Unboxing: Birchbox Vs. Ipsy

Birchbox February 2017

Davines – SU Hair & Body Wash 

This rich gel cleanses head to toe, hydrating skin and preventing sun damage to strands. It has a very clean smell and is a decent sized sample, great for travel.

CLEAN Reserve – Amber Saffron Eau de Parfum   

This refreshing fragrance features sweet notes like mandarin oil, rose, lily, and raspberry, but it’s grounded by a warm medley of musk, saffron, and amber.

COOLA – SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray 

I am most excited about this sample in my Birchbox! I need a new setting spray and have really liked Coola products in the past. This weightless mist not only blocks UV rays, but it hydrates and sets your look with a matte finish.

Dr. Lipp – Miracle Balm

I have wanted to try Dr. Lipp for a while now, so i’m pretty happy with this sample. I just wish it was a little bit bigger, I don’t think I will get much use out of this sample. This natural formula completely rehydrates skin and lips, soothes sunburns, tames unruly brows, and nourishes thirsty cuticles.

LAQA & Co. Avo Lip Butter – Nova

I have been a member of Birchbox since September 2014. This is the first time I received a sample in this condition. I can’t lie, I am pretty upset about it because the lipstick color is actually really beautiful.

Ipsy February 2017

Biobelle #StayGorgeous Sheet Mask

Made with Tencel, an all-natural biodegradable fiber that adheres to your face like a second skin. The #StayGorgeous mask contains almond oil to soften and moisturize the skin.

Biobelle #Iwokeuplikethis Sheet Mask

I can’t wait to use these I love sheet masks. The #Iwokeuplikethis mask contains skin brightening Vitamin-C to help get rid of dark spots.

The Organic Pharmacy Lip & Eye Cream 

This brand was created by a homeopathic doctor, so all of their products work to heal the skin in the most natural way possible. On your eyes it reduces puffiness, dark circles, and lines. On your lips, it hydrates and makes lips look plump and moist.

NYX Professional Makeup Butter Lipstick – Lifeguard

The satin finish of this lipstick does not call for any prior moisturizing before application. The formula is rich and creamy and goes on the lips smoothly. The shade Lifeguard is a deep magenta, perfect for this time of year, and even better for days you don’t want to commit to a full-on red lip.

Lord & Berry LINE/SHADE Eye Pencil – #221 Black

This formula glides on the lids without any tugging or dragging. The soft texture is perfect for smudging out for a soft or smokey look! Best part… it is also waterproof so you can be sure the look you create isn’t going anywhere.

Marsk – Mineral Eyeshadow in You’re Toast

The loose mineral formula can be used wet or dry depending on the look you want. The shadow is 100% natural, and there is no talc, parabens, or fragrance.

Overall, I liked both boxes this month but the winner is… Ipsy!

Colenimo A/W 2016-2017

Aya Nakagawa was one of the first designers I’ve ever featured in a post on my blog, and I am proud to call her a friend. Her collections are feminine, and edgy at the same time. Nakagawa has a fresh and unique vision that makes any fashion lover jealous they didn’t come up with it first. This season Nakagawa’s line Colenimo presents “Wrens” inspired by the female motorcycle dispatch riders of WWII. “These pioneering women undertook daring, dangerous work delivering urgent orders and messages. Fuelled by a powerful sense of camaraderie they excelled as dispatch riders and were often seen taking their motorcycles, in the name of duty, through perilous conditions.”

Colenimo Wren Collection

“The collection consists of reversible a-line wool and cotton-moleskin coats, heavy melton duffle coats with shearling collars and metal buckles and wool-linen tailored suits. Bonded cotton shower-proof coats, pure silk crepe dresses and tops with detachable collars.” Shop her collection here!

Colenimo Wren Collection

Liquid Liners – Tried and Tested

I am always on the prowl for the perfect liquid liner. I wear contacts so my eyes tend to get a little watery throughout the day, which causes most liners to bleed. So i’ve tried quite a few brands over time and here is list of reviews on some of the liquid eyeliners in my makeup collection. What is your favorite liquid liner?

