May Beauty Favorites

may beauty favorites

Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Serum  |  philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar  |  Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser  |  Sephora Collection Precision Pore Cleansing Pad  |  Murad Pore Reform™ Skin Smoothing Polish  |  philosophy Total Matteness Oil-Free Mattifying Pore Eraser |  Drybar Sake Bomb Shampoo  |  Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara

Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Serum– With listed ingredients such as “wild Arctic Cloudberry” and “encapsulated Vitamin C”, it’s hard not to try this serum. After using the serum, I saw noticeably brighter skin and my face felt moisturized the next morning when I touched it.

philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar– I’ve been wanting to try this product forever, and I finally got around to purchasing a smaller size (to see if I liked it before splurging on the larger one). This super moisturizing product is so lightweight — I applied it to my skin and barely felt it at all. It’s also free of parabens and sulfates, so I feel good about putting it on my skin. Plus, for every product sold, philosophy will contribute 1% of sales to the hope and grace fund, which works to support mental health and well-being. 

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser– I’ve never used Murad products in my life until recently. To be honest, I thought they were a brand that was only for people with really bad skin, so I didn’t feel like I needed to shell out the money to try them. But after receiving some samples, I have definitely changed my mind. This exfoliating cleanser lasted forever and kept my skin free of any blemishes or flare-ups.

Sephora Collection Precision Pore Cleansing Pad– File this tool under “things I bought because they were cheap and looked cool”. I use this pore cleansing pad every-other-time I wash my face with a cleanser. It massages my skin gently and really works to get the product in the areas I want it to. It’s rubbery and easy to clean, so I keep it hanging in my shower caddy for easy use.

Murad Pore Reform™ Skin Smoothing Polish– I’ve been using this skin polish as an exfoliator bi-weekly for the past few weeks and it’s doing the job. Although I wish it smelled better (maybe I assume because it’s pink, it should smell like candy or strawberries or something?), I can’t complain on the effectiveness.

philosophy Total Matteness Oil-Free Mattifying Pore Eraser– The one skin problem I do have is large, noticeable pores. At first I thought that I had clogged pores, but after trying a million products for that, I realized that my pores were in fact clean. But even though the pores are clean, they are still noticeable and large (however, not as noticeable as if they were clogged with dirt!) I’ve been using this product for two months now and have noticed a slight reduction in the appearance of the pores shape and size. I’ll continue to use the serum (you just apply a few tiny drops per day on your pore problem areas) until it runs out and report back on the effectiveness.

Drybar Sake Bomb Shampoo– This. Smells. Heavenly. I’ve never been to the Drybar before — I know, I’m a terrible blogger aren’t I? — but when I eventually do, I will be requesting that they use this on my hair. It left my hair feeling soft and silky, and I will definitely be repurchasing.

Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara– This mascara’s formula is thick and luscious in the tube, but doesn’t translate into spider lashes like you think it might. It left my lashes feel hydrated and super dark (blacker than usual, even though I generally used a “black” or  “black brown” mascara).

Stop Complaining About Tourists


If there’s one thing I’m tired of hearing people complain about, it’s tourists. If you tweet something obnoxious about how a “Stupid tourist tried asking me to take a picture for her– doesn’t she know I’m busy?”, I will immediately unfollow you. If you think you deserve better treatment than a tourist simply because of where you live, you should check yourself at the door.

I know what you’re thinking — “But Rachelllllll, I live in an apartment in Manhattan that my daddy pays for and the tourists are just like soooo annoying and make me get to the nail salon one whole minute late.” I work in New York City, one of the largest tourist destinations in the world, so I understand the impact that tourists can have on my daily commute or weekend trips. But guess what? Plenty of people who aren’t tourists can ruin my walk to work or weekend shopping trip, so that point is moot.

I’m always surprised when people avoid certain restaurants or attractions because “it’s a tourist place”, as if the fact that tourists enjoy going there makes it immediately irrelevant or terrible. In reality, most of those places are a hot tourist destination because whatever they offer is so damn good, that people will travel from all over to consume it. People take for granted that they area they live or grew up in is so special that tourists flock there. Take it as a compliment!

The thing about tourists is that, at some point in each of our lives, we were all once a tourist. When we go on vacations to tropical islands where we can barely understand the bartenders, we are tourists. When we take a road trip on the opposite coast and stop to take photos at each state sign, we’re tourists. When we visit a historical city and stand in line for a museum, art exhibit or statue, we’re tourists. Why is it when these spoiled city girls study abroad in London that it’s acceptable, but when their peers from London come to visit their city, they are verbally burned at the stake? Every traveler starts out as a tourist.

Tourists are a vital part of any thriving area, whether it’s a tiny town or a large, cultural city like New York. In 2013, there were 110.1 million international tourist arrivals in North America alone. Now multiply that number by the amount of money each tourist spends on average during their stay. That’s a lot of doll-hairs. More specifically, 2.36 trillion doll-hairs in 2014. Tourists are what keep some areas of the country alive and thriving economically and gives otherwise unemployed people a career. In fact, the tourism industry provided over 235 million jobs in 2010, representing 8% of global employment.

If you know that an area you frequent will be flooded with tourists (and you really can’t just grow the balls and deal with it), then maybe you should consider going somewhere else. Skip going to that same bar that you know gets packed when the Yankees are in town. Drive an alternate route if you think the road might be backed up due to “leaf peepers” (this is only relevant to those of you who live in the New England area). Instead of shopping at the outlets on the Saturday before Christmas, go a few weeks earlier. It’s. Not. That. Hard.

Being a tourist gives you the opportunity to experience amazing things, like trying another culture’s food, stepping foot in a building where history was made or simply checking an item off of your bucket list. Everyone deserves to experience those moments, so let’s stop complaining about them and instead let them enjoy their life.

