I’m really excited for November’s month in film post because of two reasons: November is one of my favorite months and I got an iPad pro (as an early Christmas present) so I now have the ability to annotate my photos instead of just writing captions for each one. I have to make the disclaimer of course that this idea of annotating my photos is not mine. I have to give credit to Lizzy from Shot From the Street for this idea, who annotates almost all of her photos in her weekly film posts. Lizzy and Claire Marshall’s content have absolutely inspired me to incorporate my own writing and doodles into my content to make it that much more personal and creative. With all that said, November was a great month with brainstorming content for the new year, some nice leisurely days off, catching up with friends, and of course Thanksgiving!
Gone are the days where I spend a lot of time on my eye makeup, instead if I use eyeshadow at all I opt for a single wash of color all over the lids. To me not only does that look more modern, but its also incredibly quick and easy. I have found over about the past year that cream eyeshadow sticks are perfect for achieving this very understated and minimal eye look that I am drawn to nowadays. However, I have also realized that eyeshadow sticks are very easy to get wrong; they can be too creamy and have no longevity or be too dry and not blend properly. That being said, I have found two brands that really nail a cream eyeshadow pencil formula that blends well and stays put all day.
First and foremost is a longstanding favorite in the beauty blogging community: the By Terry Ombre Blackstars. These come in at a hefty $45 a piece, and while I was extremely skeptical of that price tag, they really do live up to all the hype they have received over the years. The formula, to me, is the gold standard of cream eyeshadow sticks because they blend so effortlessly but stay put all day long. I have two shades (although I plan on adding more to my collection): Misty Rock, which is a gorgeous mauvey purple with the most beautiful and complex metallic shimmer, and Bronze Moon, which is another very complex shimmery bronze shade (as one might suspect). I think the thing that really sets this formula apart is the shimmer itself. Because they are so multifaceted, the shimmer gives off that wet look that looks absolutely gorgeous on the eyes.
My most recent find in the cream eyeshadow stick world has been the Burberry Eye Contour Sticks. Much like the By Terry version they have incredible longevity and blendability. They come in at a slightly cheaper $28 a piece, which is definitely not cheap but considering how close they are to the By Terry offering in efficacy, they are a decent value. I have three shades in total: Pale Copper, which is a mid-tone gold/copper shade, Rosewood, which is a purple-toned brown, and Midnight Brown, a cool-toned shimmery dark brown (which also happens to make the best smudgey smokey eye). The shimmer is definitely more subtle in these compared to the Ombre Black Stars, but it still adds a gorgeous dimension to the eye that lend themselves perfectly to that one wash look on the eyes.
What are your favorite eyeshadow sticks?
This installment of my month in film series is coming to you a bit late because of two reasons, first off being that my camera broke around mid-October, which then meant that I had to re-order a new camera and quickly shoot a roll of film within a weeks time in order for it to be truly considered a month in film of October. To be honest this is more of a week and a half in film but I think it'll do just fine (hope you lot agree). October was an interesting month, I've been working non-stop, which I love but it also has meant that I have very little to do outside of work that is worth photographing. That being said, October is easily my favorite month out of the year since it really starts to feel like Autumn in California, its the month of my sister's birthday (who just turned 21!), Brad and I celebrated our anniversary, and of course Halloween!
In an effort to get back into reading this month I started Orlando by Virginia Woolf, who is easily one of my favorite writers ever. While it isn't the easiest book to read, the writing is gorgeous and the plot is so incredibly complex and unique. It's not a super fast read but I would highly recommend it!
I took this shot on my way back home after work. One of my favorite parts about this month in film series is being able to show you all my favorite parts of San Francisco. Elixir is one of my favorite bars and if you are into whiskey I would definitely check it out, they literally have hundreds to choose from!
