Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Budget Necklace

Delicate and classic are two words that describe my jewelry style. I used to be one to pile on the bangles and friendship bracelets 2 by 2 until my wrist completely disappeared. None of the bracelets were of quality or taste, but they were sported daily no matter the outfit. Over the past couple of years my style has evolved and I've taken on a minimalist approach in my wardrobe and accessories. I wear my beloved Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield Watch everyday and I usually like to pair it with another dainty piece of jewelry. This necklace is a tiny, gold circle hanging from a thin chain that I purchased from Forever 21 for *gasp* $1. Literally one dollar! Forever 21 has some gaudy pieces of jewelry but they really nail it in the delicate necklace department. Of course the quality is sub par, but the designs of the necklaces are worth the buck. I've been wearing this necklace all the time and because it's so small, it doesn't clash with my DW watch. I highly recommend checking out F21 if you're on a budget and in the market for some new jewelry!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tools of the Trade a.k.a My Most Used Beauty Tools

As a beauty blogger, I'm always looking for the newest and most effective beauty tools of the trade. Whether it's a small pencil brush for the eyes or a brand new spoolie, I love to test and try them out. I use many different tools and brushes in my daily beauty routine but there are a handful of tools that I'm always reaching for.

I use my beloved Real Techniques Buffing Brush everyday without fail. The densely packed bristles apply liquid foundation flawlessly, leaving the skin with an airbrushed look. For only $10, the brush is a winner and is probably my most used brush of all time. Another brush favorite is the cult classic MAC 217. Bloggers and YouTubers alike have constantly raved about the soft, tapered blending brush for its effortless work in the crease or across the lid. My favorite ways to use it are either to blend in concealer or to sweep a wash of shadow all over the lid for a no fuss look. It's definitely a must have for any beauty noob or professional! When it comes to eyelash curlers I'm not one for gimmicks, so I was ecstatic to discover that the Shu Uemura S Curler actually does what it says. The small curler head allows the user to grab every lash and curl it perfectly. A quick curl using the S Curler instantly lifts the face and brightens the eyes. Now I don't go a day without curling my lashes! I've mentioned the Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover multiple times here on TIN and for good reason! I still use this 'pot of gold' to remove my nail polish, which is the quickest foolproof way for polish removal. Last but not least is the Up and Up Exfoliating Cotton Rounds that I purchased from Target for around $3. Holy smokes, I don't know how I lived without these little disks! I usually use these drenched in liquid makeup remover to take off every last bit of gunk and makeup for a clean, fresh face. They also work perfectly well to apply toner all over the skin by using the exfoliating side.
These are all tools I could never live without; what are yours?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Family Night #1

My family and I have always eaten dinner together nearly every night. When we lived at my old house, we would all sit around a small coffee table and discuss our days, world news, and other topics. Now that we live in our "new-ish" house we still keep the tradition of family dinners alive. My dad loves to cook dinner on Sunday nights so tonight he made his ever-so-popular beef short ribs with mashed potatoes. It was delicious! We ate outside on our patio and the night was lovely! I thought I would shoot some pictures outside for you all to see the dinner. I hope you enjoy these types of lifestyle/family posts!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The 'My Lips But Better' Lipstick

I finally found it! I've been searching for the perfect 'my lips but better' lipstick for over a year and I finally discovered it in MAC's Modesty Lipstick ($16). Modesty is a Cremesheen that's a neutral shade with equal hints of pink and peach. Although it looks completely nude in the bullet, it comes off as a natural lip color that will match any makeup look. It's the typical Cremesheen lipstick: moisturizing, a bit glossy, with loads of pigmentation. Because of the moisturizing texture, it lasts around 4-5 hours without having to touch up. For a neutral lip, it adds just the right amount of color to the lips and pairs especially well with my dear Chanel Joues Contraste in Rose Petale. I will be wearing it often during every season with both smokey eyes and a wash of color on the lid. I highly recommend checking out Modesty if you're in the market for a fantastic creamy nude lipstick!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Great Birkenstock Debate

Source: Vogue

If anyone would have told me two years ago that the Birkenstock would make its way down the runway of Paris Fashion Week I would've told you that you were "totally buggin" a la Cher Horowitz. Alas to my dismay, the awkward 'second cousin twice removed' of the flat sandal has returned. Who would've thought? The Birkenstock is a German bred shoe created in 1964 by Karl Birkenstock. The cork/rubber footbed is to me a hideous excuse for a shoe, which makes me wonder why so many fashionistas are currently sporting the flat footwear.

