. it is essential that when you condition, you leave it in for a couple of minutes so do something else in the meantime! shave your legs, do a dance, belt out some tunes – you know the drill.

get out of the shower, GENTLY towel dry hair (i should really use an old t shirt instead – this is a good reminder for me!) and then the products begin…

first i put a dime-sized amount of this john frieda serum in my hair, starting by running it through the tips of my hair to heal those split ends with the majority of the product and then work my way up to my roots so that i have the least on my palms when i get to the part of my hair i see and touch the most. this is how i put any hair product in my hair and i never have that greasy, product-thick effect – works like a charm!

next up is the giovanni 2chic avocado and olive oil magic that i LOOOVE. it’s tiny in my photo because my mom got like 8274 samples of it so i am currently milking those but this is so worth the money. i work it through just like the above serum. note: a tiny bit goes a long way with this. giovanni anything is so so so good.

then there’s the aveda damage remedy which is PRAISE HANDS. my hair dresser recommended it to me and i was literally like no. not paying that money. and then she explained that by strengthening my hair, i could get it cut less (less money there) and it would grow faster (hallelujah there). i LOVE this product. it’s lightweight, my hair feels healthier and i have noticed that it doesn’t look as frayed and it’s been almost two months since my last trim. also, the bottle doesn’t even feel like i’ve used any because you use so little so it’ll probably last me … i am going to say 6 months? stay tuned on that.

i finish it off with a couple spritzes of the suave weightless blow dry spray. (yes, my hair is still wet. it’s a routine.) to be honest, i am not sure that this step even does anything but it also isn’t hurting so i am just going to use this bottle up and see if it did make such a difference. i’ll keep you posted on my IG stories if i repurchase it!

then i brush my hair, shake my head like a dog to get off the excess water and blow dry it if i want. i use my hot iron every so often to straighten it but i am trying more and more to pin it up in the classic ania braid updo that i invented this summer or attempting to curl it a bit. the slick straight look just isn’t really my vibe but my hair is also SUPER curly so i look approximately 5 years old if i don’t do anything. working on that situation. 😉

i also spray my hair with this biosilk shine on spray after blowing my hair out that my mom was addicted to this summer and then i stole and also became addicted to. oh. my. lanta. i have never used a product that claims to help your hair shine and it actually works. THIS STUFF DOES. my hair gets that glowy look that is usually ruined by blow drying and straightening thus making it look more natural and healthy. but it does not make it greasy. i have a back-up for this already because that’s how much i like it. and it smells SO GOOD. people used to stop me in retail and ask me what my perfume was but it was just this spray. such a good product.

after i blow dry it (if i don’t straighten it), i put it in a bun at the nape of my neck and fasten it there with a fancy neon orange scrunchie circa homecoming 2k10. #glam. that way, i don’t have a kink in some weird place on my head because of a top knot AND i encourage my tight curls to mimic the big curl of the bun, making it easier for me to curl later. or i’ll braid it loosely and pin it up! i used to immediately want to straighten the fro but i have found that if i give it time to naturally settle, i can apply less heat tools which is my goal!

oh, and if i need some hold for a style, i use my trusty nexxus comb thru finishing spray (medium hold). my roommate got me hooked on this stuff when i had to borrow hers. i LOVE nexxus shampoo and conditioner so i knew i’d love everything else they touch. and i do. it’s a great product and it’s going to last me months, i can tell already. it’s light, doesn’t make my hair stick or stiff and is just a really great hair spray. no complaints here.

then to make it last, i use my favorite ever dry shampoo by r + co – the death valley! as you know, i am trying to find a new, less expensive one so i’ll keep you posted on those results!

