"Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore..."
The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
"I have no further spells to work against you.
But what I shall devise and what I tell you
will be the same as if your need were mine.
Fairness is all I think of. There are hearts
made of cold iron - but my heart is kind."
The Odyssey by Homer, book V
"There are darknesses in life, and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights."
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Happy Fall, beauty lovers!
As soon as the weather starts to change and the leaves begin to fall, I notice that my skin changes as well. I always find that I need a little extra lovin' and hydration as I'm recovering from the NY Summer heat, and crave a cleanser that leaves me feeling soft, supple, and moisturized...
You know those cute little blue bear vitamins just about everyone seems to be using to strengthen and grow their hair? Kylie Jenner, Vanessa Hudgens, Khloé Kardashian, Emily Ratajkowski... the list goes on and on!
The obsessive researcher in me just HAD to know if these Sugar Bear Hair vitamins really will help the health of my hair - so, I went ahead and ordered the 3-month supply of hair vitamins to really see what the Sugar Bear craze is all about...
Here are my first impressions of the vitamins, my before pics of my hair,
and my monthly check-ins as the next 3 months go by.
I hereby promise, in the name of all things beauty, to neither cut nor dye my hair for the next 3 months.
Fragrance is everything.
It is perhaps, even before someone's eyes, the first thing that is noticed about another person.
As a 23 year old woman, I have adorned thousands of fragrances without ever finding my signature scent... though I think that is about to change.
DedCool, an LA-based, cruelty-free/natural company, features unisex products that are simply to die for. Here is my review on some of their products...
After a long week of couch-surfing and camping at Woodstock's Mysteryland music festival, my skin is seriously angry with me... And though I wanted the fantasy of Mysteryland to last forever, I am happy to be back with my ride or die face and body exfoliator...
The other day, I picked up the new June Vogue with the absolutely stunning and incredibly talented Aussie, Margot Robbie, on the cover. I immediately fell in love with her simple (almost) au naturale makeup look, and thought it would be a perfect everyday look for the Summer.
Here is a product breakdown of everything I used to achieve this look...
This time of year is all about enhancing your natural beauty with simple and healthy products. Heat and makeup just don't mix, so leave the heavy, full-coverage foundations and drying lippies on your vanity and try my new fave finds - the Burt's Bees makeup range!
After using these products for about a week, here are my thoughts on them and swatches of each shade...
This past Saturday, I got to celebrate Isabella's Sweet 16 with my family and friends!
(You all first saw my cousin Bella in the Fairytale Hair post).
It is rare to have all members of my big, Cuban/Italian family in one room, but it is always a night to remember when we are together.
All the ladies spent hours getting glam for the special night - and here is what I kept in my clutch to make sure we all kept our looks on-point and photo-ready up until the very last dance.
When I was a little girl, I was always told how much I looked like Drew Barrymore. Ever since, I have had a soft spot for her, and in turn, supported her every venture -
which is why I was so excited to finally try her cosmetic range, Flower Beauty.
This high-quality range, to my surprise, is currently sold exclusively at Walmart and online. When reading up on the company, I came to find that the reason their products are so affordable is because they don't spend money on advertising, leaving all of their resources for the perfection of their formulas. This, I thought, was an interesting angle, and one that I seldom (if ever) see used by cosmetic companies. Another plus? These products are made in the USA and are not tested on animals. Go Drew!
Here is my haul and in-depth review on my new makeup steals...
I always dreamt of how my life might have been if I lived in the age of my grandmother, or even my great-grandmother. A bustling Harlem that lit up as soon as the sun went down, or the roaring world gilded by the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald (before he was a legend in his own right). Shoulders draped in exotic furs (I'd like to think they were faux, this is my dream after all), or dancing in a sea of red-lipped women trying to get a glimpse at the ever-handsome Elvis Presley.
The 20s all the way through the 50s seemed like quite a time to be alive.
And though each decade had its problems, I can't help but fantasize how each might have been.
Aside from dreaming, here are a few ways to add that touch of glamour and sparkle into your everyday life...
