Living Coral – Pantone 2019

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I am admittedly off to a bit of a late start today, what with last night’s Super Bowl and all. A tense game and a pleasantly surprising Patriots’ victory usually calls for a groggy Monday- and now I’m getting ready to (attempt) to get some stuff done at my office today and figure out a way to carpool over to tomorrow’s Victory/Celebration Parade that’s been scheduled in the city!

Before I do that, though- I wanted to talk about incorporating colors into my Winter look. Not just any colors, of course- but Pantone’s 2019 ‘Color of The Year.’ Every year, Pantone announces what color they anticipate will be the big sensation in the following months. From electric purples, “Millennial” pinks, to rich greens- it’s always been fun finding ways to embrace the designated shade in makeup, fashion, accessories and home decor and seeing how other bloggers, designers and influencers are embracing it.

This year’s color, though- may be one of my favorites. 16-1546- or “Living Coral” as it’s being called- is a bright, Summery combination of pink/orange that was one of my favorite tones to wear long before it was thrust into the spotlight- and I’ve been predominantly featuring it in my makeup this Winter to brighten up what is otherwise a neutral and darker-shaded canvas in my clothing and accessories.

Why? Because it pops!

And I’d like to share how I manage to do it- for under $30.

There are certain makeup brands I love for sure- Fenty, Tarte, and Urban Decay come to mind almost immediately- but sometimes I feel people sleep on Sephora’s own line of cosmetics which are just as pigmented and just as high quality as other brands you’d find within the store for a fraction of the price. When I’m in need of color but don’t want to break the bank- I turn to them!

For example, their ‘Blush Me’ cream blushes go on smoothly, and are easy to blend with your fingertips to a powdery and long-lasting finish. This shade, ‘All Smiles’, is a $5 way to achieve a ‘Living Coral’ flush!

For my eyes- I keep it simple- usually sticking to one universally flattering shade to blend onto my lid and into my crease before I finish it off with a couple of swipes of lengthening and thickening mascara. Again, Sephora comes through in a clutch with their Colorful Eyeshadow Singles ($8) in ‘Cherry Blossom’- which sets as a beautiful pink/gold on my lids and is flattering to every skin tone.

I’m so in love with this color and I think it’s perfect for any season!

Finally, I finish things off with a bold lip (my specialty!) and to truly bring out my passion for ‘Living Coral’- I turn to Sephora yet again and their LipStories lipstick line. This shade, ‘a satin finish called ‘Hot in Havana’- may look like a super rich orange- but once applied and blotted out (or, if you prefer- finished with a clear or pink gloss)– is a beautiful coral color that pulls everything together and completes this Pantone-inspired look!

Best of all? The lipstick is also only $8 and is just as long-lasting, hydrating and pigmented as other brands that are triple that price!

When all is said and done- this ‘Living Coral’ look- splashed against the backdrop of my black, gray, brown and dark green wardrobe this time of year- makes me look bright, cheerful, and even maybe like I’m preparing to jet set off to a tropical destination to beat the Winter blues.

Of course, ‘Living Coral’ isn’t just limited to my makeup right now. I’ve also been sporting a bright and fun manicure courtesy of Butter London- who paired up with Pantone to develop a limited edition line of nail polishes inspired by this year’s ‘Color of The Year’. You can snag your own HERE if you’ve got room for a bit of a splurge this month!

But that’s it for me today, everyone! I’ll be back on Wednesday- post-parade and the Lunar New Year celebrations- to share one of my favorite Super Bowl recipes for those of you who are still in “GAME ON!” mode!

Enjoy your Monday, everyone!

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: October 2017!

Is it Monday again already? Ew. This past weekend sure flew by quickly! The bright side (there’s always a bright side) is that tomorrow is Halloween, of course- which means we all still have a couple of days left to squeeze in some last minute scares and sweets before we hang up our costumes and usher in November and the impending Holiday Season. I’m a bit overwhelmed just thinking about it already!

Before that, though- I wanted to share some of my favorite products/items/miscellaneous odds and ends that helped to make October the fabulous fright-fest that it was. Most of the things that made the list are silly finds I picked up along the way these past few weeks, while others are some my favorite kinds of entertainment- but all of it holds a special place in my heart when I look back on October of 2017.

Up first are the things I was able to photograph in one place!

A couple of weeks ago, while at the Rock and Shock Horror Convention in my hometown- I picked up one of these ‘Stranger Things’-inspired natural soaps from the booth that had been set up for Fiona’s Fright Soap. This bar in particular smells like a pretty amazing combination of pancakes and maple syrup- and with the second season of ‘Stranger Things’ premiering on Netflix a few days ago (spoiler alert: it’s awesome so far)– it felt like an appropriate time to start using it.

