RECENT DRUGSTORE BEAUTY BUYS AND REVIEWS

I HAVE BEEN KEEPING A LITTLE LIST OF DRUGSTORE BEAUTY PRODUCTS THAT I NEED TO TRY. A WEEK OR SO AGO I MANAGED TO HAUL ASS DOWN TO THE NEAREST (AKA THE LEAST FAR) TARGET. HERE'S THE RUNDOWN ON WHAT I CHECKED OFF THIS LIST.

RIMMEL STAY MATTE FOUNDATION

This foundation is my new go-to base. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed from the moment it touched my skin. Be warned: the lightest shade (Ivory) is very light. I have very pale skin with this very strange yellow-pink undertone that is hard to deal with. My skin isn’t darker, it’s just a different color than this. This can be fixed with a little powder, but be warned that it is essentially porcelain-colored.  It’s very heavy, and gives amazing coverage, so use it sparsely! Some pretty heavy-duty scrubbing is required to get it off, but I do it because otherwise, it would absolutely make my oily skin break out. I also would not recommend wearing this every day for that reason… while the matte qualities are perfect to conceal oily skin, its thickness can cause some breakouts that I’d rather not have to deal with. Still, I love this stuff.

NEUTROGENA HEALTHY VOLUE MASCARA

This mascara is great overall. I like it a bit more than my old favorite, Covergirl LashBlast Fusion, and the prettier packaging is a plus. The brush is huge and plush (insert winky emoji here), which feels really nice during application. I use the plain black color with Korff Infinity lengthening mascara that I got in Italy. (I am currently working on finding a comparable version available to this Korff stuff on American soil, but it’s hard because nothing is living up to it.) This gives me long and volumous lashes like never before.

L’OREAL INFALLIBLE SUPER SLIM LINER

I have never used liquid liner before, so I did some reading before picking this up. It’s like using a watery Sharpie on your eyelids. It’s very dark and bold, which is annoying when I make a mistake, but it stays all day, which is a luxury to me because of my usual gel liner habits. It’s surprisingly easy to apply, and I think I will be repurchasing this.

NEUTROGENA OIL-FREE MOISTURIZER FOR ACNE

My skin is dry beneath the oils, if that makes sense. Meaning, whenever I use even a little cleanser, the oil clears up and the surface is scaly as ever. I picked this up on a whim, as I use the exfoliating wash from this same line. After using it a bit, I can say it was nothing spectacular. My skin looks and feels the same overall.

NEUTROGENA MOISTURESMOOTH COLOR STICK

This is by far the best thing I purchased on my little adventure in the Target beauty aisles. I got the pictured color, Sweet Watermelon, and it’s stunning. I give this product an a+++ overall. I wish that it lasted longer, as it will not last you through breakfast, but reapplication is easy, like with any lip crayon. The tint, as I said, is lovely, but the moisture is what really won me over. My lips have never felt so soft! (Also, it smells like candy. Bonus points.)

STAY LOVELY, READER

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: TORO Y MOI

TORo Y MOI

// WEBSITE //

If you are not familiar with Chazwick Bundick, get familiar with him. Since 2009’s release of Blessa, and his debut album Causers of This, which was born the following year, he has been writing musical history in a way that most artists can only dream of. Now, we are less than a week away from the release of What For?, and it’s about time for the spotlight to be turned towards him. (Side note: if you look around a little, you might just find a place where the album is being streamed…) Just in time for brighter days, this new LP turns towards the sun and ushers in a more mainstream, melodic, pop-like sound for one of the leaders of the chillwave movement that has nestled comfortably into the hearts of every self-respecting indie-type of the decade. These lovely people will not be let down with this new release; though more polished, What For? still captures the spirit of classic Toro Y Moi with its vintage flair and innovative sound.

