Beauty

Valentine’s Day Make Up Look

Now that it’s February, I figured it was a good time to do some Valentine’s Day posts. I was also feeling really creative so I wanted to try something fun for my make up look this month. I have been really into bright pink eyeshadow and found this stunning palette from NYX so I knew I had to try use it for this post. Keep reading to see how I got my look from this very bare face!

I actually started using a new foundation on this day and wanted to give a little review of it while we’re here. I started with my Becca First Light Priming Filter underneath. I tried the Too Faced Born This Way foundation and concealer in the shade Warm Beige and Natural Beige, respectively. The foundation is really light actually and is definitely buildable which I’m not sure if I like. When I wear foundation, I want full coverage so I wish it was a little bit more of a fuller coverage from the start. The formula dried really soft which I did like and it lasts a few hours without needing a touch up. I tend to get oily but with this foundation it looked more dewy than oily which I did like.

After that I contoured with my Anastasia Beverly Hills cream contour palette, Laura Mercier Translucent Powder under my eyes and then a loose face powder all over my face. For bronzer, I used my Too Faced Dark Chocolate Soleil bronzer and blended it with my Becca Luminous Blush in Tigerlily. It’s a super bright shimmery orange that is so beautiful for medium to deep skin tones. For highlight, I used my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in 24K Gold which is the most beautiful yellow gold ever. For brows, I used my Anastasia Brow Definer in Ebony and set them with a clear mascara.

For my eye makeup, I used the NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette in the color Phoenix. It’s got all kinds of pretty reds, pinks, and yellows to make sunset inspired looks. I started off with a mustard yellow color all over my crease and brought it down a little bit onto my lid as a transition color. Then I went a little deeper into my crease with a pretty hot pink color. For my outer corner, I used an eggplant purple color and for my lid, I used a glittery rose gold pink color and blended that with the pink in my crease. I used my Maybelline Lash Stilleto Liquid Liner to create a small wing and followed up with my Diorshow Lash Primer and Volume Mascara and finally my L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black on top. For my lips, I pushed a peachy gloss by Too Faced. I set my whole face with my Urban Decay All Nighter spray and that’s it!

I hope you liked my sunset inspired Valentine’s day look! I can’t wait to experiment more with this pretty palette!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Fashion

January 2019 Favorites

For my favorites this month, I’ve got some really good ones that I’m in to and frankly, I’m an advocate for quality over quantity. I’ve been really into social media this month and going out and denim (again). So sit back, relax, and read about my January favorites!

1. Straight Leg Jeans

I talked about these babies last week in my OOTD post and I told you how obsessed I am with them. Like weirdly obsessed. Straight leg jeans have been around forever, but they just recently became trendy again and I was not on board for a long time about these. However, I’m really into the raw hem and distressed versions and frankly an influencer is what convinced me to try them so I’m easily influenced and it’s fine. My favorites are from Topshop and they are linked here for you.

2. Headbands

Headbands of all sorts are very trendy these days and frankly I used to really struggle with headbands. They never fit my head and I hated the ones that went all around your head because they would always slide off and it was SO ANNOYING. I like the ones that have a little knot at the top, but I’m really open to all types these days. They’re so cute!

3. @idktonight

This is an Instagram account and website that offers date night ideas for EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Like 7 days a week. They give suggestions for New York City only because that’s where they are based and they pick 3 different neighborhoods to give suggestions for each day. Each date has 2 parts usually dinner and drinks or an activity such as art exhibits, comedy shows and so much more. It’s really cool honestly and it’s been so nice to get new ideas from scrolling through their site and Instagram stories.

4. Pinterest

I have been crazy into Pinterest this month! Mostly because I’m lacking real life inspiration, but also because there’s lots of fashion going on this month with all the couture shows in Paris. I absolutely love to look at fashion week street style on Pinterest! It gives me the most inspiration because it’s just super fashion forward looks, worn with confidence. Here is my Pinterest if you want to check out what I’ve been pinning lately!

5. Jalapeno Margaritas

HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE. JUST TRY IT.

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

December 2018 Favorites

For the month of the December, I honestly don’t have a lot of favorites because I really haven’t added very much to my routine this month or tried anything new. However, I do have some fashion and lifestyle favorites that I’d like to share so let’s just dive into it, shall we?

1. Sweaters

I’ve really been into sweaters this month which I know is like, “Karen, seriously? It’s December.” But, hear me out! Of course, during the day at work I wear a heck of a lot of sweaters but recently I’ve really been into wearing sweaters for my more casual days where I probably didn’t even leave the house. I’m all about comfort and not really getting dressed if I don’t have to and this month I did a lot of that. I spent a majority of my days in sweatpants but instead of wasting away and feeling gross all day, I decided to throw on a sweater with my sweatpants. For me, it was like when Carrie Bradshaw had on a pearl necklace with her pajamas in Sex and the City. It really brought the casual look together, therefore, sweaters are topping my list for December.

