Category Archives: beauty


at home manicure + fall nail colors

November 7, 2016

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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?