Céline show at Paris Fashion Week 2013

The Birkenstock was reintroduced to the fashion community at the Céline show during Paris Fashion Week 2013. Although the brand is incredibly chic, their choice of footwear lacks the je ne sais quois of its clothing counterparts. The fashion world has been buzzing about the shoe ever since its runway release and bloggers have been sporting them worldwide.

L-R: Stuart Weitzman, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Aldo, Birkenstock

With brands like Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, and Stuart Weitzman releasing their own version on the classic "Jesus slipper", the Birkenstock debate is controversial and growing daily. In my eyes, the shoe is a no-go no matter what. Even though the Stuart Weitzman shoes are the closest thing to fashionable, I still cannot imagine myself wearing a pair. Sorry Birkenstocks, you're one trend I can't wait to end.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Lightweight, Perfecting Daytime Foundation

Bobbi Brown has become one of my favorite brands thanks to her eyeshadow palettes and creamy liners. I've raved about the Rich Chocolate Eye Palette multiple time here on TIN and I recently found a new favorite product! The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 ($45) is no newbie to the beauty world and is loved by multiple celebrities including the Duchess of Cambridge herself, Kate Middleton. The Duchess used this exact foundation on the day of the royal wedding where she looked flawless and glowing (probably because of the Skin foundation!). My mom is another fan of the base and generously gave me her half-used bottle to try out and test. I've got the shade 4 Natural, which is a near perfect match for my yellow tinged neck and chest. The product is housed in a glass bottle like all of Bobbi's foundations and looks gorgeous on display. My first impression of the foundation was that it's a very thin, runny texture. The texture was a bit off-putting and misled me to believe that it would provide me with little to no coverage. Boy, was I wrong. The foundation is a good medium-buildable foundation and the lightweight texture feels like absolutely nothing on the skin. It melts into the skin and looks and feels weightless. The foundation is very long lasting- it lasts on my oily skin for around 6.5 hours before touchups are needed. As my first foundation from the brand, it exceeded all of my expectations and I can't wait to try out more of Bobbi's products!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The 5 Shoe Styles Every Woman Needs

You've probably seen it before: an overflowing closet full of individual shoes thrown about or racks and racks of heels and flats scattered on the floor. Stylish and trendy women are known for their perfume scent, their classic handbag, or their numerous pairs of heels. There are many different types of shoes found in a woman's closet, but I've chosen the five types that are classic and essential to the modern woman.

The Black Pump
The first essential is a really chic black pump by Manolo Blahnik. Manolos are to feet as iPhones are to hands. They are all handcrafted with the highest quality leather and suede found in the world. A black pump is absolutely key to the wardrobe of a woman. They can be worn with a pantsuit to business casual offices or with a wrap dress for those who don't want to dress up as much. The pump can also be taken from work to weekend by pairing it with distressed jeans and a plain tee. Instant chic.

The Ankle Strap Heel
A really high heel can bring out the diva in any woman, and the ankle strap heel is a modern take on the stiletto. This gorgeous heel by Narciso Rodriguez is a colorblocked heel with a thin ankle strap, which elongates the legs when paired with a skirt or a dress. Ankle strap heels are becoming very popular nowadays and for good reason! They add instant drama to any outfit and look great with boyfriend jeans!

The Boot
I've worn boots since I was in elementary school (not very stylish ones I might add), so boots are very near and dear to my heart. I love how they add a tough girl edge to any outfit. I love the juxtaposition of a feminine dress with a pair of really chunky moto inspired boots. I've chosen a pair by Saint Laurent, which has an enormous heel! The thin heel would look amazing paired with printed trousers and a leather jacket to up the cool girl factor.

