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Halloween Make-up Inspiration

Halloween is just around the corner! As I’ve gotten older, dressing up for the festivities has become more and more of a chore. When I was a kid, it felt so hard to decide between so many great choices, but now I usually feel completely unable to find a really good costume. Unluckily, I’ve never been crafty enough to make an entire original creation either. I’ve learned to focus on the make-up as the centerpiece of my effort. When the make-up is really good, somehow the rest of a costume is always elevated too, and it makes the whole thing fun again. Check out some of my favorite beauty YouTubers for some inspiration:

Halloween Make-up

Desi Perkins

Halloween Make-up

LustreLux

Halloween Make-up

Cosmobyhaley

Halloween Make-up

Angela Lanter

Halloween Make-up

Chrisspy

“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.” — Paula Guran

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Autumn Boots Wish List

Am I the only one who’s noticed it’s getting a little chillier? It’s finally time to pull back out my favorite type of shoes…BOOTS! For the rest of the year I’ll probably wear boots more than anything else. Aside from the added warmth, boots can elevate the average outfit, add personality and flare, or simply act as a delivery system for an easy-to-walk-in heel. I love all different styles of boots— be it ankle length to over the knee, or a bright color to a classic black. Check out my Autumn Boots Wish List below; you’ll be ready to go pumpkin picking in no time!

boots

Sam Edelman Petty Suede Booties

rain boots

Hunter Original Tall Gloss

Booties, Fall

 

Sole Society Flynn Wrap Around Bootie

Bootie

Everlane The Chelsea Boot

Leather Boot

Madewell Brenner Bootie

Tall Boots

Marc Fisher Faux Suede Tall Shaft Boots – Lupo

Tall heeled Boots

Dv Afton Heeled Tall Boots

Boots, Fall, Autumn

Kork-Ease Mercia Suede Mid Boots

“You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet.” —Christian Dior

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Fall Inspiration

Fall is finally here! Hands down, this is my favorite season, and October is the best month of the year where I live. I love the cooler weather, shorter days, and cozy vibes that Fall brings, and we can’t forget about the fashion, of course! I wanted to share some Fall trends to look out for, according to a few bloggers that have been inspiring me for years. Check them out:

Plaid Please

Plaid, Gal Meets Glam

Gal Meets Glam

Plaid is definitely back in style. I used to wear plaid a lot when I was a kid and have since tried to incorporate it into my wardrobe with bits and pieces, like a subtle scarf here and there, but now I feel like I can really dive in. I love the look of a plaid skirt. And no, I don’t mean like an old Britney Spears music video, but rather something a little longer, classier, and paired with a chunky sweater and boots.

Plaid Skirt

ModCloth

Plaid Skirt

Philosophy

Say “Yes” to Camel

Camel Clothes, Damsel in Dior

Damsel In Dior

Camel is one of the colors I rarely gravitate towards, but all of a sudden I’m thinking I need to hop on the trend train. Camel is simple, yet sophisticated. The earthy tone suits Fall perfectly, bringing out the foliage nicely. I love an oversized camel sweater or dress, and maybe even a camel wool coat too. It’s meant to be a statement piece, and that statement is understated elegance.

Camel Oversized Sweater

Boohoo

Camel Wool Coat

ASOS

Pleated Skirts are Unexpectedly Fun

Late Afternoon, Pleated Skirts

Late Afternoon

A long pleated skirt has been on my wish list for some time now, but I’ve been seeing them a lot lately. Long skirts transition well—you can pair them with a sweater or heavier coat, flats or booties, and dress them up or down. They are a must-have closet staple, and add just a tad of special to an ordinary style.

Pleated Skirts

Vince Camuto

Pleated Skirts

LOFT

Pop Some Color

Natalie Dressed, Earrings

Natalie Dressed

Usually when I think of Fall, I imagine muted colors and tones, like tan, burgundy, and green. But I love the way an accessory can add a pop to a Fall outfit. It isn’t overwhelming, just a little something to make you look twice. One bright color can be the best complement to an otherwise understated look. I love the splash of a brightly colored scarf, tights, or piece of jewelry.

