Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Best Drugstore Dupes for High-End Beauty Products

Everything in your makeup arsenal doesn't have to be expensive and branded. There's a good mix between the pricy items and the every day drug store favorites.

I've compiled a list of my favorite high-low make up essentials and how to you can easily sub out your favorite branded item for a drug store replacement half the price. 

For all my girls out there who love Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Walnut but don't want to continuously dish out the $44 to replace it every couple months, I suggest alternating between that and  Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in Coconut. Even though one is a tinted moisturizer and the other is a foundation, the difference is minimal. The Maybelline foundation has a very light and airy matte look, which is a easy dupe for the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. 

If you love brow tinting and filling in those spars hairs on a daily, then I'm sure you've heard of Mac Dipdown fluid line for brow tinting. Apply this with a brush for flawless application. However, at $16.50 you might not want to replace this as often as some of your other essential products. For a quick fix, try one of my favorite brow pencils, ever! I introduce to you, Maybelline Define A Brow Pencil at just $6.99 this little baby is perfect to shape your signature brows. I love the size of the pencil and the light brown color is great for natural looking brows.

So, I've heard that the beauty blender sponge has quickly become the fan favorite for airbrush like application. I just can't bring myself to spending $20 on a sponge. If you're looking for a cheaper replacement with the same quality, try the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I love this sponge and it gives a flawless finish to foundation and concealer. 

Up next is my last dupe for you! Who doesn't love a beautiful, highly pigmented lipstick? These Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses have been getting all the buzz lately. But who wants to spend $16 on one color? Not me! I recently checked out the LA Girl Matte Pigment Lip Gloss and even though I haven't quite nailed the application as yet, I would much rather spend $6 and try a few colors to get the look I love! These lip glosses are long lasting and the colors are super trendy. I tried Fluer & Dreamy first. They aren't the best with my skin tone, but the product itself is great! Check out the line as they have around 16 colors for you to choose from.

That's it beauties, I hope you enjoyed my tips on some easy drug store dupes for your favorite designer brands.

Until next time! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

5 Ways to Have the Best November Ever

Can you believe that we're just two months shy of the New Year? Don't wait until January 1st to make resolutions. Start today, and have the best November ever!

It takes simple small, steps throughout a new month to feel like you're accomplishing goals and being productive with your time. Your monthly goals don't need to be huge, it could be as simple as saying one thing you're thankful for each day.

I came up with 5 things below that you can do this month to have one of your best months ever!

1. Work Out
This one might be a no brainer, but honestly, if you put in the effort to actively work out 3 times a week you're guaranteed to release some great endorphins that will automatically make you feel better. I'm the worst when it comes to working out and keeping my training goals. However, for some reason, I usually get better with working out in the colder months. My goal for this month is to work out at least three times a week, whether that's in the morning or after work. I want to get active and look good while doing it!

2. Start a challenge
Not just a squat challenge, but this can be any challenge. If you want it to be fitness related it can be but it doesn't have to be. Take on a challenge such as reading more, cooking more, going to church more, working on your dreams more, anything! Just pick something, start it and most importantly finish it!

3. Set a personal goal
I love setting small personal goals because I feel encouraged whenever I complete one. My personal goal for November is starting each day with tons of gratitude. I want to start each morning with praise in my heart and in my voice. Every. Single. Day. Hopefully, this is something that will carry on way past November :)

4. Plan ahead for the holidays
Book that ticket home, now! Start saving for those gifts, now! Start planning that holiday party, now! Don't wait until December to get a start on your holiday planning, there is no better time than the present moment to start preparing for the busiest time of year. You'll be thankful that you took the time to plan ahead later.

5. Do something you've never done
I love this one! Too often we become so complacent with where we are in life and what we've done. I want to do something this month that I've never done. Now, it doesn't have to be something as extravagant as most of you are thinking. You can do something small like start a book club, sing in front of an audience, get a personal trainer, write a book, host a class, cook for your family...anything!  Just push yourself past your fears and try something new.

Hope you guys enjoyed this list! Here's to an unforgettable November.

What would you like to accomplish this month? Share with me below.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

5 Easy Steps to Plan a Fall Brunch Party

This past weekend I collaborated with friend and fellow food blogger Brianna of seasoningbottle.com. Briana & I attended the University of Florida together and have kept in touch ever since. Briana recently moved from Atlanta to NYC to get her masters in food studies at NYU. We've talked for a while now about doing a collaboration together and there was no time better than now. The air is getting cooler and New Yorkers love nothing more than a good get together at an apartment so I figured why not host a Fall Brunch at my apartment for some of our closest friends.

