Sunday, November 29, 2015

I WENT A LITTLE H.A.M. AT THE SEPHORA VIB SALE, THIS IS WHAT I GOT...

sephora haul

So the Sephora VIB sale is pretty much my favorite time of year, a beauty blogger's Christmas come early if you will.  I love seeing what other people haul from this sale so I thought why not share the goodies that I picked up with you.  (And there's a lot.)  With that being said I wanted to impart that I had been saving for this purchase for months and typically refrain from shopping at Sephora during the year in preparation for this sale.  (Growing up with a financially wise mother it kills me to my core to buy anything at full price.)  The products below were items that I had had my eye on for what feels like forever and couldn't wait to try.  I also love that Sephora's return policy is so generous in that even if you try a product and hate it it can still be returned for a full refund.  Sephora, you are the best.  Without further ado let's get to the haul shall we...

sephora skincare haul
Josie maran hydrating milk


face powder kevyn auction becca hourglass
face powder kevyn auction becca hourglass

beauty makeup haul
nars guerlain clinique haul
  • NARS Lip Gloss in Salamanca  This lip gloss formula is the bomb.com.  They're so highly pigmented and stay on the lips FOREVER.  This shade is a gorgeous coral and pairs beautifully with the hourglass bronzer and becca blush from this haul. 
  • Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara  Another ride or die favorite.  Check out my full review HERE.
  • Guerlain Maxilash Intense Volumizing Mascara  I hated this product!  It clumped horribly and left my lashes with little volume.  I loved the original Maxilash so I was surprised with how different this product was.  Definitely returning this mascara and picking up a tried and true favorite, the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in1 mascara.
  • NARS Larger Than Life Longwear Eyeliner in Via Appia
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown The best liquid liners on the market!  Love this wearable brown shade.  
  • NARS Nail Polish in Zakynthos  This nail varnish is the epitome of a fall hue.  If you have been on the hunt for a great neutral polish I can't recommend this shade enough!  Now I just have to learn how to pronounce the name...
  • NARS Lip Gloss in Super Orgasm   Couldn't help but pick up another NARS lip gloss from the range.  This shade is such a pretty shimmery pink, definitely worth a try on next time you're in the store.

Even though the Sephora VIB sale is over you can still snag a lot of these products on discount with the various cyber weekend sales going around.  (Check out this great article with an extensive list of all the Cyber Monday beauty deals starting tomorrow!)  Happy shopping ladies!  I hope you enjoyed this post and had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!!

xoxo Nicole

Sunday, November 22, 2015

HOW TO ROCK THAT FALL BERRY LIP TREND.

fall berry lip colors

Fall is here, and with vampy shades gracing the lips of every beauty loving babe I thought what better time to chime in with my favorites.  I love a berry lip like none other; I feel the autumnal shade is so universally flattering and it makes such a statement paired with natural makeup and lots of mascara.  Through years of much trial and tribulation I have amassed my three favorites along with the perfect lipliner to compliment any vampy shade you choose.  Keep reading to learn my favorites and don’t forget to let me know your favorite fall shade in the comments below!
fall berry lip colors
MAC Vino Lipliner

Now prior to the application of any statement lipstick a little prep is key.  (Dry chapped lips and a vibrant hue = no bueno.)  Start off with a gentle lip scrub, I love the LUSH lip scrubs and the Fresh sugar scrub, and follow with a moisturizing lip balm.  After this imperative step go ahead and line your lips with a lipliner to ensure your final look is crisp and to minimize color bleeding.  My holy grail lipliner for this fall berry trend is MAC’s lip pencil in Vino.  The formulation of these pencil liners is amazing; they are creamy, easy to work with, and stay on your lips ALL DAY.  And after you got that lip liner rocking go in with your favorite berry hue.  My three favorites are…
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Magenta, $30... Described as “grape sangria” this is the darkest hue of the bunch.  This also has to be my favorite formula of the trio for it’s moisturizing and creamy qualities.  I will say this is a shade that NEEDS a lipliner to ensure that polished look.
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned, $26... This was my first venture into berry hues and oh how I love it so.  This shade is all kinds of gorgeous and it applies like a dream.  I have a slight obsession with NARS lip pencils for their amazing formula and wear time, and this offering did not let me down.  The formula does tend to be a bit drying tho, so I would recommend prepping lips with a balm before application.
  • MAC Lipstick in Rebel, $17... This shade is the most vibrant of the bunch and the namesake of ‘Rebel’ fits it perfectly.  Definitely leaning more towards the purple family, I love this lipstick for it’s versatility.  Pressed on the lips it produces a lovely stain, but applied liberally with a lipliner it definitely makes a statement.  I remember picking this up after seeing YouTube star Carli Bybel feature it in so many of her videos,  it is essentially the epitome of the perfect fall lipstick.

lipstick vamp flowers
fall berry lipstick swatches
From L to R: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned, Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick in Magenta, MAC Lipstick in Rebel, and MAC Lip Pencil in Vino

I also wanted to note the shade I am wearing in the picture above is Damned by NARS.  And while the products I mentioned in this post are all high-end a great drugstore alternative to pull off this look is Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in the shade Black Cherry.  While I consider all these shades to make a statement I also love how wearable they all are.  I could easily wear these to work or paired with some winged liner for a night out.  They’re gorgeous and different without venturing into Wednesday Adams territory.   You feel me??  Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you all are having an amazing weekend!

