Favorites: May 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

As many of us try to power through this short work-week- I’m personally looking forward to some much-needed rest and relaxation this coming weekend. Not only am I returning to the studio for Indie617 on Saturday for the first time in a few weeks, but my best friend Sean is coming to visit with me at my new apartment so I can give him a quick, laid-back tour of my neighborhood. Nothing crazy- just good company, good food- and I’m determined to squeeze a nap in there somewhere.

I’m going to be recapping this past May in my monthly “In a Nutshell” post this coming Friday before we kick off June during the weekend- but as is tradition- I thought I’d share some of my favorite things from the past couple of weeks, first. Movies, music, products and odds & ends- this is my “Favorites” list- and the items that I could photograph are up first!

Let’s take a look at what made the cut this month!

While Benefit’s Dandelion Blush had helped get me through the Spring- I need something with a little more color now that Summer is officially (unofficially) here- and I’ve looked no further than by switching over to their GALifornia  powder blush.

With a bit more pink/peach to it- this blush also has a semi-shimmery golden overtone- so I look naturally sunkissed when I wear it as opposed to looking like I’m in a bad beauty pageant. It’s subtle, easy to blend and use for contouring- and super flattering on my pasty skin! I know it’ll look good if and when I ever get a tan, too- so it’s my go-to for the Summer!

So my skin has taken a bit of a beatdown in recent weeks as we transition from arctic temperatures and dive right into hot, humid days- and it’s resulted in my face and body not knowing whether or not to feel tight and dry or oily/hydrated. Some days I need extra moisturizer and some days I need blotting sheets like my life depended on it.

On the days where I’m feeling extra thirsty- I use this cooling, refreshing facial mist from Pacifica. I had picked this up in Vegas (the driest of dry climates!) and was amazed at how quickly it worked. Infused with coconut and caffeine- I use this is a setting spray in the mornings and then throughout the afternoons whenever I need a pick me up to keep me looking fresh.

There’s still plenty of things on my “To-do/Bucket List”- but I’ve recently added “Thank Rihanna” to it specifically because Fenty is such a game-changer in the makeup and cosmetics world. I have yet to buy or try a product from the brand that I dislike- and this month I’m adding the BAESIDE liquid eyeliner trio to the list of things I love and haven’t stopped wearing this month.

With three super bright, long-lasting shades (Papaya Mama, Lime Fever and Skinny Dip)– I have been playing around with these liners ever since I got them after returning from Vegas- and I know they’re going to be a “must have” for me in the coming Summer months. They all look really, really beautiful by themselves or intertwined on my lash line.

I’ll put up photos/swatches on my INSTAGRAM soon!

And finally, to sort of move away from skincare and makeup for a moment- which dominated my Favorites List in May- I’ve also been loving these stacked bracelets from Pura Vida. With fun, Summery colors and a cute VW Bus charm that completely won me over when I first saw it- this is my go-to accessory for this coming Summer and recently made one of my OOTD posts when I was talking about casual wear!

I also love indie companies that are charitable and use their profits to better their communities- which is something Pura Vida believes strongly in and does regularly- so it’s beautiful, hand-made jewelry for a good cause!

So, that’s everything I was able to capture on film- but as they say in infomercials- wait, there’s more!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“The Act” – While in Vegas, Kelsey and I got to talking true crime and binge-worthy series as we drove through the desert together. We started talking about the very real, very bizarre case of Gypsy Rose Blanchard- and the series’ of documentaries and specials centered on her case. Kelsey recommended this limited episode Hulu series starring Patricia Arquette and Chloë Sevigny that follows the events leading up to and after the murder of Gypsy’s mother- so of course I binged it in one afternoon.

I regret nothing. It was riveting- and definitely worth a viewing if you have the time!

“John Wick 3” – Summer is here and with it comes over-the-top action flicks. Troy and I finally caught this third installment of our favorite series a few nights ago- and it didn’t disappoint. I could watch these movies all day, every day.

Also, Laurence Fishburne has the greatest lines ever and only he could make them sound as cool as they do.

And that just about does it for me today, everyone! As I said earlier, I’ll be back on Friday with a full recap of this past month that was- but until then- enjoy your “Hump Day!”

