Summer Bucket List

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

With the unofficial start to summer finally here, its time I compiled a list of some of the things I want to do, see and enjoy this summer. If you didn't already know, this summer is a pretty big one for me because June marks my 10 year heart transplant anniversary. It's pretty wild to think it has actually been 10 very full, exciting and challenging years since I got my new lease on life. So, in celebration of that beautiful event, why not spend the whole summer celebrating life in the most fun (and safe) ways.

1. Take a dessert making class
I've had a Sur La Table summer dessert making class bookmarked for ages and never found a right time to schedule or get my friends together all at once to finally attend. This summer, I'm making it a point to attend one of these cooking classes and dazzle my mom with pretty summer sweets that won't result in a call to the FDNY. I promise I won't burn down your kitchen, mom!

2. Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center 
A night of live music and dance lessons at beautiful Lincoln Center sounds like the perfect NYC summer night. It also looks like a whole lot of fun. Best of all, a night of dancing with fun twirling seems like the ideal time to wear one of the many full-skirted dresses I have handing in my closet.

3. Visit all the NYC Pop-ups & Touristy spots 
Last year, my sisters and I made a promise to check out all the fun pop-ups, cute instagram-friendly events happening around the city and really appreciate the sights we've called home for all our lives. It ended up being a pretty fun summer and resulted in some hilarious memories. I definitely want to make the effort to get us all together for the same kind of fun this year.

4. Summer Love with the City 
The summer is the perfect time to visit unloved neighborhoods or gorgeous areas of the city I haven't been to in years. I loved the seaport but haven't been since its renovations which was quite some time ago. The same with the lovely BPC area, which I last visited in my early high school years. I've become so comfortable going to the same areas of the city and finding new gems to love in those areas but it's time to explore and fall in love with old places once again.

5. Weekends/Day Trips Out of Town
Even this die hard New Yorker enjoys a day out of town. Long holiday weekends are my favorite to stay in the city because it's so quiet and less busy but taking a day away from city life on an ordinary summer weekend is a different vibe that is much appreciated. Whether it's to a beach or new town, a quick trip is always a great idea.

6. Coney Island
I haven't been to Coney Island since I was a kid. I hear it's changed plenty but the Wonder Wheel is still up and running. During my visit all those years ago, I completely lost it on the swinging seats when it stopped at the top of the wheel and want to look at that fear straight in the face once more. I may not have the guts to ride the scary red and blue swing seats, but I'll give the white still seats a go with plenty of cotton candy in hand to ease my fear of heights.

7. Boating at Central Park 
Since we're on the topic of fears, water is another one for me. My BIL spoke about an afternoon of kayaking on the Hudson and the thought alone made me want to run away. While I may be too chicken to for this water activity, I'll try a safer option of boating at Central Park. It's equally beautiful, much smaller and there's a beautiful lunch at the Boathouse waiting for me after.

8. Summer Sporting Events 
Living so close to Citi Field and the Billie Jean King National Tennis center you'd think I'd make it to sporting events often during the summer. I'd be lucky to get in two Mets games a summer which is pretty sad. Most of my friends find baseball ridiculously boring so finding a great game watching companion is pretty slim. Thankfully, that seems to be changing this summer. With some dates already scheduled, this fashionista will be at various sporting events this summer season.

9. Movies at the Park 
My favorite activity for the summer is attending one of the grand movie nights at Bryant or Central Park or the many other lovely outdoor venues around the city. These nights usually play popular old movies in a very fun fashion in some of the best settings in the city. It's a great activity to gather your friends and catch up over a great movie. A major upgrade from your standard Netflix night at home.

The Best of Spring Beauty

Friday, May 17, 2019

Come spring, I'm all about lightening up my beauty routine and find myself reaching for weightless products that feel effortless on the skin and lend to a more fresh and effortless beauty look. From my favorite shadow palette to innovative products and multitasking wonders from my favorite natural and luxury brands, I've rounded up the best spring beauty products you should try now.

Smith & Cult Veiled Threat Weightless Micro-Blurring Foundation (comes in 42 shades)
With the Smith & Cult brand growing into a full beauty brand which is delivering impressive product launches, I was thrilled to hear about their new foundation. The velvety formulation of these foundation is only the beginning of its wonderful features. Concentrating on providing a radiant and more hydrated complexion, this impressive 12-hour coverage includes ingredients like aloe vera and chlorophyll which lends to a more improved skin texture and overall brightness. Best of all, their inclusive 42-shade range offers a helpful shade finder quiz to ensure you get the perfect match.

