Prepare for takeoff

Happy Sunday, friends! As 2013 comes to a close, I’m find myself reminiscing over what a big year it’s been. For instance, I graduated college (BFA in fashion design & minor in graphic design, aka the hardest 4 years of my life), my brother got married, I met so many great new people in Nashville, my career path started to unfold, and I consumed more than one entire pizza with no regrets. Also there was whiskey. A lot of whiskey.

Let’s march onward to my last installation in my travel beauty series before I board my transatlantic flight, shall we?



Products: Conair curling iron 1″, Pureology Reviving Red Shampoo, Moroccan Oil LIGHT Treatment, Kevin Murphy Hair Resort spray, Batiste dry shampoo in Blush, a gross understatement of how many bobby pins and hair ties I actually brought

Oh, hair. My hair is something I understand about as much as I understand complex math. I get how it is SUPPOSED to work–I’ve watched the tutorials, I’ve read the articles, I’ve purchased the miracle products. However, when it comes to me actually USING the knowledge and trying to produce the effortless curls that I marveled at on Pinterest, they look less “Beach Chic” and more “Sassy Ramen.” It’s the worst.

Though I am far from having a lot of great hair days, good hair days are easier to come by because of the stellar bunch of hair products I’ve found within the last few months. The Pureology shampoo is the newest addition. It is 100% Vegan, free of sulfates and other harmful bits, contains a lot of beneficial oils (Jaljala, Coconut, and Olive to name a few)  and boasts an antifade complex that it will make my red hair last as long as possible. It not only makes my hair feel great, but also my scalp. HIGHLY Recommend.

After towel drying my hair, I apply about a dime sized amount of Moroccan Oil (also known as, hair salvation) starting at the roots and then throughout my hair. I, then, spray the Kevin Murphy texturizer through my limp locks. Putting these products in before drying allows them to really sink into the strands of hair as they are being heated. After blasting hot air at my head for about five minutes and fighting frizz with my paddle brush, I have a soft, voluminous, and not-too-straight mane of hair.

Lastly, the dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is the answer to not wanting to wash your hair as often. Batiste and I are best friends. We go everywhere together. Affordable, effective, and not overly fragrant, dry shampoo makes my days between washes (often times there is a beanie involved) a lot more bearable, and a lot less homeless looking.



I thought I would include some tidbits that I couldn’t bear to leave home without.

  • First of all, my arm candy (did that make me sound like a member of the fashion elite?) Most of them are simple silver bangles, courteusy of my sweet mom, and there is also a beaded one I wear which mom wears as well–we’re close.
  • The next item is hashtag CRUCIAL. This red lipstick is the most wonderful, matte, long lasting red lipstick I have ever worn. Write this down: MAC. MATTE FINISH. RUBY WOO. All thank you notes can be sent to my email inbox.
  • I’m bringing along two mini O.P.I. polishes, in Vampsterdam and You Don’t Know Jacques, because I like to think that I am going to keep my hands looking manicured while I’m traveling. But if we’re being honest, I’d probably rather spend that time scouting out Europe’s best macarons. Aim high, Lauren. Aim high.
  • Perfume says a lot about a person. I enjoy tricking people into thinking that I’m a big deal, so I typically spritz on Miss Dior eau de parfum. If you want to have the same scent as I imagine Aphrodite did, wear this.
  • The last item is a necklace I purchased from a small designer named Cynthia Rybakoff while at the Chelsea Market in New York. She not only designed it, but is a gemologist and was able to tell me the qualities of the moonstone in my necklace. What a lady.

I am counting down the seconds until I am on my first flight. I am not counting down the meals I have left before I get to treat myself to one of those airplane premade feasts. Please, Lord, let there be a pasta option. If there’s one thing that can get me through a nine hour flight…it’s carbs.

Speak to you all when I touch down in the U.K.!

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That’s Cheeky

Today on: What’s in the Travel Beauty Bag? I’m going to show you the cheek products and borderline excessive eye products that I’m taking along with me on my trip across the pond. How much packing have I gotten done otherwise? That’s like asking me how much of the Christmas leftovers remain.

Spoiler alert: The answer to both questions is none.



Products: Real Techniques multi task brush, MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle, MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Sun Kissed -I think-, and Wet ‘N Wild Blush in mulled wine)

Without my cheek products, I think people would be unsure if I was completely alive. Though I have recently been able to climb the foundation color scale from “Ivory” to “Buff,” I believe I still qualify for the “White People who are Pale as Paper” clubs. As I said before, prior to putting on any cheek product, I let my foundation set for around 2 minutes and then put the thinnest layer of finishing powder on top of it.

Because I’ve watched about six hundred tutorials about contouring my face, I think I can do it now in a way that doesn’t make me look like I’ve rolled in a clay pit. Using my Real Techniques brush (I think it’s called the multifunction brush or something like that) I trace my cheek bones, my temples, and around the crown of my hair line and chin with the bronzer (if you are pretentious and enjoy technical terms you might call this the “3 technique”). I use a MAC bronzer and highlighter because their mineralized powders are holy grail for me. The consistency and color pay off is great. If I was typing this on my phone I would’ve put an appropriate emoji…here.

I brush a single swirl of my Wet N Wild blush (in mulled wine) over the apples of my cheeks, and then hit the highest points of my face with my MAC mineralized skin finish in Soft and Gentle.

Fact: The best way to make yourself look like a damn fool is to use too much blush and bronzer. A light hand is not always a bad hand.



