national shop in your pajamas day

Happy national shop in your pajamas day! Or shop at school day! Or shop on your phone day! Basically shop anywhere but the actual stores where you have to survive the crowds of crazy and sometimes smelly people.

If you're like me, you might have been too tired to fully appreciate all the sales of black Friday because you were stuck in a turkey and pie induced food coma. Also, who wants to fight off the Black Friday crazies? I had enough of that crap while grocery shopping last week (true story: I witnessed two people fighting over the last bag of yams at Trader Joe's on Wednesday.)

And then there's Cyber Monday! Instead of writing a post featuring allll the sales, I stuck to the ones that I'm actually shopping (or perhaps already shopped...).

Featured Sales
1. Ulta: Urban Decay 24/7 velvet eye pencil in black velvet for $10, all Formula 10. 0.06 40% off, all Butter London treatments 2 for $20
2. Urban Outfitters: Spend $75 get $15 off; Spend $150 get $50 off. Items pictured: faux shearling varsity jacket, metallic crossbody 
3. Bloomingdales: 10% off all beauty & 25% off everything else. I'm gonna take advantage of this sale to pick up some MAC goodies since they basically never go on sale!
4. Anthropologie: 25% off all sale.
5. Madewell: 25% off everything. Items pictured: merino wool turtleneck, lace skirt
6. Loft: 50% off everything. Items pictured: faux fur vest, pom pom beanie, slipper socks
7. Sephora: Philosophy Purity facial wash for $15
8. Lord & Taylor: Extra 25% off everything. Items pictured: Nine West boots, Sam Edelman boots in black and grey
9. Nars: 20% off entire site. Items pictured: blush, velvet matte lip pencil

pumpkin creme brulee & other Thanksgiving desserts to make ahead of time

This year I'm making desserts for my family's thanksgiving dinner. It's almost like I'm a proper grown up. Sort of.

Of course I took this opportunity to eat all the sweets play around with some recipes and run my own test kitchen. One of my main concerns was having enough time to make the desserts. Seeing that I'm also making appetizers and some side dishes, I didn't want desserts to get the shaft. They're of course the most important part of any meal for a sweet tooth like me.

In order to ensure that desserts get the proper attention they deserve, I stuck with recipes that can be made ahead of time. I'm 100% that I'm going to be making pumpkin creme brûlée, because I made it last week and it was delicious.  The rest of the desserts are yet to be confirmed (procrastination problems).

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?

Pumpkin creme brulee, adapted from food52

And other desserts perfect for making ahead of time?

cranberry hand pies, white chocolate & cranberry cookies, pumpkin cream cheese swirl bars, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, apple rose pastries, pumpkin pound cake, apple crumb cake with cream, and last but not least, Alton Brown's pumpkin pie

autumnal hippie vibes

This is the kind of outfit that I would be able to wear year round in LA. Now that I'm back in Jersey, I'm going to be taking advantage of going out in public with bare legs for a long as possible.... even if bare legs really means the few inches of skin between my knees and ankles. If it's over 60 degrees, the legs are a-comin' out.

dress: zara, cardigan: urban outfitters (similar also by uo), boots: dv by dolce vita (similar by forever 21 for less than $20), lipstick: wet n wild's dark wine

acne boots dupe, summer dress in fall, summer midi for fall
zara midi dress, boho fall style

Update! Instead of writing I new post I decided to just tack on this mini PSA to yesterday's post. Today only (Thursday, November 19th), Target is having a 20% off beauty sale with the code "essentials"! And it includes their "prestige" beauty brands! I'm picking up this laneige kit (includes a full size water sleeping mask), a nuxe reve de miel lip balm (seriously the best thing for winter lips), a pixi glow tonic (because it's supposed to be a dupe for the famous but ridiculously expensive lotion p50), and the l'oreal colour riche le matte lip pen in game set matte (because Tati raved about it).

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Another day, another all black outfit. What can I say, I'm one of those people who fully lives by the motto "I'll stop wearing black when they make a darker color."

