A Beauty Journey

I have not always been a beauty enthusiast. In fact, I used to be totally content buying the same few things over and over again accepting the idea that I was not much of a "makeup girl". Putting on makeup was just another to-do in my morning; not something I looked forward to.

That changed after going through a difficult personal time. Each and every one of us are bound to go through times when we do not feel our best. Tough times can be unpredictable—making the simple act of getting out of bed each morning feel daunting. In the midst of my own difficult time, I felt overwhelmed and unable to picture myself happy again.

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With every challenge, there is a way out and an opportunity to learn and grow. For me, getting out of this phase was all about discovering beauty! I started by watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, observing influencers transform into more beautiful, vibrant versions of themselves. Beauty wasn't just something to watch, it was something I could connect with and make my own. Over time, this newfound ritual became the most therapeutic part of my day. Even if the makeup wasn't perfect, it was an experience that made me genuinely happier and more confident facing the world. Like they say... fake it til you make it! I've recently starting taking photos and writing about the products I use as a way of sharing my beauty journey with others.

Scroll down for a few thoughts on some of the new pieces I've been trying:

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A Fresh Fleeting Fragrance - 'Arizona' by Proenza Schouler
This scent was inspired by designers' Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez trip to Arizona. It is the first and only to include an unusual flower, white cactus, which only blooms one night once a year. I love that designers put so much of a story into it's creation and was lucky enough to meet them at the Saks Fifth Avenue launch party. This fragrance is one of my new favorites and I've been wearing it for special occasions (mostly at night!)

Drugstore Blush that Delivers - Bella Bellini Baked Powder Blush by Milani
I wasn't always into blush but after watching Kylie Jenner's Vogue Makeup tutorial and seeing how it really brightened up her face I decided it may be time to find a new one that I actually like. Though I planned to do research and get one at Sephora, the Milani Baked Powder Blush at CVS caught my eye. I am pleasantly surprised by this blush and find it comparable to the Nars 'Orgasm' one. Glad I tried this!

Pin Curls with Forever 21 Curlers
Sometimes when things feel a little overly trendy I turn to past for inspiration. For a fun, retro look I blowdried my hair and styled with pin-curls. It was a nice alternative to using a straightener or a curler because it's much less heat—I let it set for about an hour and took it down for soft, voluminous waves. I'm really drawn to the pin-up girl style lately and plan on recreating more of these looks.

Wet n' Wild Megalo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals
Still deciding if I like this, will update after I try it a few more times :)

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au naturel 🌸

 

the morning after the Korean face mask I tried

First saw Hanacure on PopSugar and hadn't tried a new face mask in a while so I figured why not? This mask will work differently on everyone but here are my thoughts on it...

 The Hanacure Multi-Action Treatment Mask 🧖🏻‍♀️ was inspired by the lotus flower—"In Asian culture, the lotus flower represents rebirth and purity as it emerges from murky waters to blossom anew each day. The flowers remain pure, clean, and untouched despite its adverse surroundings."


What does it do?
1.) Absorb and discharge impurities in your pores 2.) Release Soothing Botanicals and Peptides into skin 3.) Lift and tighten skin

How does it feel?
Cool (temperature-wise), strange and good! Could definitely feel the mask working after 10 minutes and by 30 minutes it was super tight on my face. After washing it off my skin was a little sensitive and flushed.

Does it work?
The first thing I noticed was the next day was that the worry lines on my forehead had faded a lot (kind of like a mini botox)! Overall, my skin was smoother to the touch.

Tried this mask a second and a third time with similar results—may try a few others before deciding if I'll get this one again.

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just wing it 🕊

winged eyeliner is my new thing—tested the Kat Von D Beauty tattoo liner in trooper for a little cat eye look last weekend. precise tip gives clean lines and its super waterproof ✔️

also wearing 💕 Drunk Elephant - Protini™ Polypeptide Cream Dior Makeup - Forever Perfect Foundation in Light Beige YSL Beauty - Touche Eclat Radiance Perfecting Pen Hourglass Cosmetics - Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure, Ambient® Lighting Bronzer Urban Decay Cosmetics - Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowgirl + All Nighter Setting Spray Becca Cosmetics - Liptuitive Glow Gloss Kat Von D Beauty - Tattoo Liner in Trooper Anastasia Beverly Hills - Brow Wiz Fenty Beauty - Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer and my little pearl necklace is from Forever 21

Showing on Beacon

You may remember Jen from a holiday post a few months back.  For this shoot we wanted to do a combination of classic Beacon Hill and 'personal but professional' shots she could use for real estate work.  Since we first lived together on Beacon Hill (almost 10 years ago) walking around there with her was reminiscent of the old days.  She came prepared with a some colorful looks that really popped against the grey and brick architecture.  Click through the gallery for more and follow her Instagram @jencollotta_realestate if you are in-market for a new place.  

spring training

Come along for beacon chic's spring training series...