Toro Y Moi tracks with guitar-driven and chart-bound qualities are few and far between. What For? is different; it still carries a wide variety of styles, (characteristic of Bundick at this point, given his previous four stunning studio albums) but it is packed with songs made for singing along to in the car. Buffalo, for instance, is like an echo of a top-40 hit, made cool again by grooving instrumentation and a certain fuzzy whine easing through the entrancing melodies, just begging for some impromptu accompanying vocals. Empty Nesters is an obvious single, catchy as can be. I actually heard it once while I was in a TJ Maxx, and it took every ounce of strength not to launch my standard high-pitched howls against the ears of random passerby. Run Baby Run struck me as similar to a certain Wheatus tune. All of the genres he has previously explored and represented with flair are absolutely present throughout the LP. With the thick and seamless integration of guitars, the creative limits on What For? simply cease to exist. I’ll be sitting up at midnight on Tuesday, purchasing the album on iTunes before visiting Spotify. This is a rare occurrence for me, but it is worth every penny. After all, iconic albums are far and few between. Thank you, Mr. Bundick, for everything. Toro Y Moi is about to shoot to the absolute top.

STAY LOVELY, READERS

LUST LIST 002

A collection of fashion items in stores that I have my eye on... The product links can be accessed through clicking the photos!

Grey And White Baseball Tee Dress

I am in love with this type of dress! It would be perfect once summer rolls around, for casual outings or beach days, paired with leather sandals or Jack Rogers. In the spring, bright rain boots would work nicely as well.


Small Silver St. Christopher Medal with French Blue Enamel

This will most likely be a Confirmation or birthday present for me in the fall! A few girls at my school have these, and I adore them. The colored part is smooth and glossy, and the small size is perfect for daily wear, in my opinion. They look so pretty on, and come in a huge variety of pretty colors.


People Tree Bandeau Maxi Dress

ASOS styled this perfectly! I am lacking in maxi dresses, which are most definitely still in style for the spring and summer. In case you haven’t realized, I will probably be decked out in dresses all through the tiny window of a warm season that I might be blessed with if all this snow melts away soon!


penfield® inuvik parka jacket in seersucker

My last Lust List featured a winter-weight, navy Penfield parka jacket. Here is its spring and summer companion that I, living in an unpredictable climate, absolutely positively need. I’m in the market for a new rain jacket, so why not go big and pick up this beauty. To be honest, I am a complete sucker for seersucker!


Project Social T Pleated Hem Muscle Tee Dress

“Muscle Tee Dress.” I hate the sound of that because I have far more flab than muscle in the areas that this dress shows off. I do a pretty rigorous workout/sports conditioning program every day during the summer, which eliminates that problem soon enough, and this dress is too pretty to ignore. I hope to integrate more coral into my wardrobe this year!


Slub Crewneck Tee

I love Madewell with all my heart. I have found that finding a perfectly-cut plain white tee shirt is way harder than it should be. This one looks so pretty, I think it may be the answer to all my problems! I have my sights set on the grey one, too.


Circus By Sam Edelman Selma Jelly Gladiator Sandals

Yes, these are weird. Though I do wish that the soles were leather, I would totally wear these all summer long. The price is not too bad, either, considering they’re from Urban Outfitters, where paychecks go to die.


Fluttered Blooms Swing Dress

IS THIS NOT THE MOST GORGEOUS DRESS?! I am completely willing to spend all my money on it. I am obsessed with it, and apparently the rest of the world is, too, because it’s backordered like crazy. It’s a collaboration between Lauren Conrad’s Paper Crown, and Rifle Paper Co., so that’s’ a given, I guess.


RONDINI TROPÉZIENNES

The quintessential, classic French sandal. Give Rondini your measurements, and they will fit perfectly. My feet are oddly shaped, so these would be worth the extra cash.


KJP Sail Gust Gale

Anyone who has been to or through the world preppy blogging knows who Kiel and his fiancée Sarah are. Whether your opinion on them is sweet or sour, you have to admit they churn out some nice products. This bracelet is my personal favorite… it is so bright and cheery, and is a fresh twist on the typical rope-bracelet situation.

STAY LOVELY, READERS

AN ONGOING COMPILATION OF THE VERY BEST BUZZFEED QUIZZES

Buzzfeed is my guilty pleasure. I wish I was more guilty about it than I actually am. As terrible as it is, I spend most of my life on that website. The quizzes are my favorite part, but there’s a lot of pointless and irrelevant ones mixed in there. Here is a compilation of the most important and absolutely relevant Buzzfeed quizzes that have ever graced the internet, as far as I know. Feel free to comment any that you feel belong on here that I may have missed! Last updated 3/29/15. You are welcome.

