SLIDER

weekend edit

4.29.2016

Stuffed & Fried Olives
I hate olives. They're smell and squishy and all around unpalatable. An olive on a slice of pizza or in a salad makes the entire dish inedible for me.  But when I was in Florence my brother convinced me to try these stuffed and fried olives that he had bought off a street cart and I was befuddled-- how could those little morsels of deliciousness be olives?!

Now I'm determined to remake the magic. I've found a few recipes to try out, including this one from Saveur. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I can find one that's just as scrumptious!

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100 Days of Fonts- 100daysoffonts.com
There are two types of people in this world. Those who know way too much about fonts and those who don't give a fuck about the difference between Verdana and Tahoma. I definitely fall into the first category.

While on the hunt for font inspo for the blog, I stumbled across the 100 days of font site. The author, Do-Hee Kim, designed graphics using various Google fonts for 100 days. And each and every one is visually stunning. If you're looking for some font inspo or just get a thrill from seeing aesthetically appealing font combinations definitely click through.

Blogging Schedule Fail
At the start of the month I told myself that I would be a more organized blogger. I wrote down a set of goals for the month and half heartedly tried to use an editorial calendar. Perhaps a digital calendar would be an improvement?

While my blogging schedule has improved from prior months, I didn't manage to hit the goals I set for myself. The biggest problem I had was with shooting outfits. For every 5 outfits that I get photos for, maybe 2 of them end up on the blog. Mostly because they're taken in a hurry after I nag one of my family members to help me out. While taking my own outfit photos has a much higher success rate, it's also a lot more time consuming (and a lot more awkward.)

Most of the time I end up editing my photos and writing my copy either the night before or the morning of the post. It's too much for me to hope to be one of those people who schedules 2 weeks in advance, but I wish I could manage to schedule them perhaps 2 or 3 days ahead.

If anyone has tips on keeping a schedule for blogging or being a more consistent blogger, please share!

Color Crave
Around the same time every year, I get bit by the boho bug. And the time has come. I want bell sleeved tops, brightly printed dresses, and strappy sandals. I'm tired of wearing all black for months on end (not that I couldn't go for an all black outfit now and then.) I need some color in my life!

The red zara shoes I featured in my previous post is the perfect starting piece for my revived spring wardrobe. Next up I'm thinking of adding some brightly colored dresses (that are also kind to food-babies ;).)

When I want to dip my toes in the warm weather clothing pool, I always reach for a dress because they're the easiest piece to transition for me. While it's a bit chillier, I can easily grab a cardigan or jacket to warm myself up. And when the sun comes out to play, I can ditch the outer layer and slip on some sandals. Easy as pie.





blah blah blah

4.26.2016

I'm in too much of a hurry to properly right a little blurb here today. Instead here are a bunch of disjointed thoughts on this look:

  • These red shoes are my fav... even if they give me blisters.
  • Rolled sleeve t-shirts are my current go to because you can literally wear them with everything.
  • Another day, another black outfit.
Hope you have a great Tuesday!!

overalls: h&m (similar from topshop, asos, free people), t-shirt: asos, sunglasses: illesteva, shoes: zara, lipstick: ysl

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another sale, another haul

4.22.2016

It honestly feels like Sephora's November VIB sale was just last week... when in reality it was a whole whopping 5 months ago. This time around the sale was a mere 15% so I told myself that I would only buy things that I needed/ things I can only buy at Sephora. Somehow I still ended up buying more than I intended to...


Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner
For the past few years I've been a regular user of Urban Decay's 24/7 glide-on eyeliner, not because it was unfalteringly amazing but because the internet said it was unfalteringly amazing. After reading a review that said this Marc Jacobs eyeliner stained someone's contact, I knew this eyeliner meant business.

I haven't worn it as a tightline yet but I have witnessed its long wearing abilities. On a trip to Sephora I swatched this on my hand. I was shocked see it was still there later in the day when I was going into the shower. After I properly wear it for some time I'll probably do a post comparing it to the Urban Decay eyeliner.

