Monday, May 23, 2016

The Makeup I Can't Stop Buying

Wearing makeup has always been a tricky thing for me. I've never been into anything super heavy or dark and have always opted for things that look really natural and accentuate my good features instead of masking everything altogether. That being said, I have done my fair share of experimenting over the years and feel as though I have narrowed it down to a good selection of basic makeup essentials that I find myself repurchasing time and time again. I don't necessarily wear all of these everyday (although I always curl my eyelashes and put on mascara at minimum), but they're the products I constantly find myself reaching for. 

To be honest, I really only ever use a few of the brushes in my little cup, but I just think it's so much more fun to look at an assortment rather than just two or three. And who knows? Maybe one day I'll decide to change things up! 

As you can see above, I have a lot more makeup than I really need #wretchedexcess. Some of the products are ones I just can't part with and others are ones I save for special occasions. I really like having my makeup on display on my vanity and store it all in this acrylic makeup organizer, which I love because I can easily see everything and keep it organized when I go to do my makeup in the morning. Also, though it's not one of my must-have products, I feel like I should give my Kiehls Micro-Blur Skin Perfector a little shoutout. This bad boy saves the day when I'm in a hurry and want to make sure my skin doesn't look splotchy or shiny. Just spread it around your face with your hands and you're good to go. So easy! 

Above I've laid out my must-have products and brushes, but below you will find a breakdown of the products according to region of the face. 

Let's start with the eyes. I must preface this by saying that I rarely do anything to my eyes besides curl my lashes and apply some mascara. And, even when I do decide to branch out, I rarely go that far outside of the box. You can't really tell in the picture, but, in my palette, I pretty much only use the center shade and the one right above it. This particular palette was give to me as a gift and is now out of stock, but I also really really love my Marc Jacobs Lolita Palette. The colors are very similar. 

The Bobbi Brown eyeliner pencil is great because it glides on super easily despite my somewhat unsteady hand and comes off even easier at the end of the night. I use my Anastasia Brow Gel to hold my eyebrows in place especially when I'm between waxes and they're a little bit more unruly. The real golden ticket though in this photo is this mascara. I'm telling you, if there is one thing you buy from this entire post, it should be the mascara. I can confidently say that this is the best one I have ever tried and trust me I've tried more than I can count. It volumizes, lengthens, and does not clump! Best of all, when you take it off it doesn't make dark circles all around your eyes. Instead, it comes off in little tubes, sliding off your lashes with warm water. (This was the real selling point for me!)

Going with my whole "I like to look natural" thing I've got going, I'm a huge fan of tinted moisturizer, because it evens out your skin tone and hides most impurities without masking your face. I used to use the Nars Tinted Moisturizer which I loved, but recently made the switch to Bobbi Brown, which is a thicker formula, offering a little bit more coverage. It also smells amazing

The Lancôme concealer is great because it is so easy to apply and blends really well into the skin. I like to top it all off with this Brightening Powder to mattify everything using my kabuki brush. I also make sure to blend everything as I go along with my trusted Beauty Blender

I have two blushes that I tend to rely on. First, is the Nars Orgasm blush. This blush is famous in the beauty world and honestly totally worth all the hype and the price tag. The color is universally flattering, and the perfect mix of pink and peach. I also love my Tarte Cheek Stain though. It's perfect for when I want a more dewy look or am in a bit more of a hurry. 

I'd love to hear some of your recommendations! What are your favorite makeup products?

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Trend Alert: Off-The-Shoulder Tops

It's very rare that I come across a trend that I like and even more rare that I find a trend I like so much I try it for myself. This weekend while I was out shopping with my mom, I decided to try on a super cute striped off-the-shoulder top (coming to the blog soon)... and I was in love before I even turned around to look at the mirror. The look is so flattering and shows just the perfect amount of skin while still remaining somewhat conservative. Now I want one in every single color! You can see some of my favorites below (including some dresses!) with options fit for every budget! (If it doesn't load in your email, try opening the post in your browser.)

What's your opinion on off-the-shoulder tops? What's your favorite trend right now?

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Reflections on Freshman Year

Today marks the beginning of my last week of classes as a freshman at USC and when I say this year has flown by, I really mean it. I honestly can not believe that this year is coming to an end so rapidly. 

