October 24, 2014

Links to Love + Homecoming 2014 Recap

Happy Friday! I cannot believe it's already Friday. I feel like this week flew by, did anyone else? Maybe it's because I had the best weekend last week--the best one I've had in a while. 

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you might've seen that I returned to my alma mater for Homecoming weekend. Homecoming is a HUGE deal at Iona. We have no football team but that doesn't stop us. 

Little and Big :)

The whole dam fam #TSM

My sisters are the greatest, most beautiful ladies I know
We day drink, have fun with campus activities and root for our friends who are running for Homecoming Court. Usually, this is the first weekend that alumni come back and the Class of 2014 took over campus. It was glorious.

It was wonderful to be back in my element with all my sorority sisters, my favorite fraternity men, and all my former classmates. It was just what I needed...a weekend acting like a college student.

I think homecoming started off my week on a great note and aside from an anxiety attack or two, it was a pleasant week.

Next week is Halloween and I have zero plans. Anyone have any ideas? As of now I'm planning on being cuddled up on the couch with some candles, a book, and Hocus Pocus playing on repeat. That sounds lovely compared to my days of dressing up and drinking at a bar. 

Anyways, here is what I LOVED this week.

But really, who else is excited about Bethenny coming back to the RHONJ?! I LOVE HER!

Happy weekend everyone! What was the highlight of your week?

October 23, 2014

Wishlist: Winter Jackets

The end of October means winter is coming and the colder weather is going to be here soon enough. Last year's polar vortex left us all freezing and unsure how to deal with the temperatures.

I seriously have never felt anything like that, I was in my house for a week straight because school was closed due to the snow and freezing temperatures. I felt like I would never be warm again.

This year, I'll be more prepared. I have a problem when it comes to shopping and its not accessories or beauty supplies. I love to buy things I don't need and then I'm left with no essentials and a sad bank account.

I'm making a vow to stop doing that and spend money on the things I need..like a really good winter coat.

I was thinking about it and I seriously don't have anything substantial, especially for work. I need a good, stylish winter coat along with one for the lighter weather. I've been going jacket-less to work for the past month, and its fine, expect for days when a coat is essential.

I've been doing a little window shopping and looking at the best fall/winter coats. Here are my picks!

What outerwear are you loving this season?

October 22, 2014

October Birchbox Review

Yup..you heard right. Birchbox is back in my life and I couldn't be happier about it. My poor college student bank account couldn't afford the tiny $10 a month price tag but now, I see this as a special treat to myself once a month.

I've been trying to curb my spending and a lot of the time, most of my money is spent on new beauty products that I want to try. I'm justifying this subscription because I feel that if I know my Birchbox is coming, I won't go out and buy new things. 

That's my reason and I'm sticking to it. We'll see how it works out!

Also, Birchbox has so many perks and the best customer service out there, I had to come back. Being part of the Birchbloggers network showed me how much I needed to get back to Birchbox. Nothing else really compares.

Between the Aces program, picking your monthly sample(missed out on that this month), Birchbox points and the book club, you cannot go wrong. I'm obsessed with all things Birchbox and I don't care who knows it!

I received my October box about two weeks ago but wanted to take the time to use the products a bit and see how I felt. Also, I had my editorial calendar planned out and didn't want to disrupt the flow of things. 

I was following the October sneak peeks and saw that one of the items you could receive in your box was a BeautyBlender and a BeautyBlender solid(a cleanser for your spongy friend). Even though I have a BB already, I would've gladly welcomed a second one and the solid cleanser but no such luck.

Despite that disappointment, I was thrilled with my box. Simple but I have/will use everything I received. 

Lets dive in!

//Beauty Protector: Protect and Detangle: I've seen this all over the Birchbox world for the past year or so and I've secretly wished I would get this. Waiting paid off and I received it this month and I'm so happy.  This is a detangle leave in conditioner. I always leave my conditioner in after a shower and am searching for a nice "leave in conditioner". This is a good choice because it also detangles my hair and it works like a dream. I would 100% purchase this in the future because it does exactly what it says it would: silky strands, great smell, and really detangles my hair. 

