27 August 2013

26 August 2013

My Foundation Family

Maybe its because I have been cursed blessed with skin so pale its nearly translucent, but foundation has always been my favorite makeup product... weird, I know. But to me, there's nothing more gorgeous than perfect, even skin.

When you're so pale you can see almost every vein in your entire head, there's obviously a lot of trial and error. My foundations and I have been through a lot over the years, but these guys are the top of the lot. Even if you aren't pasty like me, most of these come in a variety of shades. I do believe this lot is better suited to dry skin (another "blessing"), but play around and see what works for you!

Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua came into my life via the all-knowing and all-powerful Lisa Eldridge, my makeup deity. Once I saw she used it on my favorite person ever in the entire world, Gemma Arterton, I knew it had to be mine. Gemma and I have similar coloring (though I haven't been blessed with her gorgeous freckles), and my skin is quite combination, so I had high hopes. This is tied for my #1 favorite... super light, super blendable, and perfect for no makeup-makeup. It looks like you're wearing absolutely nothing and simply have lovely skin... yes, please. This is best applied with fingers as its water-based,  with a quick shake-up before slapping some on. Just be warned-- the color range on this one is incredibly limited, so those with darker skin are better off with Perfection Lumiere.

The very first foundation I ever bought was Clinique's Even Better Makeup. I was fifteen and my mother refused to let me wear makeup without first taking me to the counter and being shown how to correctly apply. ... THANK YOU, Mom! Since then I've repurchased more times than I can count, and given how light this little bottle is getting, I foresee a trip back to the counter in the near future. Clinique's Even Better is quite a "traditional" liquid foundation, I think-- medium coverage, quite thick out of the tube, though I've found it tends to settle in fine lines if I haven't blended well enough. This is a great "everyday" foundation as its a bit more affordable than the rest, and my poor pale skin appreciates the SPF 15. There is a massive range of shades with this baby, too. Double win!

On the very rare and magical occasion I'm having a good skin day-- or, let's face it, if I'm feeling incredibly lazy-- Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Cream is locked and loaded. Like most (all?) BB Creams, Camera Ready blends perfectly into the skin. Its a great simple, minimal base with sheer but buildable coverage... perfect for Sunday mornings at the grocery store or and exhausted coffee run. I'll apply a second layer of Camera Ready to the parts of my face that need a little extra help, usually my chin and my nose, but even then its sheer enough to let my freckles and natural skin show through. Also perfect for gross summer days! This only comes in five shades but they seem to be quite versatile, and if you can't find a shade that suits you perfectly these are really easy to mix with other bases.

Vichy's Dermablend Corrective Foundation is another Lisa Eldridge-suggested buy. Last winter I had an unfortunate run-in with some sort of face cream that left my skin covered, and I mean covered, in ugly little bumps and red all over. After watching an acne-covering tutorial by-- you guessed it-- Lisa Eldridge, I hunted down some Vichy to try to look less like a victim of leprosy. I finally found a few tubes at my local pharmacy and picked up the lightest shade... which, pathetically, ended up being too dark for me. Its not that noticable for spot concealing, but when used all over as a true foundation, I had to mix it with a bit of the Smashbox to get the proper color. Vichy Dermablend definitely covered all my spots, but did tend to emphasize the dry bits. This one is FULL coverage, so good if you have a breakout or acne, but a little too heavy for everyday use. Its good to have waiting in the wings, just in case of another tragic skin day. Color range is a little pathetic and best suited to medium skin tones, unless you mix like I have to.

The most recent addition to my foundation- and tied with Vitalumiere for #1-- is Diorskin Airflash SPRAY foundation. Yes, ladies and lads, spray foundation. This was a formula I had never considered until one day, while weak and browsing Sephora's teasing display of new foundations,  I gave the back of my hand a quick spritz. And then angels descended from the sky, everything started to glow, a harpist appeared and started playing romantic melodies-- it was me and Diorskin Airflash, alone together in a room, in love. Without a second thought, I picked up my shade and marched right up to pay. A whopping $62 USD-- but so worth it. Airflash- like Chanel's Vitalumiere- gives me seamless coverage. I'm still working out the best way to use this one, as spraying directly on my face dispenses way too much makeup, but I feel like using a brush makes it settle in pores and fine lines more. I know lots of people love using sponges like the Beauty Blender for spray products, buuuuuut Ms. Eldridge says no way, so I say no way. Airflash has incredible staying power, comes in a really respectable range of shades, makes my skin feel like velvet, and gives me that perfect glow I'm always searching for. If you have this little guy and have any tips to help with application, though, help a girl out!!