Bright Earrings

Kenneth Jay Lane

Bright Earrings

Reva

Meet my Good Friend, Suede

Something Navy, Suede

Something Navy

Suede is a great alternative to a heavy leather jacket. It’s lighter, subtler, and softer! The brown suede jacket is a classic look for Fall, but other colors are fun too. A warm burgundy or orange is a playful way to wear the fabric. Suede makes everything more fashionable. Throw it over a simple t-shirt and jeans; you’ll be ready for whatever the day has in store!

suede jacket

KUT From The Kloth

Suede Jacket

Missguided

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – L.M. Montgomery

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Cardiff

Out of all the places we visited on our trip, Cardiff felt the most like home. Walking around the waterfront town reminded me of Santa Cruz, with a very friendly community and breathtaking views of the bay. Check out some of my favorite moments from the end of our adventure.

Cardiff, ask italian, food, wales

Cardiff, ask italian, food, wales

Cardiff, ask italian, food, wales

Cardiff, ask italian, food, wales

Cardiff, ask italian, food, wales

Ask Italian: After landing, we were absolutely starving. It was nearing lunch time, and as we walked into town from our hotel, we noticed this inviting Italian spot and decided to check it out. Most of the restaurants we ate at had been picked out prior to our trip, so we were pleasantly surprised with this place. The pasta bolognese and garlic bread hit the spot, and the delicious desserts satisfied our sweet-tooth cravings. This meal really set the tone for the entire food experience Cardiff had to offer.

cardiff market, wales, travel

cardiff market, wales, travel

cardiff market, wales, travel

cardiff market, wales, travel

castle quarter arcades, cardiff, wales, travel

castle quarter arcades, cardiff, wales, travel

Cardiff Market and Castle Quarter Arcades: After lunch, we had energy to go exploring. We started out by simply walking around. As I’ve mentioned before, I love checking out foreign cities’ marketplaces, and Cardiff’s was quite exceptional. Cardiff Market was so big and packed with varied offerings—I could have spent hours in there walking from vendor to vendor, tasting different sweets and treats along the way. In addition to their central market, Cardiff also has shopping arcades to walk through. They basically are little indoor malls that you can find in the alleyways between old buildings. There you can enjoy cute boutiques and cozy cafes. Both the market and arcades were around in the late 1880s and have since acted as vibrant pillars of the city.

cardiff castle, wales, travel

cardiff castle, wales, travel

cardiff castle, wales, travel

cardiff castle, wales, travel

Cardiff Castle: The UK is home to many castles, but this one holds a special place in my heart. Cardiff Castle is smaller and a tad subtler than the rest. It felt the most unchanged since its heyday too. As we walked through the yard and eventually made our way up the steep and narrow steps to the top of the castle, we got to look out and see Wales from above. Sharing the view that a Castle’s original inhabitants saw always amazes me, and I was not disappointed while looking over the green space around the primary tower. I could picture the land and life of a thousand years ago easily.

cosy club cardiff, wales, travel

cosy club cardiff, wales, travel

cosy club cardiff, wales, travel

cosy club cardiff, wales, travel

cosy club cardiff, wales, travel

cosy club cardiff, wales, travel

cosy club cardiff, wales, travel

cosy club cardiff, wales, travel

cosy club cardiff, wales, travel

Cosy Club: This restaurant was so good we ended up eating there twice! The upbeat and hipster décor was unique and lively, the service was wonderful and endearing, and the food was out of this world. Their breakfast line-up was so yummy, particularly the pancakes with peach sauce, and their dinner was even better! I ordered the fried chicken and was blown away—the hint of cinnamon was a great twist! I highly recommend this hidden gem if you ever visit.

cardiff bay open boat, wales, travel

cardiff bay open boat, wales, travel

cardiff bay open boat, wales, travel

Cardiff Bay Open Boat: Nothing reminded me more of Santa Cruz than our fun ride around the bay. Our guide was hilarious, and his boat, the Daffodil, was quaint and charming. As he showed us Cardiff from the perspective of the bay, we were mesmerized by its picturesque views. The whole ride took less than 20 minutes, but it was still one of the most memorable activities from the trip.

