Category Archives: beauty

knot it! again!

i’ve discovered another way to perfect the voluminous topknot that has been so prevalent recently. for those who fear the side effects of the teasing, or find themselves in need of a quick style change with no tools, you may prefer this method to the perfectly rounded bun method posted previously by E. i can attest that her styling tips work wonders, and create a bun with great staying power, but my hair never holds a tease (maybe because i back-comb half-heartedly, but the process makes me fear for the life of my hair), so when I saw this tip at work this morning, i jumped out of my chair and ran to the closest mirror to test it out.

separate your ponytail into two sections and tie two loose knots (or more if you have longer hair!)

wrap your hair around the base as you would a normal bun and tuck the ends under your elastic, or pin them down. ignore the weird loose ends they left hanging out. no one likes loose ends...

with the bone-chilling temps, i needed a hairstyle that would allow max scarf coverage, aka no hair allowed below the ears. my ballerina bun has begun to sag but was instantly revived with some knotting! as weird as it sounds (especially from someone who just confessed her fears of the consequences of teasing), tying the two sides of my ponytail in knots gave my bun great volume and an interesting braided texture. tucking the bun ends into the elastic holding my ponytail, it required nothing else to hold it up. pins would have done well too, maybe better, but desperate times call for sacrifice…

moral of the story: when in need of an easy, instant updo, start knotting!


outfit envy

there is nothing more inspirational to get your creative juices flowing than looking at and/or creating dream outfits. whether over the top or plain practical, the exercise is just so simply fun and invigorating. the process of seeing the puzzle pieces that are different elements of the outfit slowly but surely fit together to form a cohesive piece of art makes me smile. here are some outfits that i’m completely envious of.

oh, and if you cannot tell, i’m definitely one of those “neutral palette” oriented friends t talks about below. guilty as charged. clicking the individual photos after each collage will give you product information!

The new natural

Inspiration: Monika Jagaciak

my heart is locked...


Having A Dream

5 things

i have a lot of little quirks in the way that i get dressed or made up that my friends always comment on, but they come so naturally to me that i forget that they’re weird. some are newly acquired and others are deeply engrained, either stemming from necessity or idiosyncrasy. here are a few things that, i guess, “define me”…

1. i wear A LOT of color. a friend once saw a bit of me in the background of a picture, no face visible at all, and said “is that T? that combo is so something she would wear.” maybe i just surround myself with people who prefer neutrals, but i always have the brightest attire of my posse. life just feels so much more festive in color!

= FUN!

2. i layer like nobody’s business. this one definitely originally came about as a necessity, but turned fun quickly. i get cold really easily, so even in the bay’s kind of chilly, but constant, temps i keep several layers on at all times. on a more extreme level, i perfected my layering skills during a winter trip around eastern europe (yes, i am insane). i think the record stands at: two layers of long underwear, long sleeved tee, two sweaters of some wool/cashmere variety, a thin puffer jacket, a wool coat, a calf length trench and two scarves. check out this pick for proof.

yes, i do work part time as a sumo wrestler. or a stand-in for the michelin man. PS that's the berliner dom in the background.

but on a more casual, and normally-temperatured, day, i usually keep the numbers down (if i wore 10 layers every day i would not only die of heat exhaustion but quickly run out of clothes to wear!). today i layered this red tee with a white sweater, then a brown one, then a black jacket. i love the way that the sleeves peek out from one another, plus this is a handy way to keep your forearms warm while wearing those crop-sleeved jackets.

1, 2, 3, 4, and bracelets! sorry for shitty photo quality. a girl can only do so much on a bus.

NOTE: this is another way for me to sneak more color into my wardrobe AND make use of my larger than life collection of cardigans. a girl really shouldn’t own as many as i do, but I “share them with my sister,” so the number’s really halved, right?

