Birthdays, and Crying in a Dressing Room

So, this Tuesday is my 30th birthday. I’m really excited about it! Probaby because I already spent some time freaking out about it, so that’s all out of my system. I realized freaking out is a waste of energy and kind of boring. It also can potentially cause premature lines. It’s better to be excited! Plus I reached all my “Must Do Before 30” goals. Intern for Conan (check! although, let’s be real: it’s not like I could really do that after 30 haha), communicate with Lindsay Lohan via Twitter (double check!), write a book (check!), sign with dream agent (check!). It’s hard to freak out when you can put concise little check marks next to your life list.

And I love concise little check marks.

When it comes to my birthday, it doesn’t take a lot to make me over-the-top excited. Some new clothes, Hanson merch, and makeup is really all it takes to get me like

taylor swift gif photo: taylor tumblr_l9t2hpcWsw1qa0bqi.gif

Add on the fact that I managed to pick up two pair of Mossimo jeans from Target last week, and I was like

taylor swift gif photo: Taylor Swift tumblr_lchhx8oW1l1qa0bqi.gif


I’ve always been drawn to Target jeans. They’re super cute and affordable. But for some reason, I’ve never been able to figure out how to calculate their sizing.

If you’re in a bad mood, I highly suggest staying far away from the Target dressing rooms. Even if you’re in a good mood, steer clear. Because standing in there and trying to fit into their brand will put you in a bad mood. I have never had an ounce of luck in Target dressing rooms. The cut of all their jeans and shorts, combined with the huge mirrors and lighting is recipe for a tearful disaster.

But then back in May I fell in love with these cute striped shorts they had in bright pink. I knew once I tried them on, things would take a horrible nose dive. So I tried them on without actually looking in the fitting room mirror and went only by how they felt. Then when I got home, lo and behold, they looked really cute. This also worked last week for my new jeans. This is how I will only ever try on clothes from now on. It’s a great system.

Next week, I’ll be doing a birthday haul kind of blog post, like all the YouTubers do. I’m excited to play beauty guru for a day!

Throwback Thursday: Conan Edition

Since my book, The Intern Diaries, is about a makeup guru who winds up falling for a late night talk show internship, I thought it would be fun to do some Throwback Thursday intern related posts on the blog.

The Late Night dry erase board:


It’s pretty self-explanatory. The main purpose was so we could, at a glance, know who and what was going on for the week. The sketches changed every twelve seconds or so, so it helped to have a quick way to erase and re-write and shift stuff around

Fun fact about this picture: The last week at Late Night, everyone was an emotional, excited, buzzing mess. Staffers and interns were walking around taking pictures of everyone and everything. I got caught up and posted all of my pictures one night mid week, forgetting that the final guests were top secret. I had the picture on my Facebook for about an hour before I realized I was revealing classified info.

Luckily no one pays interns much attention, and no harm was done. But when I remember the fear I felt that entire night, and the lack of sleep I got until I knew for sure my intern coordinator wouldn’t be upset, it still freaks me out. As much as I loved my time there, sometimes I remember those fearful moments, all those mini ulcers I got over such ridiculous things, and I’m glad I’m not working in TV anymore.

At the very end of the board was a narrow little area sectioned off for us kids to post silly pictures and drawings, and goofy private jokes. We were allowed to call dibs on a ton of stuff around the office when the show ended, and I really wanted the header magnet for the intern board. Thankfully, my amazing boss kept it hidden away for me and I was able to take it home for my collection.



Face Melting Heat and Perfume

Sometimes plans fail.

Remember in my last post how I mentioned I was Taking the Walk with Hanson last weekend and I seemed to have my makeup routine all worked out? Well, I took The Walk with Hanson all right. On the most humid day of the entire summer.

My hair and my face didn’t hold up too well.

I did manage to achieve my dream of 16 years, which was to somehow get a picture with Hanson. Granted, it’s a photo bomb, and it’s not all three brothers, only Ike and Zac. But still! I’m pretty happy with it. My brother (a newly converted fan) got in the picture too. That life-changing pic (and a few others from the day) are on my Twitter page.

On another note, the NARS Smudge Proof Shadow primer must be made of miracles and super glue, because my eye shadow didn’t budge the entire day/night, despite the face-melting heat.