Pantone Strawberry Ice

pantone strawberry ice

Kate Spade Cedar Street – Monday Crossbody Bag  |  TOPSHOP Fine Gauge Crew Neck Jumper  |  Oasis Chiffon Mix Shell  |  Kristin Cavallari ‘Copertina’ Pump  |  Ippolita ‘Wonderland’ Teardrop Doublet Earrings  |  MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in “Pink Beige”  |    ASOS Tulip Dress with Wrap Belt  |  Clinique Cheek Pop in “Pink Pop”  |  Michael Kors 57mm Cat Eye Sunglasses

Another one of Pantone’s Spring 2015 shades is strawberry ice, a juicy pink that’s not too bright and not too pale. If I were to describe the shade, I’d say it’s the perfect shade of blush or lip gloss- it’s a feminine pink that’s not overly girly or too much of a coral, which seems to always reign over pink as the top shade of the spring/summer. This shade pairs nicely with neutrals like gray and almond/taupe, as well as other brights, like orange (only if you’re daring!)

To keep the look from appearing too girly, try masculine silhouettes or edgy accessories to make the color work. And if all-over strawberry ice is still too girly after that, try it on a print instead, like a striped dress or floral blouse that has a hint of the shade. The shade is also one of my potential bridesmaid dress colors- I love this muted, vintage-y shade of pink opposed to the too-bright corals or light pinks that essentially vanish into white when photos are taken.

Old Job, New Job


Today is my first day at my new job in New York City. A few weeks ago I was reached out to about a position at a tech company for a content marketing writer position. I’m used to getting various recruiter emails– I even wrote about how annoying some of them can be in this post— but this one was legitimate, personalized and a perfect fit for my skill set. So after numerous phone and in-person interviews, I was offered the position and accepted it.

I’m extremely excited for this new opportunity. It’s a great company, allows me to write more than my last job did, and I feel like I can grow within my career here. But with all the excitement, and nervousness, of a new job comes sadness for leaving my previous job. I truly loved my old job, and the two years I spent there were amazing. I had a commute that was almost too good to be true (a 30-minute train ride and a super short walk from the station to my office), worked in a field that I love (SEO) and had the best co-workers. Everyone I worked with was extremely smart, kind and just all-around awesome. Not only have I made professional connections with many of my old co-workers, but I feel like I gained a few real, lifelong friends as well.

There’s a lot I’ll miss about working at my old job in Hoboken. I’ll miss my boss, who is a superstar in the SEO and social media community. He was not only a great mentor, but also a friend. I’ll miss my team members, who I worked with on a daily basis and told me “our department will fall apart” upon me leaving. The week leading up to me leaving, I received such kind words from all my co-workers (and an adorable card and picture frame as well!). No, I didn’t cry, but there were times when I felt like it. It sounds super nerdy and cliche to be sad about leaving a job in your 20’s, but I truly will miss a lot about my time there.

I’m assuming I’ll be fairly busy with my new job and everything else in-between, so bear with me if things get a bit quiet around here.

Pearl Jewelry For the Modern Day Woman

pearl necklace

When I think of pearl jewelry, I think “classic”. There’s something about the beauty of pearls that is so feminine and makes you look put-together instantly. I tend to gravitate towards pearl jewelry when I need to get a little extra dressed up– like for a job interview or special work function. You could say they are the “little black dress” in the jewelry world and are a must for every modern working woman. Most of us associate pearls with the pretty and pristine white version, but there are actually many more types, shapes and colors available.

Pearl-Lang has recently unveiled their spring collection, which features one-of-a-kind baroque pearls. Unlike the classic round shape that most people are familiar with, these non-traditional gems have noticeably irregular shapes and exhibit extraordinary luster with beautiful orient. Each piece is unique, which means you’ll never find two pearls that are identical. This collection features keshi pearl bracelets and necklaces in charming natural pastel colors as well as in elegant white. Keshi, also known as seed pearls, are completely free-form without the presence of bead nuclei mostly found in saltwater cultured pearls. To top it off, their luster is incredibly intense and long-lasting.

If you’re like me, you knew little about pearls before reading this post. Pearl-Lang has an awesome section on their website called “How to Buy Pearls“, which educates customers on the different terminology (luster, size, shape, color, surface, nacre quality, and matching. ) and the difference between quality pearls and the fakes. For example, the more lustrous the pearl is, the brighter its’ reflection is and the more valuable it is. After looking over all the different variations, I think my next set of pearls won’t be the standard white ones, but maybe one of the darker, Tahitian colored pearls.

purple pearl bracelet

Pearls are also gorgeous for weddings, and since I have one coming up, they’ve been on my mind. I haven’t looked at dresses yet, so I’m not sure if I’m leaning towards a dress decked out in diamonds, lace or pearl accents. Pearls are also nice for the bridesmaid’s jewelry– I wore dainty pearl earrings and a matching necklace for my cousin Monica’s wedding two summers ago where I was a bridesmaid.

Pearl-Lang is a London-based online boutique of high quality, exquisitely designed fine pearl jewelry. Buyers around the world can enjoy access to the world’s finest freshwater, Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian pearl collections crafted with 18ct gold, diamond or sterling silver. Pearl-Lang only selects the very best pearls from the highest quality harvests for their customers. All of their gemstones and precious metals are directly sourced from farms and manufacturers, and they only work with materials that are from an ethical and environmentally responsible production.

To coincide with the launch, Pearl-Lang offers an exclusive 10% discount on all jewelry until the end of April to those who sign up to their newsletter online.

This post was sponsored by Pearl-Lang, but all opinions are my own.