August Beauty Favorites

This month I have been loving a lot of the same products as I have in July (Hello Flawless Powder by Benefit, Loreal True Match Concealer, Soap&Glory Primer, ABH Dip Brow Pomade, etc.) But I have been trying to experiment with some products I have been hoarding in my makeup drawers and found some gems worth sharing.

Here is my 1000% honest review of some of my most used beauty products this past August.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liquid Eyeliner ($20)  I usually use Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner but recently I have been reaching for this one by KVD because it is so easy to apply. I have very shaky hands so achieving the perfect wing is no easy task for me but this liquid liner makes it so much easier and stays in tact all day. The only thing is that once it dries, it is almost impossible to get rid of, so be careful to fix your mistakes while it’s still wet.

Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara ($27.50) This mascara is on the pricy side but is amazing for every day even without eyeliner. The formula makes your lashes super long and voluminous. While it’s not my favorite mascara in the world (Better Than Sex by Too Faced), it is definitely in my top 3. I have been wearing it during the day without eyeliner with a very natural glowy skin look.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Eyebrow Gel ($22) This gel keeps my brows in tact all day even in the heat. I usually start with Anastasia’s Dip Brow Pomade and then go over my brows with the gel. If I’m feeling really lazy though I will just reach for the gel for an easy way to tame your brows during the daytime.

Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder ($35) I have been especially into the “baking” this summer. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the fad, baking is when you apply concealer and then a thick layer of translucent powder and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. The translucent powder traps the heat that naturally emanates from your skin and locks your concealer in place for hours. Baking is great for the Summer because it prevents your makeup from melting away in the heat and keeps it all in tact. This powder works especially well to achieve the perfect baked face.

Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment ($22) This mask is amazing. The formula not only exfoliates your skin for a deep clean, but also smooths it. After a long day of sweating in the 95 degree weather and wearing makeup, this mask works to flush away all of the impurities and deep cleans for a brighter complexion.

How To Get Over Your Ex And Enjoy The Single Life

We’ve all been there. We’ve all found ourselves sitting beside an empty pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a mountain of used tissues absolutely sure that you will never feel whole again.

Well I am here to tell you that you are going to be okay. Hell, amazing. I can guarantee you that if you come out of a relationship with the right outlook, you will emerge not only a stronger, more independent person, but also a happier person with a better sense of who you are.

Often times we believe that if we roll up our sleeves and put in some hard work, our relationships can be fixed. This, however, is rarely the case. Break ups happen because a relationship is broken and some things just cannot be fixed.

It’s time to relieve yourself from the insufferable pain of letting the one you loved go. It’s time to relieve yourself from the unrelenting hope that it will work out some day. It’s time to reclaim our independence. Here’s how:

Get your shit back immediately. Don’t drag it out. Find every single gross ass pair of boxers they left in your apartment and give them back. Get back your favorite necklace you left there last time you slept over. Get it all back and do a huge load of laundry.

Don’t jump into a new relationship. I have struggled for this one for years. While it may seem comforting to have a new person to focus all of your attention on, all you are doing is postponing the heartbreak. If you do not give yourself time to cry it out and feel the heavy emotions of your break up, you will never truly move on from your ex. You will hold on to the love and the hate you feel for them forever. You will move backwards instead of forward.

Block their facebook page from your browser. Download the extension blocksite (available on all browsers). There is absolutely no reason for you to waste your time over-analyzing the picture he was tagged in with some girl you’ve never seen before and stalking her, too. You are SO much better than that.

Delete their number. No drunk dials allowed. Not speaking to them sends a signal that you are moving on with your amazing life and no longer need him in it. While you’re at it, delete them from snapchat. I’m sorry but who gives a shit if he got a burrito bowl today and then went out with his friends for beers? Not an independent person moving on with their life, that’s for sure.

Sell any presents they gave you. This one’s my favorite. Honestly, why hold on to old presents that remind you of your ex when you can just use the money you make off of the earrings (that you pretended to like) to buy yourself something you actually like?

Buy new underwear and PJ’s. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a relationship all I sleep in is their clothes. Treat yourself to some cozy PJ shorts to netflix in and lacy bras that they will never have the pleasure of seeing you in.

Purchase Melatonin. If you’re having a hard time sleeping without your ex you’re not alone. This can be one of the hardest things to adjust to. Spend your nights drinking wine and watching movies with your roommates. Then pop a melatonin to help you pass out the second your head hits the pillow.