The Ballet Flat
As a homage to my mother, I've added in the ballet flat to the list. Ballet flats aren't only for little girls and ballet dancers anymore! They are totally in for spring and the different prints and textures make it a win win for girls who don't like heels. This beautiful tomato red pair from Repetto is a firecracker and will be an essential for fashionistas in the summertime! I especially love the bow detail in the front, which is reminiscent of the flat shoes that all girls wear when they're young.

The Casual Sneaker
I've never ever been a sneaker girl, but this pair really caught my eye. Trainers have been on trend for a while now (especially in Europe) because of its practicality and ease. Fashion editors and bloggers are pairing them with jeans and tanks but also with flowy dresses and skirts. Some of the more daring women are even wearing them with a chiffon blouse and full skirt to the office! I love a good pair of Keds, but this plain sneaker by Superga is affordable and cute!

Which pair is your favorite?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Vampire Diaries Elena Makeup

A couple days ago I talked about my increasing love for The Vampire Diaries (I watched one whole season in 2 days!) and I'm a huge fan of Elena Gilbert's (Nina Dobrev) makeup in the show. Elena normally sports a bronze smokey eye and natural skin and lips, which is one of my absolute favorite makeup looks.

I started off with my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (review to come soon) in 5 for a naturally flawless base. Elena's skin is always perfect and natural so I topped up any blemishes with my holy grail NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and set the base makeup with a mist of the Urban Decay All Nighter instead of applying powder to keep the skin glowing. Her eyebrows are a bit thinner than mine, but they're very defined so I filled in any sparse gaps with the tiniest amount of MAC Carbon Eyeshadow and brushed through. Elena doesn't usually wear tons of blush so I dusted on a hint of the Revlon Matte Blush in Wine With Everything, which is a very soft pink color. On the eyes I started off with my favorite Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze and then packed on the L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in the shade Bronzed Taupe. The eyes are very bronzed up so to add a bit of definition, I dusted the Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Frappe into the crease. She always sports some eyeliner on her top and lower lashline, so I applied the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal in Bronze and smudged it out. Elena is all about the lashes so I curled mine with the Shu Uemura S Curler and applied lashings of the Revlon Lash Potion Mascara in Black, which always gives me a really fluttery effect. On the lips I dabbed a bit of the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Broadest Berry for a subtle hint of color. I hope you like the look!

Here's to 4 more seasons of Vampire Diaries!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

OPI Barefoot in Barcelona a.k.a. The Best Polish Ever

Okay, so the title might be a bit of an exaggeration but in my eyes it's entirely true! I've tried quite a bunch of polishes in my recent days of wearing color on my fingers and this one is the best. The formula is very typical of all OPI polishes: thick brush, easy application, lasts a week without chips. It's not the formula so much that takes my breath away, but rather the color. You're all probably rolling your eyes at me right now. Really Noelle? It's a pink nail polish. It's nothing special. My friend, you are mistaken. The color is very neutral, yes, but it's so dang gorgeous! It's a soft pinky-mauve that has a tinge of brown to it. It instantly makes my hands look super healthy and tan while looking gorg' next to any piece of clothing. For only $8, OPI Barefoot in Barcelona is a bargain that I will be using up for every season!

Monday, April 21, 2014

5 Things

1. I blogged about the new Kate Spade Saturday store in Ala Moana and these were my favorite tops I found in the store! They're reversible and are the softest fabric. I love them with the sleeves rolled up, paired with jeans and heels!

2. I had to share this picture of my dog Samson. He's the cutest dog and always looks adorable in photos!

3. Chain rings are so intricate and delicate, which I find perfect for spring and summer. Etsy has a whole bunch of handmade rings and I love this one!

