Saturday, August 23, 2014

Adventures: NYC Part I


Good morning Upper East Siders, Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite. :) Not! But while I'm preparing this post, I'm rewatching the first season of Gossip Girl and just missing NYC.

DAY 1:

We took a red eye flight to Newark and ended up getting to New York around 12:30pm. We stayed at the Lexington Hotel off of 48th and Lexington and were able to check in early even though we weren't due to check in until 3pm. We decided to rest for a little bit and then began exploring the surrounding area on our way to Ippudo for ramen. We ended up passing by the Rockefeller Center.



 We stopped at Ippudo Westside for dinner. Luckily we were one of the first people there and didn't have to wait at all! When we left however, it was a whole different story. This place was PACKED.

sazuraku and sapporo

hirata buns - pork
the meat inside was delicious. the sauce a little strange. bun consistency was too hard.
(wow... just read what i wrote and man... lollll)

karaka-men

akamaru modern
for a ramen that isn't spicy, it's extremely delicious! it has what I dub the "ratatouille effect" which is the feeling you get when you eat something and it makes you feel like a child being comforted by the tastiest homecooked meal (as in the end of the Disney movie Ratatuoille).

After dinner we went around Times Square.




We decided to stop for some ice cream in Bryant Park.



We ended up trying to find the Empire State Building to see how long the wait was to go up. It was about an hour so we decided to pass and walked back to our hotel to rest up for our jam-packed full day in New York.



DAY 2:

Started off the day by going to the Top of the Rock. Bought our tickets at the self-serve area but we couldn't get in until 12:30-12:45p so we decided to go grab some bagels at Ess-A-Bagel.



this bagel costs 11.75 (it was called some kind of like super nova or something like that lol)



everything bagel with scallion cream cheese

We headed back to the Top of the Rock to go up to the top. There are 3 separate levels. The first 2 are surrounded by glass and the 3rd has a railing that is about boob height to me. The views are spectacular! I would highly recommend going here. You get such a great view of Central Park and the Empire State Building.







After the Top of the Rock, we went to Central Park. I've been to New York before but it was just a quick stop in Times Square, we went on a boat tour and to the Empire State Building. On our way to Central Park, we stopped to take a photo at this sign. I didn't even know it was in New York!






We went row boating in Central Park. Let me just say be prepared to exercise! Thank goodness Tony was ok to row the entire time. I rowed for 2 seconds and ended up pulling the entire oar out of it's "socket"! Thank goodness I didn't let go of it into the water! On our way around, we saw all these turtles sunbathing!





After an hour of rowing around, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for Matilda! I wanted to chance to see at least one Broadway show when we were in New York and Miss Estee (essiebutton) loved Matilda (even more than Wicked) so I decided that's what we would see. We did stop for some gelato on the Upper East Side on our walk back to the hotel.








After Matilda, we headed to NoHo to a dive bar by the name of Von. Didn't get any pictures from that part of the night. It was quite the fun night! I will end it here for now!


to be continued...

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Makeup Starter Kit: Drugstore Holy Grail Products



I haven't really experimented with makeup for very long but I do have a few products that I would consider the creme de la creme of the drugstore makeup world. I am creating this rough guide for those newbies to the makeup world (myself included) that need just a few essentials to get by in the beginning stages. This is a great guide for anyone just starting to play with makeup and the plethora of drugstore products seems a bit overwhelming. This is the bare bones of what I think every gal needs in their makeup routine.



1. Foundation/BB cream/tinted moisturizer
I'm not starting with concealer or primer because I haven't found a drugstore one that is actually good. Less is more these days in terms of makeup. You never want to look like the stuff is caked on (which I'm guilty of more often than not). I currently have 2 different ones that I would recommend. The first being the Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream (SPF 15). I've used this since it first came out since I had a coupon for it and although it costs around $15, it comes in a 2.5 fl oz bottle and I've used it almost daily and I haven't ran out. My second pick is something I picked up recently so I've only used it for a month or so. It's the Maybelline Dream Pure BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Clearing Perfector with 2% Salicylic Acid. One of the reasons I decided to go with 2 different BB creams is one has SPF (and even though its a measley 15 it's still important) and the other doesn't and also the salicylic acid factor. Everyone's skin is different and not everyone will react well to salicylic acid. In the world of acne, you have salicylic acid people or benzoyl peroxide people (or neither or both). I happen to be a salicylic acid person so if you are too, then this will work great for you. I have oily skin and when you first put these on, you'll be a little oily but that's what the setting powder is for.


2. Setting Powder
So when I first got into makeup I had no idea what this setting powder business was. I would just use the tinted moisturizer, eyeliner and some lip gloss. There was absolutely no staying power to the makeup that I had put on. That was until I discovered the setting powder! My all time favorite is still the original one I picked up: Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder in Translucent. Great for oily skin and great for keeping it in your purse just for touch ups. 



3. Bronzer
When I first started watching YouTube I pretty much only watched Holly from Hollyannaeree and she absolutely loved this bronzer. It's the NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in 720A Sunny. It's not too dark and it's great for contouring as well. It's very buildable as well but don't get too crazy lol. 



4. Blush
The problem with a lot of the drugstore blushes is that they are very sparkly and if you have not-so-good skin (like myself) it really highlights the imperfections. My favorite blush from the drugstore is the Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. It does have some shimmer to it but it's not too bad. I think it's a great subtle color that will just give some color to your cheeks without making it look like you put on a ton of blush. The more you use it, the less shimmer you'll have because most of the shimmer is on the top layer. 