Stay Busy. Channel all of your energy into something new. Reinvent yourself. Take up running or start a youtube channel. Get a group of friends together and go out for a boozy brunch. The more you spend your time doing things you love and taking care of yourself, the less time you are spending wallowing in your sadness.

Learn. Your boyfriend cheated on you? Do not date a cheater again. Your boyfriend was a binge drinker? Don’t even think about dating one again. The only way to move forward is by learning from your mistakes.

Regardless of where you are in getting over your break up, know that this is a pivotal moment in your life. Ahead of you lies new opportunities, jobs, cities, experiences, music, men, women, etc. You have nothing and no one holding you back anymore. Know that this is a new beginning for you and there are so many amazing things on the horizon.

As always, if you ever need a pep talk or someone to rant to, feel free to shoot me an email at shiran@beautyandbrunch.com. And feel free to comment below and let me know how you survived your break up!

photo credit: cover

Casual Summer Day Outfit

I could live in boyfriend jeans. They are like the socially acceptable equivalent of sweatpants. After hunting for the perfect pair for months, I found one that is not only comfy as hell, but also doesn’t break the bank (your girls poor af).

In light of my obsession with bf jeans, I decided to put together a post on my favorite way to wear them, along with links to some of my other favorite summer pieces. Plus, this outfit is so simple, you’ll be able to throw it on and be happy hour ready faster than you can order a marg.

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1.Contemporary V-Cut Cami $14.90 at Forever 21

2. “Out From Under” Lace Bralette $20 at Urban Outfitters

3. Ray Ban “High Street” Sunglasses $150 at Nordstrom

summer outfit 7

4. Articles of Society “Janis” Boyfriend Jeans $68 at Nordstrom

5. Marnie Distressed Tote $44 at Francescas

6. Penny Leather Slingback Sandal $24.99 at Urban Outfitters

Let me know in the comments what your favorite summer pieces are!

Kale 101: Tips and Tricks For Making A Great Kale Salad

I have a love/hate relationship with kale. When it’s good, I feel like a freaking trendy vegan who spends all day doing sun salutations. When it’s bad, I want to head to CVS and buy a frozen pizza instead.

High in fiber, antioxidants, iron and with zero fat, kale is trendy for a reason. But unless you enjoy the chewy and bitter natural flavor/texture of kale, you have to take some steps to prepare it. Here are some ways to make kale more palatable:

  1. Remove the stems: Regardless of the variety of kale you use, the stems are too tough and chewy to include in a salad. Cut them off before chopping the leaves. My favorite way to use the stems is by blending them up with frozen fruit to make an unreal green smoothie.
  2. Add Sea Salt: The bitterness of kale can easily overpower a simple salad. By adding sea salt, you help cut the bitter flavor.
  3. Massage the kale: I know, sounds ridiculous. But by massaging and squeezing the leaves repeatedly until the leaves are dark green, you will make the leaves less rough and the salad more delicious.
  4. Choose a strong enough dressing: Kale has a strong flavor and needs an equally strong dressing to counteract its bitterness. Try my favorite lemon vinaigrette below and top it off with some sliced almonds, shredded carrots, and dried cranberries.

Simple Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

This dressing is amazing and simple. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them with either a hand blender or a whisk.

  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Comment below and let me know what some of your favorite kale recipes are!

 

How To Get Motivated When You’re In A Rut

I have fallen into a mid-summer rut. My vacation-deprived self has spent her time indoors avoiding the humid, sticky, 100 degree DC summer.

Sure, it’s sunny and there are so many things to do but the slow paced, lazy nature of August is going to make me have a full on conniption. I am someone who needs to stay busy and nothing has been quenching my thirst.

Good news is that I have put together a list of things to do to help you (and me) get motivated and moving even though the days are so long and so slow.

Get Inspired

This is a crucial first step. Head over to your favorite bookstore and pick up some inspiring books be it self help, lifestyle, cookbooks, art books, etc. I highly recommend “How To Be A Person In the World” by Heather Havrilesky (from Ask Polly), “Wellth: How I Learned To Build A Life Not A Resume” by Jason Wachob (from MindBodyGreen), and “You Are A Badass”  by NY Times best selling author, Jen Sincero. These books will change the way you look at health, relationships, and self care and will motivate you to make some positive changes in your life.

Not big on reading? Get into podcasts and youtube. The internet is filled with amazing resources that will fill you with ideas and inspire you to get moving. Kalyn Nicholson has some amazing videos filled with lifestyle advice and DIYs. NastyGal founder Sophia Amoruso also has an amazing podcast, #girlboss, where she interviews Girlbosses who run shit in creative, cultural, and business ventures and comes up with some solid advice from the lessons they have learned along the way.

