Tuesday, May 24, 2016

beauty tuesday: becca x jaclyn hill champagne collection face palette review

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette
I'm a pretty equal opportunity make-up brand lover - it seems that all my holy grail beauty items come from different brands. That being said, there are certain brands who just seem to do no wrong, and for me lately, that has been Becca. I initially fell in love with their liquid highlighter, then moved on to their primer, and now recently their powder highlighter (mentioned in April's faves and fails video). So needless to say, when I saw that they were coming out with another collaboration with Jaclyn Hill, a youtuber I freely admit to loving, I knew I would have to try out whatever they were coming out with. 

When Jaclyn first previewed her new palette on snapchat, I was certain it was going to cost $80+ only because one highlighter by itself costs $38. When the pre-sale went live, I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that the new palette is $52, and while that seems like a ton of money (because it is!), I think this is actually a really really great deal for the following reasons:

The packaging: The first thing you will notice is how beautiful the packaging is - I would actually say that this is the most beautiful piece of make-up I own. There is nothing flimsy about it! The palette is about the size of my entire hand, and as thick as a finger (for a general reference). It is a beautiful gold color, with a white cover with metallic writing. The inside has a full mirror (!), and again has the gold from the outside. All around, it really is beautiful, and feels sturdy. 

The amount of product you receive. Like I said, an individual highlighter from Becca costs $38 for 0.28 oz. For $52, you get a total of 0.72oz worth of product - that's almost three times the amount of product for $14 more than the original. Even if you don't use one or two of the colors, it's still more product per dollar than if you were to buy the items individually. So while you get less of each individual product (the highlighter in the palette is 0.19oz versus 0.28oz for the individual), you get a ton more overall makeup. And let's be honest, when is the last time you ran out of highlighter? You use so little of it that this stuff will last forever. 

The colors are beautiful. The original champagne pop is a softer white highlighter with a bit of a gold tint to it - supposedly it's universally flattering. The newest true highlight is Prosecco pop, which is a more gold highlight. For me, Champagne pop is perfect for most of the year when I'm paler, but Prosecco pop will be great for when I have a bit of a tan. Both can be applied lightly for just a bit of highlight (my preferred way to wear highlighter) but you can really go heavy with it too if that's what you're in to! The next color is the Rose Spritz, which honestly is pretty close to being a dupe for Nars' Orgasm - it's a pretty pink blush with flecks of gold. Then there are two mineral blushes - Ameretto is described as a toasted almond and Pamplemousse is a bright coral. Honestly, I will probably use the mineral blushes the least just because they aren't colors I typically go for. That being said, I have a ton of traveling coming up, so it will be nice to have several great products in one easy to pack palette. 

becca jaclyn hill champagne collection palette

BECCA Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette review

BECCA Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette

Overall, I am very pleased with this palette. I'm not usually one to buy a ton of palettes (I feel you get attached to one or two colors and then don't use the rest), but because of the above reasons, I'm very happy with this beauty purchase (my only one of the month!). I ordered mine last week during a pre-sale on the Sephora app, but it will be on sale on the Sephora website on May 26th, and then available in stores June 16th!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

top three [05.22.2016]

it's true, leopard shoes go with everything ;)

  • Anton-Babinski syndrome is a very rare symptom, most often as a result of a stroke or head injury, where the patient is cortically blind (their eyes are healthy but they are blind in their brain), but they claim that they are capable of seeing. We had a neurologist come speak at grand rounds this week (not about this, obviously), and she said she has seen it once and it was the strangest thing she's experienced in her career.
  • If a pregnant woman were to develop a DVT in her legs, it is more likely to be on the left side
  • I'm currently reading The Doctor's Plague, which is based on how one doctor insisted that all doctors wash their hands in between patients to prevent childbed fever, but a large part of the book is actually about medical concepts at the time. One of them was that sickness hangs around the earth, and makes anyone in the vicinity sick. That's how malaria was named - it literally means "bad air" because they noticed that anyone in the vicinity of stagnant water was getting sick. 

on the internet

  • It's time to finally replace my gym shoes, and I'm loving this pair from Nike - black or white? 
  • I am loving the pompom trend right now - I think everything is so cute! Old Navy jumped on board with this adorable top (it really looks more expensive than it is, doesn't it?!)
  • How freaking precious is this embroidered top from J.Crew Factory? I want to wear it all summer long (with white jeans...and black shorts...and distressed denim...and skirts!). 

