Tinted Moisturizer: Dr. Jart + Ceramidin Day Tint SPF 15  | Lipstick: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel (Pink Beige)  | Mascara: Lancôme HYPNÔSE DRAMA | Setting Powder: JAPONESQUE Velvet Touch Finishing Powder

One of my favorite shows growing up was The Office. There’s an episode in Season 2 where the office temp accidentally sets off the fire alarm and the employees play games to pass time outside until they can return to work. One of the games they play is “Desert Island Picks”where you share your top picks if you were stranded on a desert island.

Makeup isn’t one of the categories in the episode, but with that setup – these are my top four makeup picks if I were stranded on a Desert Island.

Tinted Moisturizer: Dr. Jart + Ceramidin Day Tint SPF 15 

By far the BEST tinted moisturizer I’ve used to date. It provides the perfect amount of coverage and leaves a dewy finish. I feel like I can wear this alone (or with a bit of under eye concealer) and have the perfect “fresh face” look.

Dr. Jart+ is cosmetic brand started by two South Koreans Dr. SungJae Jung and JiWook Lee in 2004. They have a team of 15 dermatologists who work both with patients and research universities. I actually like how the packaging looks kind of medicinal  – especially since the brand reinforces the scientific process behind their products.

The only con with this product is that it only comes in one shade, which may be because it’s a  Korean product.  While I was in South Korea, I noticed that there weren’t nearly the variety of shades as there are in the US (which to be honest, isn’t that many, especially for darker complexions). Fortunately for me, the shade available works for my complexion, but I was hesitant to include it on this list since it won’t work as well for darker complexions. Dr. Jart+, please come out with more shades so everyone can enjoy this amazing product!

Lipstick: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel

My life was a little crazy right before I got married (finishing grad school, moving to a new state, starting a new job, etc.) and on top of that I decided to do my own makeup for the wedding…because what’s one more responsibility at that point hah.

The day before I left to go back home to Indiana, I went to Sephora to pick out a lipstick. The woman who helped me was so nice (one thing I miss about living in the Midwest) and showed me this NARS lipstick in a pink / beige color. I completely fell in love with it and it’s still my go-to lipstick.

With my everyday (or desert island??) makeup I really prefer to just add a little contrast to my natural features rather than use unnatural colors. (I can absolutely appreciate a bright purple lip on someone else, but it’s just not my thing.) So, if I were picking a lipstick for someone else, I would look for several shades darker than their complexion. Luckily besides having an unbelievably creamy formula, the Audacious lipsticks come in 30 stunning shades. If you’re thinking about getting one, I would recommend going in person to try them – the website color for Raquel (the one I’m wearing in the photo above) looks completely different.

This lipstick was my first experience with the NARS brand and it’s now one of my favorites.

Mascara: Lancôme HYPNÔSE DRAMA

I have really sensitive eyes, so mascara has always been a little tricky for me. Some of the drugstore brands would irritate my eyes and by the end of the day, I’d have a black smudge lining my lashes.

I got a sample size of this at the same time as the Dr. Jart+ day tint and fell in love with it. I really love the curved wand – which makes application really easy since I like to coat every lash with product.

If I could only use one makeup product, it would definitely be this mascara because they make such a difference for my naturally light lashes.

This is the first Lancôme product I’ve used and since I’ve had a positive experience with it, I’ll probably try a few more (I’ve heard good things about their fragrances).

Powder: JAPONESQUE Velvet Touch Finishing Powder

Last summer I was looking for a setting powder to use over my concealer / foundation. I was walking through the aisles of ULTA and was immediately drawn to the JAPONSQUE packaging of this finishing powder. Oh me, oh me, oh my. Yes. I am such a sucker for beautiful packaging, I will absolutely look at a makeup product just because it looks pretty, like this lip brush.

