come shopping with me at ulta!

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Happy Monday! Over the weekend, I went to Ulta to take advantage of their 21 Days of Beauty deals because my favorite brow product was 50% off! The sales event is still on through Saturday, April 6th so definitely check out their website to see which products will be on sale and stock up. I also wanted to share some other products I checked out while I was there and what I ended up buying.

First things first, I went straight to my Anastasia Brow Wiz. I’ve tried several different brow products and this one is definitely my favorite. I have lighter brows, so I always get the shade Taupe. I love this one because it’s easy to use and not at all messy like gels or pencils can sometimes be. It’s more like a crayon consistency but smaller, so you can make individual strokes on your brow for a really natural look.

I always like to check out the Drybar products, so the next thing I ended up buying was a travel size version of the Sparkling Soda shine spray. I’ve tried so many Drybar products and really like them all, so I’m excited to use this one. The reason I wanted to try this is because I like to add shine to my hair after curling, but oil weighs it down too much so this seemed like just the right thing. I’ve tried it once so far and like it! I can’t wait to use it when I actually style my hair all the way through, though.

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Aside from some cotton rounds, the Brow Wiz and Sparkling Soda are all that I bought. However, I did leave with some new additions to my wish list. I tried out some lip color from the Popsugar collection and thought they had a cute range of shades. They seemed to all either have an orange or pink undertone which is nice because those are so flattering, although I’m personally partial to orange.

Next, I looked at the new Tarte Sugar Rush Sweet Slice Palette for eye and cheek. I always love the Tarte palettes and this one is so cute for summer! I will say I don’t necessarily love the watermelon vibe for my personal aesthetic, but it’s super cute if you’re a more colorful person. However, the shades inside are all neutral with some metallics which I love.

Super high on my wish list now is the Anastasia Loose Highlighter in the shade So Hollywood. I’ve really never used powder highlighters (maybe one product before?) but I tested this gold one out and I love it. It’s concentrated but not too much. Plus, the gold gives a really beautiful, bronze glow.

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The next brand I sampled was the k-beauty brand Peach + Lily. My favorite thing I tried was the Pure Beam Luxe Oil. It feels super lightweight and it’s packed with amazing cold-pressed oils like squalane, jojoba, camellia, grapeseed, and sea buckthorn. I recently saw another brand with an oil very, very similar to this that was $109 whereas this one is only $39. Just saying!

I also tried the Little Barn Apothecary Cooling Mineral Mist. The scent was Coconut + Mint which are two of my all-time favorite scents and ingredients. This would be such a great product to take with you on a plane or to the gym for a little refresher.

I love, love, love Kopari and got to sample this Coconut Detox Mask which smells amazing. It’s like a creamy mud mask and contains nourishing, anti-inflammatory ingredients like squalane, coconut oil, and green tea.

And finally, I was really excited about this new line from Clarins called My Clarins. I’d say this is like the little sister of the regular Clarins brand (which I absolutely adore). The packaging is a little less luxe and younger and the prices are on the more affordable side. But, the products themselves felt really good on my skin so I think this is a great option for someone looking to get into a good skincare brand for less.

pretty things no. 26

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Happy first Saturday of spring! It’s about time, right? The theme for all of my choices for this weekend’s Pretty Things is pink and blue for spring. I’m always drawn to blush pinks but lately have been getting really into pastel blues.

I genuinely think that this blue Paul & Joe top could be the base of your entire spring wardrobe. Picture it with white jeans and slides, cut off denim shorts and white Converse, a printed skirt and flat sandals. Style it with a basket bag, a chic top handle, or your beachy boat and tote.

I’ve seen a couple of girls wearing variations of these Tory Burch shoes on Instagram and have fallen in love with them. This particular pair is called the Clara and they’re a cute little pointed flat with a dramatic velvet bow. I absolutely love these for spring paired with everything from jeans to dresses.

I know, you’re seeing a basket bag for probably the hundredth time on this blog alone but I can’t help it. They really are the perfect spring/summer accessory! I love this particular one from Ulla Johnson because it’s round and has that beautiful leather strap. This kind of bag can add more excitement to a more simple outfit but can also tone down something more dramatic. Win-win!

Typically when I think of spring dresses, my mind’s eye conjures things that are flowy and floral but I’m actually loving this Majorelle dress because it has a more polished, suit-like silhouette that you’d usually see in black but in this case, it comes in a pastel powder blue. I’d style this with a nude strappy heel for going out or even a white sneaker if your look is a little edgier.

I tend to strictly wear Essie’s nude pink Ballet Slippers polish, but in the spring and summer I like to break out the blues with my favorite being Blue La La. However! This shade Reno is a little different and I love that. It’s a bit of a deeper color than your typical blue but I think that makes it a really great choice for your toes in the spring!