ask me anything
  • A while back you mentioned you only shop online. Is there a reason behind that?
    • I have several reasons why I usually shop online rather than in stores. The biggest reason is geographical - I just don't live near any malls! The next big mall is about 90 minutes away from me, and so I just really can't go shopping often. I also really like shopping online because most extended sizes aren't available in stores, and I like having the option of trying something out in a talls if available. And lastly, I'm kind of lazy - I just prefer scrolling through webpages and having it show up at my house eventually ;)
  • I am also a 3rd year med student and just started my ob/gyn rotation - yay last of the year! I am also about to start studying for step 2. I was wondering what resources you are using to study for step 2 and also which resources you recommend for ob/gyn? Thanks so much! 
    • For Step 2, I am using mostly Step Up To Medicine as my main book guide, and then really focusing on UWorld questions. I have already done all 2200+ questions throughout the year to study for shelf exams, and at the time taken notes from the explanations (...175 pages worth). Once our dedicated study time starts (we get four weeks, but I really only have 2.5 weeks to study as I have to fit in all of the tests), I plan on reading about 20 pages a day from SUTM, and do 2 blocks of questions a day. For the OB shelf though, I highly recommend doing the UWise questions from APGO (this explains how to log on if your school doesn't give you access). I had several questions on my shelf that were almost word for word from the UWise questions, and something I wouldn't have known if I hadn't done those questions! I also advice brushing up on urinary incontinence! 
  • I'm starting medical school in the fall and am trying to figure out what kind of bag to use. I really hate using a backpack and was wondering if you were able to get away with not using one? I know you have the most adorable handbags for rotations and such, but what did you use for the first two years for transporting books, etc.? Thanks!
    • Yay, congrats! This is such an exciting time! So for school, I actually had two bags. For going to class, I used a tote bag because I didn't have to bring much other than my computer, wallet, and pens. My bag is no longer available, but this faux leather version from Sole Society would be a great alternative. When I went to the library though, and generally had to schlep a ton more with me (like my pathology book, book stand, and snacks), I used my Everlane backpack. Since I used pouches in both bags (one for pens, one for personal items), I didn't find it to be too much of a hassle to move stuff around two bags. 

on franish
  • on the blog: Joyce explains the importance of using sunscreen
  • on the instagram: throw back sundays (it was a slow week of instagram....)
  • on the twitter: dreaming of my future clothing collections ;) any wishes?!

notable sales

in my personal life
  • I'm back home for the weekend and it is so good to be home! This has been the longest I've ever been away from my boys, so I'm just so happy to see them. You should have heard the dogs whine when they realized who was at the door :)
  • We saw Dave Matthews yesterday and the show was sooooo good. We are going to two more shows this summer, and I can't wait - especially because they didn't play my two favorite songs last night, so I'm hoping to get both when we are in the pit in July!
  • It's the last week of third year!!! Where did the time go?! Debating writing a bit more about my experiences over the year - let me know if that is something you'd be interested in!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

almost as comfy as jeans. almost.

This was one of the most comfortable outfits I've worn lately (and by lately, I mean a month ago, as I've been in scrubs all this rotation). I don't know if it's the smooth fabric of this Lush blouse, how forgiving the top is, or how worn in my pants are at this point (...I really need to find a replacement, they are starting to fade now!), but I just was so comfortable wearing this outfit. Not as comfortable as jeans obviously (why don't dress pants have more stretch?!) but it's as close as I'm going to get ;)

Tonight is my last night on night float, and after getting a bit of sleep tomorrow, I'm going home for the weekend! We are seeing Dave Matthews on Saturday, then CR's sister graduates from college on Sunday, and on Tuesday I take my last shelf exam of the year. It's been a really busy month, so while next month will also be busy as we are studying for our board exams, it'll be a different kind of busy as at least I'll be sitting in my house all day. I can't believe there's only a week left in my third year!