I quickly read reviews on it while in ULTA and decided to buy it after so many people talked about how soft it made your face feel after apply – and they were not kidding. Not only is this an excellent setting powder to prevent concealing creasing and make your makeup last all day, it actually makes your face feel like soft velvet.

This is the only JAPONESQUE product I have, but I’m in love with their Japanese Kabuki theater inspired brand.

So, if you were stranded on a desert island, what four makeup products would you bring?

Lots of love,





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I started wearing these double dutch braids when we visited South Korea last November. Now that my hair is longer, I find it really annoying to have my hair in my face, especially  when we’re out exploring. I’ve worn the braids down as pigtails, but I also think they look nice pinned back into a bun, as shown in these photos.

Later today, we’re heading over to Chinatown in manhattan to watch the Lunar New Year parade! It’s been so cold and windy in New York City that I think these braids will help prevent my hair from ruining the parade!

Below is a quick tutorial on how I create this look.


What hairstyles do you do when you want to keep your hair out of your face?

Tag me on Instagram if you try this look, so I can see how it looks on you!

Maria xx


This is a simple three strand braid that works well for both work and the weekend. I like that this braid stops about halfway down the ponytail and incorporates a few pieces to cover the hair elastic – I think this makes it look a little more interesting than the typical braid you usually see.

Step 1: Brush tangles out of hair.

Step 2: Make a ponytail using a clear elastic and leave out two strands  around the face (about half an inch wide). These strands will be used at the end to wrap around the clear elastic.

Step 3: Braid the ponytail for about three to four cross overs (or halfway down the ponytail). I decided to pull the strands out a little bit to make my hair look thicker – this is of course optional depending on what kind of look you’re trying to achieve.


Step 4: Take the right strand and wrap it over the clear elastic and pin into place with a bobby pin (if possible – use bobby pins in a similar color to your hair). Take the left strand and wrap it under the elastic and pin into place.


Tip: You may want to add some hair spray to the top to make sure it doesn’t slip during the day!






Since my hair has gotten longer, I’ve been trying different braid styles (I’m inspired by Amber Fillerup Clark’s tutorials!!) 

This look was actually very simple:  I parted my hair in the center, and braided the hair closest to my face, then took those two braids and secured them with a clear elastic like you would in a half up/half down pony tail. Then I took the remaining hair and did a simple three stand braid! 


   Shirt: American Apparel | Lipstick: Nars Cruella 
I look forward to weekends because for the most part, it’s a gaurenteed two days free for projects. Generally, I get over ambitious with ideas and either try to do too many things or get overwhelmed and end up just binge watching a show or YouTube channel. 

This afternoon I was browsing Pinterest trying to find inspiration for creating a vintage braid look and ended up doing this simple double French braid pigtail. I like it because it kept the hair out of my face and still looks a little different from the typical single French braid. 

If you read my earlier post you’ll know I was watching The Village on Friday and was really inspired by the late 1800s hairstyles. I really love how women styled their long hair in that era because it looks so put together while still protecting the hair from heat. I’m planning on trying out a few more for this fall – stay tuned! 🙂

Question for you: what is inspiring your style right now?  



Sweater: Banana Republic | Blanket: Target | Coffee Cup: Anthropologie | Lipstick: Too Faced Melted Fig (looks more red in these photos, it’s actually  a little bit more purple IRL) | Nail Polish: Essie Bahama Mama | Eyeshadow: Too Faced Chocolate Pallette (champaigne shade) | Cheeks: Too Faced Ross & Rachel & Milani Baked Blush in Luminiso

It’s been so cold and rainy this week. I really only enjoy this weather when I’m inside and that’s our plan for tonight – watching  scary movies with lots of blankets and pillows. 🙂

There’s only 29 days left until our trip! I’m keeping the destination a secret for now because I think it will be a fun surprise to share with all of you once we arrive! Until then we have some planning to do.

Question for you: Do you have a go-to show or movie you like to watch on cold and rainy days? If so, what is it?