And even though I've been wearing all black outfits for years, I think this look in particular was somehow subconsciously inspired by AHS: Coven, which I recently binge watched. Because who isn't inspired by a band of fashionable modern day witches?

turtleneck: zara, cardigan: cheap monday, shorts: gap, boots: stuart weitzman, hat: urban outfitters (similar), sunglasses: illesteva 

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the most magical time of the beauty year: sephora's VIB sale

This weekend is the one and only sephora VIB sale. It's that special time of year where VIBs get 20% off every purchase made at sephora! It's also a very dangerous time because I'm at risk of spending waaaay too much money on makeup and beauty products. When I first started this post, I had 30+ products on my wish list which totaled a price too high for me to fathom. After paring down the list I split it into two sections.

The first half of the post includes items that I've used and plan on re-buying or already bought during the friends and family sale last month. The second half of the post includes new products I want to try.

Tried & true
Kat Von D ink liner: Eyeliner is an everyday makeup must have for me and consequently I've been through so many. In the past year my two favorites have been Stila's stay all day waterproof liquid liner and Sephora's classic line 24 hour felt eyeliner. This liner is like the baby of those two, with the best features of each of them. It's a dark, true black, stays on all day, and applies smoothly.

Becca shimmering skin perfector pressed in opal: After reading various articles on the magic of strobing I went ahead and bout this during the friends and family sale. And it did not disappoint. Several quick swipes across my cheekbones and voila, I feel like some sort of strobing goddess. This is coming from someone who could not contour to save her life.

Dior diorshow waterproof mascara: No matter how many different mascaras I try out, I always come back to this one. It adds nice volume and length without getting clumpy.

Glamglow giftsexy dazzling hydration set: I absolutely love glamglow. I've tried all of their masks and the supermud is my favorite with thirstymud coming in at a close second. This set costs the same as one full size mask but also includes a travel size face wash, travel size supermud mask, and an exclusive brush. It's a pretty good value if you're looking to splurge on some glamglow products. To be honest, when I purchased it I did so partly because I wanted the brush which isn't available outside of the gift sets. After using it a few times I can say that the brush is nothing amazing. The bristles aren't particularly soft and have a waxy texture when wet. But even without the brush, the set is still worth a purchase.

Sephora instant moisturizer: Last winter I suffered from the driest skin ever. It was a pretty big deal for me because before then my skin had consistently been oily. After trying various moisturizers I settled on this. I'm not going to say it's the best moisturizer ever but it does hydrate my skin pretty well, is free of mineral oil (which wreaks havoc on my skin), and isn't terribly expensive. In fact, I think I'm on my 5th or 6th tube for the year.

Nars pencil sharpener: A pencil sharpener is a relatively cheap way to splurge in your beauty routine and this one beats out the rest. A turn or two is all I really need to sharpen any lip or eye liner. It's also the perfect size for sharpening Nars's lipstick pencils.

Tweezerman slant tweezer: These are super sharp and are able to pull out the stubbornest of hairs. I already have one of these tweezers but wanted another one to keep in my bag.

Ouidad moisture lock leave-in conditioner: I received a travel sized sample of this at Ulta last year and pretty much forgot about it. This summer I found it while cleaning and started using it on a regular basis. I'm still trying to find the perfect shampoo + conditioner routine but this has been a constant over the past few months. Although I curl or straighten my hair once or twice a week, I have virtually no split ends (and my last haircut was about 5 months ago.) For that I thank this product!

Klorane dry shampoo with oat milk: This is one of my favorite dry shampoos but I don't always have it on hand because it is quite pricey. Since there's a sale, I figured it wouldn't hurt to buy a bottle or two. It has a very mild scent, which I like. Also, unlike other dry shampoos, it's very easily brushed into my black hair.

Uncharted territories
Formula x color plus

Shiseido sheer eye zone corrector: I've pretty much given up on concealing my under eye area because nothing works. After reading the reviews for this corrector I've had some faith restored. A concealer that works on thin, veiny skin and doesn't crease? I hope so!