Lush 'Perfect' Roll Tab Sleeve Tunic

'Perfect' Roll Tab Sleeve Tunic
Blouse: Lush [exact
Pants: The Limited [exact
Shoes: Madewell [similar
Bag: Mulberry [similar | exact
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [save | exact]

casual work outfit

This is my first Lush item, and so far, I'm a fan. Turns out, they have a whole bunch of cute clothes at reasonable prices. Below are eight of my favorites - I'd really like to try the tee shirt version next!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

beauty tuesday: how to choose the best sunscreen

Hello everyone! Did you guys know that May is Skin Cancer Awareness month? More than 90% of all types of skin cancer are caused by exposure to the sun, so we want to do everything possible to protect ourselves from what is another cancer that we can possibly prevent. As a medical student interested in ObGyn, I have a very very limited knowledge base about dermatology, so I'm so excited to have Dr. Joyce, who is a dermatology resident at NYU, here today to talk a bit about why sunscreen is so important, and what you should look for when choosing a sunscreen. 
With the sun finally coming out in NYC announcing the long awaited arrival of spring, I have been spending more and more time outside enjoying the rays and getting some vitamin D on my lunch breaks. I use sunscreen daily all year round, but since I'm getting more UV exposure lately, I've been especially vigilant about good sunscreen application and not relying solely on tinted moisturizers or other cosmetics with some SPF. Here's what YOU need to know to protect your skin from skin cancer AND aging this spring.

Why do I need sunscreen?

This is the basic question that I hope I can answer for you today. The sun's rays produce ultraviolet (UV) radiation, invisible waves on the electromagnetic spectrum that cause harm to the skin. UVA radiation causes photoaging, meaning sunspots, wrinkles, leathery, sagging skin (check out this INCREDIBLE photo of sun-induced aging on just half of this truck driver's exposed face here). UVA is the one associated with indoor tanning, and has been found to exacerbate UVB-induced damage as well. UVB radiation, associated with sunburns, causes DNA damage that can result in skin cancers. So the basic reason of why you need sunscreen is that topical application blocks these harmful UV rays from reaching your body and damaging your skin. Think of it as your invisible shield.

How do I choose and apply sunscreen?

Great question! I just made a vlog about this very topic, covering what sunscreens are suited for which skin types - check it out here!
In a nutshell: Dermatologists recommend using a broad spectrum (meaning blocks BOTH UVA and UVB) sunscreen that is at least SPF30. Sunscreen is supposed to be reapplied every 2 hours, but you and I know that that goal is extremely difficult to achieve. I find reapplication difficult because I have makeup on, and it's hard to put greasy sunscreen on over it. My personal philosophy is that if I'm going to be outside for a prolonged period of time in direct sun, I will apply SPF 50 sunscreen over my moisturizer and under my foundation, and wear a broad brimmed hat and large sunglasses. Beyond that, choice of sunscreen is in part a personal decision. Will you be in the water or sweat a lot? Consider using a waterproof sunscreen. Sensitive skin? Look for sunscreen that is fragrance free or consider formulations gentle enough for babies. More on choosing the right sunscreen for your skin type on my blogpost here

Why do I look chalky white with sunscreen?

There are two types of ingredients - physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that offer broad spectrum protection by reflecting the sun's radiation and then chemical blockers like cinnamates and salicylates that block radiation by absorbing it and converting it into heat energy. The caveat about chemical blockers is that they block UVB but need to be combined with other UVA blocking ingredients. The active ingredients in physical blockers can appear chalky and white on application, which I know people don't like! If you fall into this camp, don't despair, Try looking into newer models of sunscreen use micronized ingredients, which reduce the chalky appearance, or choose chemical blockers.

Is sunscreen actually safe to use? I've heard some rumors...

Hold it right there. I have also heard of these reports about the dangers of sunscreen ingredients, and I took a look at the scientific literature to evaluate that myself. What I found is that there is NO good evidence in our research that supports the claim that any ingredients in sunscreens are dangerous. Check out my full report here.

What do you look for in sunscreens?

