Musings on Social Media & Life With/Without It

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Hanging on the stoop – no Internet required.

I realized something recently: in 60 years or so, there won’t be many people left on this planet who can say they lived life in a time where social media didn’t exist. I am thankful that I am a part of the last generation to experience childhood without iPhones, Facebook, and Instagram. Back when I was a kid, Tamogatchis were about as advanced as it got.

Before I dive further into this, I just want to say that I am by NO means “hating” on social media or technology. How could I? I’m writing this from my laptop, connected to my wireless internet, as I simultaneously check emails & Tweets from my iPhone. Social media is what I do every day – for fun and most importantly, for work. Yes, that’s right – I work in social media for a living. I make money doing something which didn’t even exist a few years ago. Wild, right?

Sometimes it blows my mind to think about how different a child’s life must be like in this day and age. I see my young cousins expertly flipping through games and apps on their parents’ iPads & iPhones. I see parents giving their children smart phones to use as entertainment during church. I hear that nowadays, high school drama extends far beyond the cafeteria and into Facebook statuses, Tweets, and Instagram pictures.

I am incredibly thankful that I lived in a time when I had to call a land line if I wanted to talk to my friend on the phone, or ring my neighbor’s doorbell to see if they were home to come outside and play. Yep, that’s right – we played outside constantly. My family didn’t even have cable TV until I was in middle school, which at the time I resented my parents for, but in retrospect am so glad we didn’t. It forced my sisters and I to use our brains, be creative, and spend a ton of time outside exercising and socializing.

On the other hand, I’m so grateful for the invention of social media and all of the wonderful people and opportunities it has brought into my life. While I say I can’t imagine my childhood with social media, I also can’t imagine my adult life without it. I have made so many friendships and connections through the power of the Internet and social media (dating back to the days of AOL message boards!), created my own website, started my own YouTube channel – the list goes on & on.  I mean seriously – how did people get through college without Google? Actually let me rephrase that. How did people get through life without Google?! I have so much respect for the generations before me who had to go to the library & physically thumb through pages of encyclopedias and pour over textbooks in order to pass a test or complete a paper. Everything has become so easy these days, and for the most part that’s a good thing.

I know every generation looks back at the previous one and thinks how outdated it now seems, but in my non-scientific calculations, technological advances are moving at triple the speed than they used to. In my lifetime I’ve gone from cassette tapes to CDs to mp3s and now I don’t even need to download a tangible file to listen to music, I just stream it from the Internet. I can beam a YouTube video from my phone to my TV without any wires. Heck, I can actually use the word “beam” in a real sentence.

What am I trying to conclude, exactly? I have a few takeaways:

  • Social media is great for keeping in touch with friends, but it provides us with a superficial sense of closeness. “Liking” someone’s Facebook statuses or commenting on their pictures does not replace long phone calls or in-person visits.
  • If I ever have a kid(s) one day, I’m making damn sure they play outside and interact with their friends far more often than they’ll sit in front of a computer screen or play on an iPad.
  • This can be good or bad: social networks have a way of constantly throwing the past in your face. On one hand it’s nice to look back on fond memories – on the other hand, pictures of exes appearing on your Timehop can sometimes throw you for a loop.
  • My parents had no idea what I was doing on the Internet when I was 14, but parents these days probably know just as much if not more than their kids. This is definitely a positive, because they’ll be able to more closely monitor their children’s online activity to better keep them safe.

I’d love to know your thoughts on any of the above. Comment below & let’s talk about it!



Brides & Baubles & Bubbly, Oh My!

An Event for the Engaged at Aaraa Hoboken_edited-1

 

Hi lovely people! My friend Tiffany reached out to me recently to be a bride-to-be influencer at an event at Aaraa on Thursday, May 14th. Considering my love for shiny things & champagne, participating in this was a no-brainer! Hope you can all make it! xo



L-i-v-i-n.

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First signs of spring in the apartment!

Tonight I was in my kitchen prepping a smoothie for tomorrow’s breakfast & I thought “I should do a blog post on my favorite kitchen gadgets!”

