playing favorites | march



another end of the month, another roundup of monthly favorites.

beauty | on the beauty front, there are five things I’ve been really loving. after my rave about it, it’s no surprise that the bobbi brown pot rouge in hibiscus makes the cut. look at that color! I loved it so much that I went out and bought the sonia kashuk synthetic flat top multipurpose brush to use with it. this brush has been on my wish list for years. I came across so many great reviews about how amazing it is for liquid foundation application and cream blush, but since I had moved away from foundation to tinted moisturizers (which I mostly apply with my fingers) and I wasn’t a cream blush fan before the pot rouge, I never bought it…until this month. it’s a fantastic brush, period, but the cherry on top is that it’s under $15. this and the cream blush are a match made in heaven. item 3 is another product with a cult-like following: bioderma crealine micellar solution. before trying this at the beginning of this year, I often thought “what’s the big deal? even if it’s a great makeup remover, it’s still just makeup remover“. yes, it is just makeup remover, but it really is amazing. everything comes off without any tugging or pulling or irritation. the best part for me is that it feels like water – refreshing, gentle, and no icky oily residue afterwards. I took advantage of these properties when I was in the Philippines. I didn’t wear very much makeup on the trip, but I still used it for a little face refresh during the long bus rides. it was light and effective – perfect for the humid conditions. this month’s favorite lip product is the fresh sugar lip treatment in rose. it gives my poor lips some much needed moisture and repair while still giving the most flattering pink tint. last but not least, the fifth beauty favorite of march is the wet brush. as its name implies, it’s meant to be safe to use on wet hair. it does an amazing job of detangling my hair without pulling out half of it in the process. I was impressed from the very first brush through.

accessories | meet the newest bag on the block. my search for a versatile cross body that could fit my iPad mini and other daily essentials ended with the rebecca minkoff hudson mini moto bag. the funny thing is, even though it’s now a hands down favorite, I had very low expectations for it and didn’t think that I would like it, much less love it. I considered about 10 or so bags and ordered 5 bags in total. this bag was the 5th and last one, and I ordered it half in resignation because the other 4 options that I was sure were going to work out all fizzled out for one reason or another. I love that it manages to carry a lot while still keeping its shape. I love its structured silhouette, and the fact that inside has two separate compartments. there is a flat pocket on the front (it’s the flap that runs across underneath the triangular flap) that is a really handy place to keep my Ventra card for the CTA. I was considering the all black version, but I think the white strap is an interesting feature and makes it spring-appropriate. I also love that it’s saffiano leather, since I use this bag running about Chicago and can’t be bothered to worry about it getting dinged up or scratched on a crowded bus or train or ruined by unexpected rain (which happens quite a lot in Chicago). it’s edgy enough for late night drinks at a pub yet classic enough for a dinner date or light days at work. it’s pretty much perfect. the other accessory currently rocking my world is the power support air jacket iPhone case in clear. I’d been wanting a clear iPhone case for awhile, but all the options seemed flimsy, with the plastic feeling brittle and quick to scratch. this case feels substantial, even though it is the thinnest case I’ve seen. it fits my phone perfectly – the edges are flush with the phone itself, so it feels like I have no case on at all. as a big fan of slim cases, the fit on this one is top notch.

home | the final favorite of the month is this tumbler from how adorable is it? from the mint straw to the heart pattern to the fact that it holds 20 oz., it’s must made me quite happy since receiving it. if you’re in need of a little spring happiness pick-me-up, check out their new collection. I’ve adopted “let’s have fun, ok?” as my personal mantra. everything is so cheery and colorful, you won’t be able to not smile. this hooray tote is sitting in my cart as I type…

here’s to a lovely weekend


a sample of the wine selection at eataly


salmon carpaccio


cacio e pepe


this guy with some fancy beer

let’s hear it for Friday and the promise of a new weekend. James and I are planning to go back to eataly this evening for some delicious grub and more wine. wine on a Friday night with my guy is a long standing appointment in my book.