La parrilla swansea, wales, travel

La parrilla swansea, wales, travel

La Parrilla: We rented a car in Cardiff, and with a break in our itinerary, we headed to Swansea. Once we arrived, we enjoyed a lovely happy hour on the water. Even after growing up near the ocean, I never tire of a water view.

national showcase wales, travel

national showcase wales, travel

national showcase wales, travel

national showcase wales, travel

Dan-Yr Ogaf National Showcaves: We had read about ancient caves about an hour outside of Cardiff, but being inside of them was surreal. It wasn’t apparent online, but once we got there we learned that the caves were in an area once surrounded by Dinosaurs! Inside the caves, evidence of early human activity made them incredibly intriguing. Making our way through the damp tunnels was like a walk back in time and unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced.

Brecon Beacons national park, wales, travel

Brecon Beacons national park, wales, travel

Brecon Beacons National Park: We had heard about a Roman Fortress not far from the Caves, but we got lost along the way, and then came to find out visiting the fortress itself required a five-mile hike. So instead, we spent the afternoon exploring the Brecon Beacons, the national park that the fortress lived on, from a high crest overlooking meadows and a small lake, just walking around the nearby area. When I picture Wales, this is what I see—vast open landscapes with sheep and greenery. The air was so fresh and clean. Being out in the middle of nowhere, taking in all of Wales’ natural beauty was breathtaking.

the potted pig cardiff, wales, travel

the potted pig cardiff, wales, travel

the potted pig cardiff, wales, travel

the potted pig cardiff, wales, travel

the potted pig cardiff, wales, travel

The Potted Pig: I had heard such good things about this restaurant, and it still managed to exceed my expectations. The food was FANTASTIC. We tried to savor every bite, and even though we were stuffed by the end of the night, we were left wanting more. I can still close my eyes and taste the steak melting in my mouth. The ice cream that came with the pie tasted richer than any cream product I’ve ever had in the States. This delectable meal was a fitting way to end our entire trip, leaving us full of gratitude and flavor from new experiences. I hope I can go back one day.

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh was one of the most captivating cities we visited. I loved the gothic architecture, the dark and gloomy skies—the whole city felt as though it had remained the same over centuries, and we could really picture just what life looked like hundreds of years ago. Check out some of my favorite moments from the trip.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle: This was the very first thing we did after arriving in Edinburgh, and it was a great introduction. The castle sits above the city, so from almost every angle, no matter where you’re standing, you can look up and see it. As we walked from Princes Street (where our hotel was) to the Castle, I was transported back in time—the dark cobblestone streets and old buildings left us feeling dreary, the way we imagined the common people felt as they went about their daily business. Once we arrived at the Castle, we got to see stunning views from the top. Learning about the historic fortress was even more intriguing. We actually got to set foot in the room that Mary Queen of Scots gave birth in; it was surreal.

Edinburgh Scotch

Edinburgh Scotch

Edinburgh Scotch

Edinburgh Scotch

Scotch Whiskey Tour: Just down the street from the Castle was The Scotch Whiskey Experience. First, we ate dinner at the attached restaurant, Amber, which was delicious. Then we made our way to the tour. I’m not a big whiskey person, but I still found myself enjoying the experience. We learned about the different regions Scotch Whiskey is produced in Scotland, and it was so fun to guess the notes and undertones from each sip we tried, hoping to identify the region from which it came.

kelpies

Kelpies: I had seen photographs of the Kelpies prior to our visit, but seeing them in person was incomparable. They were so big and all-encompassing that it was almost overwhelming. As we admired them from below, we enjoyed fresh ice cream from a nearby farm. It was a great way to spend the morning.

