August 31, 2011

tried and true

if there's one thing i love more than shopping for clothes, it's shopping for makeup. i love finding new products to try, but i have to admit... being a beauty junkie gets expensive! so after years of experimentation, i've finally landed on a steady mix of items i really just can't live without. if i could never buy new makeup again, i'd be totally okay with it. 

below, my absolute {favorites} 

{sephora moonshadow baked palette}
you may have read about this (relatively-new) obsession in this post, where i compared it to the ridiculously popular, can't-keep-it-on-the-shelves urban decay 'naked' palette. i'm still in love with every silky, super-shimmery color in this palette, and recently discovered how pretty the mauve looks mixed with the silver on the back of your hand. 

{ysl automatic eye liner}
hands-down the easiest liquid liner i've ever used - seriously, nothing compares to this all-in-one pen.  the brush is super super super thin, which is just what i want when drawing on a thin line for daytime or a little wing at night, and you always get the perfect amount of liquid on the brush.

{maybelline lash stiletto in very black}
i've probably gone through 20 tubes of this already; i've used it ever since it hit the shelves, and i can't switch to anything else. it makes my lashes long and fluttery without clumping or flaking off throughout the day.

{sonia kashuk eyelash curler}
i know everyone swears by the tweezerman curler, but i've tried tons of different ones and this is by far the best. it doesn't just curl the ends of your lashes, but it gets right up into the lash line to open up your entire eye.

{bobbi brown long-wear gel liner}
when i want to add a little more intensity to my ysl liner, i layer this rich gel over it with a tiny brush. my favorite colors are 'black ink' for a super-deep black or the 'ivy shimmer ink,' a dark glinty green.

{victoria's secret silky sparkle eye shadow}
even though i love my sephora palette, i'll never stop using victoria's secret sparkle shadow (there is also a 'lustre' variety). this formula is the best i've ever tried - super soft and smooth, doesn't crease, and packed with shimmer. i've tried dozens of 'shimmery' eyeshadow (yes, i'm obsessed), but none have ever delivered like this one. i start almost every day with a wash of this shadow in 'provocateur,' a neutral champagne-flecked hue, and then layer some moonshadow colors over it. 

{rosebud salve}
i'm not really a big lip-color person; whether it's gloss, stain, or stick, i just don't like fussing with something on my lips every single day. that being said, i'm a freak about keeping my lips hydrated. (some might call it ocd.) but if i dont have a few tins of rosebud with me at all times, i kind of panic. rosebud is as hydrating as vaseline but not nearly as greasy, and it leaves behind a pretty sheen and heavenly rose scent.

{aquaphor healing ointment}
this is like rosebud x 10 - a little thicker and richer, this is perfect for winter when my lips feel especially chapped. i also layer a bunch of this on at night (it's a little longer-lasting than rosebud) to prevent my lips from getting chapped the next day.

{revlon matte lipstick in strawberry suede}
okay, so i said i don't love lipcolor. but sometimes i just love the idea of lipstick so much that i get over myself and buy 5 tubes. i especially love this bright, cheery color paired with an otherwise bare face; the coral-pink flatters any skin tone, and while it's considered 'matte' it isn't drying. i usually tone it down by applying it with a brush and then blotting with tissue paper.

{almay clear complexion pressed powder}
i first read about this powder in lucky magazine (aka my bible). the writer promised gorgeous, poreless skin, an even complexion, and acne prevention (salicylic acid is a main ingredient) - needless to say i rushed to the drugstore immediately. and  a few years later, here i am singing its praises, too. this powder is really fine, so it goes on smooth and is virtually undetectable on your skin, but it has enough coverage to really make your pores invisible. i can't function without this skin perfector, and even though it only comes in 3 shades (light, light-medium, & medium) it easily adjusts to any skin tone. 