Laura Mercier hydrating primer: I have this weird thing where I don't like putting any makeup on my forehead. Partly because then it makes me face look sort of two dimensional, and partly because despite the fact that the skin on my forehead is not dry, makeup always seems to settle into weird patches there. After reading endless glowing reviews, I'm hoping this guy might be a game changer.

First aid beauty cleanse & exfoliate kit: Caroline Hirons recommends the radiance pads featured in this set so of course I'm going to take the opportunity to try this travel size out. I also remember reading another review where the blogger said the pads helped removed the small bumps under the skin of her cheeks.

Sunday Riley power couple duo: Good genes and luna sleeping night oil are cult products I've heard about again and again. They're also ridiculously expensive. For that reason alone I'm not sure if I will end up purchasing this. Also, I'm a bit afraid to see how my sensitive skin will react to these products.

Nude Skincare double dose of genius: When checking out the above duo, Sephora recommended this as a similar product and at a much more reasonable price point. The oil is supposed to contain a "natural" alternative to retinol.

Boscia luminizing black mask: Reviews claim this mask is similar to glamglow in that it really clears out your pores. I also used the charcoal cleanser from the same line over the summer and found it really effective in controlling the oiliness of my skin. There's a chance I might hold off purchasing this until next summer because I don't see myself using it on my dry, winter skin.

Bumble & Bumble hairdresser's invisible oil: This has been on my wish list for sooo long. It's supposed to be a cure all for hydrating, and removing frizz, and overall just making your hair look amazing. This is another iffy purchase because I already have about 6 or 7 hair oils I need to finish...

Clean warm cotton perfume: This was on my birthday wishlist back in July but I never ended up purchasing it. It just so happens that my current perfume is almost finished so the timing to purchase this is perfect. I've smelled it numerous times at sephora and it smells sooo fresh, like clean laundry!

Surratt Beauty relevee lash curler

End Notes
If you aren't a VIB at sephora, you're still in luck because the holidays are full of beauty sales! For instance, I'm not buying any Nars products because I know later this season Nars will be having their annual friends & family sale. Lord & Taylor usually also has $20 off $40 purchase coupons this time of year so I'm waiting to buy a few clinique products then. At the moment, has a 20% off sitewide sale!

If you have any recommendations on what to buy during the sale, please do share!

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inspired by: turtleneck hair

turtleneck hair, hair tucked into turtleneck, hair tucked into sweater, hair tuck sweater

Yesterday while getting dressed I inadvertently ended up tucking my hair into my turtleneck sweater. This led me to the wonderful conclusion that my hair is now short enough to do the whole tucking into turtleneck thing! Most attempts I made last winter with my much longer, curlier hair would result in a bird's nest the nape of my neck. So cheers to short hair!

I'm probably way too excited over something as simple as tucking my hair but I think it's one of those easy things that adds another dimension to a look. Imagine a casual sweater and jeans look, instantly made cooler by tucking your hair. Plus all the fashion-y people do it so copying the look makes me feel fashion-y ;)

In my I-can-have-turtleneck-hair high, I ended up collecting some inspo for my fall/ winter fashion pinterest (@sharmtoaster) board on how to achieve this cozy look.

image sources: 1 vogue, 2 topshop, 3 topshop, 4 esprit, 5 vogue paris, 6 asos, 7 asos, 8 the line, 9 pinterest, 10 marie claire france, 11 zara, 12 zara

anja rubik, anja rubik turtleneck, turtleneck street style, turtleneck tucked hair

topshop turtleneck look, hair tucked into turtleneck sweater with turtleneck, turtleneck hair, hair tucked into turtleneck

gisele bündchen esprit, gisele bündchen turtleneck

turtleneck look, hair tucked into turtleneck

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garage glam

I took these outfit photos in one of the most glamorous places possible: my garage. It took some time to photoshop a lot of the "garage-ness" out of the background, but overall I don't mind the outcome. To be honest, as the weather gets colder I know I'll have less motivation to go outside and take pictures so I have a feeling the garage will become my go to shoot location.