Edinburgh ghosts

Edinburgh ghosts

Edinburgh ghosts

Edinburgh ghosts

Ghost Tour: This was one of the most memorable tours from the trip. It’s no secret that I love a good ghost tour, so I was really looking forward to this. We walked through the city and learned about local hangings and executions that took place centuries ago; we meandered through ancient burial grounds and heard the stories of the people resting there; and towards the end, once nightfall hit, we got to step underground and walk the original streets of the city. Once there, we were told stories of accused witches, brutally murdered, that had lived at the spot we were standing on, and we looked around fearfully for their ghosts. I’m not sure if it was the storytelling skills of the guide, or just being underground, but I’ve never experienced anything quite as horrifying; perhaps because it was all true.

HMY britannia

HMY britannia

HMY Britannia: This activity turned out to be way more interesting than I had anticipated. Walking through the ship that three generations of the Royal Family, including Princess Diana, has inhabited was really fun. We got to see where the Queen slept, learned about her day, and even saw rooms where she hosted famous guests—like the Clintons. We sat in the same chairs the Queen’s family sat in, while looking at photos and video footage from their holidays.

Georgian house edinburgh

Georgian house edinburgh

Georgian house edinburgh

Georgian House: I’ve talked a lot about feeling like we had stepped back in time on this trip, but nothing created that feeling more than walking through the Georgian House. Time stood still here, and we got to be flies on the wall, seeing what a typical home was like in the 18th century. The house is situated in the historic New Town district of Edinburgh in Charlotte Square. As we toured the house, we learned about the Lamont family who lived there and got a taste of what daily life looked like for them. After wandering through, I found myself incredibly grateful for the evolution of societal rules and the invention of basic plumbing and electric. Times sure have changed.

Victoria street, Edinburgh, harry potter, diagon alley

Victoria street, Edinburgh, harry potter, diagon alley

Victoria street, Edinburgh, harry potter, dragon alley, wine, scotch

Victoria Street: I am a huge Harry Potter fan, so when I found out J.K. Rowling lived in Edinburgh, and the city was a huge part of her inspiration for the stories, I knew we would have to visit Victoria Street—her real life version of Diagon Alley. The street was colorful and quirky, lined with interesting shops and restaurants. You could really see just how much of Edinburgh was translated into the books, and just how mythical the city really is. We ended the excursion with a glass of wine and shot of whiskey at a local bar. It was an afternoon well spent.

royal mile market Edinburgh

royal mile market edinburgh

Royal Mile Market: So many British cities have exciting marketplaces, and Edinburgh was no exception. As we walked to and fro, we found this bustling market almost exploding with life—so we decided to check it out for ourselves. I found that local markets are a great way to really experience what a city’s culture is like. We got to interact with people, and even buy a few trinkets and souvenirs. Making sure there is time for unplanned activities like this one is key when organizing a trip; you can only plan for so much without being there and seeing what the city is really like and has to offer.

Hadrian's brasserie edinburgh

Hadrian's brasserie edinburgh

Hadrian's brasserie edinburgh

Hadrian's brasserie edinburgh

Hadrian's brasserie edinburgh

Hadrian's brasserie edinburgh

Hadrian’s Brasserie: This restaurant was located down the street from our hotel, and after walking by on the way home after a long day of festivities, we made a reservation for later that evening. The combination of upscale service, delicious dishes, live music, and overall satisfying ambience made for a wonderful last evening in Edinburgh.

Paris

Paris has been on my bucket list for years. I had romanticized the city, and man, did it live up to my expectations. Take a look back on our spectacular excursion!

Eurostar Paris

Paris

Eurostar: Just getting to Paris was a great experience. Not only was the Eurostar extremely convenient and fast, but we also got to look out the window and enjoy the view. The English countryside and gentle meadows of France were speckled with tiny farmhouses amid green fields and hedgerow fences. The continental breakfast on the train really made me get in the Paris mood.