PHEW. that was long. if you were to take three things from that, i would…

remember that your hair will reflect the food and water you digest. be intentional! take your vitamins! eat some salmon! it’s a plant. 🙂 

buy the john frieda and/or giovanni serum. my fav products. been using the john frieda one since high school. 

take a couple months to be intentional about only washing your hair once/twice a week to give your hair a chance to reset.

i hope this helps anyone who is trying to make their hair healthy and long — especially with summer just around the corner! i am not a hair expert but between my mom, sister and i plus all of our wise hairdressers, we try a LOT of products. and i’ll keep you all in that fun loop! 🙂

now go up that ‘do.


best of the best: dry shampoo

April 3, 2017

i started a new series on IG stories this week. basically what will happen is this: i will ask for what your favorite ________ is. fill in the blank with whatever your heart dreams of knowing the champion of: dry shampoo, yogurt brand (noosa won that before it started), mattress company, mascara, swim suit store. then anyone and everyone can DM me on instagram with their favorites. a couple days later, i’ll compile them in a neat little post like this! this way EVERYONE benefits, i don’t have to try to do the impossible in trying to hunt down every single one and also we can be a tiny community helping each other through the hard stuff like which freaking deodorant to buy. ya know?

this week: dry shampoo. i splurged and bought the r + co death valley a couple months ago because i had heard SO much about it and just had to see for myself. IT’S AMAZING. it doesn’t turn your hair white (or any color for that matter) and i was able to go sometime FIVE DAYS to WORK with my hair loaded with THIS MAGIC SOLUTION. SO MANY CAPITAL LETTERS. also their packaging sings sweet things to my soul so that’s definitely in their favor.

the only problem? it’s a leeeeeetle pricey. but i pay like $8 for shampoo and conditioner at walgreens right now so i am honestly open to splurging again if i can’t find something i like as much. more on that $8 combo later this week…

so i took to you all to poll favs! these were the favorites and i am going to try a lot of new ones before slinking back to this golden dust i’ve been using because i would love to find something less expensive.

batiste dry shampoo: GREAT price point and recommended by all. so i bought it. trial 1. i hated it. HAHAH. i am the worst, you guys. but really – it turned my hair grayish/white and yes, absorbed the grease but I CAN’T AGE MYSELF 50 YEARS everytime i use dry shampoo. it’s headed back to target tomorrow and i am going to try….

dove refresh + care

straight up baby powder

TRESemmé fresh start

nexxus refreshing mist (i love their hair spray – more to come on that on Thursday!)

herbal essences naked dry shampoo


stay tuned on my instagram stories for which one wins my heart!


at home manicure + fall nail colors

November 7, 2016

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

if i had a penny for every time someone asked me where i get my nails done, i’d be chilling in the bahamas right now. the funny thing is that i have gotten probably less than five manicures in my life! i paint my nails about once a week, typically while i work on my blog or work on editing but have gotten so good at it that a salon manicure has lost its appeal. also, i hate how gel manicures make my nails feel after!

i do have a little system, along with very few products, that will help you get a salon-worthy manicure for a fraction of the price! i know painting nails might seem trivial and superficial, but it’s such a simple, cheap thing to do to make yourself feel a little bit put together and have fun with something you can easily change. if painting my nails is the worst thing i do, i figure i am doing just fine. here are my quick tips for a mani that will wow;)

1 | wash your hands and remove any remaining nail polish with nail polish remover and a cotton round. pro tip: buy cotton rounds. using toilet paper will make you lose your mind and make a mess. plus, you can buy a pack for a little over a dollar at target that will last you months.


also please don’t judge my yellow-y nails. i never don’t have polish on so truly does it matter?;)

2 | file your nails!* have you ever noticed that when you get a manicure, they never clip your fingernails? instead, they file it down to the perfect shape which is also what makes a good manicure look so polished. life hack: buy a file and do it yo self. this is the one i use and love – plus it’s super cheap at ulta.


*please clip your toe nails. filing them will be way more difficult and unnecessary.