3. i almost always have a small barrette in my bag to clip back my too long “long layers” that are constantly falling in my face. and when i don’t have one i am tucking hair behind my ear often enough to be cursing my forgetfulness within 5 minutes of discovering the terrible situation i have gotten myself into.

my favorite is cobalt (SURPRISE!) but in a pinch i go for tortoise shell

what? get a different haircut you say? either i have yet to find the perfect cut (short, medium, long, sideswept, straight, i’ve tried it all with the same results), or i am too easily angered by hair in my eye, but so much trial and error has led me to the zen of the barrette, and i’ve been here for a while with minimal issue (unless i’m unprepared, then who knows what wrath will erupt). But i am open to suggestion if anyone knows of THE cut.

oh clemence, if only my hair stayed tucked

4. i put in a bare minimum of effort when it comes to make-up and cosmetics. if it takes me longer than five minutes total, i’m over it. this resulted in the same smudged eye-liner look at every party during college, leading to remarks of “you always wear eye-liner the same way” from friends i saw at these parties. one being a boy no less; that’s when you know it’s bad. from then on i think i just went with straight mascara. simple. classic. not worthy of being called out if repeated.

now that colored lipstick is all the rage, i have definitely hopped on that bandwagon when i need to dress-up my look (oh hey! another way to add more color! i’m there). glosses or anything too sticky gets annoying so i’ve taken to lip pencils and crayons because they allow you to change up the intensity of the color and they have a staying power that is at least twice that of glosses. currently loving my COLORSCIENCE pencils in bed of roses (slightly darker version of my natural shade for a subtle touch) and red brick road (every girl needs a red lip option), but i don’t know if they are better or worse than any drugstore brand. i got them on sale for $5 and they have a nifty sharpener in the lid which is a win in my book.

5. i have recently gotten very excited about nail color and (cue fact #1) my nails are almost always adorned in a bright shade. present favorite is a cobalt blue, preceded by a light aqua-y green, a forest green, a navy blue and a lavender. i’m thinking my next step will be pistachio?

does anyone else have any style quirks to confess?

currently coveting…

here are 5 things that i saw and knew i had to make/buy/incorporate into my life:
1. neon-lined lace. how cute is this dress on alexa? and on the more attainable side, this skirt DIY? she suggests sewing a new, bright lining into your skirt, but i just say, cut the old lining out and use the lace overlay to breathe new life into those body-con skirts you no longer feel comfortable wearing alone. then you can switch up the color as often as you like!
2.  valentine crafts that can be repurposed for later. how cute would these candles be as stars (or anything really) at any time of the year?

3. easy hair accessories that make it look like you put in more effort than you did. you could just carry this around in your purse, throw it on in a pinch and … boom, glamour. +20 points .

4. delicious, simple recipes, like baked grapefruit, to make seasonal bumper crops less monotonous. an anonymous neighbor left a HUGE bag of grapefruits at our front door, and as much as i loved them the first 10 times, i am excited to change it up. plus, i find it hard sometimes to eat cold foods when it’s cold outside, so bonus that these are warm.

5. i love the idea of a tasseled keychain. i still have my college’s pendant hanging off of my keys, but it may be time to let go. i’ll start the transition with the tasseled ones shown here.

skin deep

i had a teeth cleaning appointment today, which i have to say is one of my least favorite activities. the sounds of the metal tools rubbing against my teeth – is there anything worse? it gives me a shiver down my spine just writing it! beyond that sweet song is the sweetness that is the dentist asking you questions while inserting instruments in your mouth. really? yes, thank you for asking me about my exciting life so i can not only feel badly about myself, but also choke as i serenade you with stories. (really, my dentist is the sweetest woman ever … but still!)

anyways, i clearly excel at tangents. the exciting part of my visit was that my dentist told me, after she removed her magnifying lenses, that my skin looked “fabulous” under the bright lights. i flashed my newly glistening pearly whites, did a victory lap, and dutifully answered her questions about what products i use on my skin.

