cold weather skincare

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I may try out a lot of new products, but I tend to keep my routine pretty standard throughout the year. The biggest changes come along with winter, when my skin is in desperate need of moisture and soothing ingredients that will calm the redness caused by freezing temperatures and brutal winds, as well as brightening properties for weeks when the sun doesn't show up.

Here are a couple of great products I recommend trying out this winter to keep your skin healthy and feeling good.

Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk
This product is super hydrating (it feels like a lotion), all-natural, and contains organic ingredients, the most potent being white grape juice, aloe, chamomile and calendula, and grapeseed which contains reversatrol making this product comparable to Caudalie.

Kiehl's Scalp Scrub
You know it's winter when your scalp starts getting dry and itchy. This Kiehl's scalp scrub is the product I always recommend for exfoliating and balancing your scalp. I'm also a big fan of Christophe Robin's scrubs, but for different reasons. For dry, winter scalp, Kiehl's is the move.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
I got a 12 oz. jar of this at Sephora for $15 on Black Friday, more than enough to last through the winter. Both a face and body moisturizer, this is great for super dry skin and even eczema. Even if you don't typically have super dry skin, this is still a great choice for the winter when your skin needs a little more love.

Tatcha Indigo Moisturizer
For a more intense, luxurious moisturizer, try the Tatcha Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream. This is a super, thick cream moisturizer that almost feels like a wash-off mask. But, leave it on to soak into your skin overnight to let the colloidal oatmeal and sophora japonica sooth your wind-lashed skin.

Lush Sleepy Body Lotion
The Sleepy body lotion from Lush is so good. First, it contains cocoa butter and almond oil to moisturize your skin but it also has lavender and tonka to help you wind down before sleep.

Byredo Hand Cream
A good hand cream is a must in the winter. I know my hands get incredibly dry throughout the day, so I always keep a tube on hand. Because it's something you'll use often, it's nice to use it as an opportunity to have a little luxurious moment, so try out the Bal d'Afrique hand cream from Byredo. 

SK-II Sheet Masks
Intense weather calls for intense treatments and results, so splurge on a few SK-II Facial Treatment Masks when the temperatures drop. These are top of the line, with a blend of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals to promote skin rejuvenation. To save money, buy the six pack to split with a friend and use one per month. 

RMS Beauty Lip Balm
Chapped lips might look pretty (at least in the mild stage when you just look sort-of beestung), but they don't feel very good. Keep a good lip balm on you at all times! Glossier and Smith's are staples, but you can also step it up by investing in the RMS Beauty balm which is a little more high end, plus it's all-natural and organic.

a few iphone photos from lately + a vlog

The past few weeks have been so much fun! I've been exploring a lot of the holiday sales and pop-up shops around the city and overall, just continuing to get settled in as I've entered my second month living in the city. 

I do have a second vlog for you guys today (which was really fun to shoot on my new iPhone 8 plus), but I also wanted to share some random photos from my phone. You may have seen some of them on my Instagram story, but I'll provide a little background information.

Hope you guys are doing well! 

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I spent the morning at Drybar in Tribeca a few weeks ago! My hair hadn't been looking very good for a little while. I have no idea what was going on, but there were tons of cowlicks, zero volume, and it just felt awful. I was forced to put it up in a topknot or a ponytail everyday which was ultimately making the situation worse, so I booked an emergency blowout.

I love Drybar. Who doesn't? It's bright and pretty and smells great, plus you're drinking a flute of champagne while you get your hair washed. Nothing can beat that! I got the Old Fashioned, which is a newer style described as "old Hollywood waves" and was right up my alley. 

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During the blow dry, they were playing Elf which leads me to believe that Drybar can truly do no wrong. I left feeling so much better that my hair looked and felt great. Plus, it's been cooperating ever since so getting that blowout was definitely the move. 

Also, how cute is this sweater-vest combo from Francesca's?

After my blow dry, I went to Chelsea Market for lunch. I had been dying to try the Impossible Burger, a veggie burger that's supposed to be as close to real meat as possible, and found out they made them at Creamline. I ordered it with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and ketchup (I'm a purist), a side of fries, and a rootbeer. It was heaven!