Invest In Your Surroundings

I am a firm believer that your surroundings dictate your mood. Take a trip to HomeGoods or Marshalls and treat yourself to a fresh new beadspread and some sassy throw pillows. Fill the room you spend the most time in with candles, cozy blankets, and inspiring wall prints. Make a vision board that reflects your goals for the year and will inspire you to work toward them every day. Set aside 5 minutes every day to tidy up your living space and make your bed. While you’re at it, reorganize your closet and assemble a donation bag full of clothes you no longer wear. Declutter your life.

Get Moving

Even if you’re just getting some work done at Starbucks, leaving the house and surrounding yourself with people will make you feel more energized and productive. You should also make some brunch plans with your girls and to give yourself something to look forward to.

Try Out Journaling

Sometimes getting your thoughts out on paper is all you need to make sense of how you are feeling and what’s bothering you in life. If you dont know where to start, I highly recommend The Five Minute Journal by Youtubers Mimi and Alex Ikonn.

Treat Yourself

Be it a mani/pedi, SoulCycle class, or some summer sandals you have had your eye on, treat yourself. It is so important, especially when you’re not feeling so great, to take care of yourself and do things that will make you look and feel good.

Get Into Serious Baths

Go to LUSH and invest in some bathbombs (try out this invigorating avacado lemongrass bathbomb). Pour yourself a glass of chardonnay and grab your favorite book and some candles and cozy up for some well-deserved “me time.”

Look Your Best

You never know when you’re gonna run into your ex boyfriend, right? Even if you’re just running to the grocery store, throw on a romper (it’s easier than picking an outfit and comfier) and some concealer to hide those dark circles. Invest in an eyelash curler to instantly brighten your face and look awake. When you look good, you feel good and exude confidence.

Comment below and let me know some of your favorite ways to stay motivated and get moving through the long summer months! Happy August!

photo credit: cover

The Perfect Summer Mojito

Ditch your weekend gin & tonic for this fresh low calorie, low sugar cocktail instead.

You’ll need:

  • 1.5 ounces of white rum (or if you’re feelin fancy… Svedka Cucumber Lime Vodka)
  • 1 fresh lime, cut into wedges
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 packet of Stevia or Truvia
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • Soda water

Directions:

  1. Combine lime wedges, fresh mint, and Stevia/Truvia in the bottom of a cocktail glass. Use the bottom of a wooden spoon to crush the mint, lime, and sweetener together.
  2.  Pour in the rum/vodka and ice and stir.
  3. Top off the glass with soda water.
  4. Garnish with an extra slice of lime or sprig of mint

 

July Beauty Favorites

It has been 100 degrees in DC and I have just about had enough. Here are some of my favorites that can take the heat.

1 Soap and Glory “One Heck of a Blot” Primer: seriously this primer rocks and this is coming from a girl who loves primer. On the bottle it says made with”12 hour shine bloc” and “pore shrinking” technology. All I know is that walking to the metro in 800 degrees my makeup is still in tact and matte. I can’t complain. As for pores, eh, not as great as Benefit’s Porefessional.

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in “Dusty Rose:” my favorite brand of liquid lipsticks and such a wearable summery color. Wear it all day it seriously won’t budge.

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in “Exposed:” This is an amazing nude blush that is so natural looking. I always use it for a “no makeup” makeup look because this blush makes it look like you have been laying out in the sun all afternoon.

4. Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara: Best mascara on the planet. Worth every cent. Always a favorite. This summer I have been wearing it out with no eye liner and it still looks amazing.

5. Tory Burch Perfume Rollerball: I bring this shit everywhere and people are constantly asking me about it. It smells so citrus-y and summer-y and it’s only $29.

6. Loreal True Match Concealer: Don’t get me wrong – Mac Pro Longwear is my favorite concealer, but the pump makes it take so long to put on so recently I have been avoiding it. This one is a great drugstore dupe for Urban Decay Naked Skin. The applicator is amazing and makes life so much easier and has pretty great coverage. I hate spending a lot of time on makeup in the summer so this one has been my go to.

7. Anasrasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade: So I ran out of my brow wiz so I have begun using the Dipbrow again and I have fallen back in love. While it has a rep for making fierce bold brows, you can also easily put together a natural every day look.

