Beauty & Hair


As prom and other spring events swiftly approach, I felt the need to go in for a little makeup revamp to make sure my face is ready for all those flashing cameras. With the help of Sean Grant, a good friend and a beauty stylist for Nordstrom, we came up with a fun, fresh look. (Of course, we had to take a selfie!)


We began our makeup journey by placing Trish McEvoy ‘Instant Eye Lift’ Concealer in the “triangles of light” and blending. This was definitely one of my favorite products that we used because it completely rid me of my dark under eye circles and brought a lightness to my face.


 Then he applied NARS ‘Larger Than Life’ Long Wear Eyeliner in Barrow Street, a vibrant mint color, to my inner rims, and swept it out into a small wing.


 I came in with some black eyeliner on, but Sean wanted something a little more intense, so he mixed a deep navy shadow with Trish McEvoy ‘Finish Line’ Waterproof Eye Color Seal to create a bold liner for my upper lash line.


 Of course, we had to make sure the brows were looking extra fierce.


On my cheeks, he used NARS ‘Matte Multiple’ Lip & Cheek Color in Anguilla with a wet blush brush to give a kind of watercolor effect. Then he followed with NARS Contour Blush to highlight and contour certain areas (see the face chart at the end of the post for placement).


 One of my favorite tricks I learned was to place a little contour powder beneath the bottom lip and a dab of highlight powder at the bow of the lips to give the illusion of a fuller pout. To finish up the lip look, we layered Chanel #49 Lip DefinerChanel Rouge Allure #90 lipstick, and NARS Bimini Gloss.


When we were finished with our session, Sean gave me this handy face chart and a list of all the products he used, so I could recreate the look when I got home.

Whether you’re headed to prom and need a few makeup tips or you’re just looking to freshen up your daily face routine, setting up an appointment with a beauty stylist is a fun, zero pressure way to experiment with a new look and try out some of Nordstrom’s best beauty products! A big thanks to Sean for helping me with this post. 🙂



Spring Nail Trends

Last week I showed you my favorite nail designs for prom, and today I’ll show you a few of my favorite colors for the new season! I love wearing neutrals on my nails such as black and beige, but it’s always good to spice up your polish collection for spring with a few new vibrant colors. Why not go all out and jazz up your fingertips with some punchy purple or striking red nail polish?

Claire Marshall of the YouTube channel Hey Claire shows off some of this season’s freshest nail looks:

Get a few of Claire’s favorites:


Nails Inc. Polish


Nails Inc. ‘Gel Effect’ Nail Polish



For some of you lovely gals, prom may be just around the corner! My prom isn’t for a few more months, but I’ve already started gathering inspiration for my dress, hair, shoes and nails. Normally I cut images out of magazines and glue them on a huge sheet of paper so I can see all my potential prom looks at once. Today I thought I’d share a few nail designs I’ve been loving from Fashion Week. You can try them yourself or take the photos into your nail salon for the professionals to tackle. 🙂


Whether you’re going for a boho look or an edgy look, there are nail designs out there for everyone!




A little over a month ago, M·A·C launched their new Viva Glam ad campaign featuring none other than the BadGalRiRi (Rihanna). After weeks of anticipation,  the gorgeous frosted blue-red lip color has finally arrived in stores (available in both a lipstick and a tinted lip glass)! Check out the behind the scenes video to learn more:



Fluidline | Powder Blush | Finishing Powder | Tinted Lip Glass | View All Products



Claire’s Closet

A few months ago I was introduced to a multitude of new makeup and fashion gurus by my YouTube-savvy best friend, Bella. Like Alyssa, I can’t stop watching Bethany’s videos, and I always learn a trick or two by tuning in to Michelle Phan’s makeup tutorials. But by far one of my favorite YouTubers lately is Claire Marshall, an LA-based makeup artist and lifestyle vlogger. Her content ranges from beauty to styling—and there are even some clips of her adorable black cat Bruce in a few videos. I want everyone to know about Claire’s YouTube channel, so I’m showcasing one of my all-time favorites.

(Love it? Stock up on Claire’s favorite M·A·C lipsticks for yourself.)

Who are your favorite YouTubers? Let me know in the comments!



This year, my resolution is to embrace my natural beauty. I got a bit of a wake up call on New Year’s Eve: I looked in the mirror and realized I was wearing so much eyeliner and bronzer I could barely recognize myself. While I appreciate the transforming properties of cosmetics, I want to look like Alyssa, not a mask.

Even on a daily basis, I’m pretty high maintenance—I usually won’t leave the house without a full face and my heat-styled hair. Not only does my morning routine take FOREVER, but it also isn’t good for my skin or hair (pimples, split ends, etc.). This year my goal is to go at least one day a week wearing little or no makeup and my hair completely natural. This is what it will look like:


Ok, I couldn’t go completely bare in front of the camera (I’m not quite that brave yet). Today, I’m just wearing a little bit of concealer and mascara, which is practically nothing compared to my usual foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush, bronzer and lip color.


This is how my hair looks  without any heat or product (I just took a shower and let it air dry).  It’s a little flat, but a deep side part adds some oomph!


I just thought this would be a fun shot to finish with! If it was on Instagram, I would definitely post it as #LongHairDon’tCare.

If you don’t have a New Year’s resolution yet, you should definitely consider joining me on the “go natural” train!  Your skin and hair will thank you. 🙂




There’s something regal about winter: the quiet, the oversized and lavish clothing, the cold. It just makes me imagine a kingdom of ice queens surrounded by stars and arctic foxes, girls who are awake for more hours in the night than the day—whose futuristic regality prevents the chill from overcoming them.


