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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

(The Ruby Slipper)

(The Ruby Slipper)

(Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar)

(The Ruby Slipper)

(Cafe Du Monde)

(Emeril's Resturant - Nola)

(Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar)

(Mother's Restaurant)

Welcome to nawlin's! A few weeks ago my friends and I traveled to New Orleans. I was so excited and due for a fun vacation! This was my first trip there and I've heard so many great stories about the people, food, and culture. We booked our trip through because they were running a really great promotion at the time. Take advantage of the wonderful hotel and air packages that expedia often offers. A lot of people are afraid to travel to New Orleans in August because of the weather, but honestly it wasn't all that bad. Sure, it was hot but thanks to products like my Evian Facial Water Spray  I felt perfectly fine. 

We stayed at the wonderful J.W Marriott in New Orleans, walking distance to Bourbon Street. The staff there is amazing! We had such a great time interacting with everyone that worked there. First we met a really sweet young girl who worked at the cafe. We grabbed a cup of coffee and conversation. She has dreams of working in hotel hospitality, and loved hearing about our lives in New York City. The valet offered us great local tips on where to party and hang out at night. The concierge offered some really great dining advice and even booked our swamp tour which was AMAZING! We had a blast. I even held a baby gator which was pretty cool. Our last night at the hotel we dined at the Canal Street Grill. The Chef there is awesome! He came by to chat with us and even shared stories about his adventures in Thailand. My favorite part of the meal was the crawfish mac n' cheese, you can't go wrong! Lots of great food in the city and lucky for us the hotel has a gym and pool, so we were able to work off in the morning all the wonderful things we ate the night before.

As far as restaurants here, you can't go wrong. One of my favorite places was lunch at K-Paul's. I had the most tasty shrimp po boy. I still have dreams about it! Next up, brunch at Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar. Can you say, best shrimp n grits ever? It was delicious! You also can't go wrong grabbing brunch at The Ruby Slipper Cafe or The Camellia Grill (ask for Ronald my favorite waiter). Don't leave New Orleans of course without stopping at Cafe Du Monde and grabbing a beignet. It's a lot like fried dough at the local festival to me but you have to try it to say you did. You can get adventurous and try alligator meat, my friends dined on alligator on a stick!  Lots of great places to choose from and wonderful nightlife. We spent more time on Frenchmen Street listening to live music with locals vs. Bourbon street which can get a bit rowdy (and smelly) at night.

Thanks New Orleans for such a fantastic vacation!  I am thinking of going back to New Orleans for the Essence Festival next year.


Saturday, August 24, 2013
Sometimes you can learn really great tips, tricks and product suggestions from the people around you. I have a diverse group of friends and I am excited to share with you some of their takes on beauty and fashion. Meet my friend Rana (who I've nicknamed Banana) ...

What is your typical weekday morning beauty routine?
Sigh, my beauty routine should be way more involved but sleep wins every time. I always however manage to leave the house with a little mascara and lip gloss at the very least.

What is your favorite beauty product and why?
My favorite beauty product is my Japanese Deitanseki clay & charcoal soap (click here), it has helped calm down my skin so much, it's also all-natural and inexpensive. I am convinced Japan makes the best skin care products. Clear skin is crucial and I'm working at it- it sets the backdrop for all the fun makeup we use on our face.

What makeup brand is your favorite and why?
Impossible to answer because I have THREE that I love equally:
Giorgio Armani - their makeup is wildly efficient and rich at the same time, their "liquid silk foundation" is everything the name suggests it should be.
YSL- I love their lipsticks and everything in their Touche Éclat line.
Nars- My favorite blushes, primers, and velvety eye shadows.

What product have you used for years and continue to use?
Johnson & Johnson baby lotion (click here)

Tell me a beauty secret
Hand in hand with last question- I use it to take off my eye makeup every night, a tip I learned from my mama. I am also convinced that is the reason why she has no wrinkles around her eyes!