Looking back on my past year, it's amazing how many memories I made in such a short period of time. From bonding with my roommate, joining my sorority, and going on adventures with my new friends, to struggling through my classes, making my fair share of mistakes, and taking my first set of finals, I wouldn't change a thing. Every struggle I endured taught me a valuable lesson and every amazing moment I had reminded me to always try and take a step back to enjoy the present. 

This weekend I was talking to my mom about how crazy it is that this is my last week of class and talking about it made it so much more real. At the end of this school year I am no longer going to belong to the youngest group of students at USC, I am no longer going to be living with my roommate, and I am no longer going to sleeping in my dorm. 

Beyond working my way through my final round of homework this week before I hit the books for finals, I'm going to try my best to savor my last days as a freshman. 

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cheers to Three Years!

I can't believe I am even writing this right now, but three years ago today was the day I wrote my first post on Preptista. 

Looking back at it all now, it kind of seems like it was one big blur. Starting the blog, coming up with my style, developing my voice, and eventually finding success were all things I never really thought would actually happen. And when I started them, they weren't really my main focus anyways. When I started my blog, I was a sophomore in high school, in a rut, and I needed an escape. I just wanted something fun to do besides homework every night! Luckily for me, I was able to find that escape here online by writing to all of you and even though for the first year or so it didn't really seem like anyone actually read it besides me, I knew this was something that made me happy and something that, if I stuck with it, would take me far in life. 

I am so, so grateful for all of the doors my blog has opened up for me, all the opportunities for growth I've been given, the people I've connected with, and most importantly the amazing friends I've made along this journey (you know who you are). It is such a blessing to have a community of people backing me up and supporting everything I do. Without you guys, none of this would have ever been possible. 

Here's to many, many more years! 

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Monday, April 11, 2016

My Day in LA with Caroline!

As I've mentioned here a few times before, one of my best friends Caroline came out to LA for spring break a couple of weeks ago and I got to spend the day with her! She did the same thing last year and we had the best time ever, but I was determined to make this one even better! We took so. many. photos. throughout the day so I apologize for the photo overload, but I just couldn't narrow down what to share! 

For dinner on Tuesday night, after I picked Caroline up from her hotel, we went to dinner at a restaurant I had been wanting to try for a while called Hinoki and the Bird. Oh my God. It was amazing! Honestly, there was not a single dish we tried that we didn't like and they truly have something for everyone. The portions were on the smaller side, so they recommended ordering two items. I got the Chili Crab Toast and the Lobster Roll, which were some of the most flavorful dishes I've had and Caroline got the Crispy Chicken Brussel Sprouts - both 10/10 would recommend! 

After dinner we tried a super yummy frozen yogurt place in Santa Monica called Treat. I had heard so much about it and the pictures of the froyo were to die for, so I knew it would be the place for us! 

Part of what made me so excited to have Caroline with me was that I got to bring her to USC! She was with me last year, the day I found out I got in (I can't believe it has already been a year!), so getting to actually bring her and show her around the campus really made things come full circle. I drove her around campus and then gave her a tour of my sorority house! When we got back to my dorm, she got to meet some of my friends and then we did a face mask together and went to bed! 

The next morning, after dragging Caroline to my 9 am math class, I took her to go see my mom in Pasadena! My mom loves Caroline to death and they were both so excited to get to see each other again! Also, yes it was completely coincidental that my mom and I were wearing the exact same dress. (Not the first time this has happened...) 

Caroline and I were both in need of manicures, so a stop at Olive & June in Pasadena, just a couple blocks away from my mom's store, was necessary. We even got matching half moon manis! 

One of my favorite lunch spots in LA is the patio by the pool at The Beverly Hills Hotel. The atmosphere is so relaxing and is similar to how I imagine heaven to be. We split the Sunset Club sandwich and a side of chips and guac and boy did we make the right choice! The chips and guac are a serious must! 

On our way to The Pink Wall, we stopped at Alfred coffee for a little refresher. Naturally, I opted for an iced vanilla latte, while Caroline got a citrusy juice! 

You got to see my outfit details here, but Caroline and I have kind of established a trip to The Pink Wall as a tradition of ours! We always have so much fun taking pictures and getting to people watch. I'm glad we got to snap a pic together though instead of just taking pics of each other! 

