Favorites: November 2018!

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I’m so very excited for my half day today- since I’ve been trying to get a head start on my holiday shopping early this year so I’ll have more time to truly savor the Christmas season without all the last-minute gift buying stress. While I’ve definitely utilized some of the great deals that were available this past “Cyber Monday”- sometimes it’s nice to go window shopping and browsing in-store to find that perfect gift for a special someone.

I’ve still got some work to do at my office before I take off at noon today, and before I jump into it- I wanted to share some of my favorite things/odds & ends from this past November now that December is on the horizon! Goodness, there’s a lot to do in the coming weeks, isn’t there?

You all know the drill by now! The photogenic things come first, and then it’s all the miscellaneous bits and pieces I’ve been obsessing over all month!

But enough of the introduction- let’s get into it!

Late Fall/Early Winter is a beautiful time in New England- and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t even particularly like the snow- but the scenery, the fashion options, and the fragrances all over (think pine, cinnamon and sugar cookies wherever you go!) are intoxicating. That’s why I’m particularly fond of the ‘Maple Remedy’ hair care line from Garnier.

Not only does this shampoo and conditioner make my curls smell like Vermont maple syrup- but it’s deeply conditioning and smoothing, too! It’s the perfect in-shower pick-me-up on those cold days where I just want to put my pajamas back on and crawl into bed to sleep through any impending snowstorms. I love this stuff!

With my hair care changing for the more frigid months- there’s no reason my makeup can’t be upgraded, too! Gone are the days of bronzer and gold-tones (until next Summer, anyway) and in are more natural and rosy shades. I’ve recently replaced my shimmery gold highlighter with this light pink/iridescent one from Milani Cosmetics, instead.

What I love about this highlighter is that it still gives me an ethereal glow, but it looks a lot more natural against my dark Winter wardrobe and accessories as opposed to the warmer, more Summer-esque tones I wore through the Fall- and the coverage is easily build-able depending on the occasion!

So I know everyone is probably sick and tired of looking at food after Thanksgiving, right? Well that’s too bad- because Trader Joe’s delivered the GOODS this month and I can’t stop snacking on them.

First up is TJ’s ‘Carrot Cake Spread’- for those of us who love the taste of carrot cake but can’t be bothered to bake one. This spread, which I put on toast (surprisingly good!) or use as a dip for plain shortbread cookies- takes all the great flavors of the dessert and puts it in a convenient and mess-free jar. I’m addicted.

And then there’s TJ’s seasonal offering- their turkey and stuffing flavored kettle corn potato chips. Now, I’m always fascinated with some of the flavors that Lay’s comes out with every year when they host those “create a flavor” contests since many of them are pretty spot-on- but these chips are freaky levels of accurate- and delicious, of course. They legitimately taste like turkey and stuffing. I’ve been (reluctantly) sharing them just so I can gauge the reactions of people trying them for the first time- and the results have been really funny.

Finally, switching over to beverages instead of food- ever since I tried Idle Hands Craft Ales’ “Undead Red” at the Indie617 Halloween party last month- I’ve been taste-testing a ton of their other creations. My current favorite is their Thanksgiving release- “Crantastic”- a sour ale that combines cranberry and blood orange. It’s like a hard cider or a very fruity wine- and I love it! It’s perfect for the season and goes well with those Thanksgiving leftovers.

Idle Hands will be hosting another Indie617 party within the coming weeks for the impending holidays- and I’m so excited to see what they’re brewing next!

And that’s it for the photogenic goods- but as they say in the infomercials- wait, there’s more!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

IT’S CHRISTMAS MOVIES AND MUSIC SEASON, FINALLY – With Thanksgiving and Black Friday in the books- it’s now, *officially* okay to binge-watch your favorite holiday films and crank that Christmas Classics Spotify playlist. AMC have started to air my favorites, including the original ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘Christmas Vacation’- and I’ve been blasting a beloved Frank Sinatra Christmas album in the car while driving to/from work- so needless to say I am ready for the month ahead!

‘The Walking Dead’ – After a few disastrous seasons at the hands of former show-runner Scott Gimple, the reins have been taken over by Angela Kang for the show’s ninth season- and her fresh perspective and genuine respect for the story and it’s characters have given us some of the best episodes we’ve seen in years.

The show has, in many ways, been saved- even with Rick Grimes’ departure- and for the first time in what feels like a long time- I’m actually longing for it’s return in February!