 What are your favorite foundations? I'm always excited to check out new reccommendations!

xoxo, Molly

25 August 2013

Secrets From the Floor-Front

Last September, me and my faithful nude pumps stumbled into the Prudential Center in Boston for my first day as a stylist in (what the managers called) an “affordable luxury” clothing store. As a saleswoman for clothes that still had a hefty price tag, I learned some very valuable lessons from my time as a stylist, even though the gig was pretty short-­‐lived.
I’m here to share my retail-­‐working-­‐survivor wisdom with you, and hopefully spare you some of the same tragedies I suffered!

1. Styling is Key.
Many times I’d see something hanging on the wall or folded on a table and wrinkle my nose, thinking it was absolutely hideous and that no one could ever possibly buy it.

...But then the visual team would work some magic and drape a mannequin in said horrendous sweater, and my world was turned upside-­‐down. It was gorgeous. I had to have it. I’ve folded that thing a thousand times and never imagined it could look like THAT!

LESSON: You can make almost anything look amazing. Be open-­‐minded and creative with your clothes; you might come up with an unexpected masterpiece!

2. Fit does NOT equal size.
Every time a new collection arrived, all of us stylist had to try on every single piece in the store. It sounds like fun, but really it’s a few hours spent sweaty and locked in a tiny dressing room. By my third pair of pants and fourth dress though, I had zipped and buttoned my way into a startling discovery: my “size” was all over the place.

One pair of pants was too tight while the next fit perfectly; the second dress swum under my armpits while the sixth made me look pregnant. Even in one store with its own in-­‐house brand, 

I was fitting in everything from a 6 to a 12!

LESSON: Try things on, and don’t pay attention to the number on the tag!  

3. Don’t Splurge on a Silk Blouse and Ruin it with Chinese Takeout
Minutes after my first training session, I emptied my wallet and splurged on a gorgeous cream-­‐colored silk blouse that had caught my eye during my first interview. I needed it! I could wear it to work! Who cares if the price tag made me want to vomit!

Well, I toddled on out for my lunch break wearing that blouse and scurried over to the food court to scarf down some Orange Chicken before I had to be back on the floor. Eating fast and messily, it was only a matter of time before a giant, oily splotch of Orange Chicken sauce splattered riiiiight down the front of my brand new blouse.

Even after a panicked trip to the drycleaner, my beloved shirt was ruined. I literally wore it for four hours.

LESSON: Wear a bib. Or eat a salad. Either way, protect your special pieces.

4. Just wait...it’ll go on sale.
Perhaps this is an addendum to my last lesson... If I had only cooled my jets with that silk shirt, I could have saved a TON of money, and maybe I’d keep it safe from stains.

By nature, I’m impulsive and impatient, so it makes waiting for a sale difficult—especially when, as a stylist, I was surrounded by the same temptations for hours upon hours every day.

I’d break. I’d buy. I’d kick myself when it was 30% off two weeks later.

 LESSON: Take a deep breath and settle your racing heart. Keep an eye on what you love and take your time—chances are, you can probably save some money. But if you see something going fast and you cant get that dress out of your head, make your move before its too late!

5. To Thine Own Style Be True!
Every time “Employee Day” rolled around—the magical day when we all got 60% off everything in store—the floor was electrified with excited whispers and planning and debating as stylists scurried to grab everything they wanted.

More than once, I felt a lot of pressure by others to buy a certain dress or skirt—“That’s alllllll over the lookbooks” “We really want to up our sales on that one” “What do you mean you don’t like mustard yellow? It’s one of our key colors this season!”

By the end of the day, I had dropped a ton of money on clothes that I didn’t really like. I’d let my environment and my coworkers talk me into buying things that weren’t really my style. Being surrounded by things that I really didn’t love suddenly became all I ever saw, and I lost sight of myself and my style.

LESSON: Trends are overwhelming, shoes blow up on Pinterest, and every blogger seems to have those pajamas—but that doesn’t mean you need to like it. Know who you are and what you like, and dress with confidence!

