beauty

Rest in Peace, Brandon Truaxe

A few days ago, the founder of The Ordinary, Brandon Truaxe, passed away. Truaxe’s brand is brilliant: it finally brought professional grade skin care to the masses at affordable prices. The Ordinary’s powerful, effective serums and solutions have been a staple in my routine for quite some time.

Truaxe experienced a tumultuous year, and was eventually ousted from the company that he started. Aside from the controversy surrounding his company, I suspect that he was deeply troubled and experiencing many personal struggles as well. I hope that he is able to finally rest in peace.

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(Photo courtesy of DetailOrientedBeauty.com)

beauty

Beauty Review: Urban Decay Go Naked Perfume Oil

***Disclaimer – this one may be hard to find, since it’s currently sold out on Sephora and Urban Decay’s websites***

I purchased the Go Naked Perfume Oil earlier this summer, as it was clearance priced on Sephora’s website. The description (as written on Urban Decay’s website) lured me in:

You don’t just look better Naked, but you even smell better Naked too. Get it on in new places with Go Naked, a limited-edition perfume oil that tucks into your purse and makes you think of sun-warmed skin and salt air on a private beach.

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Well, when you put it like that, who wouldn’t want to give this a try?

So I tried it. This immediately made me think of Maison Margiela’s Beach Walk, a perfume that I adore during the warm months. Go Naked has the same sunny, crisp notes that can be found on MM’s Beach Walk, except Go Naked is a concentrated perfume oil with (presumably) more staying power. I mean, I don’t know if I could tell the two apart if blindfolded. I’m sure there are some differences, but these are essentially the same fragrance.

I’m used to perfumes that occasionally smell similar to a scent that I’ve worn previously, but I’ve never had the scent equivalent of doppelganger quite like this one

I hope that Urban Decay brings this one back, because I really liked the smell and value of this oil. However, if I’m itching to wear a similar scent, I’ll just reach for Beach Walk.

relaxation · travel

Review: TownePlace Suites Hotel in Cary, NC

 

I’ve been to Raleigh numerous times, but when I visit, I stay in Cary, a small incorporated town bordering the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. Every time I visit, I stay at the TownePlace Suites, a cozy aparthotel that meets all of my needs.

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Quiet? Check!

Conveniently located? Check!

Reasonably priced? Check!

Ample amenities? Check!

Eligible for reward points? Check!

I always love my stays here and I’ve raved about it each and every time. However, I wasn’t blogging when I’ve visited previously. So now that I’ve had a recent visit, I can finally share this information with you all!

Instead of adding a bunch of photos, you can check out this video room tour. I stayed in the studio-style suite with an “office” (it had a desk area). If you’re ever in the area, I can’t recommend this hotel enough!

travel

Review: Microtel Inn and Suites, Philadelphia Airport

Even though I adore luxury experiences and love sharing those reviews with you, it’s important that I try a variety of things because you may find it necessary to scale back the luxe and enjoy more economical experiences.

 In this spirit of this, I am reviewing a lower priced hotel in the Philadelphia area. I stayed at the Microtel Inn and Suites near Philadelphia International Airport (on Tinicum Drive). The hotel is modest but boasts a continental breakfast, close proximity to the airport, and free wifi.

I reserved a room with a double bed, and I was impressed with the simplicity and tidiness of the room upon settling in. However, there were a few issues that I want to note, for anyone interested in visiting this location.

 For starters, only the suites have microwaves, coffeemakers and refrigerators. Since my room technically wasn’t a suite, there was no way to preserve the takeout that I ordered. Also, the walls are very thin: I heard the television next to my room for quite a few hours. I know that complete soundproofing isn’t possible – nor is it desirable – but I would have enjoyed a quieter stay (for the record, the room next door did turn off/turn down the TV before 12 AM, so I didn’t have to listen to their set all night).

The main issue came after my first night at the hotel. The following morning, I went to use the internet and . . . it wasn’t working. I contacted the front desk and I was advised that they were aware of the issue but they were waiting on a technician to resolve it. It took nearly 4 hours (from the time I woke up around 6:30 AM to sometime before 11 AM) for the internet to be fixed. It wouldn’t have been a major issue except I needed to access systems for my job and send reports. I ended up using my cell phone as a hot spot, but that is my least favorite way of accessing the internet.