Let me know in the comment section below what beauty products you can’t get enough of this summer!

I’ve Been Hoarding Liquid Lipsticks So You Don’t Have To

Liquid lipsticks are probably the best thing that has ever happened in the world of makeup. You can spend the day outside in 100 degree weather, eat the messiest of cheeseburgers, then make out with a gorgeous guy, and still have some solid color going? I’m sold.

With literally every brand coming out with their own versions of this beauty fad, how can you be sure which is best?

Don’t worry kittens. I have spent way too much of my free time trying out some of the most popular lippies so you don’t have to. I broke down the pro’s and con’s of each including price, staying power, color selection, and ease of application.


From left to right: Colourpop Cosmetics Ultra Matte Lip in “Teeny Tiny,” Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in “Lolita,” Bare Minerals Gen Nude Matte Lipcolor in “Juju,” Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in “Soft Lilac,” Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick in “Beso.”

1. Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip

Pros: by far the best staying power, price ($6 dude), color selection (35 to choose from)

Cons: super drying (you gotta hella exfoliate your lips beforehand and lather on the Burts Bees)

2. Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick

Pros: the color lolita (it has a cult following for a reason), easy application, staying power, large color selection (29 shades)

Cons: love the color selection but many are too edgy for daytime (sorry KVD), price ($20)

3. Bare Minerals Gen Nude Lipcolor

Pros: color selection is huge (19 shades) and they are all so wearable, easy application

Cons: staying power (honestly disappointing, smears easily while others could last a and yes I’m lookin at you Colourpop), price ($18)

4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

Pros: staying power, super pigmented, huge color selection (21 shades), really easy to apply

Cons: price ($27)

5. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

Pros: color selection…that’s about it

Cons: super liquidy and harder to apply, staying power isn’t horrible but not as great as others on the list, price ($24)

Here’s my definitive ranking:

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills

2. Colourpop

3. Kat Von D

4. Bare Minerals

5. Stila

Honestly I would repurchase all of them except Stila. I know I missed a ton of brands (NYX, Ofra, Limecrime, etc.) sorry, your girl will waste her paycheck on makeup but that paycheck can’t buy all of them.

Comment below your favorite brands/colors because I am genuinely interested! Happy Monday 😉

Choosing Chia: Benefits and Ways to Use this Trendy Superfood

You’ve heard of it, hell, you might have even thought about buying it while passing through the super expensive health food aisle of Whole Foods, but how much do you really know about one of nature’s trendiest superfoods and why and how should you incorporate it into your diet?

Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language. These nutrient dense seeds were originally grown in Mexico, where Aztec warriors would eat them for energy and endurance.

Each spoonful is packed with 42% RDV fiber, 9% RDV protein, 18% RDV calcium, and over 6000 mg of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

The benefits of chia seeds are immeasurable. Studies have shown that the antioxidant rich nature of chia seeds can prevent premature skin aging. Chia seeds also promote heart and digestive health while also working to boost your metabolism, help you lose weight, and give you energy.

Here’s some of my favorite ways to use chia seeds:

  1. Blueberry Vanilla Chia Pudding

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  • mix 1/4 cup chia seeds with 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and 1/4 cup mashed blueberries
  • allow to sit in the fridge overnight for about 4 hours or overnight
  • optional: top with fresh fruit, granola, coconut, chocolate chips, anything!

2. Berry Chia Smoothie

  • blend 1/3 cup any berries fresh or frozen (my favorite combo has pomegranate seeds in it) with 1/3 cup of greek yogurt, 1/2 banana, and 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • that is literally it

3. Honey Almond Chia Granola

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  • Preheat oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Mix together 2 cups of rolled oats, 3/4 cup sliced almonds, 1/2 cup chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • In a separate bowl, mix 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1 tbs coconut sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and two tbs egg whites.
  • Mix together wet and dry ingredients and spread the mixture flat on to a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stir, then cook for an additional 15 minutes until the granola is golden brown.

Comment below and let me know some of your favorite ways to use chia seeds!

photo credit: cover 1 2 3

Eight Things Every 20 Something Needs to be Reminded of Every Once In a While

  1. Acceptance of yourself is more important than acceptance from others
  2. Getting no message is also a message
  3. Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong
  4. Be known as someone who is full of love and radiates light
  5. You probably have someone else’s goal physique; be nice to your body
  6. Dont say maybe if you want to say no
  7. Be with someone who makes your mondays feel like fridays
  8. Try to love yourself as much as you want someone else to

photo credit: cover