Kat Von D – Ink Liner

The unique no-fray marker tip is probably my favorite thing about Kat Von D’s liquid liners. It allows for extremely precise application. The quality is undeniable and I love the matte packaging. If you like a sharp wing then this is the eyeliner for you!

Stila – Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

My Stila eyeliner is probably the one I reach for the most in the morning. The felt tip is very inking and applying it takes some getting used to if you are new to liquid liner. That said, once you get used to the applicator the fact the it is so inky makes it easier to just press the liner onto the lash line. I like using this method because following the lash line helps keep eyes looking as even as possible. It also definitely stands true to the waterproof claim and really does last all day.

Club Clio – Waterproof Pen Liner

This was one of the first liquid eyeliners I have ever tried! It glides on smoothly but can dry a bit streaky sometimes if you only apply one coat. Though, that is the case with most liquid liners when you do not store the upside down. As soon as I realized my Club Clio liner was not upside down in my make case it all made sense. I haven’t had to line my eyes more than once ever since I put this guy in its proper compartment. Nevertheless, this is another tried and true long lasting formula.

Eyeko – Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

Several friends of mine swear by Eyeko liners. Truthfully, I never purchased one myself however I do have 2 full size Eyeko liners from Birchbox. I really want to like this liner because I love the size of the applicator and how easy it goes on the lid. However, I find myself constantly fixing it throughout the day because it bleeds so much. But maybe it is just me because like I said, I know a lot of people that love this liquid liner. I’m going to have to give it another shot because I really do like the way it applies!

L’Oreal – Telescopic Precision Liquid Eyeliner

I love a good drugstore find! The felt tip applicator is a little wider than I typically go for but I really like it. I usually start with a thinner line and gradually build the thickness. So, if I am going for a more dramatic line the one is the way to go. The fast drying formula is also great for those mornings when you don’t have enough time to wait for your liner to set, and you can’t beat the price.

Physicians Formula – Sexy Booster Cat Eye Collection Liquid Eyeliner

I am a sucker for packaging, but can you blame me look how cute it is! Physicians Formula is my favorite drugstore makeup brand. I recently purchased this one because of, well, the packaging. At first I was so upset because it went on a bit streaky. Knowing the quality of Physicians Formula I knew it had to be my fault. The directions say shake first… duh. After a quick shake the liner went on perfectly, and lasted all day.


Let’s J.A.M!

photocred: Jonathan Sorber Photography

Rudy Miles has a master’s degree in painting face, and I just graduated from BeautybyRudy University, more commonly refereed to as Jean Madeline Academy of Makeup. My major, so to speak, was JAM Basics. It was a five-day course that focused on the foundation of makeup artistry. We learned color theory, basic makeup looks, false lash application and everything in between! Yes ladies we did go over the infamous smokey eye. We also received an a-maz-ing makeup kit complete with everything but the kitchen sink! At the end of the course, we had to put our skills to the test-shoot.

Fashion and makeup go hand in hand, both are constantly changing yet cyclical. After years of working on the fashion side of the industry, I thought I knew a thing or two about makeup application. However, my vintage aesthetic was getting lost in translation. I struggled executing the look I wanted to achieve. Then, Rudy Miles explained that I needed to train my eye differently in regards to makeup application. Truthfully, it didn’t click until our final project, but now I can see the old lady in the picture!

photocred: Jonathan Sorber Photography

This course is one of the best investments I have ever made. I truly broadened my artistic horizons. Rudy Miles taught us valuable makeup techniques. He encouraged us to think outside the box, and “there is no right or wrong” when expressing ourselves creatively. The fashion world is a tough one, and it is important to be well rounded. I now feel confident styling from head to toe with the face in between!  For more information about this course go to the Jean Madeline Academy of Makeup website! Lastly, if you find yourself in need of a freelance makeup artist/stylist you know where to find me!