HOW CLASSY ARE YOU

WHAT KIND OF COOKIE ARE YOU

ARE  YOU MORE EMMA WATSON OR EMMA STONE

WHICH DISNEY PRINCESS IS YOUR STYLE ICON

WHAT HAIRCUT SHOULD YOU ACTUALLY HAVE

WHAT TYPE OF EUROPEAN MEN ARE YOU ATTRACTED TO

WHICH JOHN HUGHES FILM IS LIKE YOUR LOVE LIFE

WHAT TYPE OF BRITISH MEN ARE YOU ATTRACTED TO

WHAT TYPE OF AMERICAN MEN ARE YOU ATTRACTED TO

THE BEN & JERRY’S QUIZ

WHICH OLD HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS IS ACTUALLY YOUR BESTIE

ARE YOU MORE BLUE IVY OR NORTH WEST

WHICH ANNE HATHAWAY CHARACTER ARE YOU

ARE YOU MORE LIKE TINA FEY OR AMY POEHLER

WHICH U.S. PRESIDENT ARE YOU

WHAT STATE DO YOU ACTUALLY BELONG IN

WHY ARE YOU SINGLE

WHERE IN LOS ANGELES SHOULD YOU LIVE

WHICH POP STAR SHOULD BE YOUR BEST FRIEND

WHAT CHEESE ARE YOU

WHICH LATE NIGHT TV TALK SHOW HOST ARE YOU

LISTEN TO SOME BANGIN’ TUNES

This is a quick post… I am way behind in school, so I have kind of been trying to get on top of things. Anyway, today’s episode of Shameless Self-Promotion features my Spotify! 

CLICK HERE TO BE TRANSPORTED TO A WHOLE BUNCH OF HAND-PICKED PLAYLISTS THAT GET ME THROUGH MY INCREDIBLY TOUGH AND STRESSFUL LIFE!!!!!!

I hope you enjoy at least some of the songs. If you don’t, then it’s your loss. The “all-time best” playlist is the most bitchin’ collection of sounds available to mankind.

STAY LOVELY, READERS

PROM DREAMING 2015

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR…

There is a .000001% of me getting asked to prom this year (which is absolutely fair since sophomore prom does not exist), but I can not help but try to pull a few gems out of the piles and piles of trashy, cheap-looking dresses that clutter the face of this sorry earth. It seems as though each and every gown is either weighed down by too many gems and sequins, or shows enough skin that you might as well go in the nude. I prefer a preppy, classy look, which is hard to find around for a decent price. I also would want a unique dress that will not show up on five other girls who look better than I would. Here is my roundup of the prettiest dresses I could find. Click through the photos for the links to either purchase or rent, depending on the one you pick. I hope some of these will still be around for next year!!

BADGLEY MISCHKA – UTOPIA MAXI – $70 RENTAL

The reviews are raving, and you will notice that Rent the Runway and prints are two recurring themes.

ANTHROPOLOGIE – sakura blossoms gown – $275

I love how airy this dress is! I would need to see it in person, but I think it would look lovely with silver Jack Rogers. (No heels for me, because I personally prefer not to be able to see over skyscrapers for the most part).

J. CREW – CARLY LONG DRESS IN DRAPEY MATTE CREPE – $218

I am absolutely not in good enough shape to wear this, but oh my goodness, I wish I could! Watch out for backordering in several of the size and colors it comes in.

BADGLEY MISCHKA – water lillies dress – $135 rental

Looks like it is the same exact fit as the Utopia maxi shown above! This is the type of print that could easily look trashy and cheap if you dress it up wrong. I would wear miminalistic makeup, simple earrings, and a pretty updo in order not to cause a very nice dress to look drab.

ADRIANNA PAPELL – short sleeve sequin mesh gown – $278

This is clearly the most glamorous option on the list. Lead is my favorite color option, but the navy shade is gorgeous, too! I am not usually into the whole sparkle thing, but for this dress, it does not look trashy at all.

BADGLEY MISCHKA – CORUNDUM SAPPHIRE GOWN – $80 RENTAL

Same formula as the other Badgley Mischkas featured in this post, but a solid color. This is definitely my favorite, since it is classic and so simple. My only concern is for how my the bust area will be clearly flat (I have a twelve-year-old boy’s chest) without a pattern to distract.