I’m off to work!

xx

– Ashley –

My Spring Makeup Routine!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I had wanted to post this past Wednesday, but after my flight was delayed on Tuesday- resulting in me getting home from Vegas much later than expected- I spent the day sleeping in and getting the last of my things packed for tomorrow’s big move. I keep trying to psyche myself up by saying I’m ready and haven’t forgotten anything- but I’m admittedly pretty nervous and I’m 99.999% sure I’m leaving something behind and won’t think of it until three or four days from now.

I digress- it’s the weekend and as busy as it’s going to be- I wanted to share something light and upbeat. I’m not talking about recipes or off-the-wall New England destinations this time- but my Spring makeup routine! These are the products I’ve been wearing non-stop since mid-March- and are going to carry me into the Summer and all the heat and humidity that comes with it!

I’ve done similar posts like this during past seasons, of course. For some quick links to check ’em out- here you go!

But enough delays. Let’s get on with it! From left to right in the image above:

Sephora Collection 10 Hour Wear Perfection Foundation: I love my Fenty foundation in the Fall and the Winter- but come Spring when my skin varies back and forth between being dry and oily and back again- I need something a little less heavy, still oil & fragrance free- and with a natural finish so I don’t look overly made up if I start to sweat.

This medium-coverage, lightweight foundation from Sephora keeps my skin looking and feeling flawless, lasts for hours- and is reasonably priced- making it my must-have this time of year when I want to look natural without breaking the bank.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser/Concealer: On the days, like Wednesday- when I’m feeling overly tired and the dark circles under my eyes aren’t doing me any favors- I slather on this concealer to smooth my skin, brighten my complexion and hide any imperfections around my eyes and face if I’m seeing any redness or blemishes after a rough couple of nights.

I love the longevity and the lightweight feel of this concealer- which blends easily and dries to a natural, “am I wearing makeup or not?” finish. Best of all? It’s only $10.00

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Sephora Collection Matte Perfection Powder Foundation: I don’t use this powder all over my face since it would undoubtedly make me look a little too chalky- but I do apply it in the mornings after I apply my liquid makeup as a shine reducer in my T-Zone and it does wonders! The formula, much like Sephora’s liquid foundation- is lightweight and has a natural finish- so my pores never get clogged and I never look like I’m wearing a ton of makeup.

I carry this powder with me for touch-ups throughout the day, as well- and it’s a life-saver on more hot and humid days for sure!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

ModelCo Eyeshadow Trio in “Mykonos”: Last Spring, I was all about lavender liners and baby pink blush- however this year I’ve been gravitating towards deeper, darker colors for my eyes and lighter, more golden hues for my cheeks. This trio from ModelCo, which I had received in a subscription box a couple of months ago- has quickly become one of my favorites- particularly the peachy highlighter shade and the deep rosy/red color for my crease.

This trio has a subtle amount of shimmer, is easy to blend, and makes my blue eyes pop when I blend the colors together for an all-day look that’s suitable for my office or out on the town. I’ll have some swatches below!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Wander Beauty “Mile High Club” Mascara: I finally took a break from my Kush mascara and have fallen in love with a light, lengthening and volumizing mascara (in pretty gold packaging!) from Wander Beauty. Cruelty and Gluten-free, this mascara glides on easily with a brush that hugs every lash- coating them with a conditioning formula that softens as it gives my eyes a fun, flake-free bit of flair.

I can also attest to it’s staying power- since I’ve been doing my fair share of crying while I’ve been packing in recent days/weeks. It stays put!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Benefit Cosmetics “Dandelion Twinkle” Powder Highlighter: I’ve been skipping rosy blushes this time of year for a more subtle, nude shimmer/shine across my cheekbones. I am in love with this pretty little powder from Benefit- which gives me a beautiful glow that really shines when the light hits it right- and fits right in my pocket!

On days when I’m in a rush, I also like to apply a little bit of this by my brow bone, down the bridge of my nose and my chin- to give me a sunkissed look without the harmful UV rays! There’s a swatch below!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Sephora Lip Stories in “Oui!”: And finally, to finish off a face of Spring-inspired makeup- I swipe on some of this satin-finished dusty rose lipstick from Sephora (only $8!) that softens my lips and makes them look fuller and plumper. I’m addicted to this long-lasting formula- which doesn’t get dry or patchy as the day wears on- and requires only minimal reapplications from time to time!

And of course, I have a swatch below!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

And as promised, here are the swatches!