The soap not only makes me smell like a delicious breakfast- but it makes my skin feel really soft and smooth, too. I know this was a limited edition product but I’m hoping Fiona’s eventually makes it a regular item so I can order more of them!

One of my girlfriends, Stef, recently got into canning goods/food with her fiancé- and she’s been kind enough to give me enough food to get me through the zombie apocalypse every time we hang out. Her most recent concoction- and probably my favorite- is this vanilla & whiskey infused apple sauce. She makes it from scratch, air-seals it so it doesn’t go bad- and passes it around like Halloween candy- and it’s AMAZING. It tastes like apple pie filling with a little bit of a boozy kick.

I’ve been hounding Stef for the recipe so I can put it up here for everyone to enjoy. That’s a foodie post I’m really, really going to like putting together!

Speaking of food and sweets- one of my favorite things about Halloween is cooking/baking some seriously macabre snacks for my friends and co-workers. I’ve been loving these edible cupcake/cake toppers from Wilton. They make everything so much more funny- and I REALLY love seeing people’s reactions when they realize that they’re edible and bite into them for the first time. It’s priceless.

I’ll be turning to them when I start baking for next Halloween, too! (Side Note: I love the little edible hatchets you can buy as cupcake toppers. A little bit of red icing and you’ve got a sweet, delicious murder-themed dessert!)

With all of my Halloween stuff going on this past month, it was easy to neglect my nails sometimes. Thankfully, Saks Fifth Avenue had my back- and were nice enough to ship this milk chocolate-inspired shade of nail lacquer from Smith and Cult to me. The color (called “Tenderoni”)– which has quickly become my signature hue on my nails, eyes and lips- is going to be perfect for the remainder of the Fall through the Winter.

It’s smooth, long-lasting, and I’ll be posting a swatch of it soon on Instagram!

Finally, this was another find at the Rock and Shock Convention that I’m completely in love with! I’ve been wearing this Ouija pendant necklace non-stop since I got it- since it’s not only seasonally appropriate- but it looks pretty damned cool, too. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from people who have leaned in close enough to get a good look at it- and I’m thinking I may keep on wearing it even after Halloween is over!

And that is everything I was able to photograph for my October favorites.

Of course, some other things made the list, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“The Walking Dead” – OOOOOH, IT’S BACK, BABY- AND IT FEELS SO GOOD. Although we’re only a couple of episodes into the eighth season of my number one obsession- the pace of the show has been incredible. Rick Grimes is straight up murdering people. Daryl looks like he actually showered for once. Carol remains my flawless Queen- and Ezekiel still won’t break character. It’s everything I hoped for and more and I’m praying this season makes up for all the heartbreak viewers experienced around this time last year!

“Broad City” – On the opposite end of the spectrum, one of my favorite comedies is back and I couldn’t be happier. One of the things I love most (and there’s a lot I love about it) about “Broad City” is that it focuses on common issues for women everywhere- but it does it in a funny, and often touching or poignant way. The most recent episode, where Ilana admits she’s having trouble finding sexual gratification since Election Night while Abbi comes to terms with aging after finding her first grey hair- was some of the best writing I’ve ever seen on the show. I want to be BFFs with those girls.

– GAMES/APPS –

“South Park: The Fractured, But Whole” – I’m a longtime ‘South Park’ fan (it’s social commentary is spot. on.) and the last game that came out, “The Stick of Truth” is one of my favorites. While “Stick of Truth” was like a ‘Lord of The Rings’ parody- “The Fractured, But Whole” is geared towards making fun of the successful string of superhero movies that have come out in recent years. Featuring more predominant characters in the latest seasons- my friends and I have been pretty much dying laughing while we take turns playing this at get-togethers. It’s a riot- and really, really fun!

And I think that’s everything for the month of October. Most of it was Halloween and Horror-related, sure- but it’s the one time of year where it’s universally appropriate! I’m sure I’ll come back around to less gory and scary things come November.

Try to enjoy your Monday, everyone! I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about October 2017 overall before we pass out some candy and kiss this month goodbye!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: July 2017!

Good Morning and TGIF, everyone! Can you believe we’re heading into the last weekend of July and that Summer is going to be winding down soon? As much as I love the Fall here in New England (I’m very much one of those unapologetic pumpkin-spice-everything type of girls)– I’m not ready to say goodbye to Summer of 2017 yet- especially when it’s been so much fun!

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. We still have this weekend and all through August and early September to soak up some more sunshine and hit the beach before it gets too cold out- which is exactly what I plan on doing come first thing tomorrow morning. Before that, though- I wanted to share some of the odds and ends that I absolutely loved this past month.

Most of my favorites from July were cosmetics-related since I recently did an overhaul and mass clean-out of my skincare and makeup to get rid of expired/empty products and make some room for newer items- but there’s a couple of other things that made the list, too!