And I think that’s everything! A month that essentially celebrated food had my favorites consisting of, well- mostly food or beauty products that smelled like food!

As always, if you’d like to share some of your own favorites- feel free to drop me a line on social media or leave a comment here!

I’m off to get some work done and enjoy an afternoon off. Have a great “Hump Day”, everyone! I’ll be seeing you again on Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: September 2018!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

We’ve made it to the end of another week- and pretty close to the end of another month!

While this week was a short one for me, what with returning from the West Coast and today being my half day at work (until next week, anyway- when my designated half day shifts to Wednesdays for a little while!)– I’m looking forward to the weekend and getting ready to dive into October- the month when I’m at maximum “spooky” power.

I’ll have my look back on September up bright and early this coming Sunday morning before I head out to do some long overdue apple and pumpkin picking- but before I get too ahead of myself- I wanted to share some of the products, purchases, odds and ends that I was coveting and obsessing over these past few weeks.

That’s right- it’s time for my monthly Favorites!

Now, the photogenic products are at a minimum as it was really hard to commit to fashion/accessories/shoes- not only because I was in the desert for a considerable amount of time this month- and also because the temperatures fluctuated so often back here in New England that I never knew what to wear or when! That’s the trickiest thing about September where I live. Summer does everything it can to hold on, while Fall is ready to swoop in and take over!

I digress- there are plenty of other things I enjoyed in September- and they’re all gonna’ get a mention.

Let’s take a look!

When I read that snakeskin was going to have a serious moment this Fall- I couldn’t wait to dive into the trend. Not wanting to go straight for cowboy boots or belts to incorporate the print into my wardrobe- I opted to replace my faux-leather cross-body bag with a faux-snakeskin one from ALDO, instead.

With a braided metal chain and clasp to keep the two spacious pouches within the bag secure- I have been loving this thing, It hangs comfortably, holds the essentials, and matches pretty much everything I own!

I have a feeling is one is going to be getting me through the Spring when it comes time for me to change things up again!

These two products were life savers- especially when I’d left the humidity in Massachusetts and spent time in the dry, dusty climate around Las Vegas during my vacation. It took little to no time at all for my skin, hair, and lips to get dry- but luckily I was prepared!

Knowing fully well that my makeup was going to be running off my face the second I stepped off the plane in Nevada and all that would be left would be dry, patchy skin- I opted for this moisturizing primer from Tarte. Not only did it keep my skin hydrated (even when I was out in the middle of the desert, roasting under the sun!)– but it kept my makeup in place. No touch-ups necessary as I went from day to night mode!

Of course, when it did come time to remove my makeup and turn in for the night- I wanted a sleeping mask that would keep my skin moisturized and bright so I could wake up and go. Enter this glittery, berry-scented and lightweight gel “Unicorn Glow” sleeping mask from Soo Ae Skin Care. After each night I fell asleep with this mask on, I woke up with skin that looked and felt sparkling clean and refreshed. Side note? The packaging is too cute. I’m in love!

And finally, with Fall in full swing- I’ve been gradually phasing out my bright pinks, corals and red lipsticks/lip glosses from the Summer and transitioning into rich nudes and brown tones. I’ve been wearing these two shades (the lighter, “Satin Ribbon” and the darker, “Teddy”) from NYX’s ‘Lip Lingerie’ collection.

These formulas go on smooth and quickly dry to a nice, crease-free matte finish that make my lips look plump and very Autumn-esque. You can keep an eye on my Instagram to see more photos of them up close this coming weekend!

And that’s it for the items/products that could be photographed- but as they say in infomercials- wait, there’s more!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘The Purge TV’ – I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first turned into this mini-series at the beginning of the month, but it’s been such a wild, dark and twisted ride- and now I’m hooked. The show follows three separate story lines that occasionally intersect on the night of the annual purge (the one night a year where all crime- including murder- is legal) as the characters struggle to survive and face their own morality.

It’s pretty intense- although I loved the candle the network sent me following the premiere!

‘Peppermint’ – I love a good vigilante justice flick, especially when the lead is a female- but seeing Jennifer Garner go from the sweet ‘Capitol One’ spokesperson to a no-nonsense Queen who punches bad guys in the face and blows things up? Count me in. I had so much fun watching this with a friend earlier this month. It was completely unexpected and worth a watch for anyone who likes action movies!

