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.

Nail Art

When it comes to all things makeup and beauty, I have to admit it: I neglect my nails. I keep them shaped and all, but I only apply nail polish about once a month. I have a ton of it (exhibit a) Untitled

and I have every intention to dig in, but it always just seems like a lot of work. Especially considering it always chips almost instantly.

But then I’ll watch MissJenFabulous’ nail art tutorials on YouTube (like I did tonight), and get inspired. (exhibit b)


Nail art

This was from her Spring nail art tutorial. She makes it look so easy, because her techniques are super easy and adorable. Plus, I modify by usually only doing one accent nail (even easier!) I did this bubbly flower design with my dotting tools…and I’m pretty much in love with it. I think I’m going to try and keep up some form of nail polish once a week, especially in the summer months.

How about you? Go the extra mile for a design, or content with just a clean look of polish?



It would be impossible for me to choose a favorite YouTuber, but when a new upload from Ingrid Nilsen (better known as Missglamorazzi) pops up in my subscription box, I get pretty excited. She’s sweet, she’s bubbly, and you can’t help but smile while watching her.

Recently Ingrid teamed up with her good friend, (and another guru I love), FleurdeForce, to film the ever controversial haul video. Of course the girls got a lot of hate. Haul videos always do. Some viewers love to watch as the girls display all the purchases of their recent shopping trips. Plenty of viewers don’t. The comments’ section is like a warzone. Some people defend the gurus, saying this is their job and it’s their right to purchase high-end. Others claim it’s braggy and obnoxious to sit around, flaunting your expensive makeup and clothes.

Then, more often than not, the commenters start fighting with each other.

Either way, love ’em or hate ’em, haul videos (and the comments that come with them) are always entertaining.

Are you Team Haul? Personally, I love them. Even if I can’t afford a fraction of what the gurus are showing, they’re only trying to give us ideas on upcoming trends. YouTube gives me better and more current insight into the fashion and makeup world than a fashion magazine. Plus, it’s free, and doesn’t leave my hands smelling like perfume samples.


10 Random Facts Tag

Hi! I’m excited because this is my first official blog post. I’m also excited because I can announce that I am repped by the amazing Carrie Pestritto of the Prospect Agency! You can read more about that here. When I was down on my query-luck I would Google search agent success stories and it encouraged me and inspired me, so I truly hope my story inspires someone in some small way to never give up. I am so thankful to have found my perfect agent match! Carrie is enthusastic and supportive, and she gets me and my writing!

My first YA novel is currently undergoing some revisions to make it all sparkly and pretty.  It’s called THE INTERN DIARIES, and it’s about a YouTube beauty guru named Lacey who winds up loving her best friend’s late night talk show internship way more than her job working for a magazine.

My blog will be a mix of random posts about makeup, writing, writing about makeup, and everything in between.

Since this is my introductory post, and my book is about YouTube, I thought it would be fun to do the “50 Random Facts About Me” tag all the gurus do (but modified to 10 facts).

  1. All the late night talk show stories in my book made me so happy to write, because it felt like I was revisiting my times at NBC.  I was an intern for Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon and loved every minute!
  2. I’ve never actually made a YouTube makeup video but I am addicted to watching them. I subscribe to over 30 beauty gurus, and a handful of vloggers.
  3. I can have TV marathons where I’ll watch 10 episodes of my favorite shows in a row, but it can take me a week to get through watching one movie b/c I watch in increments of like twenty minutes. (bonus fact: the last movie I saw in theaters was Harry Potter #6).
  4. HANSON is my favorite band. Yes, the boys that sang Mmmbop. They never stopped making music and I never stopped buying it/going to shows! This fall will be my 11th Hanson concert. I could pretty much talk about my love of Hanson for hours, so I’ll cut myself off right here.
  5. I’m a vegetarian.
  6. I’ve gotten two replies from Lindsay Lohan on Twitter! One in June 2010 (about how intrusive the paparazzi can be) the other this past September 2012 when we were both watching the MTV Music Awards. So yeah, we’re basically BFF. I also have gotten replies from Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel (Cory and Topanga!)
  7. During my interview for my Conan internship the intern advisor asked if I knew my way around the city and subway system (nope, and nope!)  I said yes, because I knew of the subway system, and really, isn’t that half the battle? Plus, I figured how far can they send me for a run when we worked in Rockefeller Center? Everything anyone could need was literally downstairs in the concourse. Oh, how wrong I was. So other than the 34th Street BDFV line that led me directly to work every day, I took cabs EVERYWHERE. I spent my own money and after the first month I was broke. When I learned NBC reimbursed for Metrocards, Hopstop.com became my best friend. My reliance on cabs became the inspiration for a character in my book, so it worked for something!
  8. My favorite current shows are New Girl, Big Bang Theory, The Middle, and Modern Family, but I love classic TV sitcoms, and Friends is my favorite show of all time.
  9. I have an irrational fear of hoarding, so I do the opposite and throw everything out. It would probably make for a very boring reality show for TLC.
  10. I am a Wheel Watcher. I’ve been a Wheel of Fortune fan as far back as I can remember. I’m a good puzzle solver but I have a fear of going on the show. I’m convinced I’d get so nervous I’d probably try to buy a consonant or pick up a prize wedge before calling a letter. And you know Pat Sajak secretly judges those people.