12.05.2014

Winter Beauty Favorites


These past few months, I have been adding a few more products to my makeup routine. Below are some of the things that I use to keep my skin tone even and radiant.



NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
This is the newest foundation in my possession. I bought this because I fell in love the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and thought the foundation would be amazing as well. On it's own, it does give my skin a a very natural look and has buildable coverage. When I combine it with the NARS concealer it's gives an even greater finish and hides all of my dark spots and blemishes.

LORAC TANtalizer Baked Bronzer 
This bronzer is absolutely perfect. Since the beginning of October, my skin has paled so much. I apply the bronzer with the attached brush on my cheek bones, forehead, and lower jawline and it instantly gives my skin the best glow. Also, I recommend getting the travel size which is only $7 on LORAC's website if you don't want to splurge on the full-size product.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
This is by far the best primer I have tried. It's so moisturizing unlike of the other primers I have tried and helps my makeup blend well and last longer. Also, if does help fade dark spots which is a nice bonus.

I love Revlon's lipsticks so much. For the last few months I have been wearing the shades "Mink" (pictured above), Spicy Cinnamon, Rum Raisin, and Black Cherry. They are very moisturizing and have a good creamy texture similar to Make Up For Ever's formula. Also, I usually line my lips with NYX lip pencils.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade
Lately, my eyebrows have been growing out of control. The only thing that really controls them besides tweezers is this pomade. I always outline by brows with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and fill them in with the pomade for a more defined shape.

P.S. I would love to know your favorite beauty products so feel free to tell me in the comments <3

*Photo in background from is from www.rgbstock.com

11.19.2014

Current Obsession: Diana Ross


So I tried to shoot an outfit post today but that was a total fail lol. Instead, I wanted to show you guys who I have been obsessing over for the last few months. Diana Ross' style in the 60s,70s, and 80s was beyond mesmerizing. Diana really embodies that diva aesthetic with her confidence and clever use of sequins and fur. Also, Diana Ross stars in one of my favorite films, Mahogany (1975), so you should definitely check that out. Below, I have placed plenty of my favorite pictures of her. In the comments, I would love to know what you think about Diana's style and what is inspiring you at the moment :)






Photos are found on dianaross.tumblr.com

11.01.2014

My Skincare Routine



All of my life I've had very dry skin. I don't have acne-prone skin but I will experience my fair share of pimples here and there. Also, I do have dark circles under my eyes and random dark spots on my cheeks. The products below are some of the things that I use on my face on a daily basis to help correct these problems. 


Every morning, I wash my face with Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Wash and it has helped minimize my breakouts.The salicylic acid in this wash  is the key ingredient to help target my stubborn acne. Every other night, I switch it up and wash my face with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. This cleanser is perfect for sensitive skin and is great for removing those last traces of make-up when wipes aren't enough.

Once or twice a week, I will use Freeman Facial Clay Mask and St.Ives Oatmeal Facial Scrub. Each of these products does an excellent job at clearing my pores and refreshing my skin. The St. Ives scrub is a great exfoilater while the Freeman mask is a great detoxifier. 

Every time I cleanse my face, I tone my face with Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner. The toner helps fade my dark spots and prepares my face for my moisturizer. To moisturize my face, I use Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. This lotion absorbs very quickly and does hydrate my dry skin.

If you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments :)

9.28.2014

Artist Spotlight: Marceau Willis



This is the first installment of my Artist Spotlight series. The purpose behind this post and future posts is to showcase more local and international artists who are passionate about their work and represent something much bigger than themselves. Today, I am featuring Marceau Willis. Above and below are pictures from her newest photo series. In italicized font, I have placed Marceau's words. Read below to learn more about her and her photography. 

Model: Maryam Hampton
MUA + Jewelry Stylist: Paulina Noble

"I'm a 26 year old female aspiring photographer shooting in Northwest Indiana and Chicago area. I've always been mesmerized by photography since I was a child.  I used to take pictures of my friends and family all the time. I guess I enjoyed being able to look back and relive the moments forever.  I studied Media Communications at Purdue University Calumet which was the closest major that was relevant to photography since my school didn't offer a specific program in that field. 
I'm currently developing a project titled, "The Red Lip Series" which will represent a diverse group of women in different shades and textures of red lipstick.  RED is a powerful color and to me it represents independence and a sense of boldness. I feel that each woman has a story and is unique in her own way, so being able to express this through lipstick is a fun way to show diversity.  Also, working and interacting with these women was definitely a positive experience.  I was able to see their individual talents come full force, and it's nice when people support you and want to participate in something you're creating".

Marceau Willis
Follow her on Tumblr and Instagram :)

9.01.2014

Three Books That Will Inspire You










 This summer I had a lot of time to reflect and think about a lot of things. I was feeling a little uninspired to do much of anything at the beginning of my summer vacation last May. This is why I choose to read a few books that would help uplift my spirit and motivate me. I listed three of them below and would love to know your thoughts about any of them if you've read them. Also,if you have any other reading suggestions let me know :)

Be The Miracle: 50 Lessons for Making the Impossible Possible 

This book is written by Regina Brett. I loved reading this book because Brett shared so many inspiring stories from individuals who found simple ways to make a big difference in themselves and in their community. All of those lessons taught me to jump outside of my comfort zone and give help to those who need it. Also, I learned how to focus on strengthening my inner peace and reducing my own anxiety by not letting others or myself influence me in negative ways. 


This book is written by Austin Kleon. The book is such an easy read with great visuals and gives valuable advice on how to put yourself and your work out there for the world to see. Kleon gives great tips on how to network effectively with people on the internet and IRL. I learned that there is really a great payoff to being dedicated to your craft and sharing your experiences with others. Also, I learned that all artists have high points and low points on our journey to success. The most important message in this book is to be patient with the process of creating  great work and knowing  that great things and people will eventually come to you because of it.

#GIRLBOSS

This book is written by Sophia Amoruso. Amoruso aka the CEO of Nasty Gal gives great advice to young professionals especially women about how to empower themselves and how to succeed in life and in business. She mainly wrote about how unconventional her life was growing up and how hard she worked to get to where she is now.  In addition to that, she lets the readers know some of her greatest mistakes and how she overcame them. I learned that you can't always find your dream job but you can always create one. Also, I learned that life is way too short so you should always go after what you want because that's what a "Girl Boss" is supposed to do.

8.26.2014

No Tomorrow
















While I was shooting these photos, I had no idea that I was standing in the middle of the Cancer Survivors' Garden in my city. The beautiful garden is definitely one of Chicago's hidden gems and is located at 445 East Randolph Street. Several people in my family have been diagnosed with cancer in the past few years so being at a place like this at random was comforting yet eerie for me. The huge packs of birds flying back and forth while we were staking these pictures stirred those eerie feelings even further. Anyway, this location was more than perfect for an outfit like this with limited color.

If you can't already tell from my past outfit posts, my personal style over the last 6 months has definitely been simplified. A breezy t-shirt,blouse and comfy jeans are my go-to pieces along with practical footwear lately. Claire Marshall,one of my favorite YouTubers, has definitely played a big part in that change. In my opinion,she's one of the few people who can t-shirts and jeans look sophisticated. I admire people like Claire who can make every outfit they're own and that's what I plan on doing from now on.

Photos by Alexandra Castro

Necklace H&M
Watch Urban Outfitters
Waverly Blouse Aritzia
Jeans Zara
Sandals Topshop

*Check out Aritzia's #FallForUs gallery and you might see a familiar face ;)