I got two of my friends, Adora and Tali, together to create this magical ice land with dramatic winter makeup and star tiaras. (The NYX ‘All I’ve Ever Wanted’ palette has everything you need to create your own magical looks.)


We used purple and blue and white eye makeup to create the look for these powerful ice women.


These icy, starry makeup ideas are great for New Year’s Eve. Why not go all out and be festive for 2014?! Over-the-top, dramatic eyes are becoming more popular on and off the runway. Worn with simple outfits, they can be a supreme accessory.


This holiday, take a lesson from Beyonce and embrace your inner queen! Go for dramatic, go for playful, have fun with your style and at your parties. 🙂

Stay golden,



Mani Monday: Autumn-Inspired Nails


Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I decided to switch up my nude manicure to something a little more festive. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do to spice things up, so I took a scroll through Pinterest and found this nailspiration.

This look initially caught my eye because it’s sparkly and fun without being overly gaudy (tiny turkey heads on my thumbs just isn’t my style). Originally, I was going to attempt to do it on my own, but because I’m easily frustrated by tiny paint brushes, I decided to hand this job over to the experts. I’m so glad I did because not only were the feather details a lot trickier to do than I thought, but I also got to meet a super cute and bubbly (not to mention, extremely talented) nail artist. A huge thanks to Deana at The Retreat Day Spa for helping my inspiration come to fruition.


P.S. If you’d like to see a step-by-step tutorial, or if you’d like to share any of your own nail art inspiration, comment below!



Wearing: Clinique ‘Superbalanced’ Makeup | MAC ‘In Extreme Dimension- 3D Black Lash’ Mascara | MAC ‘Powerpoint’ Eye Pencil

My skin is far from perfect. I struggle with breakouts and dryness (especially in the winter) on the daily—but I’ve learned to work with it. After all, it’s the only skin I have. In honor of National Healthy Skin Month, I decided to share a few of my favorite skincare picks from Nordstrom Beauty Spot. I legitimately use all of these products regularly, and I love them; they make my skin battle bearable!

1. Start with a fresh base


Featuring: Shiseido ‘Benefiance’ Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam | Clinique ‘Dramatically Different’ Moisturizing Lotion+

I like to start off the morning with a clean, moist canvas. I personally love this Shiseido cleanser because it’s gentle, but still manages to remove all the grime and excess oil. It’s often considered an anti-aging product, but it obviously works great on teen skin, too. (Hey, you’re never too young to start the fight against wrinkles and dark spots, right?) Of course, after I wash my face, I like to replenish my moisture barrier. Clinique ‘Dramatically Different’ Moisturizing Lotion+ is a great, lightweight base to layer your makeup over.

2. Cover and glow 


Featuring: Clinique ‘Superbalanced’ Makeup | MAC Bronzing Powder | NARS Blush

I prefer liquid foundation over powder because it leaves a dewy finish. I usually top it off with bronzer and blush to add a healthy glow (although I didn’t use either product in the above picture because I was going for a fresh, bare skin look).

3. Take it off


Featuring: MAC Pro Eye Makeup Remover | MAC Wipes | Clinique ‘Moisture Surge Intense’ Fortifying Hydrator

I’ll admit, sometimes, I’m a little lazy about taking my makeup off at night– but no matter what, I always at least use a cleansing towelette and remove my eye makeup (red, irritated lids are not a good look). I also apply a prescription acne treatment every night which is extremely drying, so I layer moisture surge underneath which does a lovely job of keeping my skin soft. This routine takes about five minutes which is great for those late tuck-ins after studying endlessly for an AP Bio exam.

What are your go-to skin products?


P.S. There are a bunch of great deals going on in the Beauty Spot for the Half Yearly Sale—be sure to check them out!


In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month coming to a close, I decided to put together a last minute shopping guide of my favorite Pink Picks (check out all of the products here).

Take a look:

Socks|Perfume|Blush|Lotion|Nail Polish

Stance ‘Keep a Breast’ Crew Socks: These socks are so cute and cozy, and would look adorable peeking out of the top of a pair of boots. Plus, part of their proceeds go towards funding the Keep a Breast Foundation to raise awareness that prevention is the best cure.

Versace ‘Bright Crystal’ Eau de Toilette: I wear this perfume almost everyday, so I was super excited to see it on the list. In October, for every Bright Crystal large spray purchased, Versace will donate $1 to the Breast Cancer Foundation in Philadelphia.

Bobbi Brown ‘French Pink’ Breast Cancer Awareness Collection Blush: I love a bright pop of color on the cheeks (especially in the months of eternal grey). Between October and March, for every sale of the French Pink set, Bobbi Brown will donate $10 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

AHAVA Breast Cancer Awareness Hand Cream: Before AHAVA was super popular in the United States, my mom brought me back a tube from Israel. It does wonders for dry winter hands, so if you haven’t jumped on the AHAVA bandwagon, do it now! During October, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Deborah Lippmann ‘Shape of My Heart’ Breast Cancer Awareness Nail Color: A ballet pink manicure looks so sweet and elegant; it’s a staple color for any nail polish collection. Plus, 10% of the proceeds of each sale will go to benefit the Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, CA.

 On a more personal note, this month holds a very special place in my heart because my aunt is a breast cancer survivor. She is one of the most beautiful and courageous women I know. Everyday, I am so thankful that she is still with us, and leading an active, healthy life. I am one of the lucky ones because she fought the fight and she won. Love you, Auntie Lis!