Louvre Paris

Louvre Paris

The Louvre: Our first big activity was visiting the Louvre. I’ve heard that you can spend something like two weeks walking through the entire museum, and after going, I completely agree. We spent a few hours marveling at some of the most incredible pieces of art I have ever seen. The sculptures stood out to me the most—masterpieces of both hard work and design.

Paris

Paris

Paris

Paris

Paris

Literature Tour: This was one of my favorite things we did on the entire trip! I’m a huge Hemingway fan, so when I found this tour online, I knew we had to sign up. It was great because it hardly felt like a traditional tour, but instead, like our Paris friend was showing us the local spots around town. We walked and chatted and saw some of Hemingway and his friends’ old digs, and even got to enjoy a drink at a local café.

Paris Food

Paris Food

Paris Food

Le Centre du Monde: This restaurant was our first real meal in Paris, and it was everything I imagined a French dinner to be… inviting atmosphere, delicious food, and in particular—escargot. I was hesitant to try snails, but, when in Rome, right? I thought they were surprisingly good! The sauce was what really had me—an addictive butter and garlic marinade that I couldn’t resist dunking my bread in.

Paris Eiffel Tower

Paris

Eiffel Tower: Rather than stand in line all day, we opted for a behind the scenes tour of the Tower.  We still got to enjoy the view, just not all the way from the top. Instead, we enjoyed the view from the lower decks but got to see the engine room and the Champ de Mars’ underground bunker. I highly recommend going this route if you ever visit.

Catacombs paris

Catacombs: As a ghost nerd, I was really looking forward to going underground and seeing the catacombs in person. It was cold, damp, and creepy. I loved walking through the ancient tunnels and imagining the lives of the 6 million people whose remains reside here. The funny thing is that you become desensitized to the bones once you have been surrounded by them for a couple hours.

Seine Paris

Seine Paris

The Seine Batobus Boat Ride: I loved our quiet boat ride along the Seine. You get to look out at the left and right banks while the guide describes the various places and buildings on either side as you drift by. All of the most iconic sights are fanned out perfectly along the river, and you can begin to place yourself back into the era of the lost generation, drifting peacefully through time.

Chanel Paris

Chanel Paris

Chanel Paris

Chanel: Seeing the original Chanel store is every fashion lover’s dream. I felt completely underdressed for the occasion as we had been hoofing through Paris all day with backpacks and Skechers; nonetheless, I went inside because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. It was just as classy as I had imagined it to be, and I hope one day I can go back, but this time I’ll make sure to dress the part.

Paris

Paris

Paris Food

Le Cochon a l’Oreille: We didn’t have a reservation this evening, and after being turned down across the street, we were recommended to head over to this cozy restaurant. The incredibly friendly waitress didn’t speak any English, but she still made quite the impression on us. She was so accommodating and kind, we couldn’t help but love her. The restaurant itself was something out of the movies, with all of its Parisian ambiance. We sat outside under the awning, sipping wine and enjoying the warm evening, with classic French music playing softly in the background. I was so caught up in the moment the only picture of my food I took was of the delectable goat cheese salad, something I found Paris to be quite expert in providing.

Paris Food

paris food

paris food

La Parisienne: I ate a ham and cheese sandwich every day we were in Paris. I ate them cold, warm, you name it. This bakery was right next door to our hotel, and after walking by it one afternoon we decided we would go back for breakfast the next day when the croissants would be fresh. Having both a fresh croissant and the classic ham, cheese, and butter sandwich in Paris is definitely a MUST DO when you visit. Nothing in the states compares.