Okay, have you ever seen something more spring than these pink gingham pajamas from Sleepy Jones? They’re like the inside of a picnic basket! They’re the perfect thing to wear on weekends when you’re eating breakfast outside on your porch or spending Sunday reading your favorite books and magazines.

ten movies to get into french cinema

Pierrot Le Fou, 1965

Pierrot Le Fou, 1965

Are you all as happy as I am that it’s finally officially spring? Granted, the weather here in my area has been pretty springy for quite awhile but I’m happy to know that everyone else is finally feeling in the mood for warm weather and pastels. Something about spring always makes me want to watch my favorite French movies. I’m not entirely sure why but it might have something to do with all the pretty colors that tend to be in them and the overall quirky vibe they tend to have.

So, why should you even get into French cinema? I heard someone recently say that their idea of having a fun, fulfilling life was to follow the concept of having ‘majors’ even after you’re out of school. Whether it be wine, music, or in this case film, it’s fun to pick a thing or two then going all out to learn as much as you can about it. One of my life majors has always been French film, so I wanted to put together a little list of some of my favorite French movies to potentially inspire someone else to get into them!

Mon Oncle (1958)
It’s maybe not the most “accessible” on the list, but Mon Oncle is such a visual feast full of modern design and architecture from the ‘50s that it’s beautiful to look at. It’s about a man who lives in the city and doesn’t get why his sister moved her family into a super modern house in the suburbs. But then, his sister conspires to convert him to the suburban lifestyle, trying to set him up with a wife.

The 400 Blows (1959)
I’d argue that The 400 Blows is the most iconic film of the new wave and a must see for any film lover. It’s a gorgeous Truffaut film about a young boy who lives quite a hard scrabble life in Paris among neglectful parents and irresponsible adults. Afterwards, watch The Florida Project and draw some comparisons.

Breathless (1961)
Tying with The 400 Blows for what I consider the most iconic new wave films, this one by Godard stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as a Parisian thug who idolizes Humphrey Bogart. After committing a crime, he goes on the lam with an American journalist played by Jean Seberg who doesn’t yet know why they are running.

Band of Outsiders (1964)
One of my very favorite Godard films, this one is about two cinephiles Franz and Arthur who idolize characters of classic film noirs and Westerns while pining over Odile (played by the iconic Anna Karina). After many gorgeous sequences including a run through the Louvre, the trio pulls off a heist of their own.

Pierrot Le Fou (1965)
I love the visuals of this film so much. Jean-Paul Belmondo stars in this as well with Anna Karina. Ferdinand runs away with his family’s nanny Marianne. They travel across France in a beautiful red car and end up being chased by thugs before going on a crime spree because what more can you expect from Godard?

Day for Night (1973)
Directed by and starring Truffaut who, of course, plays a director making a movie all the while observing the persona lives of the actors in the movie. It’s one of those movies that everyone in Hollywood loves because it’s all about the inner workings of the industry.

Amelie (2001)
This is probably the most universally popular movie on the list and for good reason. It’s a great entry point into French film as it’s really entertaining and fun to look at but has the quality of classic French films. It’s about a girl named Amelie who lives in her own fantasy world as she navigates Paris. It’s super quirky and feel good, perfect for a sick day.

The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
I love that I’m able to throw an animated film into the mix. I believe I first saw this in one of my high school French classes and just fell in love. It’s about a woman whose cyclist grandson is kidnapped. She sets out with her dog to find him and meets three sisters who are former vaudeville actresses. It has such a distinct, grotesque look that you can’t take your eyes off of it.

Rust and Bone (2012)
This movie has a very contemporary sounding plot but it’s actually so different than what you’d expect. It’s ultimately such a beautiful, slow, graceful kind of film. Marion Cotillard plays a whale trainer who loses both of her legs in an accident at work. She meets a former boxer who saves her from a bar brawl and they go on to fall in love and continue saving each other in different ways.

Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
Okay, so this is a slow, deliberate movie that may not work for every taste but I hope you’ll give it a chance because it’s one of the most stunning films I’ve seen in the past few years. Juliette Binoche is a once very famous actress who reprises her breakout role 20 years later. The movie is about her relationship with her assistant played by Kristen Stewart as well as the actress’s painful self-reflection on herself.

my u.s. travel bucket list

Monterey, California

Monterey, California

Whether it’s Europe or Southeast Asia or Kenya to visit my adopted elephant, I’m almost always dreaming about the next destination I want to experience. I think many of us who love to travel are always imaging ourselves jetting off to far flung places. But this month on the blog is about blooming with grace or blooming where you are and that’s what inspired me to share the list of places I’m dying to go here at home in the U.S.