[My makeup was inspired by the 1930’s i.e. Claudette Colbert

The Photograph was taken by the extremely talented Jonathan Sorber. He captured the look so perfectly! To see more of his work click here.

To view Rudy Mile’s exclusive collection of makeup essentials click BeautybyRudy

Many thanks to my lovely model Maria]

Lauren Moffatt Fall 2013

Lauren Moffatt is a New-York based designer but her roots lie in Philly! She was trained in the Fine Arts, but in 2000 she left her job as graphic designer to launch her first ready-to-wear collection.
Her unique sensibility for color, texture, and detail have established her as, “one of the most coveted independent women’s designers”. She has a unique ability to mix-and-match in an aesthetically pleasing way can definitely be attributed to her Fine Arts background.
 Take a look at Lauren Moffatt’s 2013 fall collection. It consists of a beautiful combination of textures, and patterns culminating in what I can only describe as a whimsical librarian. I mean that in the most complementary way as possible! Her ability to mix-and-match in an aesthetically pleasing way can definitely be attributed to her Fine Arts background.
#52 & #53
#39 & #44
Sammy Brodsky

Welcome To The Online Jungle H&M

Chiffon Blouse
 According to Refinery29,  the Wall Street Journal of the fashion world, H&M finally launched their online shop! As an online shopping junkie I am thrilled! That said, I admire the fact that H&M was more interested in expanding their physical presences as opposed to venturing into cyberspace. H&M spokeswoman, Marybeth Schmitt, said “Our goal was not to be first or the fastest. We always want to grow in a controlled way. Our focus over the past 13 years has been on expansion, with the opening of close to 300 stores across the country.” In fact, there are two H&M’s within walking distance from my apartment. Now, H&M is only a click away for anyone anywhere! To increase online traffic Schmitt said, “We will offer exclusive online pre-shopping of its Paris Show Collection. Presented first on the runway during Paris Fashion Week, this collection will debut globally in approximately 200 stores and online September 5th. However, U.S. customers will have the opportunity to be the first in the world to shop the collection by visiting hm.com on August 22nd.” Well, thats all the news that’s fit to print, so if you’ll excuse me I have some online shopping to do…
Sammy Brodsky

Fox & Fluevog

Baroques Caravaggio
Once upon a time, John Fluevog and Peter Fox stumbled across an old warehouse. It was full of turn-of-the-century footwear available to buy at an extremely low price. The two looked at each other, and before you could say Manolo Blahnik they were out the door and opened up their own shop called Fox & Fluevog. John and Peter filled the shelves with the fifty-year-old mint condition shoes from the magical warehouse. Men & Women of all creeds immediately flocked to the store, and Fox & Fluevog became an instant success, and has continued to thrive. Around 1980 Peter Fox moved to New York to create his own store specializing solely on women’s shoes (which happen to beextremely elegant.) John then took over the business and turned it into a multinational corporation, and formed a reputation for being “the worlds most distintive shoes”.  Now it’s my turn to walk a mile in their shoes… but I can’t which ones?! I love them all!


Gateway Sather
Memories Hi Treasury

Sammy Brodsky

Concrete Polish

Quartz Ring in Silver/Gold
As a merchandizer for Chloe + Isabel jewelry I tend to stray away from posts about other jewelry lines. However, Concrete Polish is definitely an exception. Designer Angela Monaco’s artistic routes stem from years of studying arts from printmaking to glassblowing. She found her calling in metalsmithing classes at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Then in 2009 Ms. Monaco launched her line, Concrete Polish, and guess what… she is located in my home town Philadelphia on historic Jewelers’ Row. She turned her love of crystals into wearable art.  I have never seen jewelry quite like it. Her collection literally depicts raw and rugged beauty. Each piece transcends time, and will never go out of style.  Be sure to attend the Artstar Craft Bazaar (booth #98) this weekend to support Concrete Polish! The first 150 visitors will receive free tote bags! They will be there come rain or come shine, so don’t miss out! RSVP to the event here!
Rose Gold Quartz Necklace
Double Bar Ring with Sapphire
Sammy Brodsky