What is your favorite nail brand and why? 
People who know me know that I play no games when it comes to nail polish. With that being said, my favorite brand is China Glaze, they offer an array of colors, their polish goes on very smooth, and lasts a good amount of time. When coupled with my favorite top coat, Seche Vite Dry Fast top coat (click here), I am good for at least 4 days (The top coat will change your me)

What is your favorite shampoo and conditioner?
Shiseido Tsubaki line, another Japanese favorite. It works so well to moisturize and hydrate my thick hair while enhancing it's natural shine, the fact that it smells AMAZING as well is just Shiseido showing off.

Have you tried a recent hair product you think is great? Why do you love it? 
Morrocan Oil Curl defining creme (click here) , it's a two for one- It conditions my hair  while defining my wavy curls

What is your fashion style?
my style is best defined as all encompassing, being a true lover of fashion and even working in it, I truly appreciate a variety of styles from chic 90's grunge to polished, fiercely femme looks, I love it all. I'm also a fan of timeless, yet unique standout pieces, not necessarily the most expected, but pieces that go beyond what is currently trendy. As I get older, I am hyper aware of the importance of fit, fabric, and quality- my goal is to shop like a Parisian and get only things I LOVE.

Who is your favorite fashion designer? and why?
Currently Azzedine Alaïa (click here).  I appreciate when a designer embraces and exalts a woman's body. I love the the risks he takes, especially as he continues to marry edgy and classic aesthetics effortlessly. I am fan to say the least.  What is the one fashion item you would buy right now if you have enough money to get it? Any Marchesa gown, particularly one with fringe or feathers!

Photography By: Jonesy

Do you remember Rana from my St. Patty's Day video? 
Check out my Youtube page!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo Credit: Rana
Dress: H&M
Shoes: Michael Kors
Earrings: Dollar Store (fun discovery)
Necklace: My Name Necklace 

The weather this Summer has been up and down. I spent the weekend with friends on a rooftop. Arriving late (so unlike me) I walked the seven plus flight of stairs (welcome to New York) until I reached the very top. Opened the door and to my surprise in the back a cute mini BBQ. The on and off rain shower didn't stop the party, we just improvised until it passed by.  BBQ food usually isn't my thing, I'm sort of a picky eater but I did manage to munch on a delicious spinach artichoke dip made by the roommate of my friend Rana. Sounds good right? Check out this recipe here for something similar. 

Although, I missed the fire toss later than night it was lots of fun.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

August has been loads of fun so far especially my trip to New Orleans. 
Are you following me on instagram?


Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The battle for the right concealer can be a tough one, and it really depends on the look you'd like to go for, how much coverage you want and your skin type! My goal has always been to find the perfect concealer to give me the right amount of under eye highlight, great coverage and is long lasting. The two most recent concealers that I have been using are the MAC Studio Finish Concealer and MAC Pro Long Wear.

Here are the pros and cons to both!

- This product contains SPF35
- You'll get full coverage and it covers dark under eye circles and scars
- Thick consistency, not creamy
- Fragrance free
- Applied easily with the finger or under eye makeup brush
- Generous amount of product that will last you a long time
- Accessible packaging container that allows you to use all of the product until it is finished

- This product can be drying depending on your skin type and can crease under the eye, especially if applied    too heavy
-  Doesn't last very long especially in warm weather that may cause you to sweat or get oily
-  Must set with powder right away for a better finish

Final thoughts: At first I loved this in NC35 to create an under eye highlight effect, brow bone highlight and slight nose contouring. Though, under the eye this often does crease on me so I have to be careful with the amount I apply, or combine this with another concealer to make sure it's long lasting. Not sure if I would purchase this again. I might see how much I miss it first when I run out.

- Medium coverage
- Easy to blend, great under the eye
- Liquid formula 
- Dries to a matte finish so you don't have to set it with too much powder or any at all
- Never looks "cakey" and does not cause crease
- Long lasting especially in warm weather or humid climate

-  Packaged in a pump container which eventually might get difficult when it begins to run out

Final thoughts: I love this product. I didn't want to wear foundation when I was in New Orleans and I used this product under my eyes (bye-bye dark circles) and to spot treat and I was good to go. Eventually I can see the bottle becoming a problem. Hopefully I never drop it because it's not plastic and looks like it could easily crack.