– GAMES/TECH/APPS –

‘Dead By Daylight’ – Although this horror movie-inspired PC game would have been a perfect contribution to my October favorites, I couldn’t wait to add it since my friends and I have been having a blast playing it. In the game, you can choose to be a survivor or the “killer” (and some are based off of classic horror movie baddies)– and you either work with your team to solve puzzles and escape the killer- or you go around and kill the survivors before they can escape.

It’s funny and crazy- and is definitely going to keep me occupied in the coming days when it starts raining again!

‘Hidden Agenda’ – Another group mystery/horror game, this PS4-Smartphone hybrid game (from the company behind ‘Until Dawn’!) allows players to work together to track down a serial killer, or- depending on your motives- sabotage your team. We played this as a group right before I left for the West Coast and it was the best. time. Seriously. Get your friends together and give it a shot!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Maple. Pecan. Everything – Coffee, muffins, candles, etc. I don’t care what it is- if it’s got maple and pecan in it- I’ll eat it or use it to scent my home. Who needs pumpkin spice when this combination is taking over this Fall? I can’t get enough of it!

And I think that’s it, everyone! This month had a lot of fun things I’ll be using well into October- but I’m sure I’ll have some new finds to share, too!

I’m off to finish up some work and enjoy a company luncheon. Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful Friday and beginning to your weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

My Summer Makeup Routine!

Good Morning and Happy Thursday, everyone!

Before we get ready to launch into Friday and I break for the weekend (the posting schedule will return to normal next week!) I wanted to try a little something different by introducing a new series of posts I’ll be sharing quarterly for my fellow makeup lovers out there!

Here in New England, the seasons change (drastically) every few months- and with those changes, I also mix up my skincare and hair care regimen to keep up- but my makeup changes pretty often, too! In the Fall/Winter I’m into darker shades and bolder looks, whereas in the Spring/Summer I like to keep it as light and as natural as possible.

Now that we’re in the final stretch of Summer, I thought I’d share the products that I wear on an every day basis. Lightweight, loaded with SPF, and as sweat and humidity-proof as I can get- this is my early A.M. routine for work each morning, for errands on the weekends, and when I’m heading out on the town (although depending on the occasion, I might add a little bit of nude eye shadow or gold eyeliner to look a little more dramatic.)

Here’s what I do after my skin care and a base coat of moisturizer with SPF 50:

Found BB Cream: With natural ingredients and extra moisturizing benefits, I apply this creamy, non-pore-clogging BB cream with sheer-to-moderate coverage with a brush since a sponge/blender tends to absorb more of the product than I’d like. I use the lightest shade in Found’s collection, which is pretty close to my natural skin tone (even with a bit of a tan!) and is super easy to blend to avoid unsightly lines or discolorations.

I’m left with natural looking coverage that keeps my skin hydrated and doesn’t sink into my pores or fine lines. I love this stuff!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Too Faced “Born This Way” Setting Powder: After I’ve got my foundation and my concealer where I want it, I dust a bit of this translucent setting powder on the areas where I get the most oily (particularly my T-zone and along my hair line) to keep shine at bay and my makeup/moisturizer/SPF from melting off my face the second I step into that hot and humid Massachusetts weather!

What I love best about this powder, apart from the fact that it gives great coverage- is that it also makes my skin look luminous- like I’m radiating with a healthy, natural glow!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Maybelline’s Master Chrome Highlighter: My secret weapon for this Summer- a sweep of this metallic highlighter (I use “Molten Gold”) along my cheekbones, the tip of my nose, my chin, and my temples- and I’ve got *the* nicest sunkissed look around in seconds. There’s a swatch of it below!

I seriously wish this product had been around back in my early twenties when I was one of many casualties to fall victim to unflattering and way-too-orange bronzers. This stuff is amazing and makes me legitimately light up the room when I walk in!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

MILK Makeup’s KUSH High Volume Mascara: This cannabis oil-infused mascara made my “Favorites” list for the month of July, and for good reason! I can skip eye shadows and eyeliners all together whenever I apply a couple of swipes of this conditioning, thickening mascara- because it makes my eyes pop naturally- and it stays in place!

Even with the rising temperatures and occasional thunderstorms- I like that this mascara doesn’t end up running all over my face or smudging like crazy!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick (in Chili Pepper): Another “Favorites” item from July! This bright red/orange matte lip color has become my staple shade for Summer 2018-and the long-lasting (but non-drying!) formula can survive my morning coffee, my mid-morning snack, and most of my lunch before I have to re-apply. At $14 a tube, this is pretty much a steal given how fantastic it stays in place!