I made sure to finish my day with Caroline on a sweet note with a trip to Sockerbit, a swedish candy store just a few minutes from The Pink Wall. It was my first time going and we got to try all these new and cool different kinds of candies. The store is like a dream honestly!

You can read Caroline's post about our day together here! I had so much fun with Caroline and I can't wait to see her (and Fran) again this summer! (Details to come in the future, so stay tuned!)

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Easter At the Beach

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays. I like it because it's generally more relaxed than others and usually involves some type of delicious brunch. This year for Easter, I woke up to the most adorable easter basket from my mom complete with a golden egg. Then we headed to Beverly Hills for  brunch and some shopping before going to Nobu in Malibu for dinner. The view at the restaurant was so gorgeous I couldn't help but take pictures and I thought it would be the perfect backdrop for another outfit post. 

This Kate Spade dress was a gift from my dad for my birthday and it has instantly become one of my favorite things in my wardrobe. The dress is part of their new Broome Street line, which has some of the most perfect everyday pieces you can find. It's so cute and easy to throw on for lunch or shopping with friends. I love its loose fit because it makes it super comfortable.

I've talked about my obsession with sunnies on here before, but never about these Karen Walkers. I got them for my birthday with the dress and they are my new favorite pair in my collection. They go with everything and help me channel my inner Jackie O. - perfect for hiding from the sun and from reality. 

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love the Tory Burch Fleming Bag. It's the perfect size to fit just the essentials you will need for the day and the color goes with everything.  I definitely recommend it if your looking for a simple bag to quickly elevate your outfit. 

Kate Spade Dress | Karen Walker Sunnies | Tory Burch Purse | Sam Edelman Flats

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Monday, April 4, 2016

How To Be a Better Morning Person

I'm probably definitely the last person who should be giving advice on how to be a morning person. I'm not the kind of girl who sleeps halfway through the day or schedules her classes late (I have 8am or 9am class every day), but mornings are definitely not when I shine. 

Any time you read about the morning routines of successful people, they all start with the same thing - waking up early. I love reading about other people's morning routines, but I've never been able to develop the discipline to stick to one of my own. I've wanted to turn this around for awhile now, but have been especially motivated by my mom's new habit of getting her day started early. (She forced herself to wake up early every day for 21 days and finally made it a habit.)

You may be asking yourselves "How is Sammy giving advice on waking up early, if she can't actually do it herself?" Well, despite my incapabilities to actually be a morning person, I've done enough research to help me turn over this new leaf that I feel qualified to share some of the tips I've found with you. 

Set your alarm across the room.
Setting your alarm on the opposite side of the room from your bed is key to forcing yourself to get up, which is the first step. It's so easy to just fall black asleep after reaching onto your nightstand and hitting snooze on your phone or alarm clock, but when you actually have to get up to turn off the alarm, it makes it a lot more difficult to just fall back asleep.

Keep a consistent schedule.
The easiest way to trick your body into loving mornings is to keep your schedule consistent and to commit to it. If you want to make waking up your new thing, then you need to force yourself to do it everyday until it becomes second nature. 

Splash some water on your face. 
The best way I've found to immediately make myself feel more awake is to splash some water on my face right after turning off my alarm. It's easy to do, not nearly as torturous as it sounds, and it gets the job done. 

Expose yourself to natural light.
It's so tempting to pull down all of the blinds before going to sleep in order to shut out the sun in the morning, but if you really want to make waking up early a habit, the sun needs to become your new best friend. I personally like sleeping with my blinds open because I like being woken up by the natural light in the morning and it makes it easier to stay awake once you've woken up. 

Brush your teeth right away. 
This might be a weird one, and maybe it's just me, but the best way for me to get myself up and ready for the day is to brush my teeth right away. For some reason once I've brushed my teeth and gotten the dry "sleep taste" out of my mouth, it's practically impossible to go back to bed. 

Another trick I've found, that I really like is setting two alarms. I always set one alarm for the time I want to wake up and one set for 15 minutes before then. This way when the first one goes off I feel blessed to be able to sleep a little bit longer and since the 15 minutes isn't long enough to get into a deep sleep, it's easier to wake up when the second rolls around.

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