Do you have a favorite concealer? Comment below.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

(last photo credit: Karston Tannis

My creative, artistic, fun spirited friend Lori, once featured on launched her own sneaker line called Whimsical. Her splattered painted sneakers are fun and a great way to make an outfit just that more interesting. I spent my Saturday rocking my kicks and enjoying the rest of what's left in my New York Summer. Majestic colors splattered on your shoe canvas as you walk through the city that invokes blending colors, generations and beauty.  

Want a pair of your own? Email   

Follow Lori on instagram: @lorilorillitu


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Here is my latest obsession, the new Vaseline® Spray and Go Moisturizer. Have you tried it yet? 

While preparing for my trip to New Orleans my Mother kindly shipped me a "vacation" package that included some products she wanted me to bring and test out. Yes, I am an only child. Anyway, I was surprised to learn that Vaseline launched a Spray and Go Product. I received the Aloe Fresh which is infused with aloe to give you healthier skin, and the Co Co Radiant which is infused with pure cocoa butter. Typically I don't like products with cocoa butter because of the smell but I didn't find that this had an overpowering scent. 

Naturally I assumed once I sprayed I wouldn't have to rub it in ( I didn't see the commercial to know that wasn't true) I was bummed. What is the point? I thought. I decided to pack it anyway for my trip. I realized quickly that even though you do still have to rub it in, it made getting ready a lot faster! It sprays on just the right amount. 

Have you ever pumped out lotion and found that you have way too much? or maybe too little and find yourself either getting more or getting rid of the excess on a towel? Well, the spray and go moisturizer gives you just the right amount as you spray it down your arms or down your legs or wherever. It makes a really cool sound too as it sprays! The other thing I loved was that I was able to throw on my clothes right away. Sometimes when you use lotion it leaves an oily residue that can stain a shirt or dress leaving you to have to change your clothes. I hate that! I never had this issue with using the spray and go moisturizer. Sometimes in very humid weather my skin can get dry but I found that even in the New Orleans heat my body remained moisturized all day long. So in summary:
  • Vaseline® Spray and Go Moisturizer provides great coverage 
  • Vaseline® Spray and Go Moisturizer allows you to get ready a lot faster
  • Vaseline® Spray and Go Moisturizer doesn't contain any harsh smells 
  • Vaseline® Spray and Go Moisturizer keeps your body moisturized all day long
  • Vaseline® Spray and Go Moisturizer doesn't leave residue on your clothes 
Check out the commercial below! Even though I don't think anyone can get ready that fast, it turned out pretty cool. What do you think?

Perhaps I should try and recreate this in a future Youtube video. Are you a subscriber? For more information on Vaseline® Spray and Go Moisturizer check out my Youtube channel this month when I feature this product in my monthly favorites. 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wonderful celebration for my Augusta's Birthday! Started off with a yummy brunch at Sofrito in NYC and wrapped up the evening with a day party. So many Birthday celebrations this Summer. Applying my favorite primer (milk of magnesia) on my face prior to the application of foundation left my skin still glowing by the end of the day. 

Top:  H&M
Skirt: H&M
Lips: Sephora Lip Stain (04)
Face: Revlon Nearly Naked (Toast)

Photo Credit:


Friday, August 2, 2013
I am sure when some people heard that H&M just launched an online store they thought "they didn't have one?" with so many big clothing sites selling clothes online, it's a shock to some that a big company like H&M is just jumping on the band wagon.

With three H&M stores, and one more on the way, literally in walking distance of my job rarely will I probably order online. It's nice to know that when I can't find that item in my size, I at least have a back up plan that guarantees I'll get what I wanted.

Overall the site looks very similar to how it did in the past except now instead of "screen" shopping, you can click and make that final purchase. Thanks H&M for finally delivering the goods!.

Are you excited by the new online store option? Comment below. 

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