I have a feeling I’ll be looking into the more deep brown/red shades in this formula once Fall is here.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

And those are my Summer makeup staples this year! Not overly complicated- but just the right amount of shine and color to keep things interesting!

If you have any Summer makeup you’d like to share, or any products that you’re loving this time of year- feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line! I’m always looking for recommendations!

And now, it’s time for me to get to work. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful rest of your week and a spectacular weekend! I’ll see you again on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: July 2018!

Good Afternoon and Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m taking a break from running errands, catching up on e-mails, and enjoying a light lunch before I start getting ready for tonight’s Arctic Monkeys show at TD Garden- followed by a midnight screening of ‘The Room’ at Coolidge Corner Theater with some friends!

I thought now would be a good time as ever to share some of my favorite things from this past month- considering it’s nearly over (time is flying by this Summer, isn’t it?!) As usual, I’ll recap the month as a whole next week before August is here- but for today- it’s all about the products and odds & ends I’ve been loving/obsessed with over the past few weeks!

I’ll be starting with the items/products I was able to photograph before moving onto some of the other miscellaneous things, of course.

Let’s get right to it!

Throughout July, I was trying different mascaras derived from more natural ingredients to lengthen, define and condition my lashes- but there’s one that really stood out for me that I’ve been using every day since trying it for the very first time. Milk Makeup’s KUSH High Volume Mascara (infused with cannabis oil- and there’s plenty of weed puns on the packaging) has thickened, softened, and protected my lashes since I started using it.

I think this has taken the title of my new all-time favorite mascara!

For my lips, I’ve been really into bright reds/corals/oranges this month- and I found the perfect long-lasting, non-drying liquid lipstick from Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain line. This shade, called “Chili Pepper” is so bold and fun to wear- day or night. Whenever I’m rocking this, I always have people stopping me to ask about it. Best of all? It was only $14!

And in July I tried to keep that red/orange hue on my nails, too- especially with all the patriotic parties that happened at the beginning of the month! For quick touch-ups for my manicure, I turned to Lollipops Nail Polish in “VOYAGE À PARIS” to keep my digits looking fresh, shiny and cherry red!

July has been filled with scattered thunderstorms, plenty of sun showers- and more than one foggy day. Long story short: it’s been humid. Times a thousand. I knew that no ordinary hairspray would keep my curls from puffing up- but I also didn’t want anything so heavy-duty that my hair would look and feel like dry straw. Enter OGX’s Humidity Blocking Hairspray. Infused with shea butter and marula oil- this lightweight aerosol hairspray keeps my hair controlled- without the crunch.

I’ve been able to make it through so much unpredictable weather these past few weeks with this stuff!

Finally, Summer isn’t Summer without some Bath and Body Works fragrances! Throughout July, I’ve been lathering up with this Beach Water Coconut body wash- which is a really great combination of coconut, bergamot and musk- and transports me to the coast every morning in the shower.

And, while on-the-go, I am *obsessed* with their “At The Beach” body mist. It’s a refreshing, cooling ocean scent- and I never leave home (or the office) without spritizing some on!

I think that’s it for the products- but some other things made the list, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“Mission Impossible: Fallout” – I saw this movie last night with Troy, and what an absolute adrenaline rush! The action scenes were amazing, the comedic scenes were perfect- and Henry Cavill was such a great addition to the cast. This was the quintessential, fast-paced Summertime movie and I can’t stop talking about how good it was!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Paintbox Theater – I posted about this Western Massachusetts’ children’s theater company earlier this month- and their last performance of the Summer season is taking place the first weekend in August (it’s “The Little Mermaid” by the way!) So if you’ve got little ones and would like to make a trip to one of the most beautiful parts of the state- there’s still time to get tickets to see an adorable show!

And I think that’s it for July, everyone! I’ve got to go get prettied up for tonight- but if you’d like to share some of your own favorite things from this month, feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment!

As always, here’s wishing you all a wonderful weekend! See you all next week!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: May 2018!

Good Morning, everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous long weekend. Mine was absolutely crazy (in a good way!) and to be honest- I’m still recovering from it a bit. I’m going to attempt to be productive at my office today, but I have a feeling I’ll be heading to bed early tonight to sleep off the last of my grogginess. I’m just thankful it’s a short work week!

My photos/recap of this past weekend- and the month of May overall- will be up on Thursday morning. Memorial Day caused a slight shift in my posting schedule this week, but I’m looking forward towards June and all the Summer plans I have ready to get started on!