3 | pick a great color and brand. my go to nail polish brands are essie and opi. my one complaint with essie is that the brush is a bit skinny and thin for my taste. i tried a blush sally hansen shade that i have on in my final manicure of this post and fell in love with their brush!


it’s full and goes on so much more evenly/quickly. so if someone knows a brush engineer at essie, that’s my one complaint.;) essie has great vibrant colors, like fun coral and red shades, but i usually tend towards opi for my blush, nude and dark polishes. the more you know.

i made this fun little color wheel for all of you for my summer and fall favs. i try to snap chat (@ania.sullivan) my nail color as often as i can but i thought it might be helpful for you all to have it in a post that you can refer to when you’re looking to pick out a new shade. here’s the unedited photo so you can really see the true color and all of the names are listed below the photo!


starting with the one i am holding and heading clockwise:

sally hansen: pink pong

essie: ladylike

opi: nein! nein! nein! ok fine! (i think – this one actually got lost in the move:(

opi: lincoln park at midnight

opi: casino royale

essie: no chips ahead

opi: mimosas for mr. and mrs.

opi: chocolate moose

opi: barefoot in barcelona

4 | paint more than one layer + be patient. i typically paint three layers and wait until they are completely dry in-between each. i recommend working on your computer, watching a movie, going for a walk/drive or reading while doing your nails. not before: cooking, fixing your hair, taking a shower – you know the drill. also, it tends to work better in cooler climates so turn on your fan or open a window because humidity will make them gel-y and easily ruined post-manicure. double also, don’t do your nails before bed. you’ll probably wake up with little creases from the sheets so pro tip is to do it after you shower but way before bed.

5 | use a good top coat. the most important step of an at home manicure is the top coat. this will make sure your nails don’t chip and look great until they’ve grown out. my two favorites are both by essie. one is called the ‘super duper top coat’ and there other is ‘no chips ahead top coat’ but i think super duper takes the cake.

follow these steps and your nails will look like….


…this! it took me a while to get this good and fast so remember that practice makes perfect!

a few more things i have learned: base coats are a waste of money; fast dry typically means less protection and shine; and try new shades! i never pinned myself as a black nail polish gal, but i love it now. also, check out this article by cosmopolitan – it will help you find the shades that look best on you. for instance, i don’t look great in hot pink/fuchsia colors but they look way different + better on my sister.

just a small, cheap pleasure to help ya through that money-tight, budget-heavy season you might be in. 😉


vibed while writing to i know somebody by locash


the great mascara hunt of summer 2016

September 28, 2016

okay so after trying a gazillion mascaras, i have found le winner.

you might be asking yourself, “why in the world does she care so much about mascara?”

touché, my internet friend.

two answers:

  1. life is pretty bland around here so i try to make grand adventures out of kind of nothing. a trip to starbucks turns into the most exciting thing i do all day. going to work involves also stopping at sephora to browse around or taking the long way home to bump to music. going on a walk involves finding the perfect podcast to listen to. so finding the perfect mascara was a way for me to take my mind of some other more serious, less frivolous things.
  2. i don’t wear a lot of make up and i am trying to wear less, especially on my face. since the only thing i regularly replace is mascara (because blush and bronzer last A G E S), i let myself spend a little more. i’d rather have one really nice one that i use til it’s completely dry than three cheaper versions that i rotate until i get sick of them which is usually when they’re only about half finished.

these are the ones i tried:

  • too faced better than sex: my favorite before le winner. h8 that name, love(d) the mascara. the only problem is that it has a lot of “fall-out” which i learned from my pals at sephora is when mascara kind of just falls off your eyelashes throughout the day which makes them look kind of worn out by the end. i’d have to agree. this mascara makes you feel like a million bucks when you put it on but after comparing it to le winner, it just didn’t have the same lasting effect.
  • maybelline great lash: it just doesn’t do much for me? it’s pretty wet, doesn’t give a lot of volume (which i need for my spindly little lashes) and i end up getting another one everytime i buy it.
  • covergirl lashblast: the bristles on this mascara are useless – they’re SO short. by the time i give up on my 78th coat trying to get some length, they’ve become so thick that i get annoyed. merp.
  • bobbi brown eye opening: this made my eyelashes v heavy and didn’t give them a lot of length. however, i do get why it’s called eye-opening because your lashes look very black which rims your eyes and gives them a bright-eyed look. maybe if i had longer lashes it would’ve worked better for me!
  • l’oreal double extend lash extension effect: holy smokes that’s a mouthful. so this mascara has a primer which will make your lashes look really defined and pretty. if you’re looking for a more natural looking lashes mascara, this is the one. i like a little more volume and drama. #thrills
  • l’oreal voluminous volume building: that feels like the same word twice to me – anyone else?;) i had hopes for this little guy but alas, another return. it was very wet and thus clumped together with every coat since it never really fully dried.

and le winner is…lancome’s hypnose drama instant full volume! this little tube is freaking expensive. completely hear you on that. but, i’ll admit it, i am vain about my eyelashes. so i’d rather get a nice mascara than get starbucks everyday. s u e  m e.

reasons why it rocks:

  • it still looks good after a full day of wearing it
  • it will give you length, definition and fullness. which is VERY hard to pull off i have learned
  • it’s VERY black which i lurveeeee #ohthedrama
  • the angled, curvy brush actually helps me get full coverage on my lashes and they look more full which is a FEAT because i am pretty sure i have approximately 7 lashes. total.
  • it smells good…? no idea why but it has like a nice scent? guess that’s what you get for selling your soul to lancome
  • the packaging makes you feel like a regal baller whilst amidst your other feeble make-up products that are being worn down to the bare bones

quick tips: to make your mascara last longer don’t pump the mascara brush in and out of the tube. you’re forcing oxygen into the tube which will cause it to dry out faster.

oh, and there’s a LOT of product in this lancome tube so the first couple of times i had to lightly scrape some excess off but it’s golden now. i’m taking that as a plus because the more the better for that price point.

if you’re at the end of this post, i just want to say that your commitment to lashes makes you both amazing and insane. welcome to the club.

p.s. i’ll let you know how long it lasts and what my thoughts are after a full term of using it. why did i just say full term? no, i am not pregnant.


vibed to this is us while writing – is anyone else really into this new show? it’s a good one. and i am PICKY when it comes to tv shows.

beauty / style

instafollow: beauty + style

September 19, 2016

hello friends! i have missed you!!!

so sorry for the lag on posts last week. learned a valuable lesson of blogging that i need to pre-write posts when i am going to go visit my nephew because i couldn’t seem to put him down for long enough to write a post. 😉 as my way to make up for that, there will be a post everyday this week!

today i am continuing the instafollow series with my fav beauty accounts to follow! this summer i have become quasi obsessed with beauty tips, especially for make-up. i am not a make-up wiz by any stretch of the imagination but i do want to start to buy the best of the best instead of a million drugstore or cheaper versions … because it ends up equaling the same amount!

so as a result of my curiosity, i have found some really good accounts so let’s get started!!!

1 | kristin lauria: her account is mainly just photos of her doing life and being adorable but her YouTube channel is where it’s at my friends. props to everyone who goes to cosmetology school and does rad make-up, but i don’t want anything super extreme so i tend to follow normal gals with a knack for finding the best products! kristin is a make-up fiend and i LOVE her videos. i have tried lots of her recs this summer and they’re always good. also she’s freaking sweet as cotton candy and it’s not an act. literally so nice.


