July Beauty Favorites

july_beauty_favoritesFor July I’ve been all about simple dewy makeup with bright lips. It has been so hot that I don’t want to apply too much makeup and instead prefer a fresher, cleaner look. I’ve been layering lots of light, creamy products and forgoing powders and dark colors. I love shimmery, glowy looks with pops of color for the height of summer. I’ve been using a lot of tinted moisturizer, cream blushes, and waterproof mascara but my three July beauty favorites were Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Metallic Peach, Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Volupte Shine in Coral Incandescent, and BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal.

stila_magnificent_metals_peachI’ve written about Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadows before (see my reviews of Metallic Peach and Metallic Violet). I love the cream-to-powder formula and the super sparkly finish. Metallic Peach is a great neutral color that really brightens my eyes. I wear it on its own with lots of black mascara for simple everyday looks and layered over bright colors for more fun. The foil finish is really eye-catching and I love how I can add just a little sparkle or build it up for a more intense look. I love how mermaid-like this shadow makes me feel! Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Metallic Peach is $32 here.

ysl_rouge_volupte_shine_coral_incandescentYSL’s Rouge Volupte Shines are my absolute favorite lipsticks. The first shade I bought was 12 Coral Incandescent and it’s still my favorite. It’s described as a bright cajun coral. Coral Incandescent is an intense reddish orange that really brightens my face. I love the light formula because it feels like I’m just wearing a lip balm but it still has incredible color payoff. Plus, it has a great fruity smell. These glide on so easily and keep my lips moisturized. They don’t last all day but they wear off well- no patchy or flaky spots with this lipstick! YSL’s Rouge Volupte Shine in 12 Coral Incandescent is $36 here.

becca_shimmering_skin_perfector_opalI’ve also written about my love for BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfectors before (see my reviews of Moonstone and Opal and of their holiday set with Pearl, Champagne Gold, and Opal). Opal remains my favorite and I love the liquid formula. I never really liked highlighters before I tried these but now they are a must-have for me. BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfectors give just the right amount of dewiness without making me look too shiny. I love Opal because it’s a warmer champagne color that blends into my skin and makes me look like I have a nice glow, not like I’m wearing highlighter. The liquid formula is easy to use and I only need a tiny bit so it lasts forever! I like to dab it on my cheekbones, above my eyebrows, in the middle of my forehead, above my lips, and on my chin. It adds just enough light to my face. BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal is $41 for the full-size or $19 for the travel size (which is still plenty) here.

What were your July beauty favorites?

-Molly

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Marbled

marble_top0Sometimes it’s hard to know how much you will like something until you try it out for awhile. A lot of times clothes can seem so nice in the store and it’s only once you get them home and wear them a bit that you find they’re too clingy, poorly made, or just not quite right. Other times, something turns out to be a lot better than you expected, which is the case for this cute marbled top.

marble_top2aDespite Forever 21 describing this as a dress, it is definitely a top (especially because it shrinks a little- hand wash totally recommended). I bought this at the beginning of the summer and it has been in constant rotation ever since. I usually don’t like button downs because I find them too stiff or too confining but this has a great relaxed fit. The material is a nice crinkled gauze that is super lightweight and perfect for summer and traveling since it doesn’t wrinkle. It is super comfortable and I love the marbled print. Plus, I’ve gotten compliments every time I’ve worn it!

marble_top3aThis marbled top also has a keyhole back which is a nice little detail. This is such a versatile piece. I love it on its own but it would also make a great swimsuit coverup and it will also work layered over jeans when the weather gets cooler. I wore it here with shorts for a casual vibe and added a bright bag and wedges for fun.
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marble_top5aMarbled Top: Forever 21 (currently sold out online, but check your local store), similar here // Shorts: American Eagle Outfitters Denim Midi Shorts // Bag: Kate Spade Cobble Hill Little Minka, old, different color here // Shoes: Steve Madden, old, similar here and here // Sunglasses: Ray-Ban New Wayfarers

-Molly

What have you been wearing this summer?

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Nashville Bound!!

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I have exciting news to finally share – I’m moving to Nashville in August!! I’m beyond excited for this adventure! Obviously, I’m sad to be leaving Los Angeles and all my friends here (that have really become family) but I think this move is really going to be great for me. I have visited Nashville a few times with work and have always had a fabulous time – which is really what sparked my decision to move. I’m looking forward to exploring the city, eating ALL the southern food, and listening to some great live music.

To celebrate the amazing friends I’ve made here in LA I had a going away barbecue last weekend. It was so great to have all my closest friends together for one last hoorah here in LA. I wanted to keep the party preparation pretty simple so I decided to have a barbecue at my place with hamburgers, fruit, chips and dip, sweet potatoes, and dessert (of course!). Everyone who knows me, knows that I’m not the greatest cook (shout out to E for taking care of the grilling) but I’m a decent baker. I brainstormed all these ideas for desserts to make: sugar cookies, pie, mini – donuts, etc but once I made the sugar cookies I realized I had been a little overzealous with my dessert ideas so I ended up just making the cookies and then funfetti cupcakes.

