Sunday, May 28, 2017

current wishlist // june

Heeeey everybody! Again, I've been slacking on updating the blog (because I've been ridiculously busy!), and I'm now actually going to post more.. promise. Since my last post in March, I've finished my last classes in London, vacationed to Florida, and then finally made it back home to Ohio where I'll be interning and writing my dissertation as I finish up my Masters degree this summer. Of course, I have a wishlist amidst all of this.. check out my most wanted items for June below!
june // wishlist

hidden jeans distressed bootcut jean
anastasia beverly hills modern renaissance palette
quay australia 'my girl' sunglasses
adidas originals cap
river island cream dobby mesh cold shoulder dress

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

travel // getting to the isle of skye

It has been about seven months now that I've been living across the pond in London, and I've had the opportunity to do some amazing traveling since I've been here! For spring break, I wanted to go somewhere that I'd never been before - and after doing some online research, I settled on traveling up to Edinburgh, through the Scottish Highlands and eventually to the Isle of Skye.

Upon first deciding to travel to the Isle of Skye, I realized that I didn't know much about it at all. I'd heard of it, of course, and was immediately interested at the thought of seeing 'fairy pools' (yes, please!), but other than that I didn't really know what to expect. Let me just tell you that all of my expectations were far exceeded! The Isle of Skye is absolutely STUNNING, and I didn't even go during the summertime when apparently everything turns a beautiful bright emerald green. I went in the middle of chilly March, and it was still every bit as stunning.

Getting to the Isle of Skye from London was much easier than I had anticipated, so if you're thinking about traveling there or just curious as to how it all happened - continue reading!


- book a guided tour in advance: Getting to the Isle of Skye is very difficult without a car. This is why I booked a three-day, guided tour through the Isle of Skye with the company Rabbies. Rabbies Tours have locations starting in Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow -- and provide VERY quality tours! I was so, so pleased with my tour and the tour guide, Mac. Mac was from Scotland and was so knowledgable about his country -- he even showed up on the third day wearing a kilt! I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide. Our tour started early in the morning in Edinburgh, where we got picked up by a luxurious mini-coach. The seats were so comfortable! The tour groups are very small too, my group had only about ten people in it. When you book the tour, accommodation in the Isle of Skye is included in the final price, which makes everything super easy. Rabbies has tour options for three day, six day, or even longer.

- take the train to edinburgh early: once you've booked your tour, I would recommend getting to Edinburgh (or Glasgow/Inverness, wherever your tour is starting) at least a day early, since the guided tour starts very early in the day. from London King's Cross station, train tickets to Edinburgh are pretty afforadble. I used trainline and I think I only paid about £45. The ride only takes a few hours, and the views outside are beautiful!

- where to stay in edinburgh: I cannot recommend Castle Rock Hostel enough, especially if you're a student or on a budget like I was! I had stayed at Castle Rock on a previous Edinburgh trip and knew I wanted to stay there again. You simply cannot beat paying only £15 a night! The hostel is in the Old Town part of Edinburgh, right at the base of the Edinburgh castle. Super convenient, and the rooms are clean and nice. If you book early enough, you can even get a private room for very cheap prices.

- pack lightly & bring rain gear: the Isle of Skye was beautiful, but also rainy when we went (and in certain spots, EXTREMELY windy!). Bring a hat or a rain coat, and also some hiking boots. You'll be seeing a lot of beautiful places, but to get to some of them, some hiking is definitely required!

We travelled up through the Scottish Highlands and stopped for photo ops:

Then, we made it to the Isle of Skye:

The second to last photo is the 'fairy bridge' where I washed my face in the water for eternal beauty! ;) If you're interested in traveling to the Isle of Skye, definitely do it. The Isle of Skye felt nothing less than magical!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

life in london // via photos

A NIGHT OUT IN LONDON as captured by my good friend jocelyn

i know this isn't a real full post.. promise there will be a full blog post up soon! xx

Sunday, October 9, 2016

life update + current wishlist // october

Hey pretty people! So, I know its been awhile since I've updated or posted anything, and a lot has happened in the meantime... I've up and moved to London, UK for grad school! London has been my favorite city ever since I first visited back in 2013. I've lived here before for an internship I had at an art gallery in summer 2014, and I finally made the decision to get a masters in Arts Management & Curating - so I'll be here until at least next September getting my degree! I'll be sure to start blogging more about my life in London, tips and tricks for moving to a new country, and anything else that I can think up. While I work on some content for upcoming posts, I thought I'd post my current wishlist for the coming fall months since it has been awhile (oooh, cooler weather.. my fave). Check out my top five wishlist picks for Fall below.
october // wishlist

jeffree star highlighter in shade 'king tut'
public desire crushed velvet 'lia' boots in grey
rebecca minkoff mini mab in black
zara bomber jacket
and of course, i can't forget that i need to restock my fave josie maran whipped body butter