2. Casual Evening Tops

Again, this is another kind of obscure, weird one but hear me out. This month, I’ve been going out a lot at night for more casual dinners or drinks where it’s not casual enough to wear a sweater, but not formal enough that I need to really dress up. However, I always struggled with figuring out what to wear with my various pairs of jeans and boots. Finding tops that I like is always a struggle but this month, I really embraced my new Smart Casual style and purchased some dressy but still pretty casual tops and they have really changed the game for me. It’s a collection of button downs, printed tops, tops with interesting sleeves, etc and they all look great with jeans which was the whole point! Not sure why I never had these in my wardrobe in the first place! I’ve been getting all of mine from Zara and Something Navy at Nordstrom.

3. Pointed Toe Ankle Boots

For the last 2-3 months, I have been going way overboard with wearing ankle boots and I now have a disturbing amount taking up space in my closet. But to be very specific, I’m just plain obsessed with pointed toe, skinny ankle/sock fit boots that have a 3-3.5 inch heel. That’s my sweet spot and my go to for just about every occasion these days. They work so well for work, for dates, for going out with your friends. Literally for everything. My favorites are from Something Navy (of course) but Steve Madden also has a few pairs that I’ve really been loving.

4. Leggings

Again, because I was in a very comfortable phase of my life, I wore a heck ton of leggings and I may never go back to wearing real pants. The best and only pairs I will wear are from Target’s A New Day brand.

5. The Gym

In December, I really went full force into my workouts. I had been getting a little bit stagnant with my workouts and decided to switch things up and really get back into gear this month. My favorite addition to my workouts this month has been drop sets, which is when you start with your heavy weights and drop the weight down every set. I really put these to work on my leg days and it’s made a major difference so far and I love it. The gym has definitely been my best friend this month.

6. Dior Show Lash Primer and Volume Mascara

I just got this mascara right at the end of December and used it for New Year’s and it is a game changer. I bought both the primer and the mascara and they really work wonders together. I naturally have pretty long lashes, but the primer really extends them even more and the mascara gives me so much volume without being clumpy or spidery. My only issue with this mascara is that it’s not black enough so I still layer my L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara over it and it’s amazing. 10/10 would recommend.

7. My Top Songs of 2018 on Spotify

Not to toot my own horn or anything but I have great taste in music. I thoroughly enjoyed my Top Songs of 2018 playlist on Spotify. Except for a handful of songs, I think it was really reflective on my music taste for this past year. I literally listened to this playlist all month long because I think it’s so good. You can listen to it here if you want!

What were some of your favorites for December 2018?

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Beauty

3 Holiday Makeup Looks

It’s that time of year again when you constantly have holiday parties and events to go to where you get dressed up a little bit more than usual. So, I wanted to share some holiday make up looks that are good for any occasion. When I’m not sure what to wear or I’m not totally happy with my outfit, I usually take that opportunity to play around with my makeup and do something a little more fun. Here’s 3 holiday make up looks for you!

Look #1

For the first look, I wanted stick with something a little bit more classic and what’s more holiday classic than gold eye shadow and a bright red lip? I did the same face routine as my Thanksgiving Makeup Look. I switched out my blush for the BECCA blush in Song Bird and used my BECCA highlighter in Prosecco Pop to keep things festive. For my eye shadow, I went into my Naked 2 Palette and picked up Half Baked and placed that all over my eyelid. Then I used my Maybelline Line Stiletto liquid liner to line my lash line and did a very small flick. For my lips, I used my favorite red lipstick by Smashbox in the color Bawse.

Look #2

Using the gold shadow that was already on my lids as a base, I went back in with my Naked 2 Palette and covered my lid again with Snakebite which is pretty bronze shimmer color. For my crease, I just used my Naked Heat Palette and the color Low Blow which is a matte brown. Since the eyeshadow is a little bit darker and dramatic, I thought a pretty glossy nude lip would be pretty so I used my Kylie Lip Gloss in the color Exposed.

Look #3

For my final look, I wanted to try something a little bit different. I thought I would try a pretty reddish brown look to warm up my holiday makeup. I used my Naked Heat Palette again for this one and kept the same lip gloss on from Look #2. I used Low Blow in my crease again and then I went over my crease again with En Fuego which is a pretty red color. For my outer corner, I used Ashes to darken things up and add more dimension. On my lid, I wanted to do a really shimmery pretty red color so I used Dirty Talk.