I hope your weekend is delicious!


style crush | rashida jones


I have a short list of women whose style I admire, and Rashida is on that list. aside from having the freckles I’ve always wanted and a wardrobe that has a masculine influence without losing any femininity, she’s incredibly funny and smart. I loved her work on the office (even though I was always “jim & pam forever”) and parks & rec.

who’s your style crush?

image via

wish list wednesday | the james edition

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 9.27.51 AM

I must be rubbing off a little on my guy when it comes to fashion because the other day, he asked me for help in updating his current wardrobe. after taking a minute to make sure I actually heard him correctly, I jumped to the task. and so, today and next week’s wish list wednesday will be more male-centric than the norm.

after taking a quick assessment of what he had and what he needed, I realized that he needed updating in his daily wardrobe and his work wardrobe. right now, he’s currently trying to make his daily casual wear suitable for the office by mixing casual button-down shirts with more formal trousers and loafers, but since he works at a downtown law firm, that hasn’t been quite up to snuff. I decided to tackle his everyday, non-work wardrobe first, and next week, I’ll tackle his more formal wardrobe.

James’ natural style is very casual, so I didn’t want to do him a disservice by suddenly picking out all sorts of preppier options. instead, I just wanted to give his clothes a little update by picking out the more stream-lined and sophisticated versions of what he tends to pick out for himself for a “more put-together casual”.  so I stuck with the comfortable and casual materials he likes, like knits, chambray, and cotton, but went for a slimmer cut or a different color to add a little bit of style. he has plenty of basic t-shirts, so I went with more fun options, like a shirt that showcases his favorite font and a henley that shows off his sports allegiance. sneakers, too, get a little upgrade in the form of a classic low-top pair and a slip-on pair in sleek two-tone leather. and to top it all off, a casual blazer in comfortable cotton but in a rich indigo that happens to bring out his blue eyes. as for accessories, I went with a cognac belt with an industrial buckle since it will go with everything, and a new pair of eyeglasses in a whiskey tortoise for a nice finishing touch…and he’s due for a new prescription anyway. ;)

a little nectar




left: lip gloss in nectar, one swipe | right: pot rouge in hibiscus, one swipe

I’ve never really been a bobbi brown devotee. even though I’ve heard great things about the line (especially her concealer), I’ve never drifted too far from the usual suspects of nars, laura mercier, and the random chanel or ysl when I’m at the beauty counter. but when I got wind of the new nectar & nude collection, I was immediately drawn to the nectar half of the new offerings. doesn’t the shade just make you think of warm days and sun-kissed skin? it makes me think of a hibiscus in full bloom, and since thinking of hibiscuses immediately makes me think of my grandmother’s flower garden, I find myself smiling whenever I look at these pieces.

I picked up three pieces: the nail polish and lip gloss in nectar, and the pot rouge in hibiscus (so I was spot-on with that hibiscus reference!). I’ve tried the pot rouge as a blush (it can also be used on lips, but I wasn’t a fan of the color as a lip color on me), and the wear time on me is insane. I put it on at 11  in the morning, and it was still going strong after 11 p.m. when I went to take it off. this might have just made me a cream blush believer.  also, don’t be scared by the color in the pan. yes, it’s pigmented, but it’s also super blendable. I like to take one light swipe, apply to my cheek with my fingers, and then blend out with a brush until the color is soft but still noticeable. if you prefer your blush color bolder, this blush can pack as much punch as you’d like.

I’ve also tried out the lip gloss. I like that it’s not sticky but somehow manages to stay on my lips through light eating. I also like that the pigmentation shows up on my lips, though not quite as intense as in the tube. the only thing I wasn’t the biggest fan of was the initial smell/taste. it didn’t quite agree with me at first application, but after 10 seconds or so, the scent went away, and I was a happy clam.

I’ve only very quickly swatched the polish on my pinky finger to compare it to other polishes I own and to show you guys how it looks on, so no comments on longevity just yet, but I will say that application was smooth and easy.

have you tried this collection? bobbi brown fans, what are your favorite products from the line?