4. I purchased a pair of J Brand jeans recently and I would love to buy these ASAP!

5. I can't even talk about my new-found love for the Vampire Diaries. I watched 12 episodes in 2 days; I think I need help. I love Elena with Stephan but I have a bias toward Damon since he was in Lost! I can't get enough of that show so thank God for Netflix!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pretty Pastel Easter Makeup

Happy Easter everyone! I'm back with a makeup tutorial for this really soft and girly look that's perfect for Easter. This is all about pastel shades and glowy skin so I'll walk you through each step to achieve the look!

I started by applying the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 5 as a full coverage, glowing base. To cover any spots and redness, I used my trust NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in shade Custard, which is my favorite product of all time! While my base was drying, I primed my eyelids with Benefit Stay Don't Stray and then dusted a bit of powder over the lids. For eyeshadow I used three shades from my NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette, which is beautiful and a dream to look at! I applied Ashes To Ashes (light, shimmery lavender) all over the lid and added a bit of Madrague 2 (matte beige) in the crease to blend out the color. For a hint of pink, I lightly applied Nepal (shimmery pale pink) on the inner third of the eyelid. I curled my eyelashes with the Shu Uemura S Curler and used the Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara to enhance my lashes. Next up is brows and to tame those bushy babes, I ran a spoolie through them and filled in any sparse gaps with the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Granite. After the base makeup sank in, I swept a bit of the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Sand Beige to mattify the T-zone. Using my favorite Chanel Joues Contraste in Rose Petale, I brushes some of the peachy pink on the apples of my cheeks. Last but not least, I applied the new Lancome Lip Lover in Rose Contre-Temps for a hint of color and shine without the gloop! The look is very wearable and is perfect for Easter and the spring time. I hope you like it!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kate Spade Saturday Honolulu Preview

Last night I had the privilege of attending the Kate Spade Saturday preview of their new Honolulu store! The store is located in Ala Moana Shopping Center across from the Apple Store and it honestly is one of the the cutest stores I've ever seen! Saturday is one of my favorite brands because of its fresh and modern take on retro handbags and clothing. The preview was from 6-8 and it was complete with drinks and snacks to take while we shopped around. Although it's quite a small store, the team has made excellent use of the space they have. The grand opening of the store is today and from 1-4 there will be a DJ and customers will receive a free Honolulu tote bag with their purchase! I took loads of pictures of the night to share with you all so I hope you like it and check out the new store!

Will you be checking out the grand opening?

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Newest Skincare Favorite

I've tried my fair share of cleansers, exfoliators, toners, etc but none has impacted me quite like the Origins Make a Difference Rejuvenating Cleansing Milk. In the past, I used harsh cleansers full of salicylic acid to try and combat acne and spots, but they always seemed to make my skin concerns worse. After I ran out of my beloved Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, my mom let me try out her new Origins purchase (thanks mom!!). Even after just one use, I could immediately feel a difference in my skin's tone and texture! The consistency of the cleanser is thin and milky, but it removes all traces of makeup and dirt left in my pores. It's also seemed to balance my skin's pH to make it more smooth and clean. Although it hasn't cleared up the spots on my face (it doesn't claim to anyway), it reduces the appearance of the redness and has lightened some of my acne scarring. Overall, it's an amazing cleanser that deep cleans my skin and has evened out the texture of my face. I will definitely be repurchasing it when I run out!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

And All That Jazz

*Cue the music: "Come on babe we're gonna paint the town...and all that jazz!"* That was a Chicago reference for all of you who are completely confused by the previous line! This past weekend I had a jazz performance in which semi formal black attire was required. I busted out my Cynthia Rowley A-Line Dress, which is honestly the most comfortable dress I own. The cut is very classy and is just fancy enough for the concert. I paired the dress with my Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield Watch and a vintage gold Hawaiian bracelet for a touch of personality to the look. For shoes I reached for my Merona Alaina Mid Heel Pumps (of course) to add height and femininity to the outfit. To carry all the beauty essentials I added my Badgely Mischka Quilted Purse, which is the epitome of class and sophistication in my book. The performance went well and we played pieces from the likes of Stevie Wonder and Tower of Power! I hope you like the look!
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