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Fall nails: Essie Style Cartel

September 8th, 2014 · Beauty

This weekend brought with it crisp air and a trip to Ulta, where I picked up one of Essie’s new shades for fall: Style Cartel. I admit to owning a lot of blue nail polish, but nothing quite like this bright navy. Essie describes this shade as an “inky cobalt blue”, which is spot on.

I love how rich and deep this shade is, yet you can definitely tell it’s still blue. I’ve found that not to be the case with certain dark polishes… sometimes they all start to look alike.

It’s important to note that the sun brightens up Style Cartel a ton– in most settings, the color does look much darker. The formula is incredible on this one. Super saturated, perfect consistency, opaque in one coat (but for good measure, I like to apply two). So, so good. And that shine!

I also picked up Essie’s Matte About You topcoat (yes, I have needed this forever) and added some fun little polka dots for a ring finger accent. Next time I plan on reversing the effect, with shiny dots on top of a matte nail– I think that would pop a bit better!

This is what I use for all things dots. A toothpick would work nicely too.

Loving this color so much. I feel like it’s going to be a staple!

Would you buy?

xoxo, Emma

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Unboxing: August Birchbox!

August 12th, 2014 · Beauty

My August Birchbox arrived today, and it just might be one of my favorites yet.

So good that I stopped everything to take pictures immediately after tearing into it, despite the crappy about-to-thunderstorm lighting going on right now. Also, major marketing points for the clever box greeting. You guys are too much. And I love it.

Let’s jump into it!

#TEEHEE (New favorite hashtag.)



First up, Perk Up dry shampoo from Amika. I sprayed some on my roots a few moments ago, and I’m already loving it. The smell (let’s be real, crucial element of a dry shampoo) is really nice. Scent can make or break a dry shampoo for me (Herbal Essences, looking at you, #broken). I also like that this doesn’t contain talc. Can’t wait to play with it!


How cute is this bottle?!

Next item: Dr. Jart’s Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm. Dat name doe. Dis-A-Pore!

I’m a big fan of Dr. Jart’s Black Label BB, and have also tried the Water Fuse formula, which is decent. I rubbed a bit on the back of my hand and the texture seems spot on… I will test this out tomorrow and tweet my thoughts. Stay tuned!

The third item in my Birchbox is one that I actually had the opportunity to select in advance. For the second time, Birchbox offered subscribers the chance to select one of a handful of (super) deluxe samples. I had my eye on a cream eye shadow from Laura Geller initially, but ultimately chose this bronzer from Model Co. It has a touch of golden shimmer, and looks like it’ll be perfect for these last few weeks of summer. This sample is HUGE, and will last for a long time. Love that.


I was pleased to see another product from Supergoop! in my box, this time around, their new hand cream fortified with Sea Buckthorn and SPF 40. I’m a stickler for sun care, so this is a very welcome addition to my purse. It feels nice and creamy, and the scent is light– not overly sunscreen-y.


The final item, this month’s ‘beauty extra’, is a soothing face mask from nügg Beauty. I love the packaging of this: the perfect little luxury to use when traveling. Or, in my case, the perfect face mask to end a busy Tuesday on a peaceful note.

That’s a wrap! If you’re interested in Birchbox, look no further… it’s my favorite way to try products for only 10 bucks a month before I buy (and rack up major beauty points in the meantime). Think of it like a present in your mailbox each month.

If you subscribe, what did you get in your box this month? What would you dig into first?

P.S.- Like what’s on my nails? That bright green is Color Club London Calling (scored in a previous Birchbox!) topped with Sephora Formula X in Meteoric on the accent nails.

xoxo, Emma

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Summer Recipe: White Sangria

July 4th, 2014 · Lifestyle

Last weekend, my husband and I were feeling inspired to make a fun, new summer beverage. After happening upon Mirbeau Inn & Spa‘s featured July recipe for White Sangria, there was no turning back… Mirbeau holds a special place in our hearts, as we held our wedding there last August.

And, sangria is the perfect choice for warm summer nights!

The recipe calls for:

  1. 1 cup blueberries
  2. 1 sliced orange (we kept the slices thin + pretty, like pinwheels)
  3. 2 cups strawberries, quartered
  4. 1 bottle sweet white wine
  5. 1 bottle Champagne
  6. 1 cup vodka
  7. Juice of one lemon and one lime (in a pinch, this is optional)

Mix together in a large pitcher (we used this one from Williams Sonoma.) Set your backyard/balcony/poolside playlist. Chill the sangria. Serve over ice. Enjoy!

What are your favorite summer drink recipes? Share with me in the comments.

Cheers to summer!

xoxo, Emma

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