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My Favorite Beauty Products and My Beauty Regimen

21 Jul

I haven’t had much luck when it comes to my skin. I’ve always been prone to break outs and was even on Accutane as a teenager. Through the years, I learned a few things about applying makeup and dealing with problematic skin. *Disclaimer – I’m not a doctor. Please see a physician for advice with medical questions*

First, always moisturize (even for those of you with oily skin like me). The skin does interesting things when its too dry. It over produces oils and hence the oil confusion. So your “oily” skin is actually too dry. Sometimes the right moisturizer can fix everything. Use an oil free moisturizer on clean skin as a makeup base. I use the Neutrogena Oil-Free Sensitive Skin Moisturizer. You can find it in any drug store. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good products.

For pimples, I always had success with a simple spot treatment like Differin gel. See your dermatologist for a prescription. Although as you know, most pimples just need to run their course until ready to be popped. For popping fun, I use this little guy to prevent scarring since this is a hands free and semi-sterile way of popping a pimple.

My Everyday Beauty Regimen

1. A good moisturizer. Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture – as a base on clean skin – see above. Use a quarter size amount and spread across face and neck.

2. SO crucial, a primer – Sephora Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer – I use a dime size and use it the same as I use the moisturizer, applying all over face/neck. It feels slightly oily but it holds makeup SO well. If you skip this step, you will find that makeup ends up sometimes wearing off earlier than you’d like. I think this is the most important item when setting a base.

3. A long wear wet foundation – Lorac Natural Performance Foundation – I use this in porcelain and I use this brush to apply. I start by using my fingers with a little bit of foundation on them to cover just my under eye circles and then use the brush to cover the rest of my redness/blemishes on my cheeks/forehead. I’m a fan of using a brush vs. sponge or contour sponge for foundation application because brushes really get into the skin better than any other product. It creates a flawless finish.

4. Foundation powder to set – bareMinerals Matte Foundation Powder – I like the matte formula because it comes out better on my oily skin than the original. I get this in golden fair in the summer and fairly light in the winter. I put this right on top of my foundation using this brush in dabbing and circular motions to cover the face. Before applying, make sure your liquid foundation has “set” for a few minutes before applying this directly on wet foundation. Sometimes if you apply powder on top of wet foundation you look cakey. (nobody has time for that!)

5. To add color to fair skin – Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer – I’ve been using this bronzer for years. It makes such a great addition to my everyday routine because its not too harsh or dark and you really have control over how you want to look. Feeling more jersey shore than usual? keep applying.. want to just create a solid base look for everyday like I do? lightly brush this all over your face. I don’t use a bronzer brush because I find it can be too harsh and make lines which is a no-no. I use this one to apply all over lightly.

6. To contour and look alive! – Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo – I love this blush. Its really mild and comes out so great. I use this in Tea Rose Tickle. This in combination with my bronzer makes me look like I have a sun-kissed look when applied properly. I use a blush brush for this and apply along my cheek bones.

7. Setting powder to finish it off – Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder – I use any brush to dab this along my whole face to set everything. Particularly in the creases of my nose, under my lower lip/chin, and forehead where I get most oily.

That’s it for my “face” before eyes. For eyes, I’m really simple for everyday. Otherwise I use eyeshadow. I don’t have a ton of eyeshadow and don’t use it unless for special occasions, so for the purpose of this post I will omit.

1. A good eyeliner – Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner – A lot of friends ask me how I get my eyeliner line so straight when applying everyday. I can do this literally in my sleep already (no joke!) and this pencil makes it so easy. It has a pencil side and a smudger side. I start by creating a fine line along the lash line and then use the smudger side to spread it across the eye to straighten out. It’s fool proof! I get this in Noir.

2. A mascara that lengthens and separates – bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara – I have really long eye lashes naturally but this mascara helps me really get in there and separate and lengthen without compromising volume. It’s also not waterproof so its easily removable with water/soap so it doesn’t damage lashes. I don’t know why so many women use waterproof mascara everyday unless you cry everyday! Again, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on these products. Skip the Burberry or Doir and go for this.