On a sartorial note, this top was one of my last summer clothing purchases (along with these wooden wedges.) I had been eyeing it over the past few months and when I saw it on sale in store, I snatched it up. There have been odd days where the temperatures decide to jump into the 70s and I take the opportunities to wear my warm weather clothes for the last time before winter really hits.

wool hat: forever 21, top: urban outfitters, skirt: asos (similar by forever 21, urban outfitters), shoes: zara (similar by asos) , lipstick: nars audrey

asos denim button through skirt, zara lace up heels, forever 21 wool fedora
zara lace up heels, lace up shoes, lace up closed toe heels
urban outfitters babydoll top, urban outfitters tiered top, Kimchi Blue Gauze Babydoll Button-Back Shirt Kimchi Blue Gauze Babydoll Button-Back Shirt, zara lace up heels, forever 21 burgundy fedora

Kimchi Blue Gauze Babydoll Button-Back Shirt, urban outfitters tiered top, fall blogger style

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the weekend edit-- 11.07.15

Kiehl's Ultra Toner
Since winter is coming, I've started planning my conquest to claim the iron throne switching up my skincare routine in favor of products geared towards dry skin. This Kiehl's toner has a milky, lotion consistency and is meant to "prepare, hydrate, and comfort skin." And it indeed does all 3 for me! I use it in the morning in lieu of washing my face (or more realistically, using a micellar water), and it cleans my skin in addition to prepping it for my moisturizer. At night I apply it after washing my face, to sooth it before I apply my moisturizer.

I have pretty sensitive, combination skin and am wary of using anything with oils in it as 8 times out of 10 they cause my skin to freak the f*ck out. But this toner is gentle enough for me. Price-wise it isn't cheap, but considering it's over 8 fl. oz and a premium brand, I think the price is very reasonable.

available via kiehl'sbloomingdales, nordstrom, lord & taylor, bergdorfs
kiehls ultra toner, kiehls review, beauty review, dry skin toner, winter skincare

Lush Life- Zara Larsson
When this song first came up on my iTunes radio, I thought it was a new Rihanna single and was glad she was going back to her pop roots (please, Ri-ri). When I glanced at my phone I was shocked to see it was Zara Larsson. The name sounded vaguely familiar and then I realized it was because earlier this year I had listened to some of her music on Linda's blog! Anyways, if you like pop-y music you can dance around in your room to-- give it a listen!

Some Room Inspo
I know literally nothing about interior design. All I know is that I like things that look... homey and lived in. Lately it seems like a lot of blogs I follow have been featuring interior design posts, so naturally my interest in the topic has grown.

One thing I've always wanted in my future home is a library-- or at least an entire wall filled with walls to form a pseudo library. Both photos are from pinterest.

Sephora for JCPenney: The Perfect Ten
While I love the holidays because of non-material things, I admit I also love the holidays because of material things. And the only thing that comes close to my love of exclusive holiday chocolates (hello, peppermint bark!), is my love of exclusive holiday beauty products. My first buy of the season is this Sephora for JCPenney exclusive, which sadly is sold in stores only.

The bag contains 5 full size items: a Smashbox be legendary lipstick in magenta matte, a Kat Von D ink liner in trooper, an original beautyblender, a Elizabeth & James rollerball in their nirvana black scent, a formula x nail polish in astronomical, and a Nars dual intensity eyeshadow in himalia. In addition, there are also 4 travel mini products: a MUFE step 1 skin equalizer, a Tarte contouring stick in park avenue princess, a Benefit they're real mascara, and an Urban Decay all nighter makeup setting spray.

The full sized items retail for a combined value of $123.50, and this set only costs $49! I already had the beauty blender and eye liner on my to-buy list so it was a no brainer to shill out a few more bucks to get this whole set. If you're interested in a review for any of the products, please let me know :)

If you don't live near a JCPenney, the Sephora Superstars set is fairly similar and available online and at Sephora stores.
sephora for jcpenney, sephora perfect ten, holiday 2015 beauty, holiday 2015 makeup, holiday 2015 sephora

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falling in and out and back in love

My relationship with these shoes has been a rollercoaster ride. When I first saw them, I immediately fell in love because they resembled Aquazzura's Christy flats, but of course at a much more affordable price point. Then fall starts creeping up and along come a bagillion different affordable iterations of Aquazzura-esque lace up flats. And even though I roll my eyes (times infinity) at hipsters I somehow have hipster-esque tendencies myself which means that the quick over-exposure of the flats turned me off them. Finally, our story has a happy ending because I had a change of heart and decided the flats were cute, over-exposure be damned!