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser
After my disappointment with Sunday Riley's cult classics (good genes and luna), I was a bit hesitant to try out any more of their products.

With summer around the corner, I know my skin will be more oily combination as opposed to dry combination. I've already woken up a few mornings with a thin layer of grease on my face (so glam.) This cleanser does a good job at scrubbing off all that overnight gunk. After using it I feel awake and refreshed and like I've got some sort of inner glow thing going on.

The one thing I don't like is that it smells like something in the same vein as incense.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water
Sooo I'm cheating a bit by including this in my Sephora haul because I actually bought this when it was on sale last month at Ulta. But technically I could have bought this at Sephora sooo.

Before I even opened the box I was already comparing this spray to MAC's Fix+. I do think this spray works as a nice primer. It definitely made my makeup wear longer than if I weren't wearing it. But this spray isn't as versatile as MAC's. As I mentioned in my March favorites, I love using Fix+ to hydrate dry patches or add a dewiness to my look. Whenever I've tried using this Smashbox spray in a similar situation, it hasn't really delivered.

As a primer spray? It works great. As a refresher spray or a way to add a dewiness to your look? It fails.

Sephora Instant Moisturizer 
As much as I love this moisturizer, I'm so bored about talking about it. It's cheap, it's perfect for dry skin, it's oil free. What's not to love? It seems they've changed their formulation so these 1 oz bottles of the old formulation are going for $5 on the site. I might have to go pick up 2 or 3 or 10 more...

Nails Inc NailKale Polish in Hampstead Grove
The main reason I purchased this polish is because it was chilling in the clearance section. Apparently this formulation contains kale because #kale #vegan #eatgreen. I'm not sure I really need kale in my nail polish but regardless of that hipster nonsense, this polish gets an A+ in my book for its longevity and opacity. The thick brush also makes application a breeze.

Deborah Lippmann All About That Base CC Base Coat
Like the Nails Inc polish I only purchased this because it was on clearance. As a base coat it makes a lot of claims about moisturizing, strengthening, and protecting nails. As I've only used it one time I can't verify or deny those claims. What I can say is that my polish lasted a week with minimal chipping! On the Sephora review section for the product some people mention that it dried too quickly-- I did not have this problem.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Moonstone
I'm not into contouring, strobing, or baking but I love me some highlighter. Becca's shimmering skin perfecter pressed in opal has become an everyday staple for me, but with summer around the corner I wanted to try something a little bit more intense. What I love about this liquid formula is that I can make it incredibly intense, but also blend it out to make it super subtle. The color is a universally flattering champagne shade.

Usually I pass over travel sizes because they're ridiculously overpriced but this highlighter is the perfect size and price! It's half the price of the full size as well as half the price :)


CLEAN Rollerball Layering Collection
Clean perfumes have been on my beauty wish-list forever. I'm pretty terrible at describing scents but all of their perfumes smell...clean. This set includes 5 different scents which is perfect for me, since I'm a bit commitment phobic when it comes to perfumes. My favorite of the set is Rain. All I can say is that it truly does smell like a warm, rainy day. According to the Sephora site the first note in it is dewy melon-- mixed in with the other muskier notes, it's the perfect combo of sweet and fresh.

beautyblender beauty.blusher

My beautyblender has quickly become a staple in my makeup routine. As I was perusing the Sephora site to pick up a backup, I came across the new beauty.blusher from beautyblender--and of course I was intrigued.

After quickly skimming through some reviews, I read many people recommending it as a means to apply under eye concealer (like me, they thought the micro was a tad bit too micro.) I've only used it three times but so far I have to agree with the folks over in the review section. It's the perfect size for that awkward triangle between my eye and the bridge of my nose. Not only that, but I'm a lot quicker applying my concealer with this sponge than I am with a brush.