Monday, June 13, 2016

covergirl clean matte bb cream // seventeen social club

Summer is finally here, and along with cute sunglasses, swimsuits and sunscreen, unfortunately for me also comes oily skin! I've always had very oily skin, so applying sunscreens in the summer and keeping those pesky breakouts away can be a challenge for me! Luckily, Seventeen sent Covergirl's latest genius product my way -- the Clean Matter bb cream for oily skin. I have to say that I am absolutely loving what this stuff has done for my complexion so far! Instead of other bb creams that can clog your pores, Covergirl's newest matte addition to their collection doesn't invade your pores -- it actually keeps your skin shine-free all day long. It's oil free and lasts all day, even through the summer heat!

I'll definitely be sticking this bb cream in my beach bag, it's my new summer must-have when it comes to hiding existing blemishes or just evening out my skin tone. I have fairer skin but I opted for the medium shade because I like to add a little color to my complexion in the summer months, and it gave me that perfect sunkissed-color that I've been looking for. Apply a little bit of spf on top and you're good to go.

I love this bb cream so much that I've been applying it on the daily. In case you're wondering what it looks like on, here's a no-filter photo of my wearing the bb cream -- look how natural and glowy it makes your skin! So matte & pretty, and with great color. I even have sensitive skin and this stuff is doing wonders. I'm in love!

Until next time - xoxo, xtina

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

coachella + pastel hair //

coachella: weekend one

I have to admit, like everyone else this past weekend, I found myself wishing that I was heading to the palm trees of California for Coachella. And not only for the music -- but the style has been absolutely amazing! I love the bohemian look that comes with a lot of outdoor summer music festivals, and Coachella is the perfect place to turn for summer style inspiration. There's been so many awesome looks already just from this past weekend, it was hard to choose only a few of my favorites. When it comes to Coachella, for me its all about the billowy white sleeves, off-the-shoulder tops, floppy hats and body jewelry.

Another aspect of festival season that I've become obsessed with is pastel colored hair. With festival season just beginning, what better time to have some fun with hair dye? Luckily, Feria Pastels has you covered if you're headed over to Coachella, Bonaroo, or another music festival this summer -- or if you just want to have some fun with your hair color. Take a cue from a few style setters who've attended Coachella with their own pastel locks:

Too cool, right? Feria Smokey Pastels, sent my way courtesy of the amazing people over at Seventeen, has a lavender shade that is the perfect blend of purple and pink. If my hair were only a few shades lighter, I'd probably do a few strands of this awesome lavender color just for fun.

If pastels aren't your thing or you just don't want to take the plunge, why not incorporate some Coachella style into your wardrobe instead? Below I've picked a few easy pieces that you can wear on the daily, while still feeling that Coachella vibe in your real life. Ahhh, if only we were there.

coachella style

I'll be back next weekend to give my favorite outfits from Weekend Two!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SK-II voxbox // review

Let me start off this post by saying if you haven't heard of Influenster yet, it's time that you learn about it! Influenster is this ahhh-mazing website that sends you boxes of products to review based on your interests and how active you are with your social media platforms. If you can show them that you have a decent following on your social media platforms and that you're relatively active on them, then they will send you products tailored to you, completely complimentary!

For my first voxbox I received a few items such as a candy bar, an NYC lip stain, tea, and some makeup remover wipes. Now, that was a pretty nice box for being complimentary -- but this time, however, the box I received was full of SK-II skincare! This high-end Japanese skincare line is absolutely amazing and I was so beyond thrilled to receive some of their products for testing purposes!

SK-II facial treatment essence water & facial treatment mask // the main ingredient that makes this essence water and mask so special is "pitera", an ingredient that I had never heard of before receiving this brand. apparently, pitera is known as "the holy grail" in the East for its skin-renewing abilities. my only complaint about both of these products are some of the other ingredients they contain. if I'm paying 99$ for a bottle of facial essence, I don't want there to be other bad ingredients in there such as parabens! I would encourage SK-II to make this product without those ingredients, because then I really would consider both of these products to be holy grail-level items. either way, I still really enjoyed using both SK-II products! I've only been using them both for about a week now but I'm looking forward to seeing how they make my skin feel and look over the course of the next few weeks. so far, they've both made my skin feel really nice and refreshed. if you're looking for a new skincare brand to try out, consider checking out these items from SK-II.