Now if that isn’t a sign of growing up, I don’t know what is.

You may notice there is a new page added to the top of my site, called “Lifestyle”. I added it because there’s been so many circumstances lately where I’ve wanted to blog about things totally and completely unrelated to beauty or makeup, but didn’t think this was an appropriate space. I thought about creating a new blog entirely but ultimately decided that was unnecessary. From now on, anything non-beauty related will just live under the “Lifestyle” category.

Topics I’ve been wanting to write about lately include:

  • Serial podcast (yup, I’m way late to the game)
  • Wedding planning
  • Fitness (motivation, where to buy sports bras under 1 million bucks, etc)
  • Cooking (I’m really trying, guys)
  • What’s important to you about where you live

And so many other things I can’t remember off the top of my head right now. I know this stuff may not be as exciting as product reviews or haul videos, but these things are my reality right now. Hopefully you’ll stick around to read some of these Lifestyle posts & we can get to know each other on a bit of a different level!

xo

PS. Found this picture of me from 6 years ago on my external hard drive the other day. Kinda makes me want to explore bangs again (after the wedding, of course). Thoughts? IMG00187[1]



My Favorite Stila Products

Well, well, well. Look who’s back!

I won’t write a novel before jumping into this post, but let’s just say between wedding planning, starting a new job, and freelancing, this little blog of mine had to take a back seat for a bit. I’ll definitely be continuing to post here when I have some free time, although I haven’t done a lot of makeup shopping in the past few months. Yay for me – and my wallet!

Today I want to talk about stila. stila is one of those brands that slowly crept their way into my makeup collection with a single-product purchase here and there over the years, but those products started becoming staples in my beauty routine. I remember when I first got into makeup and would visit the MAC counter twice a month, each time arriving with a shopping list of products I wanted to buy. I was never like that with stila; I’d just discover something on a Sephora trip or pick up a product at the recommendation of a friend or fellow beauty blogger. Then, all the sudden, I realized I had become a HUGE fan of the brand.

As I mentioned, I haven’t been doing a lot of makeup shopping at all in the past few months. Not only was this for budgeting reasons, but also because I really wanted to use the products I’ve spent my hard-earned money on. That’s when I realized how often I reach for my stila products – so now let’s talk about my favorites:

convertible color dual lip & cheek cream

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It started with Lilium (a perfect nude-pink, surprise, surprise!) and slowly my collection grew to include Gerbera (a peachy-nude) and Peony (a brownish rose). These look truly gorgeous on the cheeks and blend into the skin like a dream. They last forever on their own, but last even longer than that when you layer a powder blush on top. I also tap some of the product onto my lips – though I find them a bit drying on their own. I usually top off with some chapstick or gloss, but either way these are amazingly versatile and so pretty.

“in the light” palette

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When I do makeup for brides, I reach for this palette more often than any others. The neutral tones are so easy to work with, and there’s a great mix of both matte & shimmery eyeshadows. Honestly, this palette is probably worth it for the shades “kitten” and “bubbly” alone – go swatch them & see for yourself.

stay all day waterproof liquid eyeliner

_6687793I gotta keep it real & let you know the ONLY reason I stand a chance at creating a beautiful winged cat-eye look on myself is because of this liner. It basically does the job for me. The tip is extremely fine, which makes it easy to control and get the exact eyeliner look you desire. It also really does “stay all day”, hence the name – I’ve had to use a LOT of makeup remover to get this bad boy completely washed off at night!

color balm lipstick

_7854670You know how easy it is to swipe Chapstick on your lips? This goes on exactly the same way, but leaves behind an insane amount of pigmentation while nourishing and hydrating your lips at the same time. It’s also infused with peppermint oil, so you feel immediately refreshed upon application. This is a great “vacation” product – swipe and go, easy peasy.

