Category Archives: beauty

Arm candy + spring polishes

arm-candy-new-essie-polishesI have a love/hate relationship with bracelets. I love a stack of them in theory but I hate them on my wrists.  Naturally I buy them every chance I get.  Lately I’ve been admiring the attention to detail required to use complimentary nail polish with whatever you’re wearing, so I’m taking my nonsensical bangle obsession a step further and pairing up some of my favorite Essie polishes.

This might just tempt me to indulge. Maybe.

Essie Polishes
Top polishes:
Maximillian strasse-her / Boxer Shorts
Middle:  Size Matters / Hip-anemaBottom
Bottle: Lollipop

images: 1 / 2 / 3


DIY: Style Binder

IMG_4570IMG_4566In an effort to streamline and hone in on my style preferences a few years ago, I started tearing favorite pages out and sliding them into plastic pages in a 3-ring binder. Anytime I found a look I loved, in it went. (I also keep one dedicated to hair, one for beauty, and my husband and I each have massive ones for recipes.) IMG_4569Over the years, I’ve re-organized pages, tossed some, consolidated multiple tear-outs onto a single page, added new pages, and kept seasonal lists of various pieces I notice coming up again and again among the pages. When I’m stumped for what to wear, I just flip this bad boy open for instant inspiration.
IMG_4567The inserts aren’t anything fancy, I picked them up at Staples and the binder is a simple lays-flat 3-rind binder with a pocket in the front and back. I have only brought it shopping with me once, but the beauty of the plastic inserts is how easy they are to bring with me when I shop. I like to think of it as my ultimate magazine. It’s basically the foundation that helped me build my wardrobe.

The 5 Minute Face: Vicky’s Beauty Product Favorites


Imagine you overslept and only have 5 minutes to get ready and get out the door. You have time for “the 5 minute face.” What are your tried and true favorites?

Vicky’s picks for a 5-minute face are:

Lancôme teint miracle foundation
Nars orgasm blush
Milani espresso pencil for eyebrows
Some kind of eyeshadow
Milano black pencil
Korres volcanic ash mascara in obsidian black

Weekly Beauty To Do’s

Crappy, cold weather is so unmotivating. But spring is near, so it’s time to break out of this rut I’m in and start getting ready!

March 24

– Drink less coffee. More water
– Re-start the AM gym routine for peace of mind
– Spend more time outside getting some fresh air
– Bring back the self tan
– Find a new hand cream
– Get a shoe rack before the ballet flats take over
– Get the monthly push-up challenge re-started
– Try a ballerina bun
– Try out a new Essie spring polish

DIY Shower Facial

It’s hard to name any beauty treatments I don’t wholeheartedly support, but if I had to choose only one to justify spending on— it’s a facial.  Regular facials with a skilled esthetician can improve skin tone and texture making it literally “glow” with health. Unfortunately they’re not cheap. I was convinced it was impossible to do one at home when I stepped into the shower the other night.

As I stood in the steam and reached for my usual face cleanser, I realized the shower is an ideal environment for a quick and easy DIY facial if you have the right products. And the best part is how easy it is to customize yours based on your skin’s needs.
shower-facialFacials usually consist of the following steps: Exfoliate, Cleanse, Mask, Moisturize/Treat. Extractions may be part of the cleanse part for some facials and steam is usually involved for pore cleansing.
For my own DIY shower facial I used what I happened to have within reach—all products I use throughout a given week, but not necessarily all in one beauty session like this which is really the key. Not pictured is the fourth step (Moisturize/Treat) but I’ll get to that shortly. Here’s what I used:

MaryKay TimeWise Microdermabrasion Step 1: Refine
PanOxyl Foaming Face Wash
Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque
Steps I followed:

1. Exfoliate
Once you’re in a nice steamy shower for 5-10 minutes, you want to exfoliate. Go slowly and work your way from forehead out to temples, across your “T-Zone”, concentrating less on pressure and more on time. Don’t speed through this, you want to hit everything for 20-30 seconds to slough off dead skin. But gently. Rinse.
2. Cleanse
Next, cleanse. Same idea as above. I like to let my cleanser so on my face for a little bit to sink in after I’ve worked it in and around for a minute of two. Rinse thoroughly. (If skin feels tingly, you probably scrubbed too hard in step one or didn’t rinse all your cleanser off. To avoid further irritating skin, immediately rinse your face for 20-30 seconds with cool water and skip to step 4 and try again next time. Gentler.)
3. Mask
Once the shower is turned off, you’ll apply a mask. You want skin to still be damp. Let the mask dry before rinsing off with warm water. (Or if it’s a moisture mask, tissue cream off your face or gently work into skin.)
4. Moisturize
I didn’t recommend any products for step 4 because this is where a dermatologist can help. I apply prescription face creams at this point to manage my unfortunately acne-prone skin. But if you’d rather not visit a derm for product advice, a serum or moisturizer designed for your skin is usually the next step for most facials. Avene makes some of my favorites moisturizers and I love pretty much all the Estee Lauder serums while Rodin’s face oil is my favorite of all if you want to check those out.