Acknowledge success, progress, and loss as each one has potential to teach us something different. 

Celebrate your wins and the wins of your friends and family as well.  

Enjoy downtime - find time to chill.  

Set new goals - have a vision and stay ambitious. 

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photo details

Fenway Park is one of the defining landmarks of the Boston area and a true representation of the city’s culture.  If you are visiting Boston definitely check out a game or just the park itself.  It also happened to be the perfect backdrop for this series on training to be strong.  Workout outfit is Forever 21 and my shoes are Greats Brand (based in Brooklyn).  Photos by my close friend.

 

Snowstorm

 

Fear is my heart
in my throat
rattled by words I whine
Head in his hands, flying blind.

Hollow wind chimes
breed this dreamlike song,
but I know it only means a storm is coming.

He is the storm, I am the eye.  

Primal are the cries of agony, 
songs of my heart in overdrive.   
Leave no trace; of what we leave behind. 

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Traditions & Resolutions

Thinking about getting a fresh start for 2018?  Read on for my guide to Traditions & Resolutions.  

Clear Your Space
Last year I noticed a lot of material things in my place that were no longer “me”.  Around the same time I discovered a documentary called Minimalism.  It’s not for everyone but it inspired me to take a close look at what I had in my space and reevaluate what I needed.  I made piles of things I wanted to donate or throw out and made a choice to live with less.  Living simply has so many benefits; less to keep track of, less to maintain and more importantly, more energy to focus on things that are actually important to you.  Our everyday lives can be complicated so having a place that is your own habitual sanctuary is a good way to enhance your quality of life. 

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Beacon Chic’s Space Clearing Tips:
1.)  Only keep things you use, need or love.
2.)  If you are unsure about something, put it in a corner and go about your life for a week (if you go back to grab it, it’s something you may want to keep but if you don’t touch it, you can probably let it go).
3.)  Feel good about donating.  You are doing a positive thing.  Know that someone in the world may need it more than you. 

I'd definitely recommend checking out Minimalism or L'art de la Simplicité to help with this part.

Put Your Favorites on Repeat
[Traditions]

When your space is clear, you have a canvas for a clear mindset.  A simplified living situation enabled me to develop new traditions that were more true to the person I had become.  One realization I had is that traditions don’t have to be for other people, they can be little rituals you do for yourself.  The key to finding your perfect collection of traditions is trying new things and seeing what you like.  Traditions should be sentimental but they are not obligations, if they no longer suit you, adjust accordingly.  

Some of my favorite traditions:
1.)  French manicures at my favorite salon.
2.)  Home workouts on weekend mornings.
3.)  Cake for breakfast on my birthday (preferably in bed).

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Keep Getting Better At It
[Resolutions]
Think of what you’ve accomplished in the past year, what you want to accomplish in the coming year, and create action items that merge the two.  The most effective resolutions are ones that are aspirational but attainable.  When I think back on 2017, I think of times when I said no to going places or doing things because I needed a break.  Similar to clearing my space, but more about simplifying my lifestyle.  What I’m looking forward to in 2018 is combining simplicity, tradition and some fun new adventures in the mix.  

My New Year’s Resolution for this year:
L i v e   M o r e  !

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Overall, I want to say yes to new experiences and broaden my skillsets.  
A few ideas I have are things like go skiing, take a boxing class, and start a YouTube channel.  
Others are directional like capturing great photos around New England, getting more fit and planning a few trips.  I’m looking forward to showing my experiences of living more here on beacon chic and I hope you enjoy following along.  What are you looking forward to accomplishing this year?  

About the Photos:  A little bit of the post is inspired by my Christmas Tree this year.  I took out my lights and ornaments and for some reason, the ornaments felt tired and too reminiscent of old traditions.  Instead of using them anyway or rushing out to get new ornaments for the sake of getting ornaments - I decorated with a simple strand of lights and a gold star at the top.  It was actually one of my favorite trees I've had.  Next year, I'll make a point to wrap up the ornaments and donate them to a family in need so that they can bring joy to someone else.  

Big thank you to Riverway Studios for her help with the photos.  If reading this post inspired you to clear your space and you want beautiful artwork for your wall check out her shop!  

Love in Transit

I've been thinking about love..  
the kinds we feel
and how with each person, its different.

Times I thought I was in love
love was an attachment, dependence.
And when it disconnects,
a part of you goes missing. 
A memory shared is gone.  

And the more that happens,
the more we hold back
on giving love
because we are afraid of losing it.

So I thought about transient love.
and instead of worrying about the love I had lost,
or the pains of the love I had to give.
To just  f e e l   l o v e  in the moment.

About the Photos - I set out with no subject in mind.  NYC is a cool backdrop for capturing interactions of people in transit.  I like to imagine stories of love in these photos.  Gear - Sony Alpha 7II, strap by Strapsbyelroobs.