It's also nice that it's a few bucks cheaper than the original beautyblender.




anklet season

4.20.2016

It's freakin' finally spring on the East Coast. *Takes moment to pray that we won't be cursed with some late April snow.*

I know I'm probably going to be repeating myself for the next few weeks, babbling on about how excited I am about wearing xyz now that the weather has finally warmed up. Last week it was spring shoes; this week it's anklets. In my defense, this is the first time in four years that I've had to deal with an east coast winter. And I almost forgot why I hated it.

Anyways, enough with the negativity, and three cheers for anklets! As far as jewelry goes, anklets seem to get the shaft. To me it's unjustified because they're an embodiment of summertime.

Part of my anklet love probably stems from my Indian heritage. If you visit any Indian street market, there's no shortage of short chains of silver and gold, ready to be draped around your ankles (could I make anklets sound any more awkward?) I picked up a few the last time I was in Kolkata and Mumbai, but since I haven't been back in two years I'm looking for some new options stateside. Unsurprisingly, Free People aka the unofficial store of boho lovers everywhere has many solid options. I'm personally leaning towards this rose gold one since I don't have any of that color in my small collection.

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weekend edit- 04.15.16

4.15.2016

1. Smorgasburg

One of my favorite parts of living in California was the year round farmer's markets. Even in the middle of January there are multiple markets running throughout the city on everyday of the week. Of course the same thing cannot be said of the east coast.

Now that Spring is finally here, so are the food markets, fairs, and festivals. I went to Smorgasburg for the first time during opening weekend (April 2) and was enamored. If you follow me on snapchat (@sharmtoaster) you might have seen me snapping all da foods. Unfortunately, I could not eat all da foods because I do not have a bottomless pit for a stomach (although it feels that way sometimes.) Since the weather is fabulous this weekend, another trip to Brooklyn is possible!

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2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2
If you haven't watched season 1 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt yet, you need to get on that shit because season 2 premiered today!

The show focuses on Kimmy Schmidt (portrayed by Erin from The Office), a young woman who's navigating life in NYC. The catch? She spent the last couple of years living in a hole with three other woman after they were kidnapped by Jon Hamm and told that the world was ending. It sounds a bit morbid but it's actually a hilarious show with many, many words of wisdom.


It's produced by Tina Fey and features so many actors from my three fav NBC sitcoms: Parks & Rec, The Office, and 30 Rock. To get a taste of what it's all about, watch this music video from the show:



3. Old Navy Jewelry
Old Navy is a store I usually skip over when I head to the mall. Not because I have particularly strong feelings about their clothes, but because whenever I do go there to find something-- they never have it in my size!

But a week ago I ventured in to find these lace up sandals and came across their jewelry section. It's clear that I've been missing out! They have so many cute dainty necklaces, earrings, and rings. I was even shocked to see that many of their pieces were sterling silver or gold plated.

I picked up this cute little infinity ring. It's plated in rose gold yet I only paid about $10 for it. Score! Unfortunately it doesn't look like they carry their jewelry line on their site but it's definitely worth the visit to their store to check out!


4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 
There was a time when I was a hardcore Potterhead. The obsession has waned throughout the years but every time something new related to the franchise comes out, the magic obsessed 12-year-old girl in me starts freaking out.

Instead of babbling on about my obsession of all things Harry Potter related, I'll just leave you with the trailer. November can't come soon enough!!


5. the Perfect Coral Lipstick
Ever since this photo of Selena Gomez popped up on my Instagram explore page, I've been on the hunt for her lipstick or something similar. It's some sort of matte, muted, pinky coral which has now become my dream summer lip color.

If you know of any lipsticks that are this shade, please share!! 

Positano bites deep

4.13.2016

I know I've said this in every single Italy post, but I really was at my peak level of crazy when it came to photographing the Amalfi coast. On the day that we visited Positano and Amalfi, I filled up one whole SD card.