Few side notes, I also sometimes use the smudger side of the eyeliner pencil to create a light line underneath my bottom lashes. I also use this eyebrow brush to shape my brows. I don’t typically wear anything but chapstick on my lips. Simple as that!

A few other favorites:
This red lipstick by Hourglass. I got it as a sample and fell in love. It applies shiny and then matte-ifies to be perfect.
This mask. I really like how my skin feels after using this. Its really mild and works wonders to make me glow.

So that’s my routine. Maybe one of these days I will post a video of the whole process. What works for you guys? What are your favorite products?


Our Honeymoon – My Favorites

27 Mar

I’m pulling a Ziggy. Yes you Ziggy! Italy… oh my god Italy. The most beautiful country.. Its been about a year since our wedding and honeymoon, and we are so damn nostalgic looking at these photos. We decided to embark on a journey to Venice, Florence, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, and of course, Rome. We stopped at Bologna on the way to Florence, too. These are our favorites (food post is next).

IMG_0046 IMG_0052 IMG_0086 IMG_0089 IMG_0092 IMG_0106 IMG_0146 IMG_0198 IMG_0258 IMG_0261 IMG_0266 IMG_0285 IMG_0315 IMG_0338 IMG_0344 IMG_0364 IMG_0381 IMG_0383 IMG_0399 IMG_0404 IMG_0421 IMG_0447 IMG_0457 IMG_0459 IMG_0505 IMG_0511 IMG_0523 IMG_0524 IMG_0526 IMG_0593 IMG_0597 IMG_0599 IMG_0623 IMG_0624 IMG_0636 IMG_0639 IMG_0681 IMG_0700 IMG_0708 IMG_0742 IMG_0759 IMG_0767 IMG_0784 IMG_0790 IMG_0830 IMG_0870 IMG_0930 IMG_0974 IMG_0994 IMG_1070 IMG_9528 IMG_9537 IMG_9593 IMG_9657 IMG_9681 IMG_9685 IMG_9693 IMG_9756 IMG_9779 IMG_9785 IMG_9815 IMG_9828 IMG_9829 IMG_9930 IMG_9950 IMG_9952 IMG_9994


9 Sep

So guess what?

I got engaged! Here’s my wonderful story…

11 am-5:45 pm – Lounging around the apartment playing video games (literally, looked gross all day and didn’t suspect a thing. apparently he was sweating all day)

6:00-7:15 pm – Showering and getting ready for our evening out for dinner to celebrate my new job (yeah, that happened too! i got a job working for a great company in NYC)

7:30-9:00 pm – Dinner at Perla in the city, foie gras for appetizer, arugula salad with pistachios, oriechette with sausage and pesto (like my recipe!), and Dave got the lamb breast and wine.. we had a great time, the place played old 80’s hip hop and we talked about how happy we are to be back in NY, both working, and finally settling in. We’re also going on vacation tomorrow to Bar Harbor Maine just to relax a little. It was a wonderful dinner.

9:00-10:00 pm – We went to eataly (mario batalis market) and got Hazelnut Pistachio Gelato. This is significant because we did this when we first started dating a lot… i walked in, and dave immediately stopped me because he said he “left his wallet in the car” and had to go get it. We got gelato when he got back, and he wanted to go outside. I was like, no!! its drizzling and wet! hes like its fine we have an umbrella.. So we walked over and sat on a bench in front of the flatiron building in madison square park. I just sat there, enjoying the sights and refusing the eat anymore gelato.

He put down our gelato, and started getting all serious on me saying, you’re my best friend, I would never want to spend my life with anyone else, and at that point i knew what was going on, and looked at him in that, OMG whats going on face. He got down on one knee, and proposed with the most beautiful ring!!

After tons of hugging and kissing and crying, Dave wanted to go to his favorite bar, Flatiron Lounge, for a celebratory drink. Little did i know, my parents, his parents, and my brother and his fiance were there waiting for us with champagne and flowers. How awesome is that!??!?