Bought three polishes from J. Hannah earlier in October and have fallen in love with them. I got Blue Nudes, Himalayan Salt, and Ghost Ranch. While the formula doesn't quite compare to Smith & Cult, the shades are incredibly sophisticated and unique. In fact, I've never been complimented on my nail polish as much as I have when I've worn Ghost Ranch
I've been wearing these wide leg pants endlessly this month and they've really broken me of my compulsive denim wearing habits.
For some reason when it gets cold here I am always drawn to the Victorians in the city. Not only are they incredibly gorgeous from an architectural standpoint but they always look very festive, and like they are ornate gingerbread houses.
I don't know why I was so drawn to taking pictures of bars this month. However, Orbit Room is another one of my favorite more neighborhood/relaxed bars in the city. They also make a great G&T that won't completely break the bank.
Wore this outfit to work and my co-workers said it looked very Diane-Keaton-in-Annie-Hall-esque, which is both very kind of them and pretty much the best compliment I could ever hope to receive.
Brad and I went to Absinthe for dinner on our anniversary. I think it's an absolute classic in the realm of San Francisco restaurants and if you want weird but wonderful cocktails, this is the place to go.
Had to pull over while I was driving because this shot just seemed too good to pass up. I love the moodiness of shooting film during gloomy weather and Sutro Tower is always photo-worthy in my books.
One of the highlights of the month was easily my parents finishing the kitchen in our house. We had been sans kitchen for about 4 months and it has been a very welcome change to eat something besides cereal for breakfast and takeout for dinner (first world problems). This oven has also already been exposed to some marathon baking sessions!
Bailey, whose fur coincidentally blends in the floor, is also very much enjoying the new kitchen.
I've been cutting down on coffee the past month, which has basically just meant that I have been frequenting Samovar, where they have THE best chai, more than is considered a normal amount.
I wasn't joking about being obsessed with Victorians, now was I?
I've also been obsessed with this cashmere cardigan from Everlane and have worn it several times since I got it. Ever since Lizzy Hadfield mentioned wearing cardigans as a top rather than another layer, I have absolutely loved the idea and how they look.
This is without a doubt my favorite shot from this month. It had rained the night before and when the sun rose the clouds broke in the most picturesque way!
Every Autumn without fail my skin does a nose dive into serious dryness and sensitivity. Not only is this odd because I generally have very well behaved skin the rest of the year, besides the odd hormonal breakout, but also because I don't live in a particularly cold or harsh climate. It's as if my skin has an internal clock, realizes its October and decides to deplete itself of all moisture. I jest, I jest. I know there is nothing scientifically accurate about that statement, but because my skin tends to freak out from October through February I have to insert extra products into my routine in order to keep my skin in check.
The most recent addition to my Autumn/Winter skincare routine is the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, which is an exfoliating mask that you leave on the skin for 3-5 minutes to get rid of any dull or dead skin. Not only does this mask smell like you're slathering a pumpkin pie on your face (I don't know about you but that sounds incredible to me), but it is extremely effective at removing dead skin without irritating. The mask does make my face sting a bit when I first apply it, which is totally normal since that is the acid doing it's job. (I always follow the Caroline Hirons rule: burning is bad, stinging is good). My skin does look a bit red after using this, but that calms down pretty fast. I always do this mask at night, and without fail, whenever I wake up the next morning my skin looks and feels pretty incredible (if I do say so myself).
Glossier's Super Bounce Serum is in my skincare rotation year-round but come October, it becomes my most-used serums. The hyaluronic acid in the serum really helps my skin absorb moisture better and just generally look and feel less dry and dehydrated. I love using this in the morning underneath my daily moisturizer just to give an added boost of hydration. I am definitely curious to try The Ordinary's version of this serum, since it is a fraction of the price, but for now I'll be sticking with the Glossier offering since I know that it works so incredibly well.
The ultimate "comforter" in my A/W skincare routine is by far the Pai Rosehip Seed Regenerate Oil. This oil seriously does everything, from helping with hyperpigmentation, to hydrating, to calming down aggravated skin. I use this oil almost every night during the winter because it always "resets" my skin. No matter how awful it is feeling or looks, this oil always makes my skin feel and look much healthier and hydrated. I would definitely recommend this to those who suffer with acne-prone skin (who often have oily skin) as well, because it really helps to heal existing breakouts.