One of the things that I ate pretty much non-stop throughout July were these cold brew latte dessert popsicles I kept buying at Trader Joe’s. Think of how refreshing an iced cafe mocha tastes on a sweltering hot morning- then make it even colder and put it on a stick- and you’ve got this wonderfully smooth, creamy and satisfying treat that’s low in fat (and calories, too) and gives you a nice caffeine boost when you might need it the most.

I’m seriously addicted to these things so I have a feeling they’ll probably make my August Favorites list, too!

I was admittedly a little skeptical when I first saw swatches of Urban Decay’s latest Naked palette, “HEAT”- since I’m pretty fair and always assumed any sort of red/orange shadows would just end up making me look like I had a bad case of pink eye or a weird rash or something. Earlier this month, however- I was treating myself to a couple of goodies and thought I may as well give it a try- and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised with how neat these shadows look.

While there’s plenty of red/orange tones- they can easily be blended and sort of mellowed out with the lighter brown and almost rose-colored shades that are included in this palette, too. There’s a nice mix of shimmers and mattes that I’ve been experimenting with pretty much every day since I picked this one up for myself and I haven’t found a color combination that I dislike yet. Every shade is really beautiful and makes me think of days spend out in the desert whenever I visit Nevada!

Another “wasn’t sure at first but now I’m a believer” find? Brazilian Bum Bum Cream by Sol de Janeiro. HEAR ME OUT- I wear a lot of bikinis during the Summer, and even though I never skip squats and am a body lotion/cream fiend- I was intrigued about this Guaraná-packed moisturizer I heard mentioned through word of mouth. It’s all-natural ingredients are supposed to boost circulation in your skin while smoothing and tightening- and some people I know swear by it.

First things first, the cream smells delicious- good enough to eat, even- and it doesn’t feel greasy or sticky after you slather it on, but the most important thing are the results. I’ve been using this quick-absorbing cream religiously for a good portion of July now- and even though I’ve always thought my posterior looked decent, anyway- it definitely looks a lot smoother and feels a bit firmer after I use this stuff! Consider me a fan!

I recently misplaced one of my favorite raspberry-hued Formula X nail polishes, and I cannot find it for the life of me (I think it’s somewhere in San Diego!)– so I found a lovely substitute in Deborah Lippmann’s Summer 2017 collection with this bright, poppy pink shade called “Shut Up And Dance” which I’ve been sporting on my fingers and toes nearly all month. The formula, long-lasting like a gel manicure but without the harmful chemicals and UV rays- gives full coverage and is highly pigmented.

The shade just feels like Summertime- and I doubt I’ll be wearing any other color on my nails ’til the Fall!

And the last thing in July’s beauty round-up is this gorgeous roll-on fragrance from Replica– “Beach Walk”. A really incredible combination of lemon, coconut, cedar wood and ylang ylang- among others- this perfume transports me to the beach even when I’m landlocked at work. It’s hard to describe just how lovely this perfume is- but I’ve been wearing it every day and I get so many compliments on it.

It absolutely reminds me of evenings spent at Old Orchard Beach strolling the boardwalk with my friends. Replica managed to somehow bottle that memory in fragrance form!

I think that’s it for the things I was able to photograph for the month of July- but there’s still a couple of other Favorites, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“Preacher” (2nd Season!) I’ve been a huge fan of AMC’s “Preacher” since it premiered last year, and I was so thrilled that it had been picked up for a second season that started in late June after another series I enjoy, “Fear The Walking Dead”, wrapped up for the time being. The show, characters, story- and the comic book it’s based on- are absolutely bonkers. It’s funny, clever, violent, a little gory- but so, so entertaining nonetheless. I’ve been putting the finishing touches on a Jesse Custer cosplay I intend to wear around Comic-Con next month when it swings through Boston- so I’m very excited!

“Atomic Blonde” – So the movie technically comes out today, but I’m already so hyped up to see this one with my girlfriends this weekend. It’s been a pretty good year for ass-kicking female-led films so far- so to watch Charlize Theron take no prisoners as a secret agent and look stunning while she’s stabbing people with a stiletto heel is something I can definitely get behind. Yes, please!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

San Diego Comic-Con Recaps! – The biggest convention of the year wrapped up this past weekend, and I was LIVING for the updates that were coming out on a near hourly basis- both from friends who were in attendance and on social media. The trailer for the 8th season of “The Walking Dead” (my all-time favorite show, ever- period) stopped me in my tracks when it was released- and I was fan-girling so hard on my phone during the Marvel panel updates. I haven’t been to SDCC since 2014- where I had the time of my life- but I’m really hoping I can be there for 2018 to re-live all the excitement and previews!

Alright- I think that’s everything! Anything else that I may have forgotten will definitely get a mention next month when I inevitably remember it!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –