For us ghostly-pale ladies, bronzer is a very tricky proposition. So many things can go wrong. The color can be too dark, or too orange, the texture can be too cakey, or too flaky. It’s a scary thought, really.

I’ve basically avoided bronzer in the past for fear of looking like an oompa loompa, but I just didn’t realize that all my skin needs is a light, healthy flush of color. You know how good your skin looks after a brisk walk or a, ahem, romp in the hay? That’s the kind of color I’m talking about.

While it’s amazing to get that look naturally, makeup is perhaps the easiest way to fake it (or fake anything, really!). My favorite bronzer is designed for all skin tones, and I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. Until I tried it.

Called Phyto-Touche Illusion d’Été by Sisley Paris, it’s described as “an ultra-gentle bronzing gel-powder which glides on easily, giving a natural sun-kissed complexion to pale skin tones and illuminating tanned skin… Suitable for all skin types and tones. Phyto-Touche Illusion d’Été can be used all year round for a sun-kissed ‘nude’ effect.”

I was initially intrigued by the fact that it’s a “gel-powder” (what the heck is a gel-powder anyway?!) and that it claimed to work on pale skin, too. And when I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised that a light application gives my skin a healthy, but natural looking glow. I put it on after my BB cream and any needed concealer, and before blush, and my skin looks even and dewy, without being greasy or shiny. The hint of color is perfect for my pale skin.

I’m more than happy to hold on to the last bit of that summer glow in any way that I can as fall has already arrived. I’m thrilled to trade shorts and sundresses for sweaters and scarves, but don’t want to look like Casper, even if Halloween *is* quickly approaching.

xo A



Well, I did it! I’ve been wanting to do it for a LONG time and finally took the plunge — my ends are PINK!

I wrote about some of my favorite looks almost two months ago, and finally decided that I’m ready to think pink. My hairstylist wanted to be sure I *really* wanted to do it, and I’ll admit a fleeting moment of panic came over me when she put the first hot pink swatch of color on my hair, but I *looooove* it and am so glad I finally did it!

I’m now officially a part of the Pink Ladies, and I’ve never loved my hair more!


What do you think? Here’s another picture that’s not a shameless selfie:


xo A



I don’t tend to jump on beauty bandwagons unless I reeeeally feel like something will suit me, because nothing is worse than spending lots of money on a beauty product that’s trendy and hating it. Then you’ve shelled out money for something that will just sit in your arsenal, unused and unloved. No bueno.

I thought I’d be a great contender for a face oil given that my skin (especially in the winter) can get suuuuper dry. Like, flake off all over the place dry (sorry for THAT visual). So I tried a face oil for some extra moisture instead of my usual lotion moisturizer/BB cream.

I tried one of the most expensive on the market and was woefully disappointed. By Sisley, the Black Rose Precious Face Oil had so much promise. It claims to “visibly smooth wrinkles and fine lines, and revitalize the skin for a radiant complexion.”

At $235 for .84 oz, this stuff is EXPENSIVE. (Note that I received it for free, so I thankfully did not shell out the dough for it and likely would not.) But the bottle is absolutely gorgeous and the oil smells amazing, so I was eager to try it.

It’s entirely possible that I’m just the wrong candidate for the stuff given that I’m 25, so anti-aging oils may not be necessary for me. Thankfully, I have no wrinkles or fine lines. But all skin could use some revitalizing and radiance, right?

I applied very little (like, less than five drops) to my clean, bare face. All it did was make me feel extra greasy and it made me break out. I am still prone to breakouts, but this was disappointing. After a few uses (and a few new zits), I found no real benefit. Bummer.

I’ll try again in the colder months as I am always prone to pesky dryness, but for now, the gorgeous purple bottle will sit on my vanity, untouched and unloved.

xo A



I know it’s going to sound totally crazy. But one thing I am loving lately is pink eye shadow. I’m serious!

Most people would equate pink eye shadow with looking diseased or ill (or, you know, conjunctival), but when done right, it’s a totally pretty and fresh look.

All it takes is finding the right shade of pink to make your eyes pop and it looks great with a violet, brown, or black eyeliner and mascara. I’m not talking neon pink here, but if that’s your thing, then go for it!

My favorite pink comes in a gift set that my mom got me for Christmas a few years back, called Joy to the Girls by Too Faced (apparently, it can still be purchased on Amazon! Score.) Actually, this palette is my go-to for eye shadows. I love so many of the shades. My favorites are Cookie Dough, Cheers!, and Chestnut.

My favorite pinks in the palette are Too-Too and Spike the Punch. They give my eyes just enough of a pop that looks great for every day, and you can easily build upon the color or keep it on the sheer side, depending on your mood.

I was nervous about looking insane with pink peepers, but when my husband saw me, he said: “you did something different with your makeup. It looks GREAT.” That was all the confirmation I needed for a pop of pink in my routine! I have definite pink undertones in my skin, and it seems to work, so for now I’m loving it.

What do you think about pink?

xo A




We are surrounded by reminders of September 11, 2001 almost constantly. I remember, even a few years after the attacks, thinking that it was something I heard about almost daily in some capacity or another. Every year, I think I’ve “gotten over it” or “moved on from it” and then every year, I sit in front of the TV crying and gasping for air while loved ones of those lost read the names and their photos pop up, one after the other. It’s such a stomach churning reality to face — I still go through the stages of grief — wondering how the hell something like that could even happen, and feeling scared that something similar still could.

Since 2012, I’ve felt a particular closeness to 9/11 as my first job out of college was at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency who owned the Twin Towers, and whose headquarters were there, and who now own the World Trade Center site. Yes, I grew up just a train ride away from New York City, and felt that closeness growing up after the attacks, but it wasn’t until I started my job there that I really felt the effects of that day. So many of my friends whom I adore to the ends of the earth were there that day and have horrific stories to tell. One friend still gets panic attacks, seemingly out of nowhere, when she’s driving, or on the train to work. Another friend missed the attacks because she was running late to work that day. One of my closest, most wonderful friends guided a burn victim down 78 fights of stairs in the north tower. Those are the stories that feel like a punch in the stomach. The stories of “what happened” and “what could’ve happened.”

I was lucky enough to visit the WTC site many times during my 2.5 tenure at the PANYNJ, and even attended the Memorial service on 9/11 two years ago. It’s still such a raw nerve to know that some of the people I adore most in this world will never fully be healed by the acts of terrorism on that day. It’s easy to forget when we go about our day-to-day lives, but it’s ALWAYS in the back of my mind. Today and every day, for my Port Authority family, I remember.



As fall approaches, style bloggers remind us that it’s time for the survival tools needed by every basic bitch: an oversized but still slightly sexy sweater, leggings, boots, and a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand. After all, how could we possibly get through the season without those necessary things?!

The term “basic bitch” rose to popularity with the Buzzfeed listicle and, of course, the annual return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. It’s an odd conundrum for twenty-something girls: do we aspire to be the basic bitch, or rebuff it? On the surface, it seems like it should be an insult. Basic, by definition, means simple, unremarkable, ordinary.

Last summer, Allure Magazine called out the (apparently) queen basic bitch of them all, Lauren Conrad. In a story called “Typecasting” they used a photo of Lauren and described her as: “Basic: Made famous by Kreayshawn, and viral by YouTube, the Basic woman is remarkably unremarkable. What’s noteworthy about her style is its very plainness. Except to her. She swears those red-soled shoes are cutting-edge.”

The story then goes on to say that the stereotypical basic bitch wears “sausage curls” and smells like “vanilla-cupcake body milk.”

Ouch! The former star of The Hills and current fashion mogul and lifestyle blogger retorted in a tweet: “I definitely just got called a basic b*tch! Haha! Sausage curls!? Really @Allure_magazine?”

It’s worth noting that the blonde beauty had appeared on Allure’s cover three times (!!).

The feud appeared to end there, but Lauren, who married William Tell last year (in a surely Pinterest-perfect wedding suited only for the most basic of ladies) was asked again about her basic status in this month’s Cosmopolitan.

She states, “I probably am pretty basic. But I’m also a pretty happy person, so that’s OK with me.”

Under Lauren’s name (and GORGEOUS photo), the cover of the October issue reads: Can You Be Basic AND a Badass?

I say yes you CAN. And if being a basic bitch means looking as hot and happy as Lauren, sign me up!