2014 Lorac The Royal Eye Shadow Collection

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I was in Ulta the other day killing time before work and I came across the 2014 Lorac the Royal Collection. The packaging was what caught my attention, to be honest. They always get me with the pretty packaging.

It reminds me of Christmas and chocolate. Nuff said.

The collection features 16 gorgeous eye shadows that are divided up into four different velvety palettes.

The Queen palette includes a slightly shimmery peach, a rosey pink, a deep shimmery magenta, and a matte black.

The Countess palette features a shimmery butter cream, a deep rosey pink, a shimmery brown, and a matte teal.


The Princess palette includes a matte cream, a deep gold, a very shimmery brown, and a deep slightly shimmery chocolate brown.

Last but not least is the Duchess palette. It features a slightly shimmery white, a very silvery silver, a matte gray, and a matte navy blue.

These shadows are absolutely gorgeous and perfect for Auntumn and Winter. I was nervous about the quality since they are limited edition, but I was pleasantly surprised when I swatched them. They are just as creamy and buttery as Lorac's standard range of shadows.

My only complaint is that the 16 (full size) shadows don't have names! I have scoured the packaging, as well as the Internet and haven't been able to find them anywhere.

You can find the collection at Ulta for $38.



Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

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Do you ever have those days where you want to go Silence of the Lambs on yourself and peel your skin off your face? You're still using all the same products, still eating your usual foods and drinking the same amount of water, and all of a sudden, your skin goes "I'm gonna fuck her shit up today, y'all".

My skin did this the other day and I was thisclose to skinning myself. It was red and irritated and oily and I was at a complete loss for why.

So, I had an intervention. I sat infront of a mirror and read a heartfelt letter I had written, explaining exactly why I was upset and why I thought my skin's actions were douchy and uncalled for.

Not really. I don't have that kind of time on my hands. Well, that's a lie. I do, but I'm 100% sure I could find something more productive (and sane) to do with that kind of time. Like watch all my favorite YouTubers' versions of Vlogmas. Again.

Anyway, my real intervention was in the form of Queen Helene's Mint Julep Masque.

It's a clay mask and it's minty and it smells nice and it kind of looks like baby poo.

You apply the mask generously and let it sit until it dries (about 15-20 minutes). Rinse it off and voila! No red and irritated skin! I'm not really sure why putting minty mud on your face does this, but I don't really care, either. As long as it gets the job done.

The kicker...it only cost $3.99. I know, right? Cheap and it works. You can check it out at Ulta and most large pharmacies.


The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner

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I discovered The Body Shop's Tea Tree Toner several months ago while watching the beautiful, Estée, from EssieButton.com, on YouTube. Estée is an avid Body Shop fan (did you know she used to work there?) and consistantly raves about their Tea Tree Toner. Having tried a few of their products myself, I figured I would take her advice and give the toner a go.

I apply the toner with a cotton pad after removing my makeup and cleansing my skin. It removes any left over makeup, oil, and other impurities, and because of the shake activated formula and mattifying powders, leaves my skin shine free. This is huge, especially during the summer!

I'll be honest, I didn't love it at first. I thought the 'shake activation' was a bit annoying, but after several uses, this became less of an issue. I was also mildly concerned the first time I used it because I experienced a warming sensation after application. I didn't remember reading anything about a warming sensation and thought it may be my abserdly sensitive skin. However, I Googled the shit out of my experience and discovered that it was completely normal. Phew.

I have been through one bottle of this stuff already and felt the need to rebuy it, which is something I rarely do, as I really enjoy trying new products, but I really can't imagine my skincare routines without it, at this point.

For more information on The Body Shop's Tea Tree Toner, visit thebodyshop.com. Side note: It's 40% off right now.



What's New with Mulberry?

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Do you ever have those times when you just need to scour the website of your favorite brand? After a hectic day at work today (seriously, by the end of the night I was thisclose to losing my shit on someone) I decided what I needed, was some Mulberry in my life. I'm really loving the styles and darker colors they have introduced this season. They scream Autumn and I love it! Let's start out with a couple of my favorites..

Mulberry Panel Alexa $2,100

The Panel Alexa in Evergreen, as well as in Midnight Blue, in Silky Nappa with suede trim. Sigh. Can we just take a second to appreciate how gorgeous these bags are? The combination of the silky Nappa leather and the soft suede is spot on, in my opinion. Two of the most beautiful bags I have ever seen.

Mulberry Tessie Satchel $990
The Tessie Satchel is one of my favorite style bags. It's simple. It's sleek. It's practical. And best of all, it's versatile! Not only can it be work as a cross body, but it has an adjustable strap, so it can be worn on the shoulder. It comes in several different colors, but my favorite is, by far, the Oxblood.

Mulberry Lily $3,050

The Mulberry Lily in Midnight Blue Croc Stripe with Calf Hair. I feel like this doesn't bag doesn't really need much of an explanation, but I'll humor you, anyway. The midnight blue color alone is beautiful, but again, the contrast in texture between the croc leather and the calf hair is superb. You guys, across the pond at Mulberry, really do know what you're doing!

Mulberry Willow Tote $2,700

The Willow Tote made it's first impression on me when it was introduced during the Spring/Summer of 2013. It didn't exactly steal my heart, but the fact that it is so versatile (the envelope on the front completely comes off - I know. Awesome) really caught my eye. However, I may be in love with it in the Black Shrunken Calf and Evergreen Suede.

I'm going to be honest, I was mildly disappointed with Mulberry's Autumn/winter collection last year, but I'm reeaally liking what they have going on this year. We'll see what else they have for us as the season continues!



Hiking McAfee's Knob

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Last week some friends and I decided to hike a popular local trail called McAfee's Knob. It's a 4 mile hike up a mountain that leads you to a lookout over a huge valley. I wouldn't consider any of us "avid" hikers - if I'm honest, I was probably the most experienced of the three of us, if that tells you anything. I don't think any of us were expecting to have to climb over rocks, but when we got to the top, after throwing ourselves onto more rocks and dramatically screaming "Land! Land!", the view was more than worth it.

We were probably a little ambitious in choosing this hike to be one of our first, but at least we have something to compare our future hikes to. "If we can make it thorough McAfee's Knob we can make it through anything."
Until our next!

Marcelle New-Age 8 in 1 Power Serum


I'll be honest, I'm not very experienced in the serum department. I had a bad experience with one, one time, and it kind of scarred me. It. Was. Awful. I won't name any names (Juice Beauty), but I tried a serum once, and it left my skin in shambles. It was oily, blotchy, and I had deep, painful spots. I shudder at the thought of it, still.

Anyway, I'm basically in love with this stuff and I highly recommend it to anyone who is willing to listen to me blab about it. Initially, I discovered it through Birchbox (I know, shocking) and was skeptical, given my past experience with serums, as well as the fact that it is marketed as an anti-aging product, but I decided to give it a go anyhow.

The serum contains amino acids that increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity. It also contains xylitol, which helps your skin retain moisture, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles and lines, giving you a more youthful appearance. I'm not really considered "old" (or I don't like to think I am, anyway..)but I have been told that your mid to late 20's is the optimum time to use anti-aging products and that by the time you begin to look and feel like you actually need them, it's too late.

Honestly, I really don't care how it works, as long as it works. I mean, as long as you're not going to give me cancer or make my limbs fall off, by all means, concoct whatever potion you want. Just give. It. To. Me.

Anyway, according to the packaging, you should start to see results after a week of regular use. I, however, started seeing results by day four. My skin looked and felt more smooth to the touch. It also appeared more youthful because my skintone seemed to be more even. I suffer from very sensitive and (mostly) dry skin, but after four days of using this stuff, I could tell my skin was retaining more water than normal. Thankfully.

It's light. It doesn't leave you greasy or oily. It's kind of awesome, in my opinion. And I think you should try it. You can find it on Birchbox.com for $34. I don't really know if that's considered standard for a serum, but hey, it's a product that works, so whatareyougonnado?