Sample size: 5/5
Full size: $21.95

//Coastal Scents Revealed 2  in Ballerina: I was hoping I would get this so I was thrilled when I did receive it. I love the way CS does their samples, they're easy to use and a really nice size. It's an eyeshadow sample that you will actually use and there's enough product to know if you enjoy it. Well, I really really love these eyeshadows. They're super pigmented and perfect for the fall season. I love burgundy shadows and this quad has a great one. You can get an entire look just from these four shadows so it is a really great sample. I will be putting the Revealed 2 palette on my wish list because these shadows are great. 

Sample size: 4/5
Full size: $34

//LuMesh Hydrating LipGloss: I'm not a huge lip gloss lover and this sample is super tiny so I wasn't thrilled by this. The smell isn't that great but the color payoff is nice and it's not super sticky. It has a tingly sensation that you find in plumping lipglosses which I like. It's also a really nice mauve-pink color, perfect for fall. I'll definitely find some use for this little guy!

Sample size: 1/5
Full size: $24

//Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser: We all know how much I love to exfoliate my skin so I was happy with this as well! The smell is heavenly: pure lemon. It smells like lemon pledge but I love that so it doesn't matter. You need the teeniest, tiniest bit to wash your face because it foams up pretty drastically. I made the mistake of putting close to a quarter size amount in my hands and it was a foamy mess (in a good way but still, you don't need a lot of product). This is is a really incredible product, my skin was so smooth and soft after I used it. I'm kind of obsessed.

Sample size: 2/5
Full price: $32.95

//Tocca Crema de Mano, Bianca: This is another product I've seen in a lot of other Birchbox's and was happy to receive it. I love a good hand cream (my favorite is this one) but this Tocca cream is a lot lighter but smells heavenly. It's green tea and lemon scented with coconut oil, Shea butter, and aloe. It's really moisturizing and soothing but not heavy or slick, which allows me to use it throughout the day and not feel greasy. 

Sample Size: 4/5
Full price: $10

I was really happy with this box. I would've loved the Beauty Blender but between the eyeshadow and the hand cream, I'm really, really happy.

Birchbox continues to amaze me and they just get better and better! Click here to subscribe :)

Do you subscribe to Birchbox? Which subscription boxes do you receive? Tell me in the comments!

October 21, 2014

Skin Inc Facial Event Sephora NYC

I received an email last week about the skincare company, Skin Inc and their exclusive offer in two NYC Sephora stores this coming weekend.

Being a beauty junkie and a resident NYC Sephora lover, I thought this would be a nice little tidbit to share with all of you.

Skin Inc is a skincare brand based out of Japan and is the first brand to use customized ingredients to meet your unique skincare needs. 

They will be hosting an exclusive facial event at two Sephora stores this upcoming weekend.

Friday October 24th: Sephora, 130 W 34th St between 7th Ave and Broadway
Saturday October 25th: Sephora, 5 Times Square (200 W 42nd St) 

Both events will take place between 12pm and 6pm. If you attend, you'll be treated to a customized facial with Skin Inc products and find your perfect, ideal matches.

I'm really excited for this and if I find the time, I may pop in. I am going to be looking into some Skin Inc products because we all know how obsessed I've become with skincare.

Let me know if you're planning on going and IF you go! I'd love to hear about your experience :) Either comment below or shoot me an email at lucabriana@gmail.com

Gone Girl Book Review

I love jumping on bandwagons. Seriously, I'm so basic when it comes to stuff like that. I live for popular culture so when there is a huge movie series, book series, or a new boy band on the block, it immediately becomes the object of my affection. 

Twilight, the Hunger Games, 50 Shades of Grey, Jonas Brothers, One Direction.. you name it, I've loved it.

That's why, it was no different when I heard everyone and their mother talking about "Gone Girl". I had seen the book around bookstores before the movie was announced and considered picking it up but wasn't sure if I would be able to handle the storyline. 

When the movie was announced, I knew I was going to have to read eventually. I put it off till this summer when I was looking for a new book to read and took the plunge and bought "Gone Girl" on my iPad. 

I didn't actually read it though because I got distracted. However as the movie release came closer and more of my friends were reading it, I knew it needed to be done.

After finishing "Big Little Lies", I wanted something just as suspenseful and thrilling so I decided, why not! I started the book on September 30th, the week of the premiere and finished on October 2nd. That's really fast reading and it's kind of ridiculous.

I've always been known as a fast reader, especially when something is pulling me in and my oh my, did "Gone Girl" pull me in.

