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Beauty

wishlist fig + yarrowi have a confession to make: i have ugly heels. like, gross, cracked, totally fugly please get those away from me heels. if i had a dime for every time a nail salon attendee has said, “WHY IS YOUR SKIN SO DRY?!” i’d be a millionaire at age 28.

it’s no surprise, then, that i’ve tried nearly ever foot scrub and foot cream under the sun – because all a girl wants is some smooth feet, you know? unfortunately, nothing works like a good pedicure, and despite my very best efforts, my heels still don’t look their best.

enter fig+yarrow’s alpine foot butter: the newest item on my wishlist. the brand bills it as “a velvety smooth alpine fresh whipped butter blend to treat and nourish feet.” i can get on board with that. see, i have a thing for alpine/christmas scented things. specifically, i have a thing for holiday-scented candles, but pretty much anything that smells like a tree makes me happy.

hence, i’m pretty sure that fig+yarrow’s foot butter will be a home run in my book. and since i can’t resist anything with pretty packaging, nor can i get enough of at home spa treatments, i’m also thinking of splurging on the winter herbal steam (at home facial here i COME), coffee + cardamom body scrub, and of course, the alpine foot scrub. HELLLOOO, at home pedicure.

ps: friends, fam, there’s still time to order before hanukkah ends! just kidding. sort of.

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6 steps to the perfect fall manicurebuffer | cuticle oil | moisturizer | base coat | polish | top coat

so, i have a confession to make: i got sort of addicted to gel nail polish this summer. i know, i know. it’s terrible for your nails, and it’s so much more expensive, but there is just something positively crack-like about staring at shiny nails that DO NOT CHIP. FOR WEEKS. i mean, hello amazing. gel is simply easier when it comes to maintenance, and it’s especially good for summer, when too many days at the beach can wreck havoc on your mani/pedi.

that might be the most superficial sentence i’ve ever written. alas.

anywho, now that summer’s on its way out the door (don’t let the door hit you on your humid ass on the way out, summa! just kidding, i love you), i’m re-dedicating myself to the practice of DIY manicures, and kicking my gel habit to the curb. over the years, i’ve pretty much perfected the art of the at-home manicure, so i thought i’d share the wealth. people often ask me how i get such nice manicures with just my own two hands, and the answer is much like other things: practice, practice, practice. and then practice some more.

i think my hands have gotten considerably less shaky over the years, but i still make a bit more of a mess when i’m painting with my left hand – but hey, that’s why god made q-tips, right? above are my 6 steps to a perfect manicure, any time. but since it’s fall, we’ll go with fall manicure, yeah? i’m crushing on that butter london shade above. god i love me some glitter.

 1) cut, buff and file. the perfect manicure starts with fresh, clean nails. i prefer short and square shaped, but you can go long and rounded if that’s your thing. just don’t let them get too long, you’ll look like you have crack nails, ya hear? i trim with a nail clipper, file straight across to get them even, and then buff the heck out of them with the little doo-hickey above.

2) clean cuticles and apply oil. at my nail place, they always attempt to cut my cuticles with a scary looking tool, but i try to simply “push” and clean instead. cutting leads to hangnails, in my humble opinion, so i simply clean things up and then massage some oil into my cuticles. trust me, oil helps. one of my good friends carries a little bottle of cuticle oil in her bag at all times, and massages it in at random. i can’t commit to that, but i try to lube ’em up when i can (gross?).

3) moisturize. dry hands are not cute. i should know, my hands and feet are always dry. my feet, to the point where the girls at the nail salon yell at me (WHY YOU SO DRY?! girl, i don’t know! in the words of gaga, i was born this way!). my hands are a bit better, but i try to moisturize as often as i can, especially in the winter, when cracked skin gets the best of me. the aesop lotion above is a splurge, but it’s amazing, trust me.

4) apply a base coat. i’ll admit, sometimes i’m feeling lazy, and i skip this step. but i notice that when i remember to apply base coat, my manicure lasts longer, plain and simple.

5) apply polish of your choicei’m a big fan of glitter pretty much any time, anywhere, but a shade like the one above, with a subtle shimmer, is a bit more work-appropriate. come fall, i lean toward deep oxblood shades and moody greens. on days when i’m feeling more casual, i go with a bronze/rose gold ish shade like the one above, always with some shimmer.