i’ve always been obsessed with skin for a variety of reasons including but not limited to a. i had terrible skin during various parts of my “awkward” years (yes, i’m deeming them over). b. i have an extreme compulsion to pop anything resembling a pimple and c. i have extremely fair skin that burns and blotches easily. with that winning recipe for success, i’ve long made it my mission to have clear, radiant skin that will *fingers crossed* preserves itself as i age.

i will fully admit i am no skincare pro, but i am determined to have the skin i want without breaking the bank. you also run into the gamut of skin types (dry, oil, combination) but i’m the first to admit my skin changes with the weather, my stress level, and my daily routine. speaking of my routine, beyond my copious amounts of water (sometimes translated to Snapple and Diet Hansen’s root beer), here it goes:

i used to splurge on scrubs, but i’ve discovered the key for me is what you put on after you wash your face. i’m not advocating using a bar of soap, but by my standards some drug store face scrubs will do just as good of a job as the expensive brands. my favorites thus far:

Olay                                                Aveeno


where i do invest is in moisturizers because the way i see it, they are the fun stuff your skin absorbs after you clean it. my ultimate favorite brand of moisturizers is Epicuren. Epicuren is a company that uses enzyme technology developed originally to treat burn victims. seeing the results on traumatized skin, the scientists took their enzyme formula to develop the desired texture, smoothness, and radiance of healthy, non-traumatized skin. i would highly recommend any of their products, but my all-time go to moisturizer for every day is their facial emulsion enzyme moisturizer.

Epicuren                 (side-note: my other favorite product of theirs)


so on top of my nicely washed and moisturized skin, i apply my favorite makeup … dun dun dun, cue bare escentuals. i feel like the brand needs no introduction, but perhaps that’s because it’s a bay area brand. if you are already lost, i demand you go research their site. they’re an all-natural makeup company that focuses on finding products that improve your skin as you wear them. my favorite part of their foundation is that it has SPF, which is 110% necessary on my pasty whiteness (i’ve been called Casper before, true story). having SPF mixed into your foundation also means you don’t have to invest in a separate facial sunscreen or worry about oily product build up. in short, i dare everyone to try their starter kit.

get started kit                                         foundation


so there you have it! as easy as 1-2-3, right? i can get ready in the morning in under 5 mins now that i’ve found my go-to products and routine that i know will keep my skin glowing all the way from sunrise to my dreaded dentist appointment. hopefully this novel of a post was informational or at least inspirational. i, myself, am now inspired to do a post about my favorite drug store makeup finds … stay tuned, friends!

knot your average bun

my good friend’s mom told her awhile back she should tone down her go to hairstyle of a high, messy bun because it wasn’t very becoming or feminine. little did she know how the high, top-knot bun would make a resurgence for high fashion and the everyday alike! there cannot be something all wrong with an easy, go-to hairstyle that elongates the face, excentuates good bone structure, and adds some whimsy and personality to any look (when done right, of course!).

the bun has a history of being labeled as a “ballet” or “ballerina” bun … but don’t be so quick to put the bun in a box. like all things in life, buns can come in all shapes and sizes.

so what’s the issue with these little gems, you ask? from my humble bun experience(s), my qualms have to do with not being able to execute the flawless height to size ratio. and with all things in life … size does matter. i admit i have a rather large head, but don’t you worry, i also balance that baby out with some thick, long hair. so, i postulate, i should be able to achieve that perfectly perky bun, too. easier said than done.

the recipe for bun perfection seems to be a. hair going on day #2 (shh, you know it happens to the best of us) and b. a mean tease, i.e. backcomb. here is a video that helped me finally achieve the look i wanted:

inspirational pictures:




word to the wise: beware of your stray hairs

             thumbs down                                  thumbs up


i have a feeling we will be seeing much more of this trend as the warmer months come our way — the top knot is the perfect go to style for staying cool, in all meanings of the word. time to start practicing!