Before coming to Italy I checked out every relevant travel book from the library and read up about our destinations. But no amount of reading could prepare me for how beautiful Positano is. My photos absolutely do not do it justice. The colorful buildings crawling up the shoreline are like nothing I've seen before. I believe in one of my guidebooks I read that any attempts to obtain a construction permit to change the exteriors of any building in the city has been denied since the 1950s!

Despite it's status as the most mind blowingly beautiful place I've ever visited, I'm not all that interested to visit it again. While I'm itching to go back to Florence and Amalfi and Sorrento and Naples and Rome, Positano is pretty much at the bottom of my Italy travel wish list now. It's a place where you lounge around, take in the views, aaaand that's about it.

But I am glad that I got to see Positano in person and check it off my list! It's a once in a lifetime kinda experience for me. And okay I admit maybe I wouldn't mind going back when the weather is warmer, just to see the Spiaggia Grande littered with colorful beach umbrellas.

If you are someone who loves a relaxing beach vacation, then this is the place for you!

jeans: bdg, striped top: urban outfitters, rain coat: urban outfitters, sneakers: adidas(also available via nordstromj. crewasos), bag: fjallraven -- on sale! (also available via urban outfitterslord & taylorshopbop)





gimme all dem shoes- zara spring 2016

4.11.2016

What happens when you wake up at 5 A.M. and can't figure out how to go back to sleep? You end up online window shopping which only leads to actual online shopping. And by you I really mean me.

Since the weather has been absolute shit on the East Coast, I haven't been able to wear any new spring clothes. Buuuut the same can't be said for spring shoes! There are some people who whip out their short skirts or booty shorts the second the weather hits above 60 degrees. Me? I whip out some spring shoes!

And that aforementioned 5 A.M. online shopping spree? Somewhere along the way I clicked over to the Zara shoe section and found trendy spring shoes galore. Because when it comes to trendy clothes, Zara is always on top of that shit (side note: when I was in Italy I saw multiple Zara home stores-- no idea that was a thing!)

They have espadrilles, printed sneakers, chunky heels, wedges, lace ups, and metallics. I'm basically all about them all and it's hard to pick a favorite!

In the end I purchased the pair of strappy, bright red, low heels and left before my credit card became worse for wear.

Which ones are your favorite?

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the hellacious walk up to Heaven

4.06.2016

Even though I'm not Catholic, or Christian, or even remotely religious, I was still in absolute awe when I visited St. Peter's Basilica. It's a beautiful monstrosity. There are no words to properly describe how I felt standing there in the culmination of the Catholic Church's wealth and power. I know people usually use the following words to describe other people, but it was truly beautiful inside and out.

Of course no visit to Vatican City is complete without a trip up to St. Peter's cupola. My family and I were feeling particularly ambitious and decided to climb all the way up. And what a climb it was. According to wiki, the top of the dome is 448.1 feet up from the ground, aka almost 45 stories tall. Considering that I workout twice a week at best, it was not a very pleasant climb for me.

When we started the trek up, I marveled at how they built the seemingly never-ending spiral staircase in the 1500s. By the time we reached the top I was huffing and puffing and crying out that I would never use a stairmaster ever again in my entire lifetime. But the second I stepped outside I realized the torturous climb was so worth it for the panoramic views of Vatican City, the Tiber, and Rome.

It was another one of those snap happy parts of my trip so there will definitely be more photos to come :)

top: urban outfitters, jeans: free people (also available via bloomingdale's; 25% off with code FRIENDS), scarf: zara, sneakers: nike, bag: fjallraven (also available via urban outfitters, lord & taylor; 25% off with code FRIENDS, shopbop; 25% off with code INTHEFAM)


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March beauty favorites

4.04.2016

On the first Monday of April, I present you with... March favorites.