Paris

Notre Dame Paris

Notre Dame Paris

Sainte Chapelle Paris

Sainte Chapelle Paris

Conciergerie Paris

Conciergerie Paris

Conciergerie Paris

Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, Conciergerie 3.5-hour Tour: This was the only day it really rained on our whole trip. As we walked from sight to sight, I instantly thought of the movie, Midnight in Paris, and the quote “Actually…Paris is the most beautiful in the rain.” After experiencing it, I would definitely agree. The rain made it feel like we stepped into a painting. Seeing Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle in person was breathtaking. I loved the gothic architecture and unparalleled stained glass. But nothing compared to seeing Marie Antoinette’s prison, the terrifying Conciergerie. It was unreal to see the dress she was executed in over 200 years ago. I’ll never forget it. I could have stayed there all day.

Tuileries Garden Paris

Tuileries Garden Paris

Love Lock Bridge Paris

Love Lock Bridge Paris

Love, Locks, and Walking: My favorite way to get around Paris is definitely by walking, and we did a lot of it. We got to really embrace the city by strolling along its streets, and I wish we’d had more time to explore. We ended up getting to see lots of picturesque hidden gems, like the Tuileries Garden. I had brought a lock for my suitcase, and once we walked past the Love Lock Bridge, we remembered the tradition of lovers attaching their locks in a display of romance and commitment. Unluckily, we noticed that they had taken down all of the locks that once adorned the bridge and put up a material that prevented any further romantic attachments. However, locks were now being placed on other bridges instead. Joel and I decided we would come back the next day and put a lock on one of those other bridges. The bridge at Pont de Solferino has our lock attached! Joining the romantic tradition was so special, and it was a great way to end our trip to Paris.

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London

London was such a fun experience—the food, the sights, the people. It felt like every corner we turned held even more history than the last. We did so many amazing things in London, but for the sake of length, I’m only going to share my absolute favorites.

London, Borough Market

London, Borough Market

London, Borough Market

Borough Market: We started our first morning roaming Borough Market. Just watching all the different stands prep for their day was fascinating. Since it was early, we opted for breakfast-y things, so we went to a delicious coffee stand with the best mocha EVER, and tried some refreshing juice. If you guys ever get the chance to go, I would recommend aiming for lunch or dinner time so you can take advantage of their full range of offerings.

London, Harrods

London, Harrods

London, Harrods

London, Harrods

Harrods: This was definitely one of the places I looked forward to visiting the most. I couldn’t decide which was more stunning—the clothes or the building. Walking through each floor had me mesmerized. When we needed a break, we stopped for tasty tea and treats! I wish we had more places over here that made shopping more of a multi-sensory elevated experience the way they do. We can take some notes!

London Boat Ride

London Boat Ride

Boat Ride: London has quite a few boat options on the Thames—we ended up riding The Red River boat, and it was surprisingly one of my favorite things we did. Our tour guide was hilarious, which made all the difference. It was a great way to travel in London, because you get to learn and see so much along the way, hopping on and off at the various stops.

London, Bedales, Wine Bar

London, Bedales, Wine Bar

Bedales: After a long day of touring, we found ourselves with a little extra time before dinner, so we popped into a local wine bar, Bedales, back in the Borough Market district. It turned out to be a great choice. The wine was just what we needed; plus, our waiter was so friendly, and the cool vibes were contagious.

London, Antico, Pasta

London, Antico, Pasta

London, Antico, Pasta

Antico: This was probably my favorite restaurant from the entire trip! We actually had changed our dinner plans when the waiter from the wine bar recommended this place, and we were so glad we did. It hit the spot on so many levels—simple, hearty, yet delectable! I wasn’t even craving Italian before we went in, but now I will be craving this place any time I’m in the mood for pasta.

London, the Shard

London, the Shard

The Shard: Being one of the tallest buildings in Europe, I was so excited to go up! It was unlike any sky scraper I had ever seen—looking almost unfinished. Once we got to the top we were greeted with Champagne and a view like no other. Seeing London from so high up was really special. They also had a really fun virtual reality ride I highly recommend.