6) apply top coat. i SWEAR by this top coat. there are more expensive versions out there, but i’ve tried a bunch and i always come back to my beloved out the door, which truly does have you out the door much sooner than pretty much any other option. quick dry for the win, am i right?

and there you have it: 6 simple steps to getting that perfect fall manicure. you and your beautiful nails can thank me later.

daily beauty fresh faced

because i get up early to work out before i head into the office, i’ve developed a quick and dirty makeup routine that can be applied pretty much anywhere (that includes the dreaded subway application, which, at my old agency, happened more often than i’d like to admit). generally, i’m showering, blow-drying, dressing, and “putting on my face” (as my grandma used to say) in the bar method locker room, which means that i can’t exactly carry the entire kitchen sink around with me. luckily, my makeup routine has gotten much simpler over the years.  i used to gravitate toward eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick – the works – but the older i get, the less makeup i want to put on. i still love a good glittery shadow for a night out, and a bold lip had saved me on more days than i can count, but for the most part, i’m keeping it short and sweet. i can apply the look above in under 5 minutes, which is my saving grace on days i’ve got to get to a 9am meeting or can’t seem to find any available mirror space.

nars has long been my go-to makeup brand; i wear their bronzer, illuminating stick (the multiple is pretty much the best thing that’s ever taken up space in my makeup bag) and blush every single day.

when it comes to eye makeup, i’m ALL ABOUT my eyelash curler. i have never, not once in my life, applied mascara without curling my eyelashes first. curling makes a HUGE difference. in just 20 seconds, your eyes look larger, brighter, and all together more awake. you can’t go wrong.

i vacillate between favorite mascara brands. for a while, i was all about this covergirl lash blast, but i got a little mini diorshow in with my sephora points recently, and man, was i missing out! i actually used diorshow for a few years when i first moved to NYC and went a bit makeup crazy, but had switched to the drugstore brands because they’re way more affordable. i forgot how darn good it is. i swear, it gives you falsies! without actual falsies!

last but certainly not least, i put something on my lips. sometimes, when i’m going for fresh and easy, like above, it’s (pun not intended) fresh’s lip sugar in cherry – a fabulous lip moisturizer that also adds a good amount of color (much more than the average chapstick). if i’m feeling more adventurous, i’ll go for bright lipstick instead of the above  – but that’s a different post for a different day ( i love me some bright lipstick).

follow the 6 steps above, and you’ve got an easy, natural beauty look that can get you out the door in five minutes or less. perfect for weekend brunch, an early morning at the office, or just a go-to everyday face.

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i’m super into all things wine-colored lately. that includes, but is not limited to: my new oxblood colored faux fur snood from anthro, my stila lipstick, my berry-colored nails, and of course, a good red wine. this weekend, i tried on just about every wine/plum colored lipstick sephora had to offer, and i came away with this one from stila in brigette. i’ve also got this lancome one on order – it was the hands down winner of all the stains, pencils and sticks i tried. below, a few others i loved.

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marc jacobs | bite | nars | stila | ysl 

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the other day, i went into sephora to purchase a clarisonic for one of the folks on my holiday gift list, and came out with three free gifts. why? because i had over 1000 points to use on my beauty insider rewards card. why did i have that many? because i am an bonafide beauty addict. makeup, hair, nails…you name it, i’ve got it. i can’t even bear to show you my makeup drawer (while well organized, i exhibit some slight hoarding tendencies in the eyeshadow and lipstick departments). it’s embarrassing, especially given how little makeup i actually wear on a day to day basis. and yet, i’ve got about 5 different shades of fuschia lipstick. i’ve got at least 4 red lip stains (for the record, my favorite is actually a drugstore brand!). i can’t even tell you how many tubes of lip balm i have. i really can’t. and then there’s the eyeshadow. and the glittery eye shadow, which, yes, is still a thing in my life at the ripe old age of 27. i know there will come a time when i will outgrow glitter, but i simply can’t see that time coming any time soon. maybe when i’m pregnant? there’s something sad about a pregnant woman wearing eye glitter, right?

anywho, suffice it to say, i know my shit when it comes to beauty. i own almost everything i’ve featured in this post, so i can say it’s sarah tested, sarah approved. my personal faves include the best glitter nail polish under the sun (hands down, i promise), my beloved clarisonic (bye bye milia), the best all in one highlighter/shimmer stick i’ve ever tried, body oil so luxurious you’ll swear you’re royalty, and peppermint blotting papers, for when you’re sweating on the subway in your parka come february. trust me, all of these gifts will make the ladies in your life happy (and maybe even some of the gents, too).

now, let’s get to it, shall we? beauty junkies, unite!

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