I would use my Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara and my L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black or I’d throw on some false lashes depending on where I was going to finish all of these looks. And that’s it for my holiday make up looks!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Beauty

My Skincare Routine

I wrote about my skincare routine/products back in the summer but I wanted to talk about it again because it’s getting to be winter soon! Of course, winter is drastically different than summer and therefore, you take care of your skin (and your body in general) differently. Winter tends to be a lot drier than summer so your body requires way more hydration and moisture. Surprisingly, my skincare routine has only changed slightly from summer to winter but it’s made a major difference in the look and feel of my skin.

One of the major things that  changed since the last time I talked about my skin was my birth control. I’m not going to sit here and advocate for birth control or anything because I think it’s a very personal choice and affects people differently. For some people it’s extremely helpful in many different ways and for others, it can be harmful to their physical and emotional health. In my case, I feel that I’ve found one that works very well for me but after several years of trying different ones. I switched to Kyleena, which is an IUD, back in August or September and once my body adjusted to it, I think it’s made a huge difference. My mood has definitely improved (with help from some of the other changes I’ve made in my life) but it improved my skin tremendously. It took about 3 months to really see the difference but now I just have the occasional breakout before or during my period and some scarring left. I think that if your struggle with acne, birth control is solution to consider as long as you understand the side effects that might come with it.

So now for the routine part of it, I still use mostly the same products. I start by washing my face with the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash in the morning. Then depending on what my skin is doing, I’ll either tone with the Neutrogena Pore-Refining Toner or I’ll use the Neutrogena Oil-Elimintating Astringent if I’m breaking out. After that I’ll use the OleHenriksen Truth Serum to keep my skin bright and glowy and then moisturize with the OleHenriksen Sheer Transformation Moisturizer. In the morning, I keep it pretty simple because I don’t usually have time to do much more. 

At night I do a little bit more with my skin because that’s when your body is recovering from the day and preparing for tomorrow. At night is when I like to exfoliate and really get all the gross stuff out of my skin, especially if I’ve worn makeup recently. I exfoliate every 3-4 days or twice a week. I usually do this in the shower so that the steam can open my pores even more and I can really get all the dirt and oil out. I’ll use the same cleanser with my cleansing brush from Ulta. If I’m exfoliating, then I’ll use my Glycolic Acid solution from the Ordinary followed by a lactic acid solution from the Ordinary. Obviously this is a really intense exfoliation but it makes my skin so soft and smooth the following morning. After that I’ll use my Murad Post Acne Spot Lightening Gel to help with my acne scarring and my BareMinerals Eternalixir Skin Volumizing Oil Serum. This oil serum also makes my skin super soft and glowy when I wake up so I absolutely love it. After that I moisturize with my Origins Night-A-Mins moisturizer.

And that’s it! It’s not very different but trust me when I tell you it’s made a major difference in my skin. Now I want to know, what are some of your favorite skin care products?

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Beauty

Thanksgiving Dinner Make Up Look 2018

I thought I would try a new make up look to start off the holiday season. I was feeling inspired, I guess. This look is definitely a little bit more of a full glam look, but feel free to modify it however you want!

I started off by priming my face with the Too Faced Hangover Primer Spray and also the Becca Backlight Priming Filter over top to make sure it lasts. Then I used my Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation and my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer under my eyes. I contoured my cheeks with the Anastasia Cream Contour Kit next and then used the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder under my eyes and a loose foundation powder all over my face.

For my cheeks, I used my favorite bronzer to set my contour, the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Dark Chocolate. For my cheeks, I used a limited edition blush palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills. To highlight, I used my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Lilac Geode. For my brows, I always always always use my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer and set them with a clear mascara from Maybelline. I always use clear mascara to set my brows instead of paying $20 for a “brow gel” that is essentially the same thing!

Now for the fun part! For my eyes, I used my Kat Von D Shade and Light Eyeshadow Palette and my Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. In my crease, I use the shade Sawael from the Shade and Light Palette and Sytry in my outer corner. For my lid, I used YDK from my Naked 2 Palette. Then I went back in with Sytry on my lower lash line and used my Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean to line my top waterline. For my winged liner, I used my Maybelline Line Stilleto which has always been my favorite. I love the felt tip! Last but not least, for my lips, I used my Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi which is the PERFECT nude color.