My overall takeaway is this: Microtel Inn and Suites Philadelphia Airport location is fine for one night, two maximum. It works out just fine for someone that may need to rest before continuing on their journey, or if you’re traveler that plans to just crash for the night after having a whirlwind tour of the city.

beauty

Review: KoyVoca Glossies

In late March, one of my favorite indie cosmetic companies, KoyVoca Cosmetics (you remember them – I reviewed them in this post and in this post) announce the upcoming release of their new lip gloss line. The product, Glossy, is, as the company puts it, “[…]the lip gloss you’ve been looking for! Its long-lasting formula provides a glass-like look to the lips.” The company launched 8 lip gloss shades in April and I, ever eager to switch it up from the matte lip trend, made sure that I preordered.

I ordered three shades: Panther, Princess Cut, and Rude Gyal. I got my glosses quickly after the release date and I’ve had a chance to play with all three, so I’m ready for this review!

For starters, kudos to KoyVoca for quickly shipping their products! Every time I order from them I’m impressed by the speed of order delivery. That being said, I also was very impressed with the size and presentation of the glosses:

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(top to bottom: Rude Gyal, Princess Cut, Panther)

There’s a good amount of product in each tube. These also have a light fruity smell that I enjoyed. Here are the descriptions of the shades as written by KoyVoca:

 

Panther – a blue and purple duochrome with red and blue flecks

Princess Cut – a golden pink with holographic shimmer

Rude Gyal – a shimmery wine

I swatched the shades then I swooned. The colors are gorgeous, perfectly pigmented and thick without being sticky (basically, the glosses are perfect).

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(left to right: Panther, Princess Cut, Rude Gyal)

Here I am rocking each of the shades:

Princess Cut

Rude Gyal

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Panther

I find myself frequently reaching for Princess Cut because it’s such a wearable shade. But my favorite, by far, is Panther. It’s deep, dramatic and memorable.

But all that being said, there are still a few things I want to mention about these glossies. These are VERY long wearing! It takes a while for these to wear off, and they have some real staying power even as you eat and drink. The shine is INSANE: highly reflective! I love that these are true glosses and not semi-shine formulas like a lot of companies are selling right now. The smell is pleasant and the formula is nonsticky, so they are very wearable.

I highly recommend these! Check out all of the shades and see which one should be in your collection!

 

 

wine

Low Cost Libations: I’m Trying Inexpensive Wines

 

A recent trip to Trader Joe’s ended up with me browsing the wine section and being floored by the super-affordable wines. So many options were less than $5! So I had to ask myself, do I, the wine lover, give inexpensive wines the thumbs up?

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I bought 6 bottles for less than $5 a piece. I’m not a wine “snob” but I prefer wine that costs a bit more because they tend to taste better. But I’m curious about the overall qualities of the wine that I purchased. So here I am: trying some new wines and figuring out whether the flavor and quality far exceeds the cost. I’ve tried one so far, and I’ll be trying a new bottle every few days or so. When I’ve finished trying them all, I’ll come back and give a review.

(here’s a review of one of the wines on my Instagram account)

Do you all have any favorite inexpensive wines? Let me know in the comments below!

hollywood glamour · luxury

Baubles, Hollywood Style Part Deux

Not too long ago, I mentioned the Hollywood Collection, a company that recreates jewelry worn by the stars of yesterday, in a Hollywood Glamour post. Today, I’m excited to share with you all yet another company that does spectacular jewelry that is inspired by classic Hollywood actresses.

Filthy Rich has their own “Hollywood Collection“, complete with replicas of jewelry worn by stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow. This company doesn’t just limit it offerings to jewelry styled after the ones worn by Hollywood’s finest: they also has recreations of jewelry owned by Jacqueline Kennedy and Kate Middleton. Here are a few of my favorites from the site:

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Audrey Hepburn Roman Holiday earrings

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Kate Middleton Royal Engagement Ring

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Jacqueline Kennedy Gold Bracelet Watch

They have some other glamorous options for anyone interested in adding some Hollywood to their wardrobe. I love that these pieces are not only beautiful but very affordable, too: the prices average less than $50 each. So reasonably priced, so chic!