I know that once Summer is here- I’ll be incorporating a lot more neon and bright colors into my wardrobe and makeup- since I’ve already started collecting some! I can’t wait to share it!

But that does it for me today. It’s my half day at work- and then tomorrow I am off to begin my new life in the Pioneer Valley! I’ll be back next week with some updates from the new apartment, a peek into my newly renovated closet- and maybe a recipe or two to share from my spacious kitchen that I’m excited to cook in!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful and safe weekend ahead!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: April 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it to another weekend (and in my case – just barely!)

Next week is a short posting week, Tuesday and Thursday only, given that April is winding down and May is just a few days away (!!!)– but before I recap these past few weeks and get ready to jump into a brand new month that is going to be filled with travel, my move, and a LOT of adjustments- I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from April that helped make all these changes a little easier to get through!

This is my monthly “Favorites” post that highlights some of the products, items, impulse buys, and odds & ends that I’ve been enjoying all month- and as always I like to start with the things I was able to capture with a camera before I work my way down to the miscellaneous things- movies, TV shows, food/drinks, etc.

It’s a little list- but a good one- so let’s get started!

With Spring here, I finally get to switch up my makeup from deep gem-toned eye shadows and merlot-colored lipstick to lighter, fresher shades for the warmer weather! The first thing I decided to swap out was my blush. During the Winter I had been using a silvery highlighter all over my face to give me an icy glow- but with Spring here I opted for something a little more on the pink/rosy side (and with a hint of gold to make me look sunkissed!)

I’m loving this tiny little powder blush/highlighter, “Dandelion” from Benefit Cosmetics. The formula is lightweight and the color goes on so smoothly. I always have just the right amount of rose-gold glow whenever I walk out the door with this on!

I always keep a little roller ball perfume in my bag for touch-ups throughout the day- and I have been loving this “Wild Flower” one from Victoria’s Secret (underrated in the beauty/fragrance department, really!) The fragrance makes me smell like a pretty, tropical botanical garden, if that makes sense- with notes of lotus and magnolia- and it lasts a really, really long time- so frequent applications are a thing of the past!

It’s a limited edition, though- so be sure to snatch one up before they’re gone for good!

Just quickly jumping back to makeup for a second- but did you know that Sephora’s brand of makeup is actually amazing (and super affordable?) Case in point- this medium-coverage, oil-free foundation I started rocking the second the last of the snow melted because it gives my skin a chance to breathe while covering any imperfections flawelessly!

Best of all? It’s only $20! This is going to be my go-through the Summer. I just know it.

Of course, I can’t apply serums, creams, and brand new makeup to a puffy face- which is why I’ve finally caved and purchased a rose quartz facial roller at my local pharmacy. I didn’t want to believe the hype, guys- but it actually works!

Here’s what I do- I keep this roller chilled in my refrigerator overnight. In the morning, while I’m making a cup of coffee and before I put anything on my face- I gently roll this over my skin for about 5-10 minutes. The cold and the quartz reduces puffiness, redness, and helps to smooth out my skin for when it’s time to finally dive into my skincare regimen and makeup for the day!

Finally, in my attempt to live a healthier lifestyle in 2019 and embrace the sleeveless season- I’ve also been searching for the right aluminum-free deodorant- which has proven to be a quest in itself. Some don’t work all that well. Others smell, well- pretty weird- but I’ve found a winner with Secret’s new formula!

Clear, and free of harmful chemicals and dyes- this deodorant doesn’t leave marks on my clothes, smells light and pretty, and doesn’t feel greasy or gross after a couple of hours the way some other deodorants and antiperspirants do. I’m in love!

And I think that does it for the photograph-able stuff this month- but like they say in infomercials- “but wait, there’s more!”

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“Game of Thrones” – So I know we’re only two episodes into the final season, and I know I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this show over the years- but how good has it been so far? You can tell everyone involved is really trying to give this one a proper sendoff and actually care about doing it right- so even though this Sunday night’s episode is going to undoubtedly destroy me emotionally- I’m also super excited!

Okay, *now* I’m done!

Short and sweet- much like how the entire month of April felt- those were some of the things that particularly stood out for me.

I’m off to get things done at work before I check out for my half day at the office and run some errands- but I’ll be back on Tuesday! Here’s wishing you all a fun, safe and hopefully sunny weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: March 2019!

Good Evening and Happy Friday, everyone!