STAY LOVELY, READERS

FEBRUARY SIGHTSEEING IN PARIS AND ROME

As I have mentioned in the past, I took a little trip where I actually got to do some sightseeing. Here are some of my favorite photos that I took on my handy dandy iPhone 5S over the two-week extravaganza. Stay tuned for a post with the ones I took with my DSLR!

iPhone Image 1A49AD

YOURS TRULY OUTSIDE THE MUSEE D’ORSAY. I HAD JUST TOUCHED DOWN FROM ABOUT 12 HOURS OF TRAVEL WITH MY ETERNALLY OBNOXIOUS FAMILY (INCLUDING DRIVING AND CONNECTIONS), SO PLEASE WITHHOLD JUDGEMENT FROM MY POOR CHOICE OF WARDROBE AND FOCUS INSTEAD ON THE PRETTY ARCHITECTURE AND SNAZZY ELEPHANT WITH MONKEYS.

iPhone Image 1A4909

PARIS FROM THE NOTRE DAME (I SPY LA BASILIQUE DU SACRE-COEUR… WHICH WAS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE WHOLE TRIP, BUT THERE WAS A RESTRICTION ON PHOTOS OF ANY KIND). THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN REALLY EARLY. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE HEIGHTS, DO NOT DO THIS. I GOT DRAGGED UP HERE AND THE ONLY NICE PART WAS THE PHOTOS.

iPhone Image 1A48C9

THE HALL OF MIRRORS AT VERSAILLES. IT IS EVERYTHING YOU IMAGINED IT WOULD BE, AND MORE. SERIOUSLY. THIS ROOM IS THE EPITOME OF WEALTH AND BEAUTY AND ALL THAT JAZZ. THE CHANDELIERS ARE HUGER THAN THEY LOOK IN THE PICTURE. YOU CAN PRACTICALLY FEEL THE ARISTOCRATIC FRENCH VIBES AND SEE THE BALL GOWNS DANCING AROUND WHEN YOU ARE THERE. MAGICAL. TRY NOT TO DROOL ON THE TOURISTS NEXT TO YOU.

iPhone Image 1A48A4

LE TOUR D’EIFFEL (QUINTESSENTIAL PARIS TOURIST PHOTO-OP), I DID NOT CLIMB THIS THING (I AM NOT FOND OF HEIGHTS, AND I HAD A BIT OF A BREAKDOWN ON THE NOTRE DAME), BUT IT IS PRETTY DANG NICE TO LOOK AT. I WAS THERE ON VALENTINE’S DAY, SO THE ENGAGEMENTS AND A WEDDING WERE GOING FULL-SWING. DO NOT GO THERE IF YOU ARE SINGLE ON FEBRUARY 14TH. IT IS ALSO PRETTY COOL TO LOOK AT FROM THE SEINE AT NIGHT.

iPhone Image 1A48E0

THE FLOOR AT SAINTE CHAPELLE IN PARIS… I PROMISE THE FLOOR WAS NOT THE PRETTIEST PART, BUT IT WAS PRETTY GOSH DARN NIFTY. THE CHAPEL IS INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS, AS YOU WOULD EXPECT IT TO BE. RESTORATION WORK HAS SPRUCED THE PLACE UP. THE STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS ARE SO MASSIVE, YOU MIGHT TEAR UP JUST LOOKING AT THEM. (SIDE NOTE: USE THE RESTROOM BEFORE COMING HERE. I ASKED WHERE I COULD FIND ONE, AND GOT DIRECTED TO THE NEXT DOOR CORRECTIONAL FACILITY’S LOVELY WATER-CLOSET. SO MANY REGRETS.)

iPhone Image 1A48EB

THE LOUVRE FROM THE MUSEE D’ORSAY AKA THE TWO BEST MUSEUMS ON THIS PLANET (I HAVE BEEN DRAGGED TO MANY MUSEUMS IN MY MODEST LIFESPAN, BUT THESE TWO ARE ACTUALLY THE GREATEST EVER). NO LIE. UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES.

iPhone Image 1A486D

SHIFTING GEARS TO ROME: ITALY’S MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE IS HEADQUARTERED IN THE CITY. THOSE ITALIANS DO NOT MESS AROUND WITH THEIR CULTURE AND HERITAGE, AS YOU CAN MOST DEFINITELY GATHER FROM THIS PHOTO. APPROPRIATELY, IT IS RIGHT NEXT TO THE COLOSSEUM AND THE FORUM.

iPhone Image 1A484E

CEILING IN THE GALLERY OF MAPS AT THE VATICAN MUSEUM. ANOTHER WORLD-CLASS MUSEUM WHERE YOU WIL CRANE YOUR NECK HALF THE TIME BECAUSE OF THE TOP-NOTCH CEILINGS. IT’S FITTING SINCE THE SISTINE CHAPEL IS ATTACHED. ST. PETER’S IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES THAT I HAVE EVER BEEN.