Next up on my list of stila products to try is their “set & bronze” powder – almost at the end of January in New Jersey and believe me, it SHOWS on this girl’s face! What do you love from stila? Tweet me or comment & let me know! xo

Images via Nordstrom.com



Hourglass Hyaluronic Skin Tint in Golden

hgFor the first time in a very long time, I bought a new product and didn’t make a conscientious effort to test it out in the name of beauty blogging {I know, GASP!} – it just sort of naturally became a part of my daily beauty routine. I find myself reaching for the Hourglass Hyaluronic Skin Tint in Golden almost every day lately, in lieu of my NARS Sheer Glow foundation or any of the other makeup bases I’d been using. The reason? Well, it rocks. Continue reading



Smashbox Be Legendary Lipgloss in Rosette

FullSizeRenderI’m weirdly particular about the shades I wear on my lips. I like nudes, but they have to be the right shade of nude – not too peachy, not too pink, and it can’t completely wash me out. In order to achieve the perfect shade, it usually requires layering a few products.

My friend Ashley found this Smashbox lip gloss in Rosette on a recent trip to Ulta and the second I saw it swatched on her hand I knew it had to be mine. It’s a dusty pink/rose color which isn’t too bright, isn’t too nude, and truly gives me that perfect balance of nude-pink that I can just swipe on and wear comfortably.

Here I am wearing it at a wedding a couple weeks ago (and a cameo by my fiance!):

RosetteglossThe consistency is on the thicker side, but it’s not at all sticky. The density of the gloss just allows for better, more opaque color payoff, which I appreciate since it means it’s totally wearable on its own.

I also enjoy layering this over light nude or pink lipsticks. It gives a lovely sheen and blends seamlessly into whatever color I’m wearing underneath.

Have you tried any Smashbox “Be Legendary” lip glosses? Which shades are your favorites?

xo



My current favorite hair products.

ojonWhen I decided to jump on the ombre hair trend last year, I didn’t realize how addicting highlighting my hair would become. I had only experimented with hair color once before, and that was way back in high school when I decided I absolutely needed all-over blonde highlights. Aside from that, my hair had been its natural dark, cool-toned brown hue for years, so I went a little crazy with changing it up every 8 weeks or so  — clearly trying to make up for lost experimentation time.

As a result, my hair became damaged (duh). I realized the extent of it after I got a keratin treatment in June and the result was so unlike any of the previous times I’d gotten it done. Normally, keratin treatments leave my hair silky smooth and extremely manageable, but this time my hair remained course and frizzy. My stylist said it was because my hair had become highly porous, and was not absorbing the keratin like it was supposed to. This caused my hair to look dull and dry.

My stylist recommended avoiding any sort of color or chemical treatments on my hair for awhile in order to nurse it back to health. She also recommended I ditch my blow dryer, which was doing way more harm than good. I followed her instructions and also started using a few products which have made drastic improvements to the overall health of my hair.

Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment (pictured above) has been a game changer for my hair. It’s a thick, waxy consistency which melts into an oil when I rub it between my hands. I apply this all over hair (avoiding my scalp) and leave it in for at least 20 minutes before showering.

avedaOnce in the shower, I shampoo and condition using Aveda’s Smooth Infusion line. This is my first time trying out any Aveda products and so far I’m a big fan. My hair feels really nice and smooth even before I get out of the shower.

kerastase0I then let my hair air dry for about 10 minutes before applying Kerastase Nectar Thermique leave-in conditioner and heat protectant in my hair. This is another game-changer for me; this stuff has really changed the texture of my hair and made blowouts a breeze, comparatively speaking to what they were like before. I no longer feel like I’m wrestling with my curls; instead I just lightly brush it out while holding the blow dryer to my head and I’m left with smooth, silky hair.

Another thing I’m learning to do is embrace “dirty” hair and wait at least three days in between washes (and if I feel like I can push it to four, I will). Thankfully my hair is extremely thick, so it doesn’t get greasy easily. The longer I push my washes, the less I’m blow drying my hair, and the less heat I’m using means healthier hair!

What products/methods do you use to keep your hair healthy? Let me know in the comments!

xo