Dolce&Gabbana Pour Femme Intense Eau de Parfum

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I have some slight commitment issues when it comes to fragrances. My tastes change so frequently that I really can't justify spending $80 - $130 on a bottle of perfume that I can't guarantee I will wear for any more than a month. I also feel the need to apply, reapply, and re-reapply my perfume an annoyingly obnoxious amount of times throughout the day and it's easier to carry around a rollerball or mini spray versus a gigantic (and heavy) glass bottle. Also, I have a friend who had a bottle Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck shatter in one of her favorite handbags, once. You could smell her coming from a mile away. In a good way of course, but still.

Anyway, I think I may have a new favorite fragrance. As in, I might consider purchasing the actual full size. It's warm and slightly sweet with a bit of spice. It's intoxicating, inviting, and I have literally been sniffing my wrists all day. I know I look like a nut, but Idon'tevencare. Don't judge.

The fragrance pen comes in a soft, velvety oxblood box with pretty gold lettering...What can I say? I'm a sucker for nice packaging.

The pen itself is simple and sleek with matching cap and gold letting. Again..with the pretty packaging..

At $27, this stuff is a real steal. It smells amazing and judging by my past experiences with rollerballs and mini sprays, it will definitely last for quite some time. Absolutely worth the money, in my opinion!

Shopping in New York, New York

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This weekend I took a trip to New York to visit my friend Amna. I flew out on Thursday at 6:15 am, which is a whole story in itself. I was meant to wake up at 3:30 am to shower, dress, and do a little last minute packing, but I wound up waking up at 5 am to Sandy asking if I was ready yet (she was taking me to the airport). When I realized what time it was, I did a mad dash for the shower and miraculously, was able to shower, do my hair, dress, and toss some random crap into my suitcase in 18 minutes. Impressive, I know. I did have to brush my teeth in the airport bathroom and do my makeup at my gate, but I'm fairly confident I'm not the only person who has had to do this. This is what I told myself as I sat by my gate with a lap full of cosmetics and makeup brushes, anyway.

Amna picked me up at the LaGuardia Airport, which is where our adventure began. Our first stop was an Indian buffet in Jackson Heights, which was uh-mazing. For my first Indian cuisine experience, I was thoroughly impressed. After lunch, we dropped my bag off at her apartment and headed out for a day of nails and shopping. The main event of the day (and a lot of why I was in town on that specific day): The Rebeca Minkoff sample sale. Can we just pause for a moment and revel in those words? Rebecca Minkoff. Sample. Sale. I know. You're super jealous, right? It's totally fine. I'm normally the jealous one in situations like these, but last weekend I was lucky enough to experience the holiness of RM sample price cuts. It was pretty bomb. PS, I would like you to meet my new baby.

Introducing the Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Affair with Studs. She's beautiful, right?

After leaving the sample sale, we wandered around 5th Avenue and stopped at some of our favorite shops; Zara (we stopped at two because I was in search of a specific pair of shoes, but was unable to find them), Henri Bendel, Ferragamo, Sephora, etc.

We wrapped up the day with a nice warm bowl of ramen before heading back to Amna's apartment, where I went through her nail polish and basically insisted she do a show and tell of all her designer bags. It's entirly possible I may have developed a small love for Balenciaga. We shall see if it turns into a full blown obsession. 

Disney, Baby!

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Small confession: I've got myself a little bit 'o love for Disney movies. And by "a little bit", I mean it's borderline obsessive. I'd watch a Disney movie I've seen a bajillion times over a new movie with "real" people in it any day. And like any good mother, I'm trying to push my obsessions onto my child. Completely normal and acceptable, right? In an effort to do this, Sandy and I took M on a little trip to Disney World...you know, the place where all your dreams come true.

The plane ride there was effortless, to say the least. Literally, probably my best experience flying, ever, which is surprising because something bad always happens when I fly. Always. M played on his tablet the majority of the time and Sandy and I were able to get some reading done.

