monday memo | on makeup


I own a good amount of makeup, a fact that confuses my guy. he seems to think that the amount of makeup I own is directly related to how much I think I need to use it. I know he’s being sweet and completely honest when he says I don’t need it, but it got me thinking about all the different reasons why people think someone wears makeup. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I’ve never thought about wearing makeup so that I can be pretty; I only ever thought of it as enhancing what I already had. it’s fun to be able to make my naturally petite eyes look bigger with an eyelash curler and an awesome tube of mascara. it’s fun to play up the brown in my eyes with a deep purple eyeshadow, or amp up a basic outfit with a strong, red lip. I think of it as an accessory, just like a scarf or a pair of shoes. sometimes it can give me confidence, like when I put on makeup in preparation for a big interview or a speech I was making to a room full of people. to me, makeup is a tool that I happen to have a lot of fun using.

it’s also a tool that I use when I want to downplay something, like the whitehead that just popped up on my chin or the honking pimple that decided to show up smack dab in the middle of my forehead. a little concealer goes a long way towards making that blemish a little less noticeable, for which I’m grateful…but sometimes, even then, I can’t be bothered to do that step, and I just live with it. it depends how I feel.

 I rarely wear a full face of makeup, and I don’t wear makeup every day. most days, I go barefaced save for a little moisturizer and curled eyelashes. this is partly because I’m lazy or short on time, but it’s also got a whole lot to do with how I feel about makeup in general. I wear it when I want to, not because I have to.

what’s your makeup philosophy?


the friday five


it’s Friday! I’m looking forward to a breakfast date with my guy tomorrow. it’ll be a nice way to start off the weekend…and a nice way to fuel up for a heavy round of packing. we’ve started to sell some of our furniture, and I was surprised to find myself tearing up slightly as I watched pieces go out the door. I know it’s just furniture, but it felt a little bit like I was saying goodbye little by little to this chapter in my life. I’m excited for what the future holds, but we love our apartment, and I’m just feeling a little sentimental. but it’ll be okay, and I’ll be okay. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

this week’s highlights

p.s. excuse the blurry pics…I took these with my phone since I didn’t lug my other camera around these days…


| finally bought a case for my media cards. so cheap and so simple…why haven’t I done this sooner?! |


| amazing bbq |


| yummy ćevapčići at restaurant sarajevo |


| my drink of the night: a pinky gonzales |


| celebrating Jesse’s birthday at three dots and a dash |

back to basics | shoes 101: flats


admittedly, flats are not the most exciting of shoes, but they’re usually the most hardworking pieces in people’s closets, including mine. while they lack the va-va-voom factor and leg-lengthening capabilities of their heeled cousins, flats are great for when you’re on your feet all day or have to quickly get from point a to point b. comfort is their primary selling point, but as they’ve become more available in more designs and options, they’ve become chic, sartorially on-point footwear in their own right. referencing my own pieces, here are some options and tips to keep in mind if you’re in the market for a new pair or two.


ballerinas | let’s start with the quintessential flat. who hasn’t seen the impossibly elegant Audrey Hepburn in a pair?

smoking slippers | these are great if you’re looking for a little higher profile on the foot than the traditional ballerina flat. I like that these add a little touch of insouciance to even the most basic of outfits.

oxfords | for the flat with a “borrowed from the boys” feel. I like to play up the juxtaposition between masculine and feminine by wearing these with a flirty skirt or a cute sundress.

slingbacks | take the basic flat, cut out the back, and add a strap for a little ladylike sophistication. these lend themselves to dressier situations really easily and in the right material, can be a modern alternative to a heel.



colors | if you’re planning on using these everyday, it’s a good idea to get a pair in a neutral color that goes with the majority of your clothing. I wear a lot of black, so the first flat I ever bought was black, but if you tend to wear warmer colors, a pair of flats in a shade of brown might me more practical. after you’ve got the basics covered, though, pick up a fun pair, like in an animal print, which is more versatile than you’d think.

some fun details | bows are classic details on ballerinas, but if bows aren’t your thing, look for a pair adorned in studs or in a pattern you love, like a polka dot.

toe-shape | while the body shape of a flat remains relatively unchanged between styles, the toe shape can change quite a lot. the three most common are the rounded toe, the pointy toe, and the almond toe. the rounded toe is a classic, but can look a little youthful. the pointy toe is dressier and elongates the foot much like a heel, but can be uncomfortable for those with wider feet because of the narrow toe box. the almond toe is a nice, happy medium between the two. try each style and find out which one suits your style and needs best.