March was actually a really good month for me beauty-wise because I spent $0 on any beauty or makeup or skincare products. Part of that might be because I was out of the country for a week and half... but still, I'm gonna give myself a pat on the back for showing some self control for the other 20 days of the month. Yay me! Now onto the favorites.

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Mac 'prep + prime' fix+ (available at nordstrom, macy's, bloomingdales): I can't believe I'm so late to the game when it comes to this makeup spray. For the longest time I thought this was just fancy water in a bottle with a MAC label slapped on top. But it's so much more.

If you read last month's favorites post, you might have picked up that I'm a tad bit obsessed with dewy skin. A few sprays of fix+ after you makeup is on and you've got dewy skin galore. It's also great to apply after you've been wearing your makeup for a few hours because it totally freshens up your whole look!

What really makes it a game changer for me is it's ability to "erase" dry spots. Sometimes after I finish applying my makeup, I notice I have some patches where my makeup seems to cling to my dry skin. A few spritz of fix+, and bam, dry spots be gone!

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Nyx lip lingerie liquid lipstick in #12 exotic (available at ulta): Back in February they opened a NYX store in New Jersey and the beauty obsessed blogger in me had to go check it out. I had not been planning on purchasing anything but I ended up walking out with three of their new lingerie liquid lipsticks amongst other things.

My favorite of the bunch is #12 exotic. It's a deep brick red that I think goes perfectly with darker skin tones. I should mention the reason it landed in my favorites is because I'm infatuated with the color. The formulation on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. On the plus side, it's pigmented and applies smoothly. But on the downside, it's so so so drying. I'm not a fan of NYX's popular soft matte lip creams but I would have to say the lingerie formulation is an improvement in comparison.

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Bumble & Bumble hairdresser's invisible oil (available at sephora,  bloomingdale's, birchbox): This hair oil was a total sale impulse purchase. I vaguely remembered reading an Into the Gloss review on it...and so I bought it. In the past my Into the Gloss inspired purchases haven't been all that successful (while they do feature cool celebs and cute anecdotes, some of their reviews fail to talk about the actual product.) I'm happy to say this time the product was a total hit.

In my personal hair routine, I use oils twice-- once when my hair is wet to "seal" in my leave in conditioner and later on when my hair is dry to tame the fly-aways, stubborn baby hairs, and unwanted frizz. For the first step I prefer to use cheaper oils because they work just as effectively as the pricier ones (my favorite cheapie is this garnier one.) For the second step, this oil has been my go to as of late. It's wonderful at containing my frizz (which I've got a lot of #curlygirlprobz) and it does so without making my hair oily! I also like to use it when I haven't washed my hair for a few days and my hair is feeling dry. I'll work some into my ends and my hair instantaneously feels softer.

Blendercleanser solid (available at sephora, birchbox, beauty.com, macy's): This cleaner makes me want to start singing "where have you been all my life? life? life? life? life? life?" a la Rihanna. As hard as it is to believe, I actually look forward to cleaning my brushes thanks to this guy. It makes cleaning my makeup brushes and beauty blender so much easier! I have tried other bar soaps before but I find that they a) get used up really fast and b) make my brushes way too soapy which just elongates the whole cleaning process. It doesn't leave any scent or residue on my brushes after cleaning and works perfectly with both drugstore and high end brushes.

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Hourglass ambient lighting palette (available at sephora, nordstrom, barney's): When I bought this palette at the beginning of the year, I had really mixed feelings about it. I had read so many hyped up reviews about how it was such a versatile powder and could be used dozens of different ways-- as a highlighter, as an all-over-the-face powder, as a bronzer, etc. And because I bought the palette with that in mind, I was sorely disappointed.

But once I figured out a way to make the ambient lighting palette work for my skin tone, I was glad I had had sprung out the big bucks for it. Using a fluffy face brush, I swirl it through all three and then swipe it up across my cheeks to my temples. It adds a warm glow, hides my pores, and creates a cool "flawless" factor to my look. And who doesn't want that?!


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