2 | emily schuman of cupcakes and cashmere: emily does a ton on her blog but her style is a bit out of my price range usually. however i LOVE her beauty section. one of her editors, alina, used to be a beauty editor and they just seem to know it all together. #dreamteam. she keeps it affordable for the most part and does awesome comparison pieces with lipsticks, mascaras and shows lots of photos so you can see the differences! also her daughter, sloan, is so cute on snapchat and i feel like i know them personally…


3 | kayti oldham of the beyouty bureau: kayti is just super real and her instagram doesn’t have millions of followers but she has the best tricks and budget-friendly make-up tips. she won’t tell you to go spend $100 on a face cream, always knows where the best sale is and she’ll always respond to your comments if you have a question or want her advice! she struggles with acne and makes sure to use products that won’t irritate her skin which i SUPER appreciate. also she’s just super genuine.


4 | jenna from jenna’s kitchen: she is one of my all-time favs. follow her on snapchat. she is SO real and down-to-earth and i just feel like we could be friends in real life. we’re a similar level of girly-ness. she started to do more and more style posts on her IG and she’s on fleek, peeps. this is all funny because she’s actually a foodie account but i just love her style!


5 | julia engel from gal meets glam: first of all, FOLLOW HER ON SNAP CHAT. funny story: i actually was kind meh on julia because i don’t reallllyyyyy have the same style as her but her account is such good inspiration and her photo quality is unreal. but then i followed her on snapchat and liked her as a person which makes me want to follow and support her! she’s based in san francisco with her husband but they are moving to charleston (i think soon?) and they travel a LOT which i love to see on snapchat. also she snapped all of NYFW and i was d.y.i.n.g. i follow her mainly for her beauty tips because she has amazing hair and the make-up i go for which i call “enhanced natural” – essentially it’s not overdone and just enhances your natural features! some of her products can get pricey but she often does drugstore finds or cheaper products so it’s worth it to look at her beauty page! #stillnotoverherhair


6 | caroline joy rector from un-fancy: she was the one that coined and formulated (is that a word?) the idea of a capsule wardrobe, at least to my knowledge. she is pretty minimalist and although i think i am a bit more interested in trends and styling, she has the BEST ADVICE for staples. i literally stalk her posts for the essentials like the best cami, the best jeans, the best sandals. i hope that i emulate her in that respect – that you know you’re getting a solid recommendation when you see mine!!!


7 | christina from new darlings: omg her hair. HER HAIR AND HER GLASSES AND HER BANGS. when she does the braided hair crown, i lose my mind. she reminds me a little of what’s her name from new girl…ZOOEY!!! anyways, this girl’s account is quickly becoming one of my favorites. i have been really refining my style accounts lately and hers always makes the cut. she has a really fresh, crisp look that i am leaning towards these days. i would say it’s madewell meets j crew meets urban. hers not mine. #oneday. LOVE HER. also her husband and her are so cute and trendy it pains me.


8 | anna from in honor of design: this was a hard toss-up because i want to include her in my lifestyle instafollow post but i love her style and her beauty go-to’s are CONSTANTLY epic when i try them so maybe i’ll just put her in both? anna is hands-down one of my top three fav accounts on instagram. the end. she’s a catholic mom of five, loves her hubs, keeps it real, has great taste and is remodeling their home which is a dream of mine one day. she just seems to like all the things in life i do? idk, one day we’ll be friends so stay tuned. she has great style but also epic pregnancy style – is it weird that i sometimes bookmark her maternity clothes for when that happens for me? is it weird that i am not pregnant or with any plans to be anytime soon and still do that? welp, the cat is outta the bag on that one. (jk, the cat is veryyyyy deep in the bag. i hate cats.)


9 | kathleen kay: i love kat! she works with one of my friends at the georgetown free people and she is always wearing the best new pieces from them. i follow her because then i know what to buy at free people and that is a very important aspect of my life. also a lot of respect for her love of emojis.


and that’s it! i don’t have a tenth and i don’t want to give you someone sub par so there ya go. i hope you find some inspiration in these accounts! see you next monday for the instafollow: lifestyle/mom blogger series which is most certainly going to be my favorite. #goals

vibed to starving by hailee steinfeld … which i am weirdly obsessed with?