lifestyle

Into The Woods With Pitch Pine Pottery - Photo Essay - New England Blogger

Exactly one month ago today Tara, Matthew, and I took to the woods for a special photo adventure. Together we climbed trees, took photos, shared dreams, and lost ourselves in nature. We were brought back to civilization only by the darkness and distant sound of coyotes…

Here are some of the photos I took of our journey:

Want to see more of my photo adventures with Matthew + Tara?

Matthew + Tara Portrait Session at Glen Ellis Falls

Shop Small + Local Gift Guide - New England Blogger

4 of my favorite small and local MAssachusetts businesses that I’ll be supporting this Holiday Season

Pitch Pine Pottery

You may recognize the makers of Pitch Pine Pottery from this photo session I did with them over the Summer! Not only are they the cutest couple in the world and two of my close friends, they are the hardest working creators I know! The amount of detail and love that goes into each pot and mug that Tara makes is astounding. I own two of her pieces now and they’re beautiful in photos, but even more stunning in person. With hand carved designs and glazes that are absolutely out of this world each piece is unique. Pay attention to when they’re doing a shop update by following Pitch Pine Pottery on Instagram! They’ll be doing their next one on Small Business Saturday (November 24), so make sure you don’t miss it!

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SLYK Shades is my newest favorite local company! The owner and creator Josh, launched SLYK Shades in August and has already done so much good with his brand. SLYK Shades is a mission-based wooden eyewear company that focuses on quality products while impacting an even greater cause. I love that each pair sold plants a tree through their partnership with One Tree Planted! They’ve already planted 300 trees in California and after the devastating wildfires, they’re hoping to help plant even more. In addition, they also partner with Calmer Choice on Cape Cod. 

Calmer Choice works with schools and community organizations across the Cape to deliver a low-cost prevention program that equips children with skills to increase inner resilience, reduce the impact of stress, manage emotional responses, learn self-control and increase their sense of well-being.

Their involvement with mental health means so much to me. And Josh’s own story with mental health is one that really struck a personal chord with me. I hope you’ll consider shopping SLYK Shades if not only to support this awesome growing business, but because their sunglasses are AMAZING. I own a pair of the Mermaid glasses with the light pink mirror lenses (a gorgeous combination!) and I’ve never received so many compliments!

I love that on the temples of the glasses there are inscriptions of hope engraved on the sides. It makes them so special and unique. They also recently started selling their new product: bracelets!

They’re so beautiful with wooden beads and abalone shell details. These bracelets would look amazing in a stack! Which, of course, brings me to my next local creator!

T Jazelle

I first heard about T Jazelle a few years ago when I was doing photography for Setting The Space in Plymouth, MA. I got to meet her in person and she was the absolute sweetest! It’s been exciting watching her business grow. She’s added so many styles of bracelets and jewelry to her line that it makes my head dizzy and I want them all!

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Along with her stacks of bracelets she offers rings, necklaces, and earrings. Every piece has a special meaning attached whether it’s the properties of the crystal or the message on the charm.

Dream Of The Woods

Michael and his wife Larissa make up the creative force that is Dream of The Woods. They’re a tiny company based on Cape Cod that creates designs to spread kindness and compassion. I love that their pieces are sustainably made and extremely high quality! I own a print and a car decal made by them both of which are absolutely beautiful. Just for a small story to compare the extra love and care that goes into something made by a small business verses a huge conglomerate: I bought a decal from Dream of the Woods and a decal from Amazon for my car. The one from Dream of the Woods was packaged with thought and care. It was protected in a thick high quality envelope so it wouldn’t get bent and it even had a personal message written on it from Michael! The decal I got from Amazon came in a flimsy envelope and was bent! The bend made applying it to my car so much more difficult, where applying the one from Dream of the Woods was a breeze. Dream of the Wood’s decal was definitely higher quality and goes to show just how much of better experience it is to shop small!

What I think is so special about Shopping Small

When you shop small you can see the people you are supporting with your purchase, just as you see all of the faces of the owners and makers I listed here in this post! You put food on their tables, make dreams come true, and tell each of these people that what they create is worth all of their hard work! Plus, each piece is going to be unique and special. So when you’re shopping for gifts this holiday season or otherwise considering buying from a small business! You’ll get your loved ones something they can’t buy at a store and you’ll give these makers a happiness that is indescribable!