But before I jump ahead, I wanted to share some of my favorite products, releases, odds and ends from this past month- most of which are makeup and hair care-related- because May was definitely a month of phasing out my Winter/Spring products to make way for more heat and humidity-friendly cosmetics, instead!

Let’s take a look at what made the cut, shall we?

My color scheme in the Summer months is filled with bright aquas, oranges, golds, corals and pinks- and I’m a big fan of Southwestern inspired jewelry/accessories like this jeweled bracelet and statement ring I purchased from ALDO a couple of years ago. These pieces go so well with my Summer wardrobe- and with temperatures on the rise- I’ve been wearing them daily throughout May.

Side note: the orange in the ring perfectly matches my current nail polish color- and makes an appearance elsewhere in this month’s roundup!

Attention to those with pink hair in need of a touch-up, or to those who want to take a non-permanent plunge with pastels: I have found the perfect product for you! This in-shower aerosol spray from Kristin Ess is applied to wet hair (or towel dried, if you want the color to be a little brighter)– left on for 2-3 minutes, and then rinsed out. The result is a temporary rose gold hue to your highlights that lasts for about three to four shampoos.

I’ve been using this spray once a week to keep my rose gold tint refreshed because it’s so easy to use. It’s also formulated with “zip up” technology- which repairs split ends and the hair’s cuticle while simultaneously creating a barrier to protect your strands from environmental damages and color fading.

The results are definitely noticeable- and the $12 price tag cannot be beat. I love this stuff and I want to buy it in bulk so I never run out!

To create that shimmery, iridescent lip look I covet so much this time of year- I turned to the ‘Unicorn Tears’ lip gloss from Too Faced this past month. With a blue/silver shimmery finish, this gloss can be worn by itself for a unique and bold look- or over lipstick to give your pout a holographic glow.

I wear this over one of my hot pink lipsticks and the results are so neat looking! The sparkle is caught in so many different ways and at every angle- so my lips are the first thing people typically see since they’re so shiny and bright!

And what’s new, Summer makeup without a new bag to put it in? My longtime leopard print bag was recently on it’s way out- so I opted for this new cotton zipped one from Old English Company that boldly states “BUY ME PIZZA AND TELL ME I’M PRETTY” on both sides. It’s very me, no?

While this pouch doesn’t fit all of my brushes, blushes and eyeliners- it does hold the essentials for a day/night out (and serves as a great conversation piece whenever I take it out!)– and is also machine washable- which means easier and more hygienic/thorough cleansing as opposed to canvas/vinyl/plastic makeup bags. I love it!

And finally, my latest drug store/pharmacy finds for Summer makeup! I’ve been taking a break from full-coverage, matte foundations lately to give my skin a chance to breathe. In it’s place, I’ve been using this antioxidant loaded BB cream from Found Cosmetics to give me a little coverage and a ton of skin-nurturing benefits without the harsh chemicals or additives that can cause breakouts, redness, etc. My skin feels and looks so soft, smooth, and dewy- not caked-up or powdery!

And remember that orange shade I’ve been obsessed with this past month? Meet the matching lipstick from Maybelline! ‘Siren in Scarlet’- a tangerine orange with a cream/sheen finish- gives me a bright, long-lasting pop of color in what is otherwise neutral, everyday and office-friendly makeup. I’m obsessed with the finish and the feel of this formula/shade- and am taking it all the way into June with me!

And that’s it for the products/items that can be photographed! I’ve still got a couple of other things that made the list, though!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino: Okay, listen. This album- an unusual departure from the band’s sound and past body of work- took a considerable amount of time to grow on me as I listened more and more and got used to it. It’s definitely a different style, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. There are a few songs on here that get me going when I’m listening to them on my way to work.

Honestly, I’m just so glad to have another album and another tour from these guys that I’ll even listen to the songs I don’t like *quite as much*- just because.

I’ve Got No Roots – Summer 2018: Introduced last week before I’d left for Boston Calling and Washington D.C.- my new 12 track Summer playlist is a good one I can’t stop listening to. With artists like Middle Kids, The Decemberists and Courtney Barnett- this little soundtrack packs a fun, dance-worthy punch and I can’t wait for you all to play it!

And I think that’s it for May Favorites, everyone! Short, sweet- and to the point!

If you have any of your own favorites you’d like to share- feel free to reach out to me! Maybe I can check them out and maybe they can make the list for June 2018!

But until then- enjoy the rest of your day, everyone! Let’s get to Friday unscathed!

xx

– Ashley –