Today’s post is coming at you a little late in the day given how busy I’ve been this week. Within the past 24 hours I’ve been given a raise at my full-time job, found out a company shift has left me with a new team to work with- and applied for a lovely loft out in the Pioneer Valley (fingers crossed!)

Needless to say, I’m a little spent and plan on heading to bed early tonight before I head out to do my radio show tomorrow afternoon and spend an evening with my friend Duncan (who is visiting from Chicago for the second time this month! So excited!)

Before I put a sheet mask on and lay down- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month! In terms of items/products- there isn’t much since a lot of my favorite things from February carried over into this month, as well- but what I did choose has definitely made the last few weeks so much easier.

As always- here’s the stuff I was able to take pictures of, first!

Even though this large floral necklace can feel heavy at times- I’ve been wearing it so much this month because it’s bright and bold and yes- a little tacky. But it’s fun and gets me into a Spring frame of mind- which I so desperately need right now given we keep dipping back and forth into warm weather and then bitterly cold days.

While my wardrobe continually switches between light sweaters on one day and heavy wool coats the next- this necklace remains a constant reminder that sunnier days are coming!

And while I gotta’ hold out on the full coverage foundations until it’s officially BB Cream season- I’m still going into Spring mode with my makeup and this rosy pink matte lip paint from Tarte.

This shade, ‘OG’, is long-lasting, non-drying- and super flattering to my still pasty Winter skin tone. It’s not too pale, but not too bright- which makes it perfect to wear at work or when I’m out during the day and going for the minimal makeup look while I’m having lunch or running errands.

If you’re sensing a pink or floral theme this month- you’re not wrong. I got one of these rose sheet masks from Mamonde in a recent subscription box- and I fell in love with how soft and supple it made my sometimes dry skin feel.

And although skincare products with fragrance can sometimes irritate my face- this one did anything but. The rose scent was relaxing and quite pretty- and I didn’t have any redness or small bumps after I finally peeled it off to take on the rest of my night!

Finally, I’m a huge advocate for women and their sexual health- and I’m wary of promoting products I don’t personally use or stand by. That being said, QUEEN V is one of my favorite and affordable brands geared towards women, their sexual pleasure, and their reproductive health.

These daily supplements boost my immune system and digestion while simultaneously keeping *that* area well-balanced so that I’m always feeling on top of my game. 30 capsules is $19- which is a lot more reasonable than other one-a-day vitamins I’ve seen on the market!

And that’s it for the photogenic goods this month- but I’ve still got a couple more things that made the list!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘Captain Marvel’ – Despite man-babies everywhere doing the absolute most to try and stifle this movie’s success from behind their keyboards- I was elated that ‘Captain Marvel’ was such a box office smash because it’s super entertaining and so much fun to watch. Knowing how devastating ‘Avengers: Endgame” will undoubtedly be next month- this was such an uplifting superhero experience to watch well in advance!

‘Us’ – Speaking of excellent movies, does Jordan Peele know how to make AMAZING cinema or what? I have yet to see a skit or a movie he’s been involved with that hasn’t just been expertly shot and acted and I am always left awe-struck and anxiously waiting to see what he’s going to do next. ‘Us’ is super creepy, really unexpected- and could very well be one of the best movies of 2019!

‘What We Do In The Shadows’ – A recent addition, the series inspired by the movie premiered earlier this week on FX and you guys- it is side-splitting funny. For real. I was cracking up so bad within 2 minutes and it just got progressively funnier as time wore on. I can’t wait to see the series through to the finale.

And that’s it for March, you guys! Short and sweet and to the point!

I’m spinning tracks at Indie617 tomorrow from 12-4 before I prepare to wrap up the month with a pretty little bow on Sunday. Lots of stuff and many changes happened this month for me- and I’ll be sure to recap them all with my “In a Nutshell” post!

Enjoy the start of your weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: February 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It’s a short posting week for me- both because of how busy my schedule is over the next couple of days and also because of the way the last day of the month and the first day of March falls. Before I jump into Daylight Savings Time, Saint Patrick’s Day, and the beginning of Spring- I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from February- including some skin care, makeup, and a book I have not been able to put down since I started reading it about a week or so ago!

My full re-cap of the month will be up on Thursday- but until then- here’s my Favorites from February 2019!

And, as usual- the other odds and ends that I couldn’t quite capture with a camera will follow the photos and details below.