I had the most wonderful week. I celebrated my birthday the week before, got a job offer, and got engaged to my best friend in the whole world.

Hints of the night i realized later:
*He DROVE into the city, he said he wanted me to be comfortable since it was raining and i was wearing heels. He never drives into the city!
*He asked me to bring my camera
*He dressed up real nice, and wore cologne and he NEVER does. i was like, whaaaa?
*At dinner, he asked me to keep the cork from our wine

P.S…. look at my ring!!!!

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30 Aug


Food blogging has been an amazing thing for me this year, I’ve been able to track my progress, keep and recreate my favorite things, and share them with people I love. Whats better than that??? Also, my birthday was this past Tuesday. Yay! Happy almost Friday



12 Jul

I recently took a trip to Israel on Birthright. If anyone has not heard of what birthright is, its a free trip to Israel for jewish people to identify with, discover their roots, feel at home, and have an experience of spirituality.

The hidden messages behind birthright:
*Find a jewish spouse on the trip
*Meet hot israeli soldiers
*Become more religious (aka you come back, say you will, and never do)

with that being said though, what it really is ends up being this incredible journey in a foreign country where there are beautiful beautiful hikes, scenic views, and mystical cities. Its a feeling when you walk through that there is such history, and that you are in a special place. The hardest part of being there was the obvious political issues between the surrounding countries and territories like lebanon, egypt, and syria and not to mention gaza and the west bank – to fight for land they want to claim their own.

To keep it short, everyone thinks they were there first or that they deserve the land. Will the war ever end? I hope so.. but Israel is always going to be a place where jews will feel safe and at home and tourism is alive and well.

Birthright was a gift. They gave us 10 days of adventure with 30 other strangers your age. We laughed, we cried, we fell down, we lost weight, we gained weight, we ATE! This was my itinerary. I went with a wonderful group called Young Judaea.

Thursday, June 7 – Departure

6:30 am – Check in with YJ staff at JFK Int’l Airport 10:30 am – EL AL #LY004 – flight departs for Israel

Friday, June 8 – Welcome to Israel!

4:10 am – Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport
7:00 am – Opening session & Birthright rules at the airport
10:00 am – Opening Ceremony at Sovev Pisga – Sheheyanu & Hamotzi 12:00 pm – Lunch at Rosh Pina
3:00 pm – Kayaking in the Jordan River
6:59 pm – Kabalat Shabbat
8:00 pm – Dinner at Hotel
9:00 pm – Oneg Shabbat – Friday Evening Activity

Accommodations: Malkiya – Golan Heights

Saturday, June 9 – North

8:00 am – Breakfast
12:00 pm – Shabbat Services
1:00 pm – Lunch at Hotel
2:00 pm – Tour the Kibbutz
4:00 pm – Group Program
5:30 pm – Third meal for Shabbat
8:11 pm – Havdallah – Start of New Week Ceremony 9:00 pm – Dinner on own at Rosh Pina

Accommodations: Malkiya – Golan Heights

Sunday, June 10 – Golan Heights

7:00 am – Breakfast
8:30 am – Nachal Jilaboun – Canyon hike
12:00 pm – Mt. Bental – Border Observation – Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon
1:00 pm – Lunch in Katzrin
3:30 pm – Golan Winery – Tasting & Tour
5:00 pm – Golan Heights Olive Oil Press
7:00 pm – Dinner at Hotel
8:00 pm – Group program – Israeli movie

Accommodations: Malkiya – Golan Heights

Monday, June 11 – Tzfat

7:00 am – Breakfast & Check out
8:30 am – Tour of Tzfat – Home of Jewish Mysticism
11:00 am – Avraham Leventhal – Session with a Kaballah artist 12:00 pm – Lunch in Tzfat
3:30 pm – Volunteering & Co-Existence program in Lod
6:00 pm – Dinner at Hotel
9:00 pm – Night out in Tel Aviv