Arbonne It's All In The Eyes Volume 1 Eye Shadow Palette 
You may have first read about this amazing palette in my Valentine's Day post and I'm happy to report that I'm keeping this versatile collection of modern neutrals in heavy rotation for the spring. The earthy tones and flattering shades beautifully enhance the eyes with excellent color payoff in soft matte and satin finishes. I love using the bolder shades Forest (green), Amber (soft gold peach) and Red Rock (Rusty Red) as accent shades smoked out along the lower lash line in lieu of eye liner. This not only adds an unexpected element of color but makes the eyes pop without looking too dramatic. Unlike other products, the botanical-rich (cucumber extract, sunflower seen oil) formulation of these eye shadows contribute to its smooth texture and application.  Best of all, its compact design fits into slim makeup bags making it the perfect travel palette.

ILIA Color Haze Pigment (comes in 5 shades, color Stutter shown above)
An ultra-creamy and dreamy pigment that's also muti-functional - sign me up!
Great to throw in the you makeup or beach bag, this pigment product really delivers a flattering flush of color on both your cheeks and lips in an easy fashion. Additionally, it perfectly adjusts to your personal intensity and dries down to a hydrated matte finish for a more polished look. If you're looking for a more intense hue, this cream product nicely builds without that dreaded caked on texture. Featuring Jojoba and Coconut oils, this whipped pigment is also both conditioning and soothing on the skin and lips. I love this lightweight cream color product for the spring season because it offers the perfect amount of color without using lots of product. Apply it on the cheeks, blending out in a soft-focus fashion for an instant fresh-faced look or pat pigment on the lips for pretty stained-effect pout.

Laura Mercier Sun-Kissed Veil - Riviera Sun
Achieving that chic sun-kissed glow has never been easier with this light-weigh bronzing balm. This illuminating bronzing product gives the skin the perfect dewy finish and creates a elegant, sheer golden veil on the skin. To mimic that lit-from-the-sun glow in a flash, apply the product along the face using your fingertips and softly diffuse the product as you pat onto the skin. A creamy bronzing balm like this is perfect to have in your beauty bag as brushes aren't required for application and can be used on the body as well. Applying along your arms and legs can create a quick warm weather glow on-the-go.

Images: Courtesy of Smith & Cult, Arbonne, ILIA Beauty, Laura Mercier 

5 Fool-Proof Ways To Tame Frizz On Rainy Days

Saturday, May 4, 2019

April showers bring May flowers and FRIZZ.

Rainy weather may lead to beautiful blossoms but they also tend to wreak havoc on our hair. From humidity to wind, spring rain can ruin a good hair day the moment you step out the door. With NYC experiencing consistent rain for the past couple of weeks, with more on the way, this seemed like the perfect time to write up a post on my best tips to tame frizzy tresses during wet weather.

Sharing my favorite products and hard-learned hair lessons, here are my tried-and-true tips on keeping the frizz at bay while keeping hair stylish:

1. Dry Hair Well
If you're like me, a great hair day begins with freshly washed hair. While some may want to skip a wash an rainy day, washing hair may be inevitable. Humidity likes any kind of moisture so it's important to really blow dry the hair from root to tip. Now is not the time to skimp on the effort - every bit of dampness you leave it your hair will ultimately frizz in this tricky weather. If you don't want your hair to look fluffy in a messy fashion, blow dry the hair in smaller sections to ensure all moisture is properly dried.

2. Prime Styling Products 
A rainy day is the perfect time to break out heavy-duty styling products that will not only protect the hair but diminish frizz while keeping styled hair in place. The best product to have on hand for such days is Living Proof Instant De-Frizzer, an ultra-conditioning finishing spray that packs a frizz-fighting punch (a hair taming power of over 90%). Another product I love using on hair, especially during wet weather is Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Oil. This lightweight oil smooths hair and adds a beautiful healthy shine while serving as a heat and UV protectant while calming frizz. Best of all, this oil tames pesky flyaways and extra frizz at the crown with minimal application. I like to blend a small drop onto my finger tips and gentle pat onto the crown for a polished finish. To seal in your look, Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Texture Spray offers a light mist of medium hold and allows the hair to have touchable body without weighing down the hair or using a ton of product.

3. Avoid Touching or Playing with Hair
Keep your hands off your hair. Constant touching or playing with hair only invites more frizz and unwanted texture. I can't tell you how many times I thought smoothing my hair with my hands would calm down the frizz but was sadly mistaken. The constant touching created more friction and awful frizz - an all around bad move.

4. Avoid Pretty Curled Styles 
A rainy day is not the time for perfectly styled curls. Chances are they will not hold up in rainy, humid weather and lead to an unwanted puffy look. Trust me as I have been on this side of a tragic hair day one too many times. These are the days to opt for sleeker looks and straighter blowouts.

5. Embrace Hair Accessories & New Looks 
A week of rain is just the time to try that chic ponytail or braided style you've been eyeing. Additionally, pinning the hair back with a trendy barrette or pin is stylish way to hide frizz-prone tresses while looking polished. Luckily, hair accessories are making a major comeback and New Yorkers have a wealth of options in this dreary wet weather. My favorite way to quickly tame hair in a flash is pulling my hair in a low ponytail and popping on a stylish silk scarf headband - quick, chic and out the door.


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