All photos in this post were taken by me unless noted otherwise!

Reviewing Two New L'Oreal Products - Beauty Blogger

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Colour Riche Shine lipstick

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I love this lipstick! I got it in the shade 904 "Varnished Rosewood." It's a really "my lips, but better" shade, which is exactly what I was looking for when I found it! I'd say this color is best described as a warm rose with a hint of brown that gives it that expensive appearance. It's got a really nice glossy shine, too!...Shine isn't usually something I seek out in lip products, but this is perfect for a fresh every day look! I do think I'm going to get more of these in different shades at some point, but I couldn't be more pleased with the one I picked. If this sounds like something up your street I'd definitely give it a go!

Lumi Glow Amour

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This product is just okay. I'm sad to say I'm not blown away by it. I thought it'd be a good substitute for higher end illuminating drops - it's not that it isn't, it's just not that mind-blowing either. 

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As you can see in this picture this is how it looks on the skin before you rub it in, but unfortunately once you do it wipes right off and becomes sheer. This would make it ideal to use as a base for powder highlighter, but I was looking for more than a base. I really hoped this would be a liquid highlighter that mirrors the appearance of a solid and this just misses the mark for me. However, if you want to add some irredescence to your foundation or put it on your eyelids (I've done this a few times) then it does have it's uses. Daybreak is very pearlescent and glowing with a sort-of champagne-like tone. Perhaps I'll try adding it to a moisturizer for an added sparkle! If I come up with any more groundbreaking uses for it I'll be sure to come back with an update! Otherwise, I feel it was a bit of a waste at $11.99.

-LA

Glossier Must-Haves & Have-Nots - Beauty Blogger

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For those of you who don't know I'm a Glossier rep.* 

I absolutely love their products and have been sharing them with anyone who would listen since day one!

Everything from Glossier's aesthetic to their marketing makes me love them - I think they're just the perfect example of a brand done right!

However, even a perfect brand has a few flops. And over the last year or so I've tried as many of Glossier's products as I can. So, today I figured I'd demystify their products as much as I can for everyone and go over my list of absolute must-buys! And my list of "eh, you can skip its." 

Must-Haves

1. Boy Brow - This is the product that started it all for me. What truly made me fall in love with Boy Brow is just how simple it is. All you have to do is take the brush and comb the product through your eyebrows and voila! perfectly tinted and defined brows in a matter of seconds! It not only shortens my time doing my makeup in the morning, but it gives me a boost of confidence that my eyebrows are serious, bold, and ready to take on the world! There's a reason that Boy Brow launched Glossier to the level of cult fame it has today!

2. Generation G - Another cult beauty product Generation G is a must-must-must-have! There is no other lip product I've ever tried quite like it. The colors are buildable and beautiful. And I don't feel odd eating or kissing in them because they're so barely there that there's nothing to worry about (and you can easily reapply to perfection after intense eating or kissing haha!). Most of them have a matte, blurry appearance. Although Leo seemed more on the glossy side to me (but I love Leo!). So, 100% if you're looking to try a Glossier product that is quintessentially Glossier definitely put a Generation G lipstick in your shopping cart!

3. Wowder - Even if you aren't about to be a Glossier convert or fan at least get yourself the Wowder! It should be a staple in everyone's makeup routine. I've used many powders in the past. Some even irritated my eyes! Ew! And then there are the powders that leave you looking like a ghost or perhaps even worse there can be powders that seem to do nothing at all! This is not one of those. It works sooo well - better than any setting powder I've ever used. The packaging is also genius! It doesn't spill anywhere and is simple to use. I've had no problems with this powder and will be repurchasing if I ever run out!

HAVE-NOTS

1. The Super Pack - Meh! I'm sorry to say that these just don't get me excited. At first I was really loving Super Bounce and I would probably still purchase it on it's own if it weren't for the price ($28 a piece!). Out of all the serums I would recommend trying Super Bounce for extra hydration and the hyaluronic acid, but I think I'm going to look to other brands for something like this. It was simply just "alright" and I'm searching for "AMAZING."