Let me start off by saying that yes, "Gone Girl" IS as good as everyone is saying. It's enticing, thrilling, suspenseful, crazy, insane, confusing, and borderline scary. I scare very easily so don't take my word but yeah, I didn't sleep the night I finished the book.

The book is separated into parts, present day Nick and then "past day" Amy, writing in her diary. 

I won't give away any spoilers but basically, the book is about Nick and Amy's marriage and how things were rough between them and suddenly, Amy disappears on their 5th wedding anniversary. The whole thing seems really sketchy and Nick eventually becomes public enemy number one. 

It's very eery, reading Amy's diary and seeing how her and Nick's marriage fell apart. It makes you second guess everything happening in the book. I had really mixed feelings while reading the first half of the book and that feeling was proven right when the second half of the book happened.

I was shocked at the twist, (you'll know when the twist happens) and had to stop reading to get a grip. It was just bat shit crazy. I can't even explain my reaction.

Anyways, I don't want to give too much away but the ending was a cliffhanger. It was so much of a cliffhanger that I googled if there was a sequel being written. There isn't and Gillian Flynn wanted to leave the ending open on purpose.

As I said in my "Big Little Lies" review, I don't like suspense novels but after reading that and now "Gone Girl", I'm pretty hooked. 

"Gone Girl" was the perfect combination of romance, Law and Order SVU, humor, and thriller. I would honestly re-read this again (I NEVER re-read books) because it's that good. 

I can't even explain how incredible this book is written, how well it was planned out, and the story just flowed beautifully. I love a good twist in a novel and this was the twist of all twists.

I love "Gone Girl" so much, I'm going to read Gillian Flynn's other book "Sharp Objects" which I won in the October Birchbox Birchbloggers Book Club so look out for that review soon!

FYI: I haven't seen the movie yet so yeah, that needs to happen ASAP.

Have you read "Gone Girl"? What were your thoughts?

October 20, 2014

Manicure Monday

This blog may be called Royally Pink but there is nothing I love more than a good red. Whether it's a red dress, a red lipstick or a red nail, I'm obsessed. I may actually have to do a whole post on the color red haha.

Anyways, fall, to me, is the best time to rock whatever red you're feeling. As for me, red nails are always in and I finally found a great red nail polish. While looking through my fall nail collection a few weeks ago, I realized I didn't have a simple, straightforward red.

In comes in "Dress to Kilt", the new red from Essie's 2014 Fall Collection. There's something about a brand new, fresh to the collection nail polish that I love. I usually only buy new colors (mostly because that's all my drugstores have) and there didn't seem to be a better time to buy this new red.

It's been burning a hole in my nail polish bag for a few weeks now. It was too early to paint my nails red at one point and then I fell in love with "Fall in Line" and thought this red could wait.

Well, last week I tried it out and my goodness, this is one of the best Essie nail polish I've ever used.

The formula is orgasmic (yes, orgasmic). It's very opaque but glides on incredibly smooth. Maybe it was because my nails has been bare for a few days so they were fresh and smooth but 'kilt went on like a dream.

The color in the bottle compared to on my nails is pretty much identical. It's always disappointing when the bottle color is completely off but that's not the case here.

"Dress to Kilt" is red. It's red but with undertones of burgundy and wine colors. It's rich, deep and truly perfect for fall. I will be wearing this color through and through; I don't know if I need any other color this season.

What's on your nails this Monday? Give me your suggestions in the comments :)

October 17, 2014

Links to Love

As you're reading this, I'm in my car, headed to my college campus for HOMECOMING WEEKEND. As an undergrad, homecoming was one of the greatest events of the year. Iona doesn't have a football team but there are still so many fun events on campus, a Rugby game, a basketball pre-game, and of course, day drinking.

It was the first time you saw a lot of the alumni that graduated the year before but alumni from years and years ago are traipsing throughout campus. It's glorious.

For the first time, I will be going back as an alumnae with all my underclassmen and graduated friends. It's the first time I'll be staying the night at school since I graduated and there is an odd bittersweet feeling about it. Nonetheless I'm super excited and this week felt like a huge pre-game to the event.

Anyway, with all of that, this week went by pretty fast and was quite nice. I love how great of a mood I've been in lately, less anxious, not as crazy--it's a nice change of pace.

Here are all the links I loved and adored:

Have a fantastic weekend everyone :)