Accommodations: Golden Beach – Tel Aviv

Tuesday, June 12 – Tel Aviv

7:00 am – Breakfast & Check out
8:00 am – Tour Jaffa
9:00 am – Jaffa Flea Market
10:00 am – Neve Tzedek – walking tour of historic neighborhood 11:30 am – Rubin Museum

12:30 pm – Lunch and Free time on Shenkin Street
2:30 pm – Tour Rothschild Avenue – Bauhaus Architecture in Tel Aviv
3:30 pm – Yitzchak Rabin Square – Memorial of Murdered Israeli Prime Minister 8:00 pm – Bedouin hospitality / dinner & bonfire

Accommodations: Chan HaShayarot – Negev

Wednesday, June 13 – Negev

7:00 am – Breakfast & Check out
8:30 am – Camel trekking!
9:00 am – Nahal Havarim & Ein Ovdat – Desert Canyon hike
11:30 pm – Welcome Israeli Participants
12:00 pm – Sde Boker – Grave of Ben Gurion – The First Israeli Prime Minister 2:00 pm – Lunch at Shvil Hasalat
3:00 pm – Shvil Hasalat – Israeli Agriculture Innovations
7:00 pm – Dinner at Hotel
8:00 pm – Group Program

Accommodations: Rabin Youth Hostel – Arad

Thursday, June 14 – Masada & Dead Sea

7:00 am – Breakfast & Check out
8:00 am – Masada via Roman Ramp
12:00 pm – The Dead Sea – Relaxation & lunch at Ein Gedi Spa
4:00 pm – Mount Scopus – Observation of Jerusalem
5:00 pm – Tasting tour of Machane Yehuda – colorful Jerusalem marketplace 7:30 pm – Dinner at Hotel
8:30 pm – Yishai Goldflam – workshop ‘Israeli Society Through Cinema’
9:30 pm – Preparation for Yad Vashem – Holocaust Museum

Accommodations: Leonardo Inn – Jerusalem

Friday, June 15 – Jerusalem

7:00 am – Breakfast
9:00 am – Yad Vashem – Holocaust Memorial Museum 1:00 pm – Lunch at Beit Hakerem
2:00 pm – Mt. Herzl – National Memorial Cemetery 4:30 pm – Preparation for Shabbat at Hotel
5:45 pm – Drive to Western Wall
6:56 pm – Kabbalat Shabbat in the Old City
7:00 pm – Walk back to hotel
8:00 pm – Dinner at Hotel
9:00 pm – Oneg Shabbat – Friday Evening Activity

Accommodations: Leonardo Inn – Jerusalem

Saturday, June 16 – Jerusalem

8:00 am – Breakfast
11:00 am – Political Seminar with Neil Lazarus – Situation Today in Israel 1:00 pm – Lunch at Hotel
5:00 pm – Tour of The Old City of Jerusalem
600 pm – Roof Overview in The Old City of Jerusalem
5:30 pm – Third meal for Shabbat
8:29 pm – Havdallah – Start of New Week Ceremony
9:00 pm – Dinner on Ben Yehuda Street – Pedestrian Shopping Mall

Sunday, June 17 – Jerusalem & Departure

7:00 am – Breakfast & Checkout
8:00 am – Security Fence Tour
10:00 am – The Time Elevator – Interactive Journey Through Israel’s History 12:00 pm – Lunch in Ben Yehuda Street – Pedestrian Shopping Mall
1:00 pm –Closing Session in Beit Ar-El [Young Judaea Campus]
3:00 pm – Drive to Ben Gurion Airport for return flight
4:00 pm – Farewell to Israeli Soldiers
7:15 pm – EL AL #LY009 Flight back to JFK

Monday, June 18 – Arrival back to US!

12:20 am – Arrival in JFK Int’l Airport (local time)

Shawarma in Tel-Aviv… MMMM

Me on a camel in the Negev Desert.. for real!

Floating in the dead sea

Me at the Western Wall during Shabbat

Our group in Jaffa

Hiking in the North – Jilaboun Mountain

Such an amazing journey to do right in my transition between moving from Florida to NY. So happy I can share it with you guys!