Another thing that didn’t seem to budge was my pefume. It never does, because I wear it all the time. I did think long and hard about wearing it for The Walk since mosquitos come from miles just to bite me, but that tends to happen regardless of whether I’m wearing perfume or not. Also there’s the fact that I don’t feel like myself unless I’m wearing my Ralph Lauren Romance. Which made me realize something: I never change up my perfume with the seasons. Ever.

I’ve been wearing Romance since I was about fifteen. It’s my signature. I know some people who like to go lighter fragrance-wise in the summer, or maybe just use those seasonal body sprays from Bath and Body Works. But for me, it doesn’t feel natural to wear anything else.

Am I the only one who is completely incapable of changing with seasons, or do most people switch it up??

As you can see, despite my fairly extensive perfume collection, I have three bottles of Ralph Lauren Romance, a mini sample bottle. Oh, and that pink body spray is–you guessed it–Romance.


Perfume is clearly so subjective. I can understand and appreciate why YouTubers do perfume collection videos (they are highly requested).

I enjoy these videos. It’s so interesting to me to see what people gravitate to and why. If I do decide to check out some of the gurus’ suggestions, I’ll go to Ulta and spray those little paper sticks, flapping them around till the notes have settled.

More often than not though, I end up just sniffing the coffee beans the store keeps out in little glass bowls because I think that smells better than most perfumes.

Taking the Walk



Tomorrow is my long-awaited Hanson concert. Usually they take place at New York City venues, and I always worry my makeup won’t last long enough (as I always do for any event longer than a few hours.)

Foundation doesn’t oxidize on me, but obviously it can never look as fresh as it does when I first apply it.

So, being the type of person who likes to have every single thing planned out six years in advance, for the first time I was so happy. It was all working out great. The venue is 15 minutes down the street from me! I know the area well, so I have local restaurants all mapped out! I don’t have to pack too much with me since I won’t be gone the whole day! My makeup will stay fresh all night, because I can apply it at home, an hour before doors open–no touchups!

Then I got the email that Hanson are bringing “Walks” back for this tour. First, I squealed and danced around with excitement. My very first “Walk” with Hanson! 14 year old me, who had to go to massive ampitheaters to see them, would never believe it. If they tried to walk down the street with fans back in 1998, the city would have declared a state of emergency. But–ha!–it’s 2013 now, and no one really knows they exist anymore! A nice, intimate walk with Hanson, and then a great concert. It all seemed like it would work out great.

Then the reality set in: to participate in a Walk that begins at 3PM, I’m going to have to be at the venue about five hours before the show (which is over two hours in itself). Makeup was not built to last that long, despite the empty promises brands tout of “24 hour wear.”

Maybe it’s ridiculous and shallow to get all worked up over silly things, like my outfit and makeup, when this is all about something so meaningful. It’s not really about makeup though; in general I get uptight when things deviate from my schedule.

The Walks began in 2007 when the guys went on their Use Your Sole tour. Basically, it’s a charity started by the guys, and every mile walked raises funds for five different causes creating challenges in Africa. Fans can meet Ike, Tay, and Zac outside the venue, and walk one mile with them before each show on the tour. Walks are registered, and a dollar is donated in our name to the cause of our choice.

I have ALWAYS wanted to Take The Walk. It’s a great charity and a great experience. But I did have to reconsider my carefully laid out plans. Like, does my foundation have a high SPF? (not as high as I normally prefer, but it has some, and the finish is like silk), and, how can I optimize its staying power for the whole day? (I’ll probably just dust some powder on at some point). How will I slather sunscreen on my arms and not get any globs of it on my black top? (still fine-tuning this one). And don’t get me started on the Great Shoe Debacle (solution: Walking in not-very-cute-but-very-comfy shoes, but I’m packing a pair of very cute Gladiator sandals in the car to switch into for the show).

Now that I have it all mapped out according to plan, I can enjoy a fun, meaningful, and very spontaneous day with my favorite band. Good thing I don’t overanalyze and can go with the flow.

This is also a great tutorial on how to make your foundation last: Any other MakeupByAlli fans out there? I don’t think she gets enough YouTube credit. Love her videos and tips.



Fall? No. Just…no.

Confession: I haven’t purchased any new makeup in a while. A really long while, actually. I’m just not that into the fall colors. Maybe it’s because (brace yourself, internet) fall is my least favorite season. Actually, that’s putting it sort of lightly.