(image cred: Club Monaco)

24 August 2013

TBB: Burts Bees Review!

My first post is up on The Budget Babe! Click on over to read my review of 
Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes!!

22 August 2013

Marks & Spencer AW13

Okay, kind of freaking out. On 19 August, British retailer Marks & Spencer-- M&S-- issued a press release revealing their autumn collections campaign. And, well, its RIDICULOUSLY amazing.

It's kind of surprising for M&S, which I knew as a mostly-grocery store. You could always find a couple of gems in their clothing and housewares sections, but this? This is insane. The gorgeous campaign is shot by ANNIE FREAKIN' LEIBOVITZ and features a dozen of Britain's strongest and most inspirational women. The lineup:

        Nicola Adams Olympic Gold Winning Boxer
        Monica Ali Award-Winning Author
        Helen Allen Nurse of the Year 2011
        Darcey Bussell Retired Principal Ballerina at The Royal Ballet
        Grace Coddington Creative Director of US Vogue
        Karen Elson Supermodel and Singer
        Tracey Emin Artist and Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy
        Ellie Goulding Multiplatinum global recording artist/Brit Award winning Singer/Songwriter
        Helen Mirren Multiple Award-Winning Actress
        Laura Mvula Breakthrough Singer/Songwriter
        Katie Piper Burns survivor, television presenter and charity campaigner.
        Jasmine Whitbread CEO of Save the Children International 

The campaign hits M&S's website on 13 September... P.S.... They offer free shipping to the USA and Canada- score! For more info on the collection, as well as full outfit details for each of the ladies, check out their press release!

photos via Marks & Spencer

xoxo, Molly

21 August 2013

Molly Dressing 101: Lots of Grey, Even More Black

Shirt - Gap / Skirt - Topshop / Sandals - Zara (sold out, similar here) / 
My first ever outfit post!

Apologies for the crappy iphone pictures and even worse editing-- these are skills I have not been blessed with. Hopefully I'll get some learnin' in the near future and my pictures will mature a little... hopefully. Literally I'm at like, second grade level when it comes to photography/editing/etc/etc. 

But onto the outfit! I've worn this tee an embarrassing number of times since I bought it two weeks ago-- so much so that I haven't even taken the tags off the second one I got in white. These sandals are also a dream. If you couldn't tell from the incredibly exciting outfit above, I like simple and minimal-- the skinny straps of these babies are right up my alley. They alllllllso have little gold studs hiding at the heel, which I love.... Love so much I bought another pair in white.

Apparently this is a pattern.

xoxo, Molly

20 August 2013

UK Beauty Bits : The Unattainable

As a dedicated Anglophile, my love of all things British doesn't stop at Prince George and scones. The UK is home of some of the best drugstore makeup there is, a lot of which is impossible (or impossibly expensive) to get here in the USA. 

Because I'm a complete madwoman when it comes to my UK shopping, I already have a must-buy beauty list saved on my computer, waiting impatiently to be thrown into action. 

Your day will come, lovely list. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some of my cravings with you! If you frequent UK beauty blogs you'll probably recognize most of these, and if you ARE a UK beauty blogger with a big heart... well... I will reward you handsomely for your easy access to Superdrug.
UK Beauty Bits : Complexion
UK Beauty Bits : Nails

UK Beauty Bits : Colour


 Barry M Gelly Nail Paint (in Lychee and Grapefruit) - £3.99 / Barry M Gold Foil Nail Effects - £3.99 /  
Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Enamel (20 Perle Illusion, 03 Beige Distinction, and 04 Taupe Classy) - £5.99

 Bourjois Little Round Pot Cream Blush (03 Rose Tender) - £7.99 / MUA Undress Me Too Palette - £4

That MUA palette... I mean, come on. And Hydraluron seems to be the newest must-have for gorgeous skin- ugh, deprived dull-skinned me. Any international beauty bits you're craving? What are your favorites?

xoxo, Molly

19 August 2013

Exciting News!

Hello all! 

I am SO, SO, SO excited to share with y'all that I was lucky enough to be chosen by the lovely Dianna to intern for The Budget Babe! I've been such a huge fan of Dianna's for years now, and I feel incredibly honored to work and learn from her. 