Every few months, when I’m running low on body wash and lotions- I like to stop by Bath & Body Works to take advantage of their “Buy 3/Get 3 Free” sales (such a good deal!) and stock up. With Winter winding down and my bottles and containers of pumpkin and mint-scented body care nearly empty- I’ve got Spring and floral scents on my mind.

To leap into a new season and a new fragrance, I made my semi-annual trip earlier this month and picked up the newest addition to their collection- the ‘Rose’ body wash, lotion, and perfume mist. The scent, which is a lovely combination of rose, jasmine and musk- is sweet and light- not heavy and overpowering.

It’s perfect for this time of year and I look forward to using it every morning when I’m getting ready to start my day!

With an impending change in the seasons ahead- I’ll undoubtedly need to re-tweak my skin/hair care routine and products to stay ahead of the temperature and climate shifts here in New England. Until then, however- I’ve got to keep myself hydrated and protected against the still bitter cold that has remained strong and fierce where I live.

Lately I’ve been incorporating an extra step into my morning and evening skin care- this Vitamin C-loaded and lightweight ‘C.E.O. Glow’ serum from Sunday Riley. A couple of drops covers my entire face post-toning and pre-moisturizer- and the result is a softer, smoother, noticeably brighter complexion.

My skin feels amazing after I apply this stuff- and since I began using it earlier this month- I’ve noticed that some darker spots that typically pop up during PMS vanished in a matter of days and haven’t been back since. Consider me a lifelong fan!

With February being the month of all things Valentine’s Day, it should come as no surprise that I turned to a lot of pinks and reds with my makeup, fashion and accessories choices over the past few weeks. Two of my favorites- for my lips and my nails, respectively- were bright, fun- and got a lot of compliments.

First, I looked no further for a bold, neon pink lip than Fenty’s Stunna Lip Paint in their latest shade, “Unlocked”. Super pigmented, non-drying, and ultra long-lasting (my lips stay slightly tinted for a day or so after I take this off with makeup remover- that’s how strong it is!)– this liquid-to-matte lipstick definitely turns heads and had me feeling a bit more romantic each time I wore it.

Not to be outdone, I relied on NCLA’s red/pink polish in “Call My Agent” to get my digits through the month of February unscathed. I love this Vegan and cruelty-free cream polish- which adds so much color and shine to my nails without all the harmful chemicals.

Best of all? It’s pretty resilient, too-which means I don’t need to touch up my nails every couple of hours!

This absolutely adorable red beret with floral accents made an appearance on Blondie Birdie last week, and it is definitely one of my favorite accessories from this past month. I wear it everywhere- and will probably continue to do so right up until the moment Spring is here to stay.

The hat, a gift from a friend of mine, is just the right amount of vintage and cutesy charm to make me look like a starlett from the Classical Hollywood era whenever I have it on. It goes with everything, too- from wool coats to fancy sweaters to jeans and t-shirts on my more casual days.

I love the fit, the color, and the flowers that stand out along the side!

A show that made the ‘Favorites’ cut this month (which I’ll get to in just a moment) was inspired by the memoir and fascinating true life/true crime story I’ve been lowkey obsessed with for a while now. Fauna Hodel, granddaughter of the notorious George Hodel- a prominent physician and aristocrat in Los Angeles during the 30s and 40s who was thought to be the perpetrator behind the still unsolved ‘Black Dahlia’ murder- spent the first part of her life with an adoptive black family in Nevada. When she finds out who she really is- she sets off to find her real family- and uncovers the most INSANE secrets.

Honestly, the phrase “truth is stranger than fiction” has never been more appropriate than it is for Fauna and this book is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve read.

And with that, my photogenic favorites are complete- but as they say in infomercials- wait! There’s a little bit more!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘I Am The Night’ – The TNT-based miniseries, which draws inspiration from Fauna Hodel’s memoirs- definitely strays from the book in terms of action, suspense, and additional characters- but the core story is still there and it’s beautifully shot, directed, and acted.

I love when Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine make magic together- and this series is no exception!

Okay, NOW my monthly “Favorites” post is completed!

A little later on this week- I’ll take a look back on February 2019 from start-to-finish (with some recent travel photos added in, as well!) but if you’d like to share some of your favorite things from this past month before then- I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment or drop me a line!

See you all again on Thursday!

xx

– Ashley –