For the cookies I decided I wanted to make Tennessee shaped sugar cookies with cute frosting. I recently purchased Alison’s Cookie Party which is a great series of videos along with a pdf booklet of instructions on how to make fabulous sugar cookies and royal icing. I took a slight shortcut and used store bought dough but I made the icing following her recipe. I’ve made sugar cookies in fun shapes before but Tennessee is a hard shape! It took several tries to get the Tennessee shape to turn out decently since it was such a narrow sugar cookie. After getting the cookies done, I started working on the frosting using Alison’s recipe. It was slightly difficult to get the right consistency but I think I just need a little more practice. I was able to easily follow along with the videos to make the frosting and then used her tips to decorate the cookies. I think they turned out pretty good for my first attempt at fancy royal icing sugar cookies and they were a fun dessert addition to my party!

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While it was sad saying bye to my friends, I had a great time with everyone. The transition period is definitely bittersweet but I know I’ll be back to visit LA and I’m excited to show my LA friends around Nashville!

-Stacie

P.S. I’m gonna be roadtripping out to Nashville on the I-40 through Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Let me know if you have any fun suggestions of things to do or see along the way or places to eat at! Also, any cross country moving tips would be appreciated!

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Christopher Kane for NARS Blush in Starscape

christopher_kane_nars_starscapeWhen NARS teamed up with designer Christopher Kane to create a limited edition line of products, I was so excited to check them out. I tend to really like NARS’ limited edition lines and summer collections always include plenty of fun, bright colors. I’ve written before about how much I like NARS products and it’s no secret that I love pinks, especially bright ones. I liked quite a few of the products in this collection but when I spotted this Christopher Kane for NARS blush in Starscape, a neon pink, I had to have it.

christopher_kane_nars_starscape3The collection uses NARS’ signature matte black packaging but adds a fun pink twist to it. I think the packaging is really cute and it will be so easy to distinguish this blush from the other NARS blushes in my makeup drawer.

christopher_kane_nars_starscape1Starscape is such a fun neon pink. It’s very bright and I like that it’s warmer than most bright pink blushes. I think the warmer color makes it easier to wear and I love how well it pairs with bright pink lipsticks.

christopher_kane_nars_starscape2Even though Starscape is such a bright shade, it’s also a sheer formula so it’s not as intense on the cheeks as it is in the pan. This is designed to be worn by itself or layered with other blushes to create custom colors.

christopher_kane_nars_starscape4I was expecting the blush to be more intense on but since it’s a sheer blush it gives a nice soft glow. I still use a light hand because it’s easy to go overboard with this color. This doesn’t blend as well as other NARS blushes and it’s not as powdery but it still goes on well and lasts all day. Starscape is such a pretty color that is perfect for summer. It is fun and the warm neon finish makes it different than other bright pink blushes. This is definitely a unique blush color and I’m so glad I purchased it. Now I’m eyeing the other products in this collection. The Christopher Kane for NARS blush in Starscape is $30 here.

-Molly

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The Blender Girl Smoothies

blender_girl_smoothies3I’m a huge fan of smoothies. I love how they are a nice sweet treat that are actually healthy for you. I’m a regular at Tropical Smoothie Cafe and I also like make smoothies at home. I usually end up making the same flavors so I was excited to get The Blender Girl Smoothies by Tess Masters, a recipe book with all sorts of new flavors for me to try.

The Blender Girl Smoothies is a pretty in-depth collection of smoothie recipes. Masters includes beginner tips such as the best ways to layer ingredients for a smooth blend and which ingredients need to be cooked or prepared first. Each recipe includes nutritional facts and information on how it’s good for you (for instance the recipe I made is good for inflammation, immunity, detox, and weight loss). I started with Happy Hydration, which is a sweet, fruit-based smoothie but Masters also includes more unusual smoothie flavors (quite a few recipes include peppers and tomatoes). Each smoothie makes two servings but I halved mine and had plenty just for me.

blender_girl_smoothies4Happy Hydration
Serves 2

3 1/2 cups chopped seedless watermelon
2 cups frozen raspberries
1/4 cup loosely packed basil
Natural sweetener to taste (optional, I used Agave)

Optional Boosters:
1 teaspoon pomegranate powder
1/4 cup frozen raw cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Throw all of the ingredients into your blender and blast on high for about 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. Tweak sweetener to taste.

blender_girl_smoothies1blender_girl_smoothies5This smoothie was pretty good. It was thinner than I was expecting but still nice and refreshing. I usually associate basil with savory foods but it added a great flavor to this smoothie. The watermelon flavor was more prominent than I thought it would be and this had the perfect sweetness to it. I was really happy with how this smoothie turned out and I can’t wait to try more of the recipes!

-Molly

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

 

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