I can't wait to share what I work on with you, and make sure to check out the rest of what The Budget Babe has to offer! 
BB Team!

xoxo, Molly

Lips on Lock

Since Prada's Resort 2012 collection, Lip prints have been big on my mind. As a girl who mostly sticks to neutrals (totally plain ones, at that), the pink-and-red kiss-speckled print SHOULD be totally out of my comfort zone... but for some inexplicable reason, I'm obsessed.

Here are a few of my favorites floating around the internet:

Lips on Lock

As a crazy-broke post-collegiate, a lot of these are (obviously) way out of my price range. If I could live the dream, I would literally scoop up ALL of Lulu Guinness' website-- she is, undoubtedly, the Queen of Lips. Lulu does have an adorable and affordable diffusion line at JC Penny's, where you can grab Anglo-themed totes and accessories. Of course, her signature kiss has to make an appearance-- how cute is this belt?!

And yeah, whatever, I HAD to include the entire Erin by Erin Featherston Lipstick-Print Collection (well, almost-- there's also this adorable dress). I remember seeing the Marianne Dress in a shop window back in Boston and it literally stopped me in the middle of the sidewalk... and then I got crashed into by a bunch of angry Bostonians, but it was totally worth it. In case you, like me, still don't want to fork over the cash for these amazeballs pieces-- even though they're all on CRAZY sale right now!!-- the incredibly talented Maegan (yes, that Maegan. ...love, Maegan Maegan) whipped up a perfect DIY version of Erin's Patricia Pants. And so easy!

And a couple more of my faves... this cute Paul & Joe tank (on sale!),  ridiculously chic DVF Blazer (on sale!), cozy ASOS Curve sweater, and fun Forever 21 Sweatshirt!

Are you as crazy for kisses as I am? What are some of your Lip-Loves?

xoxo, Molly

12 August 2013

Another Impractical Gorgeous Heel

Just spotted these on The Real Real- an amaaaaaazing designer resale site- this morning and I HAD to share. Aren't these incredible? I'm really thinking of nabbing them... totally impractical, but aren't those the most fun?

01 August 2013

ASOS Wishlist #1

I have a major weakness for ASOS. Like, MAY-JOR major. My Saved Items page is embarrassingly long, and I religiously check the new arrivals every morning. Needless to say, I spend a good chunk of change (and time) on ASOS finds, so in an effort to ease the temptation, I thought I'd share this week's most loved with you!

ASOS Wishlist #1

ASOS Skater Dress in Leather Look  -  Leather and I have a longstanding love affair. After spotting Lauren in this gorgeous DVF dress, I can't stop thinking about nabbing one for myself. I also love that this is vegan leather-- cruelty-free and maybe a little more breathable?

ASOS Azora Chelsea Ankle Boots - Like everyone and their mother, I die for Isabel Marant's Dickers, but those are a bit out of reach right now... not to mention, sold out practically everywhere. I love the aged look of these babies, and they look like they'll go with everything.

Lavish Alice Skater Dress - I'm a sucker for a good LWD and I'm loving the lines on this one. I'm thinking it'll be perfect for winter!

ASOS Apollo Studded Ankle Boots - These remind me of these Gucci heels that I've loved for ages, but better for my wallet, and a boot is a bit more sensible than a sky-high heeled sandal.

ASOS Boudoir Lace Demi Cup Bra - Reminds me of a bra my beloved Gemma Arterton sported for a GQ spread a couple years ago. The delicate lace and edgy straps above the cups will be so fun and feminine peeking out of a slouchy tee.

Modalu Kirsten Satchel Bag - Pippa Middleton is a fan of Modalu. Enough said.

A Question Of Tee - I don't know any boys, nor do I know how to make them cry with my kisses, but this cheeky graphic tee will make me feel like the most popular middle school girl ever.

Lulu Guinness Coin Purse - Oh, Lulu. The things you do to me. Woman knows the way to my heart, which is a red patent-leather lip-shaped coin purse.

ASOS Pixel Heels - With a BFA now under my belt, I've got to get serious about the job hunt. I think these are an edgy, flirty take on the innocent Mary Jane, and perfect for any interview or office.

So that's it! Do you love ASOS as much as I do? What have you got saved in your cart?

xoxo, Molly