I actually still can't believe it was a veggie burger. I've had a ton of different veggie burgers in my life and none of them even came close to how good this one was. It's even pink on the inside! 

The same day, I stopped in at Anthropologie. Guys, the store at Chelsea Market is the absolute best one. It's huge and has a really large selection of home items, which is my favorite section of Anthropologie. After smelling about a million candles, I stumbled upon the cutest monogram mug in the sale section for $5.95, but it ended up ringing up for only $4.50. So exciting!

I also recently stopped at J.Crew in Williamsburg to pick up some furry slippers I ordered online. Then, I came home and immediately changed into leggings, a t-shirt, and a cozy Lou & Grey cardigan (similar) plus my new slippers. I took off my makeup with my favorite coconut wipes from Sephora and had a cup of tea in my new mug!

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I tried on the cutest white turtleneck at H&M uptown! The one I tried on was too big but the line for the fitting rooms was long and I didn't want to bother trying on a small, so I left without it. By the time I got downtown, I couldn't stop thinking about it so I popped into the store at Union Square and, of course, they didn't have a small and it's sold out online! :(

Also, I was working in DUMBO last week and got to enjoy Main Street Park when it was empty during the day!

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Finally, I ran into Danielle Carolan and Brooke Miccio while they were in the city this past weekend! They're both super sweet and adorable, so it was a fun surprise.

holiday outfit ideas + nail polish pairings

This year, I've been really into holiday dressing more so than ever before. I don't know if it's just because I'm in a really festive mood these days or what! I've been looking to some of my favorite bloggers for inspiration and have found it in spades from girls like Kate, Caroline, Rebecca, and as always, Julia

This particular outfit is one that I've been loving for the transition between fall and winter. The adorable bell-sleeve sweater and the quilted vest are from Francesca's, the jeans are my favorites from Madewell, and a similar pair of boots can be found here.

My holiday outfit ideas are quite varied when it comes to style. You'll find a little preppy as well a little cozy, and a bit of edginess too. I've also included five nail polish colors from Essie that'll pair well with any of your holiday looks.

I love an outfit like this that mixes a lot of different textures. Also, the burgundy on bottom paired with cream on top gives this outfit a subtle, holiday vibe. 

Cozy sweater plus velvet trousers and gold, embellished details. This is a great look for girls with a more minimalist, modern style of dressing that wants to inject just a little bit of festivity.

For a preppy look, tuck a flannel shirt into a black mini skirt and style with textured, nude pumps and pearls. 

Who says holiday dressing has to mean dark reds and golds? A pale pink coat over a white sweater adds a little femininity when paired with basic skinny jeans and a tall boot. 

When you need a cozy outfit for days and nights at home, try a fluffy pullover with leggings, cute holiday socks, and the coziest furry slippers you can find.

All of these looks can be paired with a variety of holiday-inspired colors from Essie. Burgundy adds a bit of elegance while metallic pinks and golds and glitter will add a pop of excitement and dark green serves as a unique, festive alternative to a neutral color. 

Let me know what you plan on wearing for the holidays!

the weekend list no. 24

Happy Saturday! It finally feels like the holidays are in full swing, doesn't it? The city is sparkling, street corners are filled with Christmas trees, and everyone is wearing cute beanies around here. What have you all been up to the past two weeks? I've been watching a lot of Suits lately (yes, because of Meghan Markle) and I'm shocked I never watched it before because it's right up my alley.

Speaking of all the press surrounding Meghan Markle recently, this is the article I loved the most, probably because it was written by Meghan herself. It's about how far she's come from her early acting days and I think it's so relatable for other young women. The story about her car is especially funny because I bet the last thing she ever expected in that moment was that she'd marry a literal prince one day.

I didn't know a lot about life coaches or the purpose they serve, but this article on The Everygirl helped me understand what they can do for their clients. 