And yeah, only a style blogger would feel the need to anthropomorphize a pair of shoes.

dress: urban outfitters, vest: zara (similar by forever 21), flats: zara (similar by gapsteve madden, topshop), sunglasses: illesteva (also available via neiman marcus), lipstick: bite beauty in glace

striped mock neck top, black overalls, white superga h&m black overalls, black overalls, destroyed overalls

zara sleeveless waistcoat, longline vest, zara nude flats, lace up flats

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that grey dress again

Believe it or not I don't have anything relevant to say buuut...woohoo! Look at me, scheduling my posts ahead of time. I got this blogging shit on lockdown. If only this trend continues!

Hope you have a happy Tuesday!

hat: forever 21, prescription sunglasses: ray-ban, dress: forever 21 (last worn here), boots: stuart weitzman (also available via nordstrom, revolve, saksshopbop, neiman marcus) (similar by aldo, dolce vita)

stuart weitzman lowland, otk boots style, mock neck swing dress, burgundy fedora
burgundy fedora, mock neck dress, swing dress, forever 21, ray-ban oversized wayfarers

the weekend edit - 11.01.15

In my attempt to have a more regular blogging schedule, I'm going to try out a new segment which I dub: the weekend edit (so original, I know.)

Watercolors & Hand-Lettering
I mentioned on last Tuesday's post that I recently picked up an interest in hand-lettering (btw thanks to all who offered their encouragement and support!). Some of the best advice offered was practice, practice, practice! And that's exactly what I've been doing. Yesterday I was playing around with some watercolor pencils and liked the result so much I decided to digitalize it! It's a little bit crooked but I don't even care because it's way better than anything I thought I was capable of making. I was so proud of it that I've made it my desktop background ;)

The Great British Baking Show on Netflix/ The Great British Bake Off 
When I first saw this show on Netflix, I clicked through because I remembered reading a buzzfeed article about it. After watching American competitive cooking shows like Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen where they employ entertaining but silly tactics, this was a great change of pace. The show documents 12 amateur bakers from across the UK as they come together every weekend for three baking challenges. Every week there's a different theme that the challenges are based on, such as cake, bread, international pastries, etc. The show left me in awe of what amateur bakers could come up with as well as a craving for something sweet ASAP.

Moto Leather Trousers
First off I must say that I feel like a bit of an imposter saying the words "trousers" because in real life I would just call them pants. Second I feel like I'm breaking some sort of unbreakable vow by buying these faux leather trousers. After witnessing the great Ross Geller leather pants debacle of '99 I swore off leather and leather-like pants for my own safety. (If you don't get the reference, youtube "Ross Geller leather pants." Better yet, just watch the entirety of Friends on Netflix.)

I skipped over them last year in feat but this year I'm determined to make them work! The fact that they brought them back a second time around is a testament to how popular they must be be. Plus there's something so badass about the zippers and the patching which I can't seem to resist.

Buy them here.
So I'm really behind the times but I've only recently joined snapchat. At the moment I mostly post photos of things I want to eat or things I am about to eat. My handle is @sharmtoaster and if you want to follow each other leave your username in the comments!

A New Blogging Schedule
And now a sort of administrative note: While this blog started as a personal style blog, as the years passed I got a little sidetracked and began heading down the path of a lifestyle blogger. And my life just isn't interesting enough for a lifestyle blog. So I've compromised with myself and decided that all style related posts will be shared on the weekdays, and anything beauty, food, etc. will be restricted to the weekends. I hope this will keep my posts more organized plus make for a better and more enjoyable blog :)

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