Last but certainly not least is the La Roche Posay Cicablast Baume B5, which is definitely the meatiest "skin fixer" in my routine. This stuff works on both the face and the body to repair really dry, irritated skin. I usually have a few instances over the course of the colder month where I have small patches of eczema on my face and this stuff works great to soothe the irritation as well as hydrate the effected area. If my lips are extremely dry and cracked I will also use this on them to get them back to normal.
What are your skincare essentials for Autumn and Winter?
It's no secret that I've had a busy past couple of months and one thing that I've definitely learned is the importance of time management. In college I was pretty good at managing my time, but in some ways my time was much easier to manage in college. In other words, my life was much more compartmentalized in college. I had class during certain hours of the day on set days, my weekends and nights were the time to spend with my friends and socialize, and my free hours during the weekdays were spent doing my course work. I also spent some time working on this blog, however it was more at the discretion of my schedule and while I always enjoyed writing, I would take periodic breaks if I had too much school work or I just felt like I needed a break.
Since college this blog has become more of a priority and I want to dedicate more and more of my time to creating the best content I can. That said I have to juggle writing for this blog and a full time job, which can be challenging. I absolutely love my job and I would not trade it for anything, but it can be hard to find time to balance both working most days and writing, without sacrificing my social life. When I was in school it was much easier to put the blog on the back burner and not feel bad about it, but now I feel an intense feeling of guilt if I don't get at least one post up per week.
One of the best strategies that I have taken on since starting work and getting this blog back to where I want it to be, is to be extremely realistic with your time. For me that means that I don't try to plan to write four or even three posts a week, even if that's what I'd love to do in a perfect world. I see a lot more value in getting a couple or even just one well-written and thought out posts, rather than none because I'm too overwhelmed by looking at my editorial calendar. I fall more into the category of a slow blogger, and I'm totally ok with that because I know that while I'm not pushing as much content as others (and therefore maybe not getting as many views or gaining as many followers), I can be assured that the content I do create is meaningful and of a certain quality.
Going along with being realistic with time, planning and working ahead of time has proven to be absolutely essential in keeping my blog running whilst I work. I have become much better about not only writing all my ideas for blog posts in my notebook and making a coherent editorial calendar, but also including posts and their due dates in my everyday planner so that I am constantly reminded of their due dates. Before when I just designated my blog content to a notebook, it was really hard for me to be reminded that a post was due because it was out of sight and out of mind most of the time. So much of my content is also connected to pictures, which was the thing that really held me back at times from getting posts published. Luckily Brad has been a huge help with taking photos for me. While I used to take photos for one blog post at a time, I plan ahead more and try to shoot for multiple posts on one day, so all I have left to do later in the week is write.
Finally, because I do most of my writing on my days off, it has become extremely important to change up my environment for when I need to get things done. While I love working at my desk at home, I can also fall into the trap of feeling like since its my day off and I'm at home that I have time to binge watch Gossip Girl instead of getting things written. (In fact, as I'm writing this I am at a coffee shop now and have managed to write this post approximately 5x faster than I would have at home). Some people have a hard time working in more public places like a coffee shop, but for me it really helps me get more work done. I feel less inclined to procrastinate, because I feel like people are watching what I'm doing on my computer (which they most likely are not) and therefore feel motivated to get my shit done instead of watch funny cat videos. It also helps to have background noise that isn't a TV show or a Spotify playlist, because while I love listening to those things while I work they can be more distracting than not, but I also find it impossible to work in silence.
I'm definitely not in the perfect place that I want to be with my workflow, but I've definitely gotten much better at planning and managing my time than I had done at the beginning of the summer. My blog will always be a work in progress, and now that I've begun to accept that it won't be perfect, it's made it a much easier task to manage.