Here is a haul of my absolute Honest Beauty faves, and a review on what the products feel like.
Although I'm quite the beauty product hoarder (as you might imagine), coconut oil is the one thing that could replace more than half of the products I use in my everyday routine. Seriously.
It's a health conscious, minimalist's dream - and a single jar, selling for just under $10, lasts forever.
(I currently use Ziggy Marley Organics' Coco'Mon Original Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil).
Here are the 7 products coconut oil can completely replace in your arsenal, as well as it's benefits.
After hearing so many incredible things about the company Manuka Doctor, as well as the many benefits manuka honey and purified bee venom (you read that right) has on skin, I knew I just had to try some products from their range.
So, I did a bit of research (mostly on their website) and took the plunge...
And my skin is oh-so-happy I did!
I have always been my most inspired when it's raining (maybe because I'm a Pisces), and today, my mother and I thought we would get in the Jeep and drive up to a sleepy Hudson River town called Cold Spring. Here I am, shoes untied and surrounded by fog, mid-way to our destination. Sometimes, you need a break from the fast-paced city, and sometimes, you just have to jump out of the car in the middle of a winding road for a photo-op...
As I begin my (painfully) long journey to the icy blonde locks of my dreams, I'm realizing how difficult it is to go from hair like Ariel from The Little Mermaid, to a mane more like Elsa's from Frozen.
(Check out my previous red color in my Tell-All post).
My new mission: rid my head of the red - and the best way to do that I'm told, is to grow it out completely and chop away my Ariel moment.
Here are some tips to eating and treating your way to longer and stronger hair...
(If you guys want to see a post on what I did for my beautiful cousin Bella's hair and makeup,
let me know in the comments below. That's her natural hair - can you believe it?!)
Primers and lipsticks and masks, oh my!
Here is a list of the best so you don't have to splurge on the worst.
After yoga, I feel completely free and at peace. It's the getting to yoga that can often pose a problem, or the remembering all that you've learned in yoga that can create some issues...
Sometimes, your bed is just too damn comfy, or right after you say "namaste," you slip on an icy path and get the lavender-scented wind knocked out of you (true story). So alas, I have come up with some tricks to stay zen when the world around you just doesn't want to cooperate.
Lately, my hair has been lacking some love and hydration. I have been using the same shampoo and conditioner for the last couple of months (I usually use The Honest Company's Sweet Orange Vanilla range, which smells like a delicious creamsicle), but find my hair is healthier and happier when I change up my routine every once in a while.
So, in the spirit of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, I thought I would run to my nearest Ulta and pick up Kardashian Beauty's new Rejuvenating Shampoo & Conditioner, along with a bottle of Black Seed Dry Oil for good measure. (I mean, have you seen their hair?! Those are some well-pampered locks)...
In typical Olivia-fashion, I decided one morning that I would dye my hair red.
And I mean really red.
Like, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, red.
After a bit of research, I decided that Manic Panic's Infra Red would be the perfect shade of red for me. My hair was already a bit lighter at the ends from a previous failed ombré attempt (a story for another day), so I wasn't too worried about the numerous reviews of this dye that mentioned the color wouldn't show all that well on darker hair. Flanked by my mother (who has been with me through all my hair mishaps and victories) and my best friend from college (hi, Marlee!), we lined the bathroom in garbage bags, each wore chic garbage bag dresses (you'll thank me later), and started painting on the red...
It's that time of year again... as Shakespeare put it so nicely, " April hath put a spirit of youth in everything."
Thus - festival season! Dust off your flower crowns and prepare to swoon over some of the hottest musicians of the year.
(pictured below - DIY flower crown. All it took was one creative night and a couple of glasses of wine with my girlfriends. Let me know if you all would like to see a full DIY in the future!)
Dressing up, getting glam, and taking gorgeous photos definitely comes second to the music - but that doesn't make it any less important! Here are some festival essentials, from trial and error (lots of it), and a couple of ways to keep that glam from fading as the sun goes down...
Olivia Rose | 24