It’s weird. I seem to be alone in this opinion. I’m not sure when things shifted, but growing up, fall was simply the worst thing ever, and everyone hated it right along with me. The last few weeks of August were treasured and mourned all at once. Fall meant starting school again, which absolutely everyone I knew dreaded. But if social networking these days is any indication, I’m currently very alone in my love of summer and my never-ending wish that it will…well…never end. Or at least extend until winter, which I also enjoy.

People can’t stop talking about it. Every status update and tweet I see is all, “go away summer, bring on boots and scarves, and pumpkins and cider, and I’m all



So once September rolls around, I lack makeup motivation. Usually I need to have specific, concrete reasons and events to wear fun eye makeup, and summer is one giant reason and event. However, this September, I have two fun things: My birthday (technically I’m still a summer baby. Only by a few days. But still. Thank God.) And I have tickets to a concert.

If you read my 10 Random Facts post you’ll know that I am a massive Hanson (yes, Mmmbop, yes they’re still around) fan. I’m seeing their show on Long Island, so I’ve been swatching colors and trying to figure out what look to wear for the show. I go so crazy you’d think I’m the one performing onstage, but I think it’s fun to have an outfit and makeup look planned out in advance.

I always go through the same cycle before a fun event. I watch a bunch of makeup tutorials and tell myself I’ll do something super elaborate, with lots of shimmer and sharp lines.

and then the day of, I freeze up, get fallout and glitter particles all over my face, and it gets a little…

So to avoid all that, I’ll be sticking with neutrals. Most likely a simple look I can whip up using my Urban Decay Naked Palette. Call me unadventurous, but I’d rather be cautious and stick with my fool-proof makeup for next month (notice how I said “next month” and not “fall”???)

Stupid, stupid fall.


Winter Pink and Gothic Summers

Beauty gurus are always talking about the next trend while we’re still in the midst of the last one. Just when everyone’s finished up going broke on feather extensions it’s on to ombre hair. (I only hope the feather extensions don’t become something fashion decides to revisit–I could never get on board with it. I’d always think a spider was crawling up my arm).

I can appreciate why YouTubers always wants to get buzz going for a new trend though–life would be boring without something new to look forward to.

It’s the rules I have trouble with. Like, coral always equals spring, and hunter greens are only ever associated with fall.

Then there’s me, who wears turquoise blue nail polish year round and flips flops as long as I can get away with it (usually Thanksgiving).

I also think the new trend should be mixing it up and doing whatever you want. Besides, we waited long enough and the “No White After Labor Day” thing seems to have gone away, and now there’s a little something called “Winter White.” I think more people do what they want nowadays regardless of beauty rules and regulations.

Should we tailor our look to the season, or do you have no problem with a black pedicure on the beach?





Judging Makeup by its Packaging

When I first set eyes on Dior’s new Mystic Metallic Constellation palette I was blown away. Do I even need to say why? Just look at it for crying out loud.

And then I remembered a few things: 1) I can’t afford it. 2) There are plenty of other eye shadows out there with an equally shimmering, gorgeous, silky texture, for a way more affordable price. 3) The adorable design and alluring packaging is for suckers who lack willpower and probably have a debt-wish.



But then I also remember that you only live once, and a lot of these products are works of art (like this amazing MAC highlight powder on the left in the above picture). They’re only sold for a limited time. These are vintage collector’s items that won’t be around forever. Makeup lovers years from now will only know them as a myth.

By purchasing these collector’s items today, I’ll possess the ability to prove its existence tomorrow. That’s a lot of power. I owe it to society to debunk an inevitable urban legend.

But then that price tag stares me in the face again and I’m back to wondering why. WHY does the packaging always draw me in? Why can’t the sensible, plain looking products be as tantalizing?

Hair and Makeup–and Awesome Conan Perks

In a previous post, I mentioned how I used to turn my day makeup into a going-out look when I was at my internships.

There was one option I forgot to mention: the makeup artist in the Hair and Makeup room would do our hair or makeup for us if we wanted.

This was definitely one of the best perks of working at NBC, besides all the free checkups we could ever want at the NBC infirmary! Oh, and also there was that really cool Conan Swag Bin, with old broken junk staffers no longer had use for, but us interns could sift through for hours.