The event was a huge success, so I wanted to share with you the 5 steps you can take to throw the most epic fall brunch yourself! It took us about a week to get this together, so if we can do it, you can do it too!

Step 1: Develop a thorough menu 
Briana is a excellent recipe writer and menu developer. Once I gave her the vision of what I saw our brunch being she came up with a plethora of ideas for our menu. I knew I wanted the food to be centered around fall but not over kill at the same time. Briana came up with a list of items, and I then consolidated the list into a spread sheet with the menu items on the left and the ingredients we would need for each item on the right. We ended up with a concise, clear menu that clearly depicted fall. It's important to not overwhelm your guests with too many options that don't fall within your theme, you want everything to come together and make sense in the end and the menu is the center of that. 

Step 2: Go food and prop shopping early
Now, we could've followed this rule a little better ourselves but we still got everything done on time. Preferably if you have the time to spare, I would recommend going food shopping a couple of days before the event. However, based on timing we were only able to get together the night before. This wasn't awful but it put the pressure on us to find all the items we needed that night. With the exception of the apple cider we were pretty much able to get everything on our list the night before *praise dance*.

Step 3: Start set up and cooking early 
I woke up around 7:30am on Saturday to get my day started and give myself ample time to set up, clean and begin cooking. Once Briana arrived at my apartment we got started on the cooking immediately! One tip that I loved from Briana was writing down all our dishes on a notepad and crossing them out as we went along. That really gave us a good gauge of where we were with time and finishing everything up. Our brunch was slated to start at noon, but we ended up serving around 1pm, which was perfect because by that time everyone had arrived.

Step 4: Have enough food
This is the golden rule of any brunch party! You don't want to skim on preparing enough food for your guests.  In the beginning of the event guests will sometimes be modest but after a few delicious apple cider mimosa cocktails it's going to be time to go back to seconds and that's always a treat to have more left overs.

And that brings me to the final step.................

Step 5: Have a signature cocktail 
Preparing a signature cocktail drink for your fall brunch is essential because you want to allow your guests to enjoy a beverage to allow for mingling. This also buys you, the host, a little extra time to get items out of the oven and make the perfect presentation. For our signature cocktail we served an apple cider mimosa. We sliced an array of fresh fresh apples and soaked them in seasonal apple cider and topped with a healthy portion of extra dry champagne. It was perfectly fall without being too much of an over kill.

Well, there you have it, guys! Five easy steps to get you on your way to planning an awesome fall brunch party your friends won't forget!

Me & Briana of Seasoningbottle.com

Thank you to everyone who attended our event, can't wait to throw more in the future. Special thank you to my boyfriend for all his help with this, couldn't have done it without you, babe! And most importantly, my right hand woman, thank you Briana for being an extraordinary partner!

Until next time.......

Happy fall! 


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

5 Chic, Beautiful Ways to Decorate Your Pumpkins

So, if you're anything like me then your less interested in how to make a Jack-O-Lantern and more interested in how to decorate your pumpkins in a beautiful, chic way for your home. Check out the beautiful inspirational images below to help you in your quest to fun DIY projects for fall.


The white & gold painted pumpkins are my favorite! I might be trying this project soon, how about you?

Source & Photos: Chatelaine

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Kicking it at New York City Wine & Food Festival

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a couple of events hosted by the Food Network for their annual New York City Wine and Food Festival. The weather took a turn for the worst and yesterday was undoubedtly our very cold welcome to the fall/winter season. But the first event allowed us to forget that for a while and pretend to be on an island sipping tropical drinks.

The first event I attended took place at Pier 92 where I joined Emeril Lagasse to enjoy Tiki Cocktails from the best bartenders from across the country! It was a Polynesian-inspired cocktail showdown  featuring spirits from the Southern Wine & Spirits Portfolio.

After the Tiki showdown we headed uptown to The Cecil for a Midnight Jazz Breakfast hosted by Rev Run and his wife Justine.  Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson and friends served up some of the most decadent breakfast dishes in the city. We event got to sneak through the kitchen to Minton’s, a historic jazz club built in 1938, where we danced to exclusive live jazz performance by Sammy Miller and the Congregation! We had a blast to say the least!

With Chef "JJ"

Briana of Seasoningbottle.com
Can't wait until next years festivities!



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