STAY LOVELY, READER

EATING HEALTHY FOR DUMMIES

To start off this post, I would like to say one thing: I am included in the ‘dummies’ statement made in the title. I used to spend my days wading through various baked goods and mounds of Goldfish crackers, shoving the Trader Joe’s equivalent of Oreos into my mouth by the dozen. Those days are now in the rearview. I hope that this post lends a hand to people who are like I was: healthy-lifestyle virgins who kind of want to eat better but do not want to put in the effort, and cling too tightly to their ice cream cartons to ever bid them farewell. Here some tips that I have gathered from my experiences in the realm of beneficial eating.

1 –  get inspired

Thanks to the interwebs (especially you, Pinterest), this should not be too hard! Look at all those pretty recipes, and wow, kale has never looked so good! But, sometimes, it is the most difficult part. Let this post help! I can tell you that just a few weeks in, I am feeling so much better! My awful, super-oily skin is beginning to clear up. I am hardly ever hungry or tired, and I actually am eating less (in volume). I have lost a bit of weight, and I feel way more positive about myself and my relationships with the people around me. I have not been exercising at all (hello, New England winters…), but I actually feel inclined to do so. This is highly unusual for me, and I love it. I do not miss junk food at all. I have little flashes of cravings, but those pass as quickly as they start. Trust me- it is one hundred percent worth it!

2 –  TALK IT UP

You can let your friends know without being obnoxious. They will either notice it by themselves, or you can bring it up yourself. This way, you will be more motivated to stay on track. When they ask how it’s going, you will want to tell them that it’s going swell. Simple as that. Maybe you can even rope one or two in with you, and you will have others along for the ride so it is not a lonely one.

3 –  go big or go home

This means that, in order to have the most painless transition, you have to be all in and swear it off all at once. I have read otherwise, but for me, I know that allowing myself one sweet a day would be just enough to torture me. I would end up extending it to just two a day, and then just three… no. You have to tell yourself that you are giving up all junk food always, at least at first.

4 –  STOCK UP ON SNACKS

If you fridge is not filled with fruits, cheeses, yogurts, and other healthy snacks, you are probably doing it wrong. Throw out anything that you feel like you should not be eating. Go for water and (minimally-sweetened) tea or iced tea. Pop some popcorn in olive oil and sprinkle parmesan on top for movie night. Snacks are good, as long as they are good for you, and you only eat them when you are hungry.

5 –  BREAKFAST IS YOUR SAVIOR

Have any combination of toast with peanut butter, greek yogurt, mini-bagels, oatmeal, and fruits such as bananas. A regular smoothie is always a good idea if you are having something small, and one made with yogurt is great by itself. I have plain greek yogurt with honey each morning along with whatever it is that I am eating, which always holds me over until lunch. If it doesn’t, I whip out an apple and let ‘er rip. Eat a good breakfast, and never skip it. Never. Your day will be so much easier.

6 –  DO NOT GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE TO SLIP

PURGE YOUR JUNK. That is not a joke. Toss sugary cereals, ice creams (sigh), cookies, chips, and even stray candy. All of it. Not a trace should be safe in the depths of your snack drawers and cabinets. Next time you are out, opt for pita chips or wheat crackers to fill the void.

7 –  NO MIDNIGHT SNACKS

Dinner equals done. Homemade popcorn is an exception, for special occasions. Midnight snacking is the downfall of humanity. Do NOT do it. If you think that this whole healthy-eating thing is not for you, at least eliminate your evening junk consumption. You do not need to put more fuel into a body that is (hopefully) going to be sleeping in a few hours. No, no, no, no, no.