The team at Camille Styles finally released a full photo tour of their renovated bungalow office space and it is to die for! The idea of renovating an old house into a group office space is so inspiring. They also made over the teachers' lounge at a local school, which I think is such a cool way to give back to the community plus it looks so pretty!

If you're looking for an inspirational story this week, here's one: this man built an inclusive water park that's inviting and comfortable for people with special needs.

And finally, as promised long ago, I have a vlog for you guys! It's not the greatest quality because it's shot entirely on my iPhone, but I actually had fun making it! It's just a very chill weekend in my life, running errands and doing some Black Friday shopping. Hope you like! 

how to have a magical holiday season

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Only sixteen more days until Christmas! Can you believe that? I, for one, am really excited even though I honestly don't have any big plans. I'm just a big fan of the holiday vibes and everything that comes along with the season.

On the flip side, I know there can be a lot of unnecessary anxiety during the holidays. To be totally honest, I'm not one to have experienced it myself but I've been reading a lot of posts lately about people who feel overwhelmed by the season. Whether it's about finding the right gifts or dreading being asked about your career/love life by extended family members, or simply trying to meet expectations that you've set for yourself that ultimately don't really matter.

In reality, this time of year should be the best time of year and the most magical time of year. It should be all about enjoying the ephemeral moments that only come once a year like seeing the twinkling lights around your town or having eggnog with friends and family on Christmas Eve. It should be a really mindful time of year where we take the time to notice and appreciate the little things.

This year, I'm vowing to have a magical holiday season and it's really so easy, everyone can do it!

twinkle lights
Christmas isn't Christmas without twinkle lights, if you ask me. If there's one decoration you must have, it's these. String them up in your bedroom to carry the festive decor all the way through your house. You can use the traditional kind or try something more special like these from Free People.

rustic decorations
I've always loved the atmosphere of Christmas in the Harry Potter universe because everything is very rustic, with a festive, homemade quality. From the homemade crown that Arthur wears at the Weasley holiday dinner at 12 Grimmauld Place to the hand-knit sweaters Molly sends her kids and the decorations in the Great Hall, this is the vibe to aim for.

You can do this by creating your own homemade decorations like this origami star garland, these rustic twig ornaments, and this creative advent calendar.

classical music
I love listening to classical music anytime of the year. In fact, it's probably my favorite kind of music because of its ability to create a distinct atmosphere. There are some lovely classical holiday playlists on Spotify that you can put on while you're decorating the tree, baking in the kitchen, or wrapping presents. Some of my favorites are Christmas Peaceful Piano, Classical Christmas, and Winter Classical.

holiday markets
If your town or a city you'll travel to has a holiday market, plan to make a visit this month. These magical little villages pop up every winter and are a great place to sample cozy foods and pick up last minute, unique gifts for the people on your list. I recommend getting a hot chocolate or apple cider as soon as you arrive so you have something warm to drink while you peruse all of the cute stalls.

festive treats
You probably know that I'm a big fan of baking and the holidays are the perfect time of year to really get into it. Not only can you bake treats for yourself and your household, but these can serve as gifts to friends and extended family as well. Try baking some of the classics like gingerbread men and white chocolate cranberry cookies, as well as some unconventional choices like French apple tarts.

holiday windows
If you're in New York, the place to go for this is uptown where all of the big department stores show off amazing window displays for the season. But, most towns will have holiday shop windows of some sort. Not only will it put you in a festive mood, but you might see a few things you're inspired to buy for yourself or as a gift.

cozy culture
There are so many great books and movies to get you in the mood for the holidays. For books, you'll find a few options here. As for movies, I recommend The Family Stone, Home Alone, Eloise at Christmastime, and You've Got Mail / Shop Around the Corner. But, nothing will get you in the holiday spirit like The Nutcracker, so be sure to get tickets for your local production.

having gratitude
This is really the key to having a magical winter and holiday season. I've seen a lot lately about combatting holiday stress/anxiety and that makes me so sad because, for the most part, that stress and anxiety stems from putting unnecessary expectations on ourselves or our families and focusing on all of the wrong things about the holidays. Choosing gratitude over stress is truly the number one thing that will make your holiday magical.