MotoGP, London

MotoGP, London

MotoGP, London

MotoGP, London

MotoGp: Joel had been looking forward to this for months. I didn’t know what to expect, but I pictured something along the lines of Nascar, but with motorcycles. It ended up exceeding my expectations! The first thing that caught my eye was all the different food options! It felt like Off The Grid in San Francisco meets the Nevada County Fair. There were even a few rides! Just walking around and people watching was fun. Of course, Joel loved watching the motorcyclists make their rounds too, even though it scared me, ha!.

Dishoom, London

Dishoom, London

Dishoom, London

Dishoom: The last time I went to London I was introduced to Indian food for the first time, and I loved it! Then, once I was back in the States, I was never able to find something that matched the quality of the food I had enjoyed across the pond. While planning for the trip, I saw so many different bloggers recommending Dishoom; even my sister had heard of it, so I knew I needed to go. It was such a great experience! When we first arrived there was a long wait, but they have mastered how to deal with hungry people. First they give you a complementary drink outside while you wait; then they move you into the bar for more drinks and snacks if you like, and by the time your table is ready, it feels like you hadn’t been waiting at all! The food was so incredibly good. We even ended up ordering more after we finished our first round! Everything from the greens, to the prawns, to the naan was out of this world.

The tower of london

London Tower Bridge

The Tower: Our hotel room was within walking distance of the infamous Tower of London, and getting to see it every day was incredible. We would walk along the outside and marvel at what must have occurred when it was occupied in its heyday. The most famous imprisonment and beheading probably being that of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry the VII. When we finally went inside, I was even more impressed. It is a museum of suits of armour and other artifacts of the period. Plus, seeing the Crown Jewels was pretty amazing too. At the top of the Tower there was an iconic view of Tower Bridge. It was a great way to finish the London portion of our trip.

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Travel Essentials

I just got back from a two-week trip to the UK and Paris! It was incredible. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my trip with you guys, but first I want to share my favorite style related travel essentials:

sunglasses travel

Marc Jacobs Sunglasses

Having a good pair of sunglasses is key when you’re a tourist. Aside from keeping the sun out of your eyes, they elevate everything you wear—something I desperately needed. They are also perfect for the no makeup travel days.

bare minerals palette, makeup, travel

Bare Minerals Palette

I got this palette for Christmas and knew instantly how much it would come in handy this summer. It’s the perfect travel palette because it has everything you need (eyeshadow, bronzer, blush, powder) and it is easy to pack. When I swapped this with all my separate products I ended up saving tons of space.

raincoat, travel

Lands’ End Rain Coat

This coat is incredibly versatile. I was attracted to the flattering cut, but it’s so much more than that. It is lightweight and easy to wear as your everyday coat, but also has the ability to keep you warm when it gets cold. I wore this coat in London, Paris, Edinburgh, and Cardiff and it protected me for all the different types of weather I encountered.

skechers, tennis shoes, travel

Go Walk Skechers

Never in my life did I think I would be blogging about a pair of Skechers, yet here I am. My mom convinced me to bring these shoes, and I’m so grateful I did. I was hesitant at first, but they grew on me. I had intended on packing my new Nikes, but the Skechers just made more sense. They are subtler than the typical tennis shoe, a little more flattering, way more comfortable, and incredibly lightweight. Though they aren’t the most stylish or trendy shoe, they are the best choice when you know you have a lot of walking in your future.

purse, tote, bag, carry on, travel

Rebecca Minkoff Carry On

This bag has been such a game changer for me. I bought it with the intention of being my professional bag—the one I would bring to interviews and my new job. It’s genuine leather, big enough for my laptop, and has a zipper and both regular and cross body straps. I ended up using this bag as one of my carry-ons for the trip, and it did a great job. It carried all of my belongings and was small and light enough to be dragged from place to place.

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My Top 3 Red Lipsticks

red lipsticks

There’s something so classic about a bold, red lip, but finding the perfect shade is one of the most difficult tasks. Red can look so good, but it can also look so bad. Because I have fair skin, I used to think I wouldn’t be able to pull off a statement color like red. After experimenting, I have found that as long as the color isn’t too harsh, red can actually be really flattering.