8 – LOOK FOR ALTERNATIVES

Do your research. Healthy recipes are all over the internet. Look for them, and you will find plenty that suit your tastes. Ask a friend, read blogs, visit websites, Google, and visit your trusty assistant Pinterest. Whatever works for you, do it.

9 –  OCCASIONAL TREATS ARE A GO

Only when you have gotten into a pattern where you do not really have any desire to eat junk food should you venture into these waters. I have personally not reached this point; I have relapsed in the candy department too many times to even think of it. But, further down the road, I will probably incorporate little treats into the agenda if I feel the need to reward myself. For instance, I have been craving hot chocolate lately. Why? I have absolutely no clue. But along with revisiting that, I will most likely end up eating a brownie if my mom makes one, or a bit of cake or ice cream on birthdays or special outings with friends. And that’s completely okay! :)

Remember that it is all about feeling good and being happier, which is what is bound to happen in the long run.

stay lovely, readers

 

DORM ROOM INSPIRATION

Yes, I might be a sophomore in high school, but I am pretty much ready to apply to my dream school and declare my major. Most of the dorms that I have seen look gross, to put it bluntly. I AM A BIT OF A MINIMALIST, SO I WOULD PROBABLY USE ONLY ONE OR TWO OF THESE IDEAS AND KEEP THE REST OF THE ROOM CLEAN AND PLAIN WHITE. Here are some Pinterest-approved decoration ideas that can be achieved through tape and Command strips. {AS ALWAYS, CLICK THROUGH FOR IMAGE CREDITS}


FOR YOUR STENCH

Compagnie de Provence is kind of a more tastfully-unified, French version of Bath & Body Works. Kind of. It’s twice as expensive to order from the US. This room spray is worth every penny. It will freshen even the mustiest, most vile room with its clean, sweet verveine scent. They have a whole range of pretty scents, and all sorts of lotions, body washes, soaps, fragrance diffusers, bubble baths, etc. You’ll make everyone around you jealous, probably.

Here’s one that takes a little dedication: fresh peonies. Yikes. This is only for the highly-motivated types who actually most likely do not have much of a stench in their room. If your roommate is good with it, and you are willing to skip coffee for a day or two to pick up some of these without chipping more away from your savings, and if you are planning on giving them water and throwing them away as soon as they’ve died so they aren’t sitting and rotting on your windowsill for four months, these will make any space smell (and look) amazing.


FOR YOUR DOORS

Using adhesive tape or removable decals, add polka dots in one or two colors to a boring wood door to add class and interest. Navy blue is always a great option, or if you are a generally homesick person, pick your high school’s colors.

This is a variation on the polka-dot idea, but you can fancy-ify your door as shown by creating your own washi tape moulding on your slab of wood that never seems to be quite soundproof enough. (Target has some cheap, pretty options for the tape!)

Snag some of these Etsy-made star banners for the back of your door. They are super lightweight, which means cleverly-placed tape can hold them up. Never overlook Etsy when shopping, because you are always able to find cheap, unique, and well-made options on there.


FOR YOUR WALLS

To freshen up an otherwise nasty little space, use simple white bedding and print up all of your most colorful photos that generally look good together. (The cliché “I am trying to be a cool photography student but actually my major is in finance” move would be black and white or Polaroids). Instead of the normal photo collages commonly seen in dorm rooms, make a full photo wall, and maybe invest in getting bigger prints than the standard size.

Leaning to the pricey side, tassel garland banners look pretty against white walls. If you are willing to pay about thirty dollars a pop, hit up Etsy for some pretty designs. I personally like to think out of the box a little bit, so to avoid the standard one-banner thing, I would buy a bunch of the same color scheme and pile them up thick!


FOR YOUR DESK AND TABLES

Fairy lights. Here’s a fun drinking game: walk past some dorms on moving day, and take a shot for each string of fairy lights you see hanging on the walls. If you have to have them in your room, try string light terraniums with cheap glass covers that can be found at Target or a craft store and place them on the floor (if you are lucky enough to have excess space) or on your desk and shelves.

Using pretty colors and glass votives, make watercolor votives for your battery-powered tealights. Put them everywhere as your primary (or only) decorative element. Trust me, it will look cool.

More tape! This stuff can go anywhere. Cover your workspace for a washi-tape desk. Possibly distracting, but an attractive idea. At three dollars a roll, you can probably afford to stock up for multipurpose decorating.