{rimmel match perfection foundation}
i got a free pot of this foundation when i went to a rimmel beauty conference in london, and not only was it my exact shade, but it was everything i had been looking for in a foundation.  i hate thick, mattifying formulas, and tinted moisturizers can be a little too moisturizing (read: greasy). i really wanted a lightweight foundation that looked natural, felt nice on my skin, and didn't make me break out, and this one does the trick. it feels cool to the touch (i'm kind of obsessed with that part) and it smooths on like it's nothing; perfect for the anti-foundation girl.

{tarte blush in tipsy}
until recently, i never wore blush. i didn't understand why anyone would want to add color to their face when so much emphasis was always placed on using layers of base and concealer to achieve a flawless, even tone. then one day liz brushed a teensy-tiny dusting of this peachy blush on the apples of my cheeks... and i was a changed woman.  i now see how a little bit of a flush can wake up your face, make your eyes look brighter, your skin look better, and enhance your smile. this color is the most natural-looking one i've tried, but all the tarte varieties are really pretty.

{mario badescu hyaluronic eye cream}
i'm going to keep this short and sweet, because i don't want to sound crazy and obsessed with aging already... but it's never too early to start prevention! this anti-aging eye cream locks in moisture to keep the skin around your eyes hydrated and healthy; if it's dry and damaged, it will just stretch and sag and cause wrinkles in the future.

{caudalie vinoperfect day perfecting fluid}
this is another freebie i scored while working in london that's turned into a major beauty obsession. i'm trying to preserve my tube for as long as possible before i have to actually buy one (it's  pricey at $68) but i almost can't help myself from using it every single day. it's an oil-free moisturizer with spf 15 and viniferine, the miracle compound from grapeseed oil found in all caudalie products. this lotion lightens dark spots, evens out skin tone, and brings out a radiant, flawless finish; my skin looks so good every time i use it, sometimes i don't even use face makeup.

{aveeno clear complexion foaming cleanser}
another confession. i didn't used to wash my face. at least not every day, and i didn't even have a good reason other than the fact that i was kind of lazy and didn't have major acne problems. but obviously there are tons of reasons to wash your face besides acne!  leaving even a trace of makeup can mess up the balance of moisture in your skin, and the same goes for free radicals and the invisible grime of the day that settles into your pores (which also cause premature aging.. okay i swear i'm not crazy). so i bought this lightweight cleanser, a foamy, fresh-smelling soy extract formula that promises to even your complexion and ward off breakouts (because yes, we all get the occasional breakout) without drying out your skin. (skin that's too dry can actually break out more than 'greasy' skin, because oil gets trapped under the dried-out skin cells). ever since i started using this my skin has been soft, even, and almost completely acne-free... for only $6 a bottle! can't beat it.

{neutrogena rapid clear fight & fade gel}
with those occasional skin problems comes immediate panic.  whenever i get blessed with a particularly annoying breakout, it just so happens to be the week right before a big formal or vacation or something. so annoying. but to get rid of zits fast, i dab on some of this gel; it's especially helpful if you start applying it when you first feel that breakout coming on. and in days, your skin is totally back to normal!! just remember to avoid putting any heavy lotions or makeup on the area; as hard as it is not to cake on the concealer, it's best to just let your breakouts breath.

{clinique dramatically different moisturizing gel}
i love my caudalie lotion, but for everyday moisture that keeps my skin perfectly balanced, fresh-looking, and clear, i rely on this clinique gel. it works well under makeup and sinks in immediately, which means no greasy residue or excess lotion, and the oil-free formula means no acne or shine problems for me!

II emily

August 29, 2011


it's great when a piece looks amazing {on its own} - but it's even more satisfying when you find clever, unexpected ways to mix it into you wardrobe. adding a few thoughtful touches - a flash of neon here, a stack of bangles there - can totally elevate your look. below are my favorite little touches that make a big difference:

{photos from top: own photo, j.crew shirt, david yurman dual-tone chain bracelet, j.crew rose gold chain bracelet, j.crew gem bracelet, burberry watch // aldo leopard flats, ae jeggings // photo via atlantic-pacific // own photo, forever21 bangle, j.crew gem bracelet, j.crew zebra bangle, ae rhinestone bracelet, forever21 spike bracelet, j.crew friendship bracelet // photo via atlantic-pacific // photo via sincerely jules // photo via sincerely jules}