Revlon Lash Curler and Tweezers, Maybelline Falsies mascara (brown and black), Loreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil eyeliner (brown and black), MAC Cream Colour Base in shell, Real Techniques domed shadow brush, SOHO blending brush, angled brush (not sure what brand), and Benefit Gimme Brow brow gel in Medium Dark

When I said excessive, I don’t think I was exaggerating. The issue is that I’m going back and forth between “90’s grunge-barely there” eye looks and the ever present addiction I have to winged eyeliner and a defined crease. I’m really into defined brows right now, too, so I definitely couldn’t have left behind my tweezers and brow gel.

I also couldn’t have forgotten my tweezers because my brows go from “groomed” to “abstract topiary” in mere days. The benefit brow gel is a new product, but I’m really digging it so far. It keeps my brows in place and tints them, too. Brows frame the face–get bold about it (but for the love of god please don’t draw them on with a pencil).

I have been using solely my NAKED palette since it was gifted to me last Christmas, and you can believe me when I say that I’m still not over it. This year I decided to pick up the basics palette–which is six perfectly matte, neutral shades–and, based on the love I feel for it thus far, I feel like I need to give it it’s own post after I’ve been using it for awhile. TO BE CONTINUED.

As far as eyeliner and mascara go, they are interchangeable for whatever look i’m going for. Brown liner+Mascara are for days when I want my eyes to be a lot less of the focus (probably because I’m wearing the loudest lip color you’ve ever seen). Black liner+Mascara are for looks that are just the slightest bit more dramatic in the eyes and toned down in the lips.

As the time is winding down before I take to the skies, I should really probably get a move on trip preparations. I leave for Europe tomorrow and I cannot wait to share everything going on with whoever is reading this.

The last post of the Beauty Travel Bag series is tomorrow and it’s focusing on hair products and miscellaneous beauty products that accidentally found their way into my carry on.

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London Bound + Travel Beauty Bag

In two short days I will be boarding a plane to London, England.

For nine hours, I will be enjoying luxurious amounts of standard leg room and stale airplane air that will make my skin feel about as moist as a Saltine cracker. I. Can’t. Wait.

Three weeks of traveling calls for a lot of cosmetic needs (not wants, NEEDS), so I thought I’d share with you the reasons why my makeup bag is more full than me after Christmas dinner.



Products: Yes to Cucumbers eye makeup remover pads, The Body Shop body butter in Coconut, Yes to Cucumbers hypoallergenic facial towelettes, LUSH lip exfoliator in sugar and cocoa

Sometime during that last hour of my flight, I’m going to cringe when I see the wrinkled reality of post airplane-nap me in the bathroom mirror. It’s at this moment when my skin products will be of the most assistance. These products are what I use to clean and moisturize my skin on a daily basis. . Am I lazy because I use wipes? Perhaps. Is my complexion suffering from it? Absolutely not. These are organic and shit. Their packing is great and I’ve been a loyal repurchaser for over a year now. Getcha some.

I’ve also got a travel sized Body Shop coconut body butter–which is a nice thick consistency and takes care of any dryness I may have while simultaneously making me smell like a pina colada–and a LUSH Lip exfoliator. I bought this little jar two summers ago in Italy. Desperate to find a cure for my sun chapped lips, I remembered hearing about it from a Youtube Beauty vlogger at some point and decided to give it a go.

A year and a half later and I am  (A) still using it up and (B) not disappointed. Not only is it worth the money, but it tastes good (sorry I’m not sorry).



Products: Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer (15 spf), NYX Mineral Matte finishign powder (in the lightest color), Covergirl Concealer stick, Revlon Color Stay foundation (for Combination/Oily skin) in the color buff, Powder brush from SOHO

This is my morning makeup routine when I travel, but also when I’m living life as a Nashvillian. Two pumps of that moisturizer is all it takes. It is a thin consistency, but it has good coverage. Also it has SPF which is a must in any facial moisturizer, but it stays relatively matte instead of making your face shine bright like a plastic easter egg.

The foundation I use may not be high end, but I get skin compliments all the time (so TAKE THAT, overly pushy lady at the makeup counter!). I apply it with my hands, let it set a couple minutes, and voila the face canvas of a porcelain princess. I changed formulas, from dry/normal to oily/combination, and I can honestly say I like it 200 times better (just a thought for those of you using it).

I mark over my blemishes, under eye circles, and weird redness with the concealer stick, like I am a proud seventh grader who is using makeup for the first time. Finally, I dust a light layer, A LIGHT LAYER, of NYX powder over everything (more concentrated amounts under my eyes, which get really oily) and my face canvas is complete.

My makeup routine isn’t all high end products, or all professionally suggested methods, but I always feel natural and not like I’ve painted on some sort of tribal mask. Coming up in my next entries I’ve got cheeks, eyes, hair, and other things I didn’t have a category for.

Let the first day of (over)packing commence!

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For the Love of Shearling


Because I’m a homebody, I find myself spending a lot of time burritoed in warm blankets while spending too much time on the internet.

By the grace of the Christmas angels, shearling (or the closest thing to blankets as fabric) is now a hot topic in the fashion world. Vests, over coats, hats, gloves, weird diapery shorts…you name it, fashionistas have found it. Shearling is great because, as a lining, it will keep you warmer than a sheep on a snowy Scotland pasture, and if it’s on the outside of your garment then you have a whole new textural element AND are now physically looking the part of the aforementioned sheep.

Shearling is also available in a lot of price ranges, and in a lot of styles. Some of my favorites this season are by Isabel Marant and ASOS.

So during these cold winter months, dawn yourself a fuzzy garment and pretend your day out is just as comfortable as your preferred, and slightly antisocial, day in.


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