My Top 10 Beauty Must-Haves

I don’t claim to be a makeup or beauty expert by any means, but over the years I have found 10 products that work incredibly for me year-around and give me the flawless face look I am searching for. The best part about these products is that they are all relatively inexpensive, and blend well to my skin regardless of the level of tan (admittedly, I never get too dark). See the bottom of the post for the full list of products and where to buy them!

Foundation primer, under eye concealer, tinted moisturizer. These three products take me from “I just woke up and i’m exhausted” to “i’m fresh and ready to go!” The primer sets everything for all day, and the concealer is my secret weapon to get rid of a stubborn pimple or under eye bags. Pro tip: I use the concealer as an eyeshadow primer as well.

1. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

2. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer in SC-3

3. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in “Blush”

Tarte setting power and Sephora blush. Setting powder keeps everything in place and not sticky or wet. Blush gives me a nice peachy glow without being orange like bronzer.

1. Sephora Blush in “Rose Glow”

2. Tarte “Smooth Operator” Finishing Powder

These three colors are the ones that make my Hazel/Green eyes pop the most while still being appropriate for work depending on the intensity with which I apply them. Sephora makes amazing eyeshadows for cheap and I love the color options.

For days when I want to be more glamorous, Revlon red lipstick is my go-to (applied heavier for more color or softer for a more pink tint). Smith’s rosebud salve is the best lip balm hands down, and Revlon lip glosses are perfect for a bit of everyday color.

1. Revlon ‘Colorburst’ Lipstick in “True Red, 090”

2. Smith’s Rosebud Salve

3. Revlon ‘Super Lustrous’ Lipgloss in “Coral Reef, 170”

Just a few of my favorite products. I would love to see your go-to’s for year around beauty!

Full product list:

Smashbox photo finish foundation primer, Laura Mercier secret camoglouge concealer, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Sephora blush, Tarte setting powder, Sephora eyeshadows, Revlon lipstick, Smith’s rosebud salve, Revlon lipgloss

Not Listed: I also loooove L’Oreal Telescopic mascara and use it daily.

Washington, D.C. with the bests

Prior to this last weekend I had never visited Washington, D.C. While I lived in Philadelphia for four years for college, and spent many months in NYC for internships, the stars never aligned and I never made it out to our nation’s capital. A few month’s ago one of my closest friends from college moved to D.C. for work, and we determined it was the perfect place to have our bi-monthly college girlfriend meet-up. We had an absolutely amazing time galavanting around the monuments, reliving old memories of college, and capturing every last moment with each other before parting ways once more.

^My complete awe and joy in seeing the White House for the first time.

Wearing a Loft coat (similar splurge worthy style), borrowed sweater, ASOS scarf (similar), random boutique top, Levi’s jeans

Every monument was more breathtaking than the last (my personal favorite was the Lincoln memorial, made even more impactful after seeing the movie a few weeks ago).

My friends are absolutely stunning and we have such a close relationship that I cherish deeply. Seeing them only every couple of months is saddening but I know that regardless of where we end up around the country, we will always manage to get together in new and exciting cities. In other news, how preppy and gorgeously styled is my friend Olivia above?! With her Barbour jacket and J.Crew boots, she looks so D.C. chic.

Thank you for reading!

Review: J.Crew Wide-Calf Harper Leather Boots

Nordstrom sweater (similar), Gap skirt, SPANX tights, Nordstrom belt (similar), J.Crew Harper boots (ordered up to a 9.5)

Traveling so much for work means that my wardrobe has very little consistency. I spend the work week in different cities around the country and my weekends in Charlotte, and as such have a closet that looks more like a mismatch of items than anything cohesive or weather appropriate. But if there was one item that transitions well from the chilly (albeit dry) weather of North Carolina to the freezing Winters of the Northeast and beyond, it is the riding boot. Boasting calves with a nearly 17″ circumference  finding a pair of boots that fit my feet, narrow ankles and wide calves has proven nearly impossible, until now.

J.Crew is one of the few retailers that sells wide-calf boots. I have tried a number of other pairs over the years and never found them very comfortable or of particularly great quality. During their last 25% off sale I decided to try again with these gorgeous side-zip Harpers, and couldn’t be happier with the purchase.

First and foremost, the leather is of amazing quality. I can see them lasting for years and being incredibly supple and molded to my foot shape over time. The sole is 100% leather and the gold zipper detailing and snap closure above are also of top quality.

The boots have a 17.5″ calf circumference leaving just about a 3/4 of an inch of extra room for me at the top. This doesn’t bother me at all as I have never liked the look of boots that were so tight they appeared painted on. The leather of these is stiff enough that they stay up on my calf regardless of the extra space. The toes are a beautiful almond shape and very comfortable for all day wear. If leather isn’t your thing, the boots also come in a gorgeous suede that also looks so supple and comfortable. One final note, I did size up from my normal 9 at J.Crew to a 9.5. I wanted a bit of extra room for thicker socks, but upon receipt have found that these boots do run slightly small. While i can tell that the size 10’s would be much too big, the 9.5 leaves just a smidgen of extra room for thick socks.

In other, completely random news: I purchased my first clip-less curling iron and loooove the result. I have naturally very frizzy, curly, and unruly hair and on days when I don’t want to blow dry or straighten it into place, this iron makes my natural waves bouncy and frizz-free. I highly recommend the iron I purchased and particularly love the quickness with which I achieved this look.

Have you found any wide-calf boots that you’re loving?

An Everyday Outfit, with Sparkle

J.Crew Factory sequins sweater, J.Crew shirt, Levi’s jeans, Necklace via Gilt (similar)

I wouldn’t consider myself a super glamorous girl, or one that is particularly drawn to all things sequins. So when I purchased this top from J.Crew a while back, it was an its-on-sale-why-not kind of purchase. I have only worn it a handful of times but on those days when I want to feel particularly sparkly and stand out in a crowd, it does the trick.

As is my nature, I toned it down with basic jeans and a “grungier” button down and basic, sleek hair.

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