The Hair and Makeup room was pretty much just a tiny, disorganized hair salon. It was filled with overflowing drawers and bins of makeup, a sink, light bulb lined mirrors, and a large, swivel chair. Although it should have been a joyous place, made up of dreams and rainbows, I always associate this room with one of my most fearful moments as an intern. My very first day at Conan, I was shadowing two interns distributing updated pre-show scripts. They pointed across the hall, and asked me to slip a script in the mailbox attached to a slightly open door. I peeked inside and saw Conan sitting in the chair, getting his pompadour blown out. I freaked out, dropped the script on a side table, and ran for my life. I’m not sure why I ran. Maybe I was under the impression that seeing Conan pre-pompadour meant I’d have to be interrogated and deprogrammed?

Anyway, this room was a makeup lover’s dream. And I LOVED doing the occasional Sephora run for the makeup artist. I always wished I could have spent more time in there to learn more about what she did.

I think that’s why I made a Hair and Makeup room such a central setting for my book. It was my chance to revisit the one place I didn’t spend enough time in, and writing it as my MC’s hideaway was the perfect way to do it.



Day to Night

I’ll admit it: When girls flood a YouTuber’s comments’ section with pleas to watch their unknown videos, I’ll check out said videos (before it’s marked as spam, of course). I do it to give them an extra view. I feel really bad for anyone trying to start a beauty channel now–all YouTubers had to start somewhere, and now it seems close to impossible to break into the beauty community (unless maybe you’re friends with one of the major gurus).

So when the big time gurus get to the point in their career where they’re offered hosting opportunities on other channels, it seems to cause an uproar among subscribers. Especially the subs who are so desperate to break in any way they can, and would be willing to upload a video every day of the week to make it happen.

Below is a video from almost exactly one year ago. Ingrid aka MissGlamorazzi (probably my fav YouTuber) is doing a “Get Ready with Me!” — which went on to become her most popular style of video (LOVE these videos!!)

Now, within the past couple of months Ingrid has been named the new host of Awesomeness TV’s “Make Me Over” series. Which is so fun, and a great opportunity for her. Definitely something different from her usual content on her own channel.

I understand why these girls are branching out and taking the jobs. It’s obviously super fun, and a change of pace. But it just kind of sucks when they cut back to one video every other week on their main channel–the channels that catapulted them to YouTube fame in the first place. When they were trying hard to build a subscriber base, I remember being so excited when at least three uploads a week popped up in my inbox.

Does it frustrate you when gurus cut back to branch out, or do you understand where they’re coming from??

Day to Night

I wish YouTube makeup tutorials were popular when I was interning. I would have had a million “Day to Night Makeup” looks to choose from.

Makeup was pretty much the last thing on my mind when I was getting ready in the morning for my internships. My main concern was remembering my ID Badge (you never wanted to be THAT intern, because THAT intern had to go through the day with a paper visitor’s pass), and my wallet. That being said, I still woke up extra early to do a simple, work-friendly look. But then when bonds formed and interns started planning nights out after work, I realized I needed to start packing some stuff with me to transition my makeup at the end of the day for a little extra pop.

There was one problem: Being a Long Island commuter, I already carried a huge tote with me every day that was jam.freaking.packed with stuff. Including a second, smaller handbag that I used specifically for runs (I am God-awful at math, and was terrified I’d screw up a staffer’s change with my own money. So, yes, I had a “Run Purse”). Cramming in an extra bag for makeup seemed impossible. But I love a good challenge, so in true Russian Doll fashion I stashed my makeup bag inside my Run Bag inside my large tote bag.

Mary Poppins couldn’t have done it better.

I found the best and easiest way to transition from a day to night look was with a brighter lipstick and winging out the eyeliner. I also brought a cute little kabuki brush if I needed to touch up my foundation.

On a related note, on the last day before winter break, I knew we were going out for the night. There was a festive, pre-holiday vibe in the air. I decided to spend the work day in my “fun night out” makeup, that included a turquoise liner on my lower lash line. I also wore a fancy top all day. I’ll admit it: I felt slightly silly working dressed like that, (maybe because the top had sequins?) but whenever a staffer gave me a funny look I was all, “Whatevs. I’m partying later. Jealous?” (Okay, maybe I only thought that to myself).
To make matters worse, for some inexplicable reason, my house lost power that morning when I was halfway through straightening my hair.

Why am I mentioning all this? Because that was the day Conan O’Brien granted us our long-awaited intern pictures.

I might share that picture one day.

I also might not.