II emily

August 26, 2011

go on, cuff me!

it's no question that i love jewelry. i love it. but not just any jewelry will do; and if you're like me and have a penchant for statement pieces, one-of-a-kind designs, handmade-anything, mixing metals, dainty bows, stacking bangles, and unique new ideas, then look no further than mr. kate. 

i first saw rumi neely {below} wearing some particularly interesting ear cuffs in a runway show, but where, rumi, where did you get those?! months later, now i know. she got them from mr. kate, duh! and now i have to have them too. i just ordered the bark cuff in white gold & the ridiculously adorable bow cuff in rose gold. score some for yourself (along with tons, i mean TONS of other amazing pieces) at

{images via mr.kate}
II emily

August 23, 2011

when monograms are cool

ever since i featured this adorable watch in my last post, i can't stop thinking about its limitless possibilities.  not only does it perfectly adhere to that {menswear trend} i keep babbling on about, but this little watch is all at once quirky, fashion-forward, streamlined, and subtly personalized to be a very thoughtful (and stylish) gift. or, you know, you could buy a bunch for yourself and spell something out on your wrist. just putting the idea out there.

urban outfitters 'typewriter initial watch' $28

II emily

August 21, 2011

borrowed from the boys

as much as i consider myself a feminine dresser, there are times when i find men's fashion highly appealing. there's nothing more classic than penny loafers, sharp jackets, preppy plaids and structured bags, and luckily for me they're finding their way back onto the runways this fall.  

to make this look accessible, i love mixing the old with the new -- like tailored pants cropped at the ankle and done up in a mini-check pattern or trendy hue. (see below!) this 'updated menswear' trend prompted me to write an extensive article about it over at college magazine as well as to put together 2 looks {below} that i'm dying to try. the first: classic menswear shapes with piled-on patterns and color; the second: a more traditional approach that is chic, modern, and streamlined. {ps: how much do you love that pop of yellow in the shoulder bag?}

{ fresh & preppy - clockwise from top left: saffron pants, H&M; striped sweater, H&M; scarf, urban outfitters; bag, j.crew; penny loafers, aldo // polished & chic - clockwise from top left: plaid pants, H&M; blazer, topshop; purse, topshop; oxfords, topshop; initial watch, urban outfitters }

II emily

August 20, 2011

feeling blue

off to chicago today! i'm busy packing lots of black and white pieces to wear with my new cobalt bag - the color goes with nearly everything in my wardrobe, but i especially love the bold contrast created when it's paired with stark black and white.

and guess what? i scored this beauty at none other than forever 21. for $20! i suggest you get yours while it's in stock because this is a great way to add a pop of color to your wardrobe. {ps: that sheer tribal print shirt in the middle is from forever 21 too! i love a good bargain.}

II emily

August 19, 2011

in the nude

as a self-proclaimed beauty addict, i have to restrain myself from buying every new sparkly eyeshadow, 'miracle' skin primer, 'dewy' foundation and 'perfecting' mineral powder that hits the market. but when it came to the urban decay 'naked' palette, i almost (almost!) gave in to my craving.

unsurprisingly the 'naked' palette sold out instantly, with fellow shimmery-makeup-loving bloggers snatching them up to further prettify their already pretty faces. inside the super-slim palette lay my supposed salvation -- all the perfectly shimmery gold, beige, and taupe shadows i'd ever wanted.  instead of returning to the makeup counter every few months (okay, every few weeks) to pick up more of my favorite shadows, i would have everything in one convenient package! sounds perfect, non?

but the sold-out status and my unwillingness to shell out $48 (though it is a fantastic deal; you're basically paying $4 for each shadow) the 'naked' palette didn't find its way into my makeup drawer.  i was set on acquiring The Chosen Palette at some point, but when i spotted sephora's subtle take on the idea -- the moonshadow baked palette -- things changed.  this palette had everything i wanted in the 'naked' palette, including the additional glinty silver and mauve shadows (which both look amazing paired with the neutrals). plus: i have to admit, this palette is a bit sparklier, a bit  smoother, a bit more saturated than the 'naked' palette (i'm a quality snob. so sue me).  and it goes for only $28 - which makes paying $48 for an out-of-stock possibly-over-hyped palette seem just wrong.