P.S. keep up with me on instagram @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

October 2018 Favorites

October has come and gone and I’m back with my monthly favorites! 2018 is FLYING and I think I say that every month but it’s really true. I can’t believe it’s already November. This month, I have lots of fashion favorites because I finally figured out what my fall style is. I also have some more fall things and life stuff that I’m loving because it’s FINALLY starting to feel chilly and cozy and I’m ready to hibernate for 4 months. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. SomethingNavy at Nordstrom

I’m a long time fan of Arielle Charnas and her blog, SomethingNavy. I think she was actually the very first blogger I ever followed  on instagram about 5 years ago during my freshman year of college so we go way back. I even remember her reaching 100K followers and now she has over 1 million. Anyway, she released her clothing line at Nordstrom at the end of September and now that it’s October and chilly out, I finally was in the mood to throw on some boots and a fuzzy coat. I am absolutely loving her clothing line this month and probably for the rest of my life. I got 5 of her shoes because I think they are so good. She’s got great taste in shoes, honestly. All her pieces are perfectly curated and go so well together. I think she’s really found her niche with creating elevated basics. I’m crazy excited for her November and December collections.

2. Zara

I think I’ve been living under a rock for at least the last 5 years because I just started shopping at Zara in September and have fallen IN LOVE. I completely understand why everyone feels the way they do about Zara. I think my style is finally evolving into a more mature smart casual look and I think Zara really reflects that. I’ve been spending way too much money there and I’m not even mad about it. I think Zara will definitely be my go to store for my work and casual clothes for the fall and winter. I always struggle with spring and summer clothes so we’ll see how I feel when that time comes!

3. Denim

My job changed it’s dress code from Business Casual to “Use Your Best Judgement” which I absolutely love because that means no more uncomfy dress pants for me. This is what I mean in my bullet above about a more smart casual look. Now that I can wear jeans to work, I have been denim obsessed. I’ve recently acquired an absurd amount of jeans because I can wear them all the time. Prior to this I was also a leggings/sweatpants kind of girl but now I even like wearing jeans…on the weekend (UGH THE HORROR). I’ve been getting all my new jeans from Topshop. As you all know I LOVE their Mom jeans and the Jamie jeans. I also found a few pairs of the Joni jeans that I like (cue my leopard pants). I also (sadly) love distressed jeans that I can’t wear to work so I’m trying to resist the urge. I think next I want to try out GRLFRND, Paige and Levi’s for my denim. I’m looking to explore some new brands for denim so please feel free to leave suggestions/reviews in the comments!

4. The Book of Joy

I mentioned this in my What I’m Reading post for this month and thought I’d bring it up again. I really am enjoying this book because I think it’s exactly what I needed this month. Since I’m struggling a lot with not being miserable about where I am in life, I thought I’d try reading this because everyone loves His Holiness the Dalai Lama, right? Him and the Archbishop are world renowned spiritual leaders for a reason. It helps me to put things in perspective and take a step back and remember what it really means to be joyful.

5. Briogeo: Don’t Despair, Repair!

I’m not sure why I haven’t mentioned this before. I’ve been using it since August and have really been loving it. It makes my hair feel really soft and not like I tried to bleach my curly, ethnic hair more than once (cue my 9 million regretful thoughts). In combination with all my other hair care products, it’s been such a big help keeping my hair healthy as I journey to grow it out as far as I can.

6. Dark Nail Polish

No surprise here that I like dark nail polish for fall. But I’m really loving purple/berry color nail polish. It’s such a pretty and flattering color. I think it really looks great on every skin tone because there’s such a wide variety of dark berry pinks and plum purples. My favorites for this month are Bahama Mama by Essie and Maki Me Happy by Essie.

7. Blazers

For the fall, I just fell in love with blazers and denim. Remember what I said about smart casual? Here it’s coming into play again. It all makes sense now, right? Okay, so yes BLAZERS. I love to dress them down with jeans and a t-shirt but keep the look put together by adding in some ankle boots. I’m loving all kinds of blazers and really missing my employee discount from BCBG. They have the best blazers. Very chic and stylish, but still classic. I’m still exploring some brands, but I’ve been looking into what Revolve has to offer and I found this very cool corduroy blazer from BlankNYC. I’m also recently obsessed with &OtherStories so I’ve been looking there for nice blazers also. I’m heavily inspired by Arielle Charnas (of course, see bullet #1 for proof) and Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat.

8. Dallas, TX

I’ve been traveling quite a bit in September and October (and never took any photos because I’m a bad blogger). I went to Dallas for a weekend to go to a Cowboys game and I had such a great time. The atmosphere was just totally different from New York. There’s a real sense of pride in where you’re from with people in Texas. Everyone in Texas loves Texas and it makes it hard to not feel the same way. I felt so happy and comfortable and it was such a great experience. We ate some AMAZING brisket and had lots of beers and even got to try In n Out. I’m definitely looking forward to heading back there!

 

P.S. keep up with me on instagram @karenmauritzenn

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