We spent our first day in the Magic Kingdom, hanging out with all the coolest and most popular Disney characters. My favorite part of the park was Fantasyland, which is where the majority of the Disney Princesses reside, but M was more impressed by Tomorrowland, which is where a good majority of the rides are. We drove some race cars, sailed through the stars on Dumbo's back, and hung out with Alice in Wonderland in her massive tea cups.

Tip: If you can't spring for the Fast Pass, definitely hit up the Magic Kingdom in the evening - especially during the parade and fireworks show. The lines for the rides are super short because everyone is at the parade. And you can see the fireworks from basically everywhere in the park.

Day two was spent at Epcot. M was not as thrilled with this park because there weren't as many rides compared to the Magic Kingdom, but there were enough sights for us to keep him entertained. I think the fact that we got him a stroller to ride in helped a lot too. Best $15 ever spent. Seriously.

Aside from the awesome architecture and props in each little "country", I was most impressed by Disney's ability to sculpt plants into characters. They're all throughout the park and the amount of detail put into them is amazing. I can only imagine the amount of maintenance they require.

We also hit up Universal Studios. I admit, I wasn't really looking forward to Universal because I assumed it would be a bunch of movie stuff and I'm not what one would call a "Movie Buff", however, it was a lot more fun than I expected. The highlight, for me, was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (obviously). We drank some butter beer, dined at the Three Broomsticks, and hung out with the conductor of the Hogwarts Express. M got himself a wand (the same wand Ron Weasley uses) and I managed to track down a Ravenclaw hoodie.

All in all, meltdowns included, the trip was a lot of fun. M and I are so lucky to have John and Sandy in our lives and this trip most certainly wouldn't have been possible without them. I can only imagine how well it would have gone if I had been there with M on my own...Ha.

I'm Disappointed in Mulberry

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As much as I hate to admit this, I have been slightly annoyed with Mulberry over the last year. However, after this last press release of their collaboration with model, Cara Delevingine, I have moved from slightly annoyed, to really annoyed, and borderline just plain fed up. I'm at a loss and am considering taking a break from the brand, if not walking away completely.

Over the last year, their prices have dramatically increased, and to be fair, I completely understand the move. Not only has the market changed as a whole, but their desire to have a more exclusive and specific "type" of clientele has become apparent. However, such a drastic change in prices over the course of 12 months seems a bit extreme, especially for such a young and not-so-mainstream brand.

This, along with the not-so-awesome quality leathers they have presented us over the last couple of years makes one really question what the hell the company is thinking. It makes zero sense. I understand the desire for a more exclusive clientele, but the clientele they seem to be aiming for are those who are dropping $4k on Chanel - a brand that has been around since the beginning of time it seems. One that has proven over the years that their products are worth every penny of their steep price tags. A brand that also uses the finest quality materials. NOT the medium grade leather that Mulberry has been pushing out recently.

Don't get me wrong, Mulberry has a knack for creating arm candy that can make even the most seasoned handbag fanatic go weak in the knees. It's why I fell in love with the brand in the first place. But, one thing I loved about them was that their prices reflected the quality and amazing craftsmanship. Little known fact (unless you have been paying attention): Mulberry has outsourced to Turkey and even, yes, China. That $2K bag you're carrying on your arm..the one you are so very proud of because, "Hey, Mulberry is made in the UK" could have been made in China. Check your Made In tag. I hope you're not disappointed!

And. AND. Now, they're collaborating with a "celebrity"? Really? REALLY?! Since when do they collaborate with celebrities? I admit, Cara has decent taste. I also shamefully admit to following her on Instagram. That doesn't mean I'm going to run out and buy a bag she "helped design" though. And let's be serious, I don't know if you guys have seen any of the pieces in her collection, but they're nothing to get too excited about.

Am I the only person who feels like a celebrity collaboration only opens up the doors for other collabs., which will eventually cheapen the brand? Everybody will want it. They will be mass produced, fakes will flood the market, and before you know it, everyone is carrying the same "it bag" that came from some warehouse in China and they completely lose their appeal. Does the Louis Vuitton Monogram ring any bells? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Sigh. I'm disappointed in you, Mulberry. You think we're not paying attention, but we totally are. And we don't like what we're seeing.