5. Eyeliner
 I am a huge fan of dark smoked out eyes and one of the first makeup items I used was eyeliner. Through the years I have tried many eyeliners and these two are the best I've found at the drugstore. I'm one lazy person and it pains me to have to go with an eyeliner that requires sharpening but I have to go with Milani Liquif'eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in 01 Black. The formulation is so great. Super creamy and goes on super black. The smearing is a bit of a problem for my lower lash line (I always get that lower lash-line crease :/). If anyone has any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below. I love trying new eyeliners! The second eyeliner is the Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Liner in Blackest Black. I would say this is comparable to the Bobbi Brown Gel Liner (but the Bobbi Brown one is definitely softer and creamier) and is a fraction of the cost. Would highly recommend trying the Maybelline one first if you're debating whether or not to start using gel liner. I happen to love the look that gel liners give but I hate that I can't use it to tight line. 





6. Mascara
So I think it was this last year when Sephora was giving away the Benefit They're Real mascara for their birthday gift and I was pretty obsessed with that for awhile. The only problem with that one is it tends to clump with itself and it gives that "spider" look. I was looking for something less intense that I could use for everyday. That's when I came across Maybelline's The Rocket Volum' Express. I remember when I first found out about Estee from Essiebutton, she talked about this mascara in one of her favorites videos. She was saying how when she tried it out it was just ok and that she didn't really like it and then when she stopped using it and tried other mascaras she kept going back to this one. It's true though. I kinda went through the same process. The Rocket Volum' Express mascara is like a toned down version of the Benefit They're Real. Both formulations are very watery. Give it a chance to dry before you judge it.



7. Lips
I'm not a huge fan of lipsticks. They always have this weird scent to them and my lips are very dry and they always look very chalky on me. So my lip recommendations will be mostly items that are extremely moisturizing. First off, I stick to more neutral colors so I feel weird recommending anything different. However, if you are more adventurous and want to venture out of the neutral shades, I would highly recommend the formulation of the Revlon Lip Butters. Great color payoff as well as a super moisturizing formula. I pretty much own every color and the only reason I haven't purchased any more is because whenever I'm at the drugstore, I purchase one and then come home to find that I already have it! #beautyhoardersproblem. Next up, NYX Butter Glosses. I really love the formulation and they all have different scents so if you end up hating one, you might be interested in another color/scent. My favorite is probably Creme Brulee. A great neutral for everyday. A recent a favorite of mine has been the Maybelline Colorsensational "The Elixer" Glosses in 055 Glistening Amber. I have about 4 different shades and the formulation is extremely moisturizing. I use this everyday. I have the dark purple shade and it actually doesn't look too crazy on me. The staying power of these is about 4-5 hrs so you will need to reapply, especially if you are using the darker shades






8. Brushes
These 3 brushes are basically all I use daily. To apply my foundation/BB creams, I use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. If you want to spend a little more on one thing, invest in the Real Techniques brushes. They are the softest brushes and they've lasted a long time. Find these brushes at Walmart or Ulta and don't forget those Ulta coupons! Another Real Techniques brush that I use daily is the Multi Task Brush. I use this brush for applying my setting powder. The last brush I'll mention the e.l.f Blush Brush. This blush is great for, you guessed it, apply blush. Applies the blush right to the cheeks and blends it nicely into your contour. 




Cost:
  1. Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream - $10.99 
  2. Maybelline Dream Pure BB - $5.09
  3. Rimmel Stay Matte - $3.99
  4. NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer - $2.99
  5. Milani Baked Blush - $7.99
  6. Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Liner - $9.99
  7. Milani Liquid Eye Liner Pencil - $6.99
  8. Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express - $7.49
  9. Revlon Lip Butters - $8.49
  10. NYX Butter Glosses - $4.99
  11. Maybelline Color Sensational Elixer - $8.99
  12. Real Techniques Buffing Brush - $8.79
  13. Real Techniques Travel Essentials Set - $14.79 (I'm not sure if you can purchase the Multi Task Brush outside of this set :/
  14. e.l.f. Blush Brush - $3.04



Thanks for reading and if you have any drugstore recommendations, please leave them below! 
I'm always looking to try more drugstore products!



Saturday, July 19, 2014

SEATTLE: OUR 4-5 DAY GUIDE - PART V


After eating at The Walrus and the Carpenter we took an Uber back to our hotel. We rested up and then decided to walk to Capitol Hill. Canon was one of the places I had wanted to visit since it's the "whiskey & bitters emporium". I wasn't overly impressed with the drinks or the food. The bone marrow was sooooo salty. It tasted like someone accidentally spilled a crap load of salt on it. The pork buns were ok. It was no baohaus. The drinks were also nothing special. After that we took an Uber back to our hotel.










Started off our last full day in Seattle with the Underground Tour. We used the Link Train? to get to Pioneer Square. We didn't go to the "adults" version and I'm not sure if that version would have been better but this Underground Tour was a bit tame and we did get a bit bored. Plus, I feel like it was extra crowded because it was Memorial Day and they tried to cram way too many people into one tour.


looking up from the "underground" . you can hear people walking on the streets


After the tour we traveled back to Pike Place Market to Piroshky Piroshky for some more yummy goodness.







After that we headed back to the train to go watch a baseball game at Safeco Field. This was super impromptu but we figured since the weather was nice, it was a perfect opportunity to enjoy it.






After the game we headed back to Pike Place Market and I picked up some macarons. We decided to have dinner at The Pink Door (again) just because it was amazeballs the first time and then headed back to the hotel to pack up our things.





Took a Lyft to the airport early in the morning. Didn't get to try Beecher's World Famous Mac 'n Cheese yet so we stopped at their shop at the airport. It does have quite the kick to it but still looking for something better :/.






Sad to leave Seattle and end our vacation :(.






Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed our Seattle vacay!




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