xoxo Nicole

Thursday, November 19, 2015

FATSGIVING FASHION.

thanksgiving style fashion outfits fall

So by the title you may be posing the question what is Fatsgiving?  Well my lovelies Fatsgiving is an endearing term for the holiday we all know and love as Thanksgiving.   Let’s just call a spade a spade shall we…the day is spent sitting on our arses watching parades, holiday movies, and mingling with friends and family while we gorge ourselves on culinary delights.  Hence where the name Fatsgiving comes in.  Now let’s be straight, there’s no shame in the game…we all deserve to  treat ourselves once in awhile, am I right??  So the key here is comfort.  Bloating and adjustable waist bands impeding these three outfits meet at the intersection of comfort and style making them ideal for our annual fest.  I’m talking flowy, billowy, and possessing a somewhat wizard like quality to camouflage any damage we do throughout the day when we’re on our third slice of pecan pie.

OUTFIT #1:
The first outfit I put together is a cozy gold lame jogger pant from J.Crew (on sale for $25 I might add!!), with a tie string waist band and this flowly black sweater from Madewell.  To top it off I chose this gorgeous pendant necklace from Kendra Scott, sure to detract everyones eyes when you’re smuggling a dinner roll into the pocket of your jogger pant.

OUTFIT #2:
Next is this gorgeous grey turtleneck swing dress from Nordstrom coupled with a comfortable faux fur vest from TopShop and this beloved Rag & Bone Hat from Shopbop.  (If you have a small head like mine, this hat is worth the investment!  I absolutely love it and it fits so well!!)  I don’t know who invented swing dresses, but I would like to give them a big kiss.  Do I have Gisele Bundchen’s body or am I five months pregnant?  You will never know, the swing dress conceals all…

OUTFIT #3:
And lastly we’re rocking one of my all time favorite looks, the leather legging.  Let me tell ya, the lengths I went to snag a pair of these SPANX Ready to Wow Faux Leather Leggings was no easy feat!  They sell like hot cakes this time of year so order soon before they sell out.  These leggings suck everything in making you look marvelous and they’re comfortable to boot.  Paired with this flowy roll tab tunic from LUSH (size down, these tunics run large) and this gorgeous statement necklace from Ily Couture you have a comfortable, but stylish look for the holidays. 

What do you have planned for Thanksgiving this year?  I would love to know in the comments below!  This year I was unable to get off work and fly home to New York, but my amazing friend will be coming down to Tampa to spend the holiday with me.  We are also both vegetarian/vegan so I can’t wait to execute the vegan menu we have put together...I love to cook.  It's crazy to think thanksgiving is already next week.  NEXT WEEK PEOPLE!!  (Runs to grocery store and stocks up on lentils and rosé.)  I hope you enjoyed this fashion guide to Fatsgiving and remember have that slice of pie and stay cozy ladies. 

xoxo Nicole

Monday, November 16, 2015

THIS AUTUMNAL SQUASH SOUP IS GONNA CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

roasted butternut squash

Ok, did I oversell it there with the title??  While it may not be life altering this soup is pretty damn good.  And I came up with the recipe myself.  (Pats self on back.)  This soup is fiber and protein rich given the addition of the red lentils and it’s vegan.  Double score.   Just imagine cozying up on a brisk autumn day with a bowl of warm butternut squash soup, some crusty bread, and a green salad.  Ahhh, delightful.  Keep reading to learn how to make this easy and healthy fall soup and I hope you enjoy!

red lentil butternut squash soup
red lentil butternut squash soup
spices

Red Lentil Butternut Squash Soup
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 3 tbsp. Earth Balance soy butter (melted in a microwave safe dish)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 1 rib celery (diced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 ½ tsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp. fresh minced parsley
- Salt & pepper to taste


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Go ahead and peel and chop up the butternut squash into one inch squares.  (Here is a great guide on how to properly cut up a butternut squash.)  But if you’re not feeling that ambitious you can just pick up a package of pre-cut butternut squash at your local grocer.  Lay chopped squash on a baking sheet then brush with the 3 tbsp. melted butter and sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper.  Roast for 30-35 minutes or until tender.

Combine your 1 cup of red lentils with two cups of water in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat, and set aside.

In a stock pot or soup pot turn heat on medium-high and add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once oil is hot add your diced onion letting this sauté for four minutes.  Next add your celery, garlic, and ginger, letting this sauté for an additional three minutes.  Add your lentils that you have set aside in addition to the water you boiled them in along with all of your spices and roasted butternut squash.  Give this mixture a big stir to ensure the spices are evenly distributed amongst the vegetable/lentil/squash mixture.  Once this is done add your 2 ½ cups of vegetable stock and let soup simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.

Once soup is done simmering add in your fresh parsley and using an immersion blender (or a regular blender if you don’t have one) blend soup to your desired consistency.  I like mine close to full puree status, but still a little chunky.  And that’s it! 
butternut squash soup

Also vital to note, this soup freezes incredibly well!  So if you’re feeling extra ambitious and want to cook two batches by all means.  Hope you enjoyed this healthy and easy comforting fall soup and if you make it please send me a picture or tag me on instagram!  Hope your week is off to a great start and happy Monday everyone :)

xoxo Nicole