II emily

August 12, 2011

getting inspired

quickie post!
as the 'transitional' period between summer and fall is upon us, i've kept my eye out for some of the freshest looks of the coming season. from a monochrome palette* to artful layers, i can't wait to put my own spin on the following ideas...

{ j.crew }

{ leandra medine / the man repeller }

{ j.crew }

{ leandra medine / the man repeller }

*ps : read the article i wrote about {monochrome looks} over at college magazine - chock full of helpful tips!

pps : this is our 100th post!!! time flies, doesn't it? hopefully you'll be here to see 100 more!

II emily

August 9, 2011

z is for zara

september 7 is a very special day. 

it marks the beginning of zara e-commerce in the USA!! which means: next time you log onto (because, like me, you don't have one within a four-hour radius, grrr) and lust over the goodies, you'll actually be able to order them now. imagine that! 

in celebration i perused the site (planning my first online purchases, of course) and added an indecent amount of clothing to my wish list. i'm loving the chic pieces below;  between the inky neutrals, modern shapes, and perfect, perfect shoes, i can't get enough!

get the look: part 2


go on. save $721... you know you want to.
II emily

get the look

if, like me, you loved jules's dressed-up look {below} from my 'military time' post, then this is for you! 

i found a strikingly similar creamy pleated dress over at urban1972 - with my size in stock! hooray! even better, it's only $48. add just a few clever layers and bold shoes, and you'll be styling this dress just like the always-edgy jules.  bonus: this is a great way to carry light summer dresses through fall!

II emily

August 7, 2011

double take

today i stumbled upon a pair of nude dv by dolce vita 'pali' wedges and fell in love. they're everything i've been looking for in my latest shoe hunt - the perfect nude color, a strappy-but-not-too-strappy shape, and a reasonable 3" curved wedge heel.  and talk about versatility! these would be equally great with an ultra-glam nighttime ensemble as with a summer dress or distressed denim.

but at $83, they're somewhat pricey. the splurge seemed {somewhat} justified..... until i found an {IDENTICAL} pair of wedges at none other than target. only $30. total heartbreak. 

it only got worse when didn't have my size... how rude. and my local store didn't have any sizes in stock. what is a girl to do?!! spending $83 just feels wrong when i know i could be saving $50... if my feet were size 8.5, 9.5, or 11.  which they are not. 
{if that's your size, i strongly suggest snapping up a pair.}

but anyways... can you tell which pair is by dolce vita and which is by target?!

{ hint: the left pair is target, right is dolce vita. bet i had you fooled! } 

II emily

August 6, 2011

military time

loving all these military jacket/vest looks by jules and kellydespite the heat wave, i'm tempted to pull out my own surplus jacket and start putting together sweet outfits like these! {or} i could just splurge for the more weather-appropriate military vest j.crew just put out on the would look so cute with tanks and dresses underneath. 

II emily

August 2, 2011

current must-haves

a near-empty wallet and overflowing closet have forced me to keep my shopping to a minimum this summer (plus, i need to save my pennies for soon-to-come fall goodies!) but in the case of these 2 pieces, i just couldn't help myself -

these cheery platforms are beyond adorable (and on sale!), and i can actually picture them going with tons of stuff i already own. color blocking made easy. and they would be especially cute with this retro h&m blouse, yes? 

in a timely fashion

as much as i love my chunky gold michael kors watch (seen here and here), my tendency to host arm parties has made it difficult to wear such a large time piece.  instead, i'm currently loving all of the newest watches below, which look like they'd be sleek enough to play nice with my growing bracelet collection. i especially love the timex with the cheetah-print strap (which i'm thinking you could wear by itself as a furry cuff).

{ clockwise from top left }

II emily