FOR YOUR BATHROOM

Use a pretty beach towel as your bath towel. There are always great sales on nice towels that will last for ages during winter months, if you can think ahead that far! Make sure you realize how much space you have (in both where you store these towels and the washing machines in which you clean them) before making your purchase!

Do not read this if you are a makeup hoarder with immense sentimental investment in your collection. Get a small cosmetics bag to house your slimmed-down makeup collection. It sounds horrific, but less is more. Really. Allow yourself one pretty yet compact case, like the $20 one above from Madewell that I am currently heart-eyed over. (It also comes in white and black!) Keep only what you could not leave your dorm without: a signature shade or two of good-quality lip color, an easy-to-use eyeliner, a trustworthy mascara, a concealer, a foundation, and a powder AT MOST. Wash your face right. It will pay off for both your looks and your wallet.

STAY LOVELY, READERS

RECENT FAVORITES 001

BETWEEN PARIS, ROME, AND BERLIN, I SNATCHED UP A FEW NEW THINGS, WHICH ARE SCATTERED IN HERE, AND ALSO FOUND LOVE WITH A BUNCH OF STUFF I HAVE PREVIOUSLY ACQUIRED! GATHER ROUND, CHILDREN...

1 – mango circle print dress

I have always been told that everything is more expensive in Europe. That is true for things that are readily available, designer, and/or made here in the States, but believe it or not, loads of great European brands are way less expensive over there! It works both ways… imagine that! This dress, which I got for a trip to D.C. next month, was €30 in Rome. I pulled it up online, and guess what? In the US, it costs $60. Maybe shipping is the issue, but that’s a pretty significant difference in cost when you are not spending a large amount. I am pretty psyched about this purchase, regardless of price. I love the dress, and how it fits, feels, and looks. I had never heard of Mango until Italy, but they have a lot of pretty things at affordable prices!

2 – URBANEARS HEADPHONES

I swear by these headphones. I have had them and used them nonstop for probably three years now, and the ear cushions are just beginning to tear. The sound is great considering the incredibly affordable price tag. The color, which appears bright online, is actually a nice shade of navy blue rather than my idea of “indigo.” Since they are nearing the end of their lifespan, I have come to realize just how faithful these things have been. Thank you, Urbanears. My next pair will be either white or lavender…

3 – COMPAGNIE DE PROVENCE SHEA BUTTER HAND CREAM

If you love yourself, get your hands on this hand cream. If you are in France, and you love some other people, get their hands on this, too, in the form of gifting! At Bath and Body Works prices, especially during national sales, these are gems. Anything from Comagnie de Provence is worth it. The 1 oz travel size is about $6 in the US and, going along with the theme from the dress, costs €3 in Paris. I scored it for  €1.50 during the sale, along with some other buys that will surface on this website soon enough. The rose scent is fantastic, and I will never get sick of it, ever. It is a new classic, in my humble opinion.

4 – CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR LOW-TOPS

I have these in a pretty pale bluey grey, which is really neutral and works with everything. I worship them, aside from the fact that they dirty very quickly in certain circumstances. They are as comfy as regular workout sneakers, except you can wear them with any casual outfit. Unfortunately, I picked mine up at Marshall’s, and the color is nowhere to be found online. I linked the next-closest available option!

5 – MANGINI BYE FRUTTA CANDIES

I am going through withdrawals. These little fruit-syrup-filled hard candies were all over the place in Rome, and I am beginning to think that their cheap Italian sweets actually have crack or something in them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

6 – BRANDY MELVILLE ALENA DRESS

If you are new to the whole Brandy Melville thing, you are probably frightened by the one-size-fits-all situation. Believe me, at 5’10”, I am not generally a person who that works for. This dress is way too short to wear like shown in the photo, but, guess what? Leggings turn it into a loose tunic-y dress hybrid. It works well with a long sweater and boots for a really, really comfy winter outfit.

7 – PAUL SIMON

I am a sucker for anything remotely resembling Vampire Weekend. I am a teenage girl, after all. It’s a shame my parents skipped over Mr. Simon in my early musical education, but I am now making up for lost time. His broad career is absolutely fascinating to me, so digging through the archives and listening to all his stellar music is the most fun thing in the world.

STAY LOVELY, READERS