material | the most common materials are traditional leather (the soft, buttery kind), suede, and patent leather (shiny and harder). traditional leather gives a more refined look, but it’s prone to scratches. suede is usually very comfortable straight out of the box, but it takes the most maintenance, especially if it’s in a lighter color. patent is the most hardy, able to stand up to a little rain and snow and easy to clean with a little elbow grease, but I’ve found that it takes the longest to break in. I’m partial to traditional leather, but I have pairs in each material, so feel free to mix and match. there are also plenty of non-leather options out there, so don’t feel as though you have to wear leather. there are plenty of great vegan leather options if you still want the leather look, or go for a canvas or satin option.

comfort & quality are key | no matter how cute the flat, make sure it’s comfortable. my tolerance for uncomfortable heels is pretty low as it is; my tolerance for an uncomfortable flat is nonexistent. look for pairs with decent padding and a little bit of a heel, between 1/4″ and 1/2″. I find the little bit of separation from the ground makes a huge difference. lastly, a good quality flat can be found at a number of different price points. the most expensive flat isn’t necessarily the most comfortable. that being said, don’t skimp. buy the best quality you can afford. I go by this rule of thumb in general, but especially for shoes.

personal favorites | for my short but wide feet, I’ve had a lot of success with the skimmer flat from madewell. I currently own two pairs that are both a couple of years old and still going strong. they have decent padding and a forgiving almond toe. at around $100 a pair, they’re not the cheapest, but the price is fair for the quality and you can often get them on sale if you do a little waiting and stalking. they come out every year with a little tweak here and there. I’ve also had decent success with flats from j.crew and j.crew factory. surprisingly, I’ve found the factory flats to be more comfortable than their retail cousins, probably because in part of the more prominent use of rubber soles in their selections. I know some people only like leather soles, and while I do prefer their look to the rubber ones, there’s no denying that a rubber sole provides a little bit more cushion and shock absorption, not to mention more traction. I like the classic ballet flats from factory, and I love the kiki flat from the retail stores. what works for me might not work for you, so try on many different pairs until you find a winner.

back to basics is a series on short&lovely highlighting the workhorses of my wardrobe, the pieces that work day in & day out, without fail. without these babies, then I really wouldn’t know what to wear.

the lip balm brigade


in addition to white t-shirts, coffee tumblers, and fine-point pens, add lip products on the list of “things Hes buys too many of”. I own far too many of them, and while I have a decent collection of lipsticks and a plethora of lipglosses, my biggest kryptonite in this category are lip balms. I’m partial to ones that give you the slightest hint of color that looks like your lips just better or the completely colorless options that go a long way towards restoring your lips to their pre-chapped glory. I’ve dug through my stash and come up with my most loved, from the drugstore steals to the wallet-pinching ones. some are called lip tints while others are called lip treatments – as long as they’re moisturizing and not completely a gloss, I’ve included them in the lip balm category.

the drugstore steals

vaseline lip therapy in rosy lips | aside from being the most travel friendly balm I have, this stuff really is therapy. almost gel-like in consistency, this applies smoothly to the lips, giving a light moisture barrier that just so happens to soften your lips while making them ever so slightly pink.

softlips | I’ve loved these babies since middle school, when they were still packaged in cigarette-slim plastic twist-up tubes. while the new ice cube packaging is bulkier to lug around, it is cute, and I admit, it’s more fun to apply. these are a good drugstore lip balm – does the job in soothing chapped lips with a light vanilla-menthol scent that makes me nostalgic upon first sniff. bonus: these have spf 15.

maybelline baby lips | I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of this line. I bought the original un-tinted one and didn’t like the way it felt on my lips. it didn’t absorb very well and just left me feeling like I had a layer of wax on my lips. I gave them another go when I purchased this tube in the Philippines in a mini drugstore haul. I was in need of a lip balm, and this was the only one that wasn’t the medicated variety. I got the shade rose addict, a nice, soft pink. the packaging reminds me of lip smackers, so there’s some nostalgia points, and unlike the U.S. version, this one feels much more absorbent and light on the lips.