Weekly Beauty To Do’s

I love lists, don’t you? And I love planning. Here’s what’s on my list for next week…

March 17

– Drink more green tea
– Eat your antioxidants throughout the day
– Try a “DIY Shower Facial”
– Put on eye cream nightly
– Use hand cream at night
– Play with hair accessories, like clips and headbands this week
– Focus on AM cardio for stress relief
– Meditate for 1 minute each morning

In My Makeup Bag

IMG_4511>>in rotation this week<<

I haven’t been feeling particularly ambitious on the beauty front lately, hence the super basic assortment of tried + true favs. The cold temps, work stress, and lack of sleep and yoga are starting to take their toll though and if there is one thing that really makes you look crummy, it’s feeling crummy.

While I work on finding some internal balance, I’m hoping a little pink lipstick, skin illuminator and heavily curled lashes will perk me up.

This Week’s Products
Tocca’s Stella fragrance, Anthropologie
Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 15
Benefit’s Hoola bronzer
Sephora Eyelash curler
Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Mascara
Urban Decay eye liner in black
Revlon lipstick in (TBD, sorry!)
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, SPF 25
L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifying Beauty Balm Cream

NARS Danmari All About Cheeks Palette

IMG_8688I never really fussed with blush until I read about Nars’ famous “Orgasm” shade. It was a staple in my makeup bag for the last 9 years with little deviation until I had my wedding makeup trial and realized how desperately I needed to add some pink into the mix to break up all the brown hair/brown eyes.

In an effort to try some new shades and experiment with mixing colors, I bought this “Danmari” palette. At first I was intimidated by the extreme brights and darks and wondered if they’d work on my light olive skin but was happily surprised by how beautifully each blended and how versatile such a range of colors could be.

This specific palette is now discontinued but I’m posting to encourage you to try out a blush palette sometime. It takes a little trial and error, but as long as you play around with the colors in natural light, you’ll be fine and might discover some new favorite blush looks like I did.

Color details—This set contains:– 6 x 0.12 oz Cheek Color in Hungry Heart (gold ivory), Super Orgasm (peachy pink with gold glitter), Desire (cotton candy pink), Casino (dark brown with golden shimmer), Orgasm (peachy pink with golden shimmer), Sin (berry with gold shimmer)

Valentine’s Day Beauty

Pinned Image Pinned Image Valentine’s Day gets me every year, but this year, (now that I’m married), it’s especially bad. With less than a month to go, I’ve been scouring the web trying to figure out my Valentine’s Day look. This is before I have an outfit in mind, or even definite plans— ha!  Like Mindy Kaling said of  holiday parties, “If I buy the dresses, the parties will come.”

I am really loving a bare nude lid with cat eye liquid liner and a bold red lip, but I’m always drawn to really classic, bold looks. But the big question will be: hair up or down?

images: 1/2

2013 Golden Globes Fashion & Beauty

It’s my favorite time of year in Hollywood: Awards Season. Tuning-in to the red carpet pre-show is one of my favorite rituals and the 2013 Golden Globes didn’t disappoint. Here are my thoughts on some of this season’s standouts:

Tina Fey In L Wren Scott - 2013 Golden Globe AwardsTina Fey – L’Wren Scott. These pictures don’t do her hair justice, but I promise, from the side and back her hair is even more gorgeous. I LOVE this entire look on her, from the cut, to the length, to the embroidered beaded overlay, to the pumps, to the pink lip. It’s so chic, cheeky, fun, sexy, glamorous, timeless, and Tina. Love, love, love it. I think it’s her personal best.

jessica alba in Oscar de la Renta - possibly the most stunning golden globes look ever Jessica Alba -in Christian Dior. Absolutely flawless. I am literally speachless. Her hair. That lip. That necklace. The dress. Oh my god, that dress. Stunning.

Lea Michele Dress pic 2013 Golden Globes Awards  Fabulously Spotted: Lea Michele Wearing Elie Saab – 2013 Golden Globes AwardsLea Michele Dress 2013 Golden Globes Awards Elie Saab Fabulously Spotted: Lea Michele Wearing Elie Saab – 2013 Golden Globes Awards

Lea Michele – in Elie Saab. Stunning. Maybe a little too tan, but she’s perfection. Her hair, skin, and body in this dress are incredible. She is glowing. What the heck is on her skin? It must be a really great body luminizer. The hair kills me. I cannot repeat enough how much I LOVE the ombre hair look in this length on her. So soft and pretty.
Amy Adams – Please do something different! You do this all the time.

Kerry Washington – in Miu Miu & Chopard. Gorgeous. This see-through skirt trend isn’t easy to pull off and she does it in a classy way. I really love how she paired a very feminine and elegant dress with straight, swingy, modern hair.

Julia Louis-Dreyful – in Vera Wang. Her hair was jaw-droppingly stunning. And her makeup was perfection. Subtle and classic. Although the dress on its own wasn’t my favorite, the overall look just worked. One of my favorites.

Zooey Deschanel
– Do something different please. I’ve seen this look on you and I want to see something new. Please!

Katharine McPhee arrives at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.Katharine McPhee – in Theyskens’ Theory. Her body is rocking, but the bottom of the dress was off a bit, but I had to give her a mention for bringing unaplogetic sexy to the Golden Globes. The top-knot is adorable, I LOVE that bracelet (and other accessories) and your makeup is spot-on.

Sarah Hyland @ 2013 Golden GlobesSarah Hyland – She is brave for trying to steal Sophia Vergara’s look! While I think it’s a little too mature and the hair is a little overwhelming for her small face and delicate features, she still looks stunning. I love her flirty eye makeup and that pretty berry lip, but a softer lip color would’ve been more age-appropriate I think. Or a bright lip/softer eye. It’s just too much altogether.