2. The Priming Moisturizer - I actually like this product so much! I should really clarify that this list of have-nots isn't to say that these products are no good, it's just that they're the ones you can skip. Here's my reasoning on why you can skip this one: the Priming Moisturizer truly is an amazing primer to your skin before makeup (especially Glossier makeup) and it did make my skin so so soft, but you know what else does that? the Vaseline intensive care essential healing moisturizer I've been using on my skin throughout the winter. Again, I would continue to buy the Priming Moisturizer if it weren't for the price point ($22 for 1.7 fl. oz.), but my Vaseline moisturizer is $3 at Target for way more product. So, I choose to skip this one until I am making more figures on my paycheck and with that saved money I'll invest in my Glossier must-haves! :)

3. Stretch Concealer - I like this concealer...in theory. It's so creamy, the packaging is really nice, and it goes really well with the perfecting skin tint, but unfortunately it's only an "okay" concealer. First off, don't put this on your under eyes - it creases like a mother-f-er. I've even used Wowder with it and still the creasing doesn't cease. Also, if you have a blemish...it covers okay...but not great. So, because of everything you can't do with this product I unfortunately don't think I'll be repurchasing.

Honorable mentions

I figured why not include a few products that are "nice to have" if you just want to treat yourself!

1. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser - I really like this cleanser! It's gentle, creamy, and pretty much scentless - which is what my sensitive skin loves! It's unlike any other cleanser I've used before and I mean that in a good way! I think it's unique and it does a great job at cleansing your skin while removing makeup. Definitely try it out if you feel like treating yourself! 

2. Glossier You Perfume Solid - I've mentioned before in a video review of Glossier You (you can watch that here) that the spray perfume will last on you pretty much all day - it's kinda incredible! But! If you want to make sure you keep smelling amazing throughout the day or maybe you just prefer perfume solids I would recommend getting yourself the Glossier You Perfume Solid. It's really nicely made and is the perfect travel companion. I got it so I could always have it in my purse wherever I go. You never know when you're going to need a little extra!

3. Perfecting Skin Tint - I feel like this product isn't for everyone...but it should be. Some I think just won't see what's so cool about it, but if you're in to minimal makeup then you'll understand. This feels like you're wearing nothing at all . And it's some sort of witchcraft for sure, but it really does match your skin tone perfectly while blurring out imperfections...it's weird, but it works, so I love it! So, if you feel like giving this a try knowing you may very well hate it (I feel like this is definitely a love it or hate it kind of product) then why not just order it? And make sure to let me know what you think ;) 

-LA

*And since I'm a Glossier rep I will let you know that purchasing through my link will get you 20% off your first purchase, so definitely follow this link if you want to save some money ;) glossier.com/reps/leahastore. Happy shopping!

Glossier Summer Wish List - Beauty Blogger

Since I did a review of some of my favorite (and not so favorite) products from Glossier (you can read that here!) I figured I'd share the Glossier products that are still on my wish list! 

Body

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Body Hero Duo - I'm more keen to try the Daily Perfecting Cream, but I'd love to try both and see what they'd do for my skin! In the winter my legs get fairly dry...I should moisturize them daily, then I'd have no problems, but who's got time for that? (haha) I also take very hot showers, just a preference and passion, so no I won't be changing the temperature anytime soon even if it is better for my skin! All jokes aside though I saw a video of what the Perfecting Cream looks like on the skin and I'm obsessed! I need to get it for the summer because it looks so glowy! Any other time of year it might be wasted (if you live in a climate like I do), but if you were on the West Coast of America or somewhere else warm you would get more use. But in general if you're showing your skin then I think the Perfecting Cream is a must-have and is on my summer buying list for sure! 

The Daily Oil Wash is intriguing, as well. I'll have to try it out and see if it moisturizes my skin better than other body washes. I like the idea of an oil wash and I love sensitive products, so I would hope this one is easy on the skin! I have a feeling it is. 

Makeup

Lidstar - I've gotten my hands on three so far, Cub, Fawn, and Moon (review coming soon)! I'd love to try the other colors, too! Currently my wish list is Slip and Lily!

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Cloud Paint - I have Dusk and Puff and I love them. The cloud paints are lovely products in general and can be used on your eyes or cheeks! I love multi-purpose products! Currently I really want to get and try Beam and Haze. Perhaps those will be my cheek colors of the summer? 