carmex | the classic, hands down. I know the scent throws some people for a loop, but I love it. the packaging is a throwback – no fuss, just the iconic red & yellow and block text. I prefer the tub version, but the squeeze tube is great for on the go. as far as color, this thing is clear through and through, but it’s pretty much unbeatable in terms of curing chapped lips. trust me – it’s a classic for a reason.

blistex medicated lip ointment | this is for the worst of the chapped lips, when nothing but the most intense will do. there’s nothing glamorous or fancy about this, right down to the packaging, and I sort of hate the smell, but it works. it’s a tiny tube, but a little goes a long way. although it only gets used in the most dire of circumstances, I always have one in the wings, for the inevitable mid-winter chapped lips from hell.

the wallet-emptiers

jack black intense therapy | this is the mvp of my collection. not the cheapest, not the most glamorous, but the most dependable. I have tubes of this everywhere – in my car, in my coat pockets, in my handbags. aside from the mint scent and the spf 25, it’s a light, ultra-moisturizing formula that applies easily but stays. the slanted tip applicator is nice, and it’s just as well-loved by James. this is the only lip balm I’ve had any luck getting him to use regularly. he approves of the black and blue packaging, and I approve of his soft lips. at ~$7 a tube, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, but multiples add up…

by terry baume de rose & dior crème de rose | these two are in the nosebleed sections when it comes to price, and I’m extremely glad I bought both of these with the aid of a gift card. both of these are rose-scented balms in tubs, which makes them not optimal for on-the-go application but perfect for nightstand routines. the formula for both is on the thicker side, and application feels like you’re giving your lips a treatment that lasts through the night. if you’re looking for a lip balm that does the job with a hefty does of luxury and a price tag to match, these two are great options. I prefer the dior one slightly more, not least because it’s the significantly cheaper one of the two, but both give you incredibly soft lips & look great on your vanity.

ysl volupté sheer candy in 6 | while not everyone would classify these as a balm per se, I do, because that’s how I use them. they’re not liquid/shiny enough to be a gloss, and they’re certainly not pigmented enough for a lipstick. I throw these on when I want a non-sticky, slightly moisturizing, sheer lip color. I love the mango (?) scent and the juicy slick of color they provide. as for the packaging, these are the crème of the crop.

 tarte lipsurgence skintuitive lip tint & clarins lip balm crayon in my pink | I’m not sure if I buy into the science of ph-dependent lip balms, but I do know that I like the color they give, ph-dependent or not. I’m not even sure if it’s a color – it’s more of a sheen that just perks my lips up without making it look like I have a layer of color on. it’s easy, easy to apply, and low maintenance. the twist-up tubes are super convenient, and I find myself tossing them in my bag as I’m making my way out the door.

korres lip butter in jasmine | I discovered this line back when I was searching for a natural makeup line that wouldn’t exacerbate my sister’s eczema. I love some of their skincare offerings, like their yogurt masks, but the standout for me is their lip butters. they come in a handful of colors, but my long-time favorite is jasmine, a sheer pink that’s not too warm or too cool. it looks really subtle on the lips, is deeply hydrating, and lasts for hours. with no parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances, among other things, it’s also incredibly clean and natural.

fresh sugar lip treatment in rosé | these were my first foray into the world of high-end lip balms. I learned about the brand from my Korean friend whose easy, natural makeup I loved and wanted to emulate. I bought my first tube of their original, non-tinted treatment the winter of my freshman year in college as a post-finals treat. I discovered the rosé version a little while later, and it’s been a favorite ever since, perhaps the favorite of the high-end lot if I had to whittle it down to one. it has spf, the packaging is chic and simple, the color is the loveliest rose blush, and the scent – of fresh lemons – is right up my alley. I’ve given them away as stocking stuffers and are always a huge hit. a word of caution: the bullet is creamy and emollient and incredibly soft. don’t leave this one out in the heat or you’ll have a melt down on your hands, and this balm is too good and too pretty to get used up like that.

clearly, I don’t need any more lip balms, but…do you have any lip balm recommendations? ;)

the little things


it really is about the little things, like afternoons where I get to come home and have some quiet time to myself. I take off any jewelry I’m wearing as I change into comfy house clothes, leisurely make my way through some reading, give myself a little mani/pedi, indulge in a square or two of dark chocolate, and just watch the sun slowly make its way beneath the horizon. there’s something about the fading afternoon light that just makes everything more golden, and I can’t help but take the time to stop for an hour or so and take it all in before everything starts up again.