Here are my top 3 red lipsticks to end the summer off with a bang:

  1. Nars in Heatwave: I have heard that this color complements any skin tone and I believe it. This shade has undertones of orange—something I was extremely hesitant about—but after trying it on I was hooked! The orange is subtle enough that it doesn’t look out of place. Side note: orange and green go really well together. Whenever I am wearing a green top, I find myself subconsciously pulling out this lipstick and I never regret it. Aside from looks, the formula is hydrating, long lasting, and easy to wear.
  2. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Coral: This is the lipstick I always wear to the beach. It’s more like a tinted chapstick than an actual lipstick, which I love. It has SPF 15 and can be worn alone or as a base for another lipstick. I prefer to wear it alone, because the color payoff is so great. It has a pink undertone that’s perfect for any outfit. When I can’t decide what to wear, I always reach for this. You won’t be sorry.
  3. Mac Lipstick in Matte Viva Glam: I wore this lipstick to my senior prom, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I was going for a very classic, Audrey-esque look, and the lady at the Mac counter told me I couldn’t go wrong with this shade. She was right. Whenever I’m feeling Old Hollywood, I pull out this lipstick. Mac lipsticks will always be one of my favorite formulas. They have mastered the very difficult matte yet moisturizing combination where so many other brands fall short. They also have tons of colors to choose from. I can almost always find what I’m looking for at Mac.

My Nighttime Skin Care Routine

nighttime skin care routine

It’s been a while since I’ve chatted about beauty products…

What better way to get back into it than by sharing my go-to nighttime beauty routine?!

Let’s get started—

  1. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm: If I wore a lot of makeup that day, I always begin my wind down by taking it off. This product is so effective, and I have yet to find anything better. It’s not too oily. Otherwise, I would just use coconut oil.
  2. Alba Hawaiian Facial Cleanser: I rotate through different cleansers regularly. I love something gentle and refreshing. The Alba products have always worked well for me. Their ingredients speak for themselves, and their tropical scent is unmatched.
  3. Hey Honey Detoxifying Mud Mask: I found out about the Hey Honey brand through my Ipsy Glam Bag subscriptions and have fallen in love. I only do it once or twice a month, but this mud mask gets the job done. I have combination skin, so I am constantly searching for a mask that isn’t too harsh and drying. This mask is just what I’m looking for.
  4. Tarte Maracuja Oil: The best thing I have ever done for my acne prone skin is start putting this oil on every night. I always joke that it should be called Miracle Oil instead of Maracuja Oil. Tarte has been one of my favorite brands for a long time because they are one of the few makeup companies that sell healthy products that actually work. The oil always feels like it’s healing my skin, and when I wake up in the morning my skin feels soft and looks radiant.
  5. Hey Honey Open Your Eyes: I received this product in my Ipsy Glam Bag as well, and I was not immediately impressed. I couldn’t tell any difference in the appearance of my eyes after using the product for a few weeks, but I still found myself reaching for it. I soon realized this was because of the way it makes my eye area feel. After a long day, this product wakes my eyes up. That might sound counterintuitive at bedtime, but for someone who loves to read before they fall asleep, it’s ideal.
  6. Clinique Moisturizing Lotion: Similar to my cleansers, I’m always trying out new moisturizers. Yet, I find myself coming back to this one time and time again. It isn’t too harsh for daily wear, and it feels comfortable on my skin.
  7. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion: Like I mentioned earlier, I have combination skin. I am oily in some places and dry and sensitive in others. That’s why a spot treatment is perfect for my skin type. I put a drop of this stuff on a blemish before bed, and when I wake up the next day, it has dramatically gone down in size.
  8. Kiehl’s Chapstick: Going to bed with dry lips is one of the worst feelings! I always always always have a chapstick by my bed. This one in particular is great because it has a cooling sensation that soothes and relaxes as I’m falling to sleep.

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