I’ve been fortunate to visit and live in many different states, but what’s really cool about the U.S. is that it’s so big and spans many different types of landscapes and environments, so there’s always something new to experience. Here are ten places I’m hoping to check off my travel list soon that are right here in my home country. Let me know if you’ve been to any on the list or where you’re hoping to visit soon.

charleston, south carolina //
I honestly can’t believe I still haven’t been to Charleston, having grown up in the South! In fact, I weirdly haven’t been to many of the big Southern cities because my travels are usually further away rather than in my region. But, with all of the beautiful, colorful architecture and incredible food scene, Charleston is one I cannot wait to check off my list.

austin, texas //
Austin ties with Charleston for the U.S. city I most want to visit right now. From the quirky art scene to the food and all of the amazing outdoor spaces, Austin seems like the perfect destination for me. I want to get in all the vintage shopping, taco eating, honky tonk dancing, and natural swimming hole swimming and definitely stay in one of the city’s cute Airbnbs.

new orleans, louisiana //
The architecture, the history, and the music are all big draws to New Orleans but to be honest, it’s really all about the food! From beignets to pralines to red beans and rice and all of the amazing up-and-coming bars in the city, I’d have to do a lot of walking to burn it all off.

northern california //
After my parents raved about Monterey, my dream has been to do a slow road trip around the region probably starting in San Francisco and then going around Monterey, Big Sur, Carmel, Muir Woods, and Sausalito. It just seems like one of the most beautiful areas in the country and exactly the chill, cozy, beachy vibe that I love so much.

woodstock, vermont //
Vermont has always been a dream of mine to visit in the autumn because it literally looks like cozy heaven. Then, I saw Julia’s posts in Woodstock and knew that was the perfect place. That bookstore!

jackson hole, wyoming
If we’re talking outdoorsy trips with lots of hiking and picnics, Jackson Hole would be my pick. The landscape has to be one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Plus, the town has plenty to keep you busy too and you know I’d be all about the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.

blackberry farm, tennessee //
Probably top three on my list is Blackberry Farm. Ever since I read about it long ago, I think in an issue of Town & Country, I’ve wanted to rent one of their “cabins” (hard to call it that when they’re so high end) and spend a whole week taking cooking and gardening classes, hiking, and riding horses.

hudson valley, new york //
My mom was born in Hudson Valley and we’ve been wanting to take a trip up there to rent this amazing property we found on Airbnb. It’s a converted barn set on a little creek and only a short walk into town where there are cute farm stands and general stores.

savannah, georgia //
Can you believe I live like three hours from Savannah and haven’t been yet? I’m thinking of taking a photography trip up there this summer to see the architecture and the beautiful southern flora. I don’t plan on going deep into the touristy town center other than to stop in The Paris Market.

kona, hawaii //
What would this list be without a spot in Hawaii? It was never a place that interested me too much growing up for some strange reason. I think I thought of it as being super touristy and having grown up so close to Disney, I didn’t love that. But lately, I’ve seen photos from the Kona and Maui areas and it just looks like such a fragrant, lush place with all the fruit stands on the side of the roads. Ideally, I’d love to stay at the Four Seasons Hualalai but an Airbnb could be cute too if it has a private pool.

a tea + my thoughts // no. 3

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Happy Monday! If I’m being honest, I don’t have a ton of “thoughts” for today’s post, just three simple ones. As for the tea this month (should I really be calling this post series “Spilling the Tea”? haha), I just wanted to share with you that Grove Collaborative has a new line of tea! We got the classic English Breakfast and I was so pleasantly surprised to find that the quality is excellent.

The tea comes in silk sachets and you can see the large clippings, which means it is of a more high end quality than your typical paper tea bags. Definitely recommend! I had some this weekend with an easy tea sandwich made with rye bread, Vegenaise, sliced cucumber, and dill. So good.

Okay, onto the thoughts:

where would you live? // I was thinking about the question of where I would want to live abroad if I could pick anywhere in the world which led me to trying to pick a location on every livable continent. It was pretty hard! But I think at the moment, it would be London or Copenhagen in Europe, Bali in Asia, Windhoek or Johannesburg in Africa, Costa Rica or Buenos Aires in South America, Sydney in Australia (for Bondi Beach), and too many to choose from in North America where I’m from!

artificial intelligence bias // A lot of projects I’ve been working on lately have been vaguely related to the issue of bias in artificial intelligence and why it’s so important to have diversity in the teams that are developing AI, because ultimately AI is created by human minds and therefore our biases are passed on. For instance, studies have shown that driverless cars are less likely to register the presence of darker skinned individuals. This is a good article on the topic.

queer eye season 3 // Everyone knows I love Queer Eye and everyone I know loves Queer Eye so needless to say, I have been so excited that the boys are back for season three. I’m a few episodes in and wow, it does not ever disappoint! The very first makeover actually shook me to my core and I’m perpetually amazed at how they are not only so skilled at what they do but are very thoughtful and never strip the personality away from an individual. Unfortunately, that’s something that happened so often on older makeover shows and I’m beyond happy to know the boys don’t do that. Also, just the emotions and the positive messages make me so happy!