Generation G - I love Generation G, as I've talked about before! I've tried the colors Zip, Leo, and Jam. All three are amazing! I need to pick up another Leo, though, as I've misplaced mine and it hasn't turned up yet (sobs). Other than that I'd love to try Cake next! I heard that Cake is the color Emily Weiss, Glossier's CEO, wore on her wedding day, so for anyone who's getting married you may want to give it a try, too! ;)

Balm Dotcom - My favorite Balm Dotcom that I've tried so far is definitely the Birthday flavor! It smells just like a Funfetti cake and has the most beautiful shine. I've always tried the original Balm Dotcom and it's an essential, but I am dying to try the Coconut flavor! Plus, I feel like Coconut is so perfectly Summer that it has to be on my wish list! 

-LA

Songs I'm Listening To On Repeat

I thought it would be fun to do a series on this blog, so I'm going to start doing Music Mondays! So, every Monday if I have new favorite music to feature I will be sharing the songs I am listening to on repeat! 

I got this idea while driving to work the other day. For those of you who don't know I have a rather long commute that I do every morning and music (and YouTube videos) are my best friend!

I love using the Google Play Music app in particular because of one radio station on there called "Cool New Indie." And it is indeed the coolest.  

I have found out about and heard some of the most amazing new musicians through Google Play Music. It is a true gift. 

And the other morning just happened to be a banger! Here are my favorite songs that I heard on my commute and can't stop listening to now because they're just that damn good

Me & Michael - MGMT: You don't even KNOW how much I love MGMT. Oracular Spectacular was a formative album for me. It came at just the right time - I was still in High School, on the cusp of graduating, and I was exploring all of the possibilities that would come to me next. I had many amazing rides in the car to that album and now I have new MGMT to keep me company and I am so so so SO happy that they are back making music again. This song is everything to me. The 80s synth style gets me going. It just fills my soul and takes me to another dimension. It's like I'm at the Snow Ball in Hawkins, Indiana and I'm Eleven dancing with Mike. Well, maybe not since I'm 27 and he's a kid (haha), but you get the idea. This song is PURE MAGIC. Listen to it and understand.

PDA - Day Wave & Hazel English: Day Wave - more like BAE WAVE, am I right? I'm an idiot (haha), but my dumb jokes aside if you don't know Day Wave by now you are missing out! Day Wave makes the most amazing music inspired by artists like Joy Division and New Order. He does an AMAZING cover of Ceremony, which I was so lucky to hear in person and it is INCREDIBLE. It was like being transported back in time to hear it in person. He is just so cool. And through Day Wave I was introduced to Hazel English. They record together quite a bit. I believe he helped produce one of her albums or at least a song for her. I just love the way he records directly to tape and you can tell because the sound is just so perfectly understated and dreamy - like he's playing in your room. But since Joy Division and New Order are on his list of inspirations the next logical step was to cover an Interpol song and it is just everything. I'm so happy it exists. I love this song and they do an amazing job on it together. All I have to say is I want more of this and more Hazel English and Day Wave singing together! Such a dreamy duo.

Holding On - The War On Drugs: Such a good driving song with both a summery and timeless quality. It's Tom Petty-esque in the best kind of way. You can just hear the America (haha). I think I need to go on a cross-country road-trip with The War On Drugs now. 

 

Who Do You Love - William Wild: Another beautiful song and this video does not have enough plays! What is going on? I hope that people will give it a listen and check out the artist. I definitely will! This is why I love the Google Play Music stations! I learn about so many wonderful artists I'd never heard of before. This song is just so easy and pleasant. Would make a great driving companion on any trip or morning commute. It's like waking up after a long sleep.

No Vacation - Yam Yam: I love the voice of the singer. So soothing and relaxing. And the music is so clean and the drums perfectly understated. I think this would make a great rainy day song. Walking down the street, headphones in, rain falling around you...I bet you wouldn't get wet. 

Generation L(ost) - L.A. Salami: For those moments when you feel like you're part of a lost generation definitely put this on. I could relate to it almost immediately (haha). It's a sidestepper for sure. Sometimes you just need a song like this. Turn it on and dance proudly around your room that you still live in at your parents house. It will be cathartic. 

Fancy Few - DEDE: This song and artist also deserves more views/listens! What the heck! I love the voice of the singer, very dreamy. Sometimes you just need some girly sounding music and this hit the mark for me. I really dig it. Maybe you will, too? 

Happy listening! :) 

-LA