This could be a whole post! In fact I am going to do a whole series of posts in which I review my favorite and not-so-favorite sunscreens and what I like or don't like about them. The qualities I look for in my sunscreens include:
  • broad spectrum, SPF 30
  • easy to apply, meaning not too chalky and not too greasy
  • mixed with moisturizer because I have super dry skin (I still put moisturizer on first though!)
  • lightly tinted for some thin coverage, nothing too cake-y because I want to look professional at work
Stay posted for my sunscreen reviews on www.teawithMD.com!
To learn more about sunscreen and how to protect yourself from UV radiation and skin cancer:
So as you can see, sunscreen is super important in our daily skin care routines. Big thanks to Joyce for covering me while I am a bit stretched thin at the moment between a busy rotation, studying for my last shelf exam of the year, and prepping for boards. Make sure to check out her blog and follow along on instagram to catch some of the behind the scenes of a busy derm resident!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

top three [05.15.2016]

med school wardrobe: fleeces and baby white coats (my new fleece is from Patagonia and I'm obsessed!)
  • The discovery that HPV, human papilloma virus, causes cervical cancer was a huge discovery in the field of gynecology, with the changes thereafter resulting in cervical cancer going from being the second most common cancer in women to not even being in the top ten.  The fact that we now have vaccines that can prevent some types of cervical cancer, and that we have the screening tools to detect pre-cancerous changes early, is amazing. After spending a few days on GynOnc this week, and seeing women my age be diagnosed with cervical cancer because of irregular screenings made me so sad, so this is another reminder that if you are due for your pap, please go see your doctor! It's a quick test that could save your life. 
  • The search for what caused cervical cancer was a long one. Published research goes back several hundred years that noted that while prostitutes where more likely to develop cervical cancer, it was very rare for a nun to develop it. This is where the hypothesis that sexual contact causes cervical cancer may have originated. 
  • An interesting fact about HPV and the changes it causes is that some of those changes can regress - your body fights off the infection. That's why the guidelines have changed in recent years, so that younger girls (under 21) don't typically get pap smears because even if they have HPV, it may regress with time. Another situation where there may be spontaneous regression of abnormal cervical cytology is after vaginal deliveries

on the internet
  • Elyse conducted what may be my favorite interview thus far - she asked a bunch of questions I've never really answered before, so if you want to know more about my pre-med route, the differences between osteopathic and allopathic medicine, what it's like to date a med student, and more, check out the interview here!
  • Merritt shares her tips for growing your blog. This makes me wish I had more time to dedicate to this little hobby, rather than it sometimes falling wayyy to the back burner.
  • Loved this casual outfit on Nikki (and how her beautiful hair looks against those flowers!).

  • How precious is this dot skirt from J.Crew?! I love the burnt orange version and would 100% wear it with a striped top and cognac accessories. And then a white tee. And then a polka dot tee. And then a chambray top. So basically I just convinced myself to order it (once a better sale comes along, of course!).
  • I'm all about easy in the summer, so I love this simple but adorable perforated LBD from J.Crew Factory. It would be cute on it's own for those hotter days, with a cardigan, or even a blazer for work! 
  • Kinda loving this lace detailed top from Caslon - can't decide if I like the white or green version more. White, right? ;)
  • ps. just found this blue slight peplum top that I immediately ordered after spotting it - I'm obsessed! 

ask me anything
  • What's your best tip to stop compulsive buying? I think I have that fear of missing out so I am always looking out for a sale or something cute that I saw on a blogger.
    • Honestly, starting a clothing budget is what stopped my overshopping/spending. I used to go shopping every single weekend, and I was just spending all my money on stuff I didn't even really like. I have my clothing budget now, and it really has kept me in line these past four years. Here's my post on how to set a budget, and how it's helped mine (and other bloggers!) lives and closets!
  • How do you feel about bargain brands? I recently went to the store shopping for a spring wardrobe and felt the compulsion to step in to every store - like Forever 21 and H&M - and while I may like some things in there, it's an overwhelmingly huge store and I feel like the quality of clothes is poor. Would you suggest sticking to a select number of "tried and true" stores? I've had a lot of success with places like LOFT and Ann Taylor but sometimes they don't have a piece of clothing I'm looking for (a white sheath dress). How would you suggest finding items if I'm looking for very specific things?
    • Over the years, I've kind of moved away from bargain brands, for several reasons. For one, stores like F21 or H&M generally don't carry items in taller sizes, which is something I at least like having the option of trying. I also realized that whenever I did closet clean outs, those items were always the first to go. They just didn't hold up, didn't fit me right, or were trendy items I no longer liked. I just personally found the effort that goes into finding items from there was not always worth it (although I do think they generally have a pretty great accessories section). That is not to say that people shouldn't shop there, because so many people find great items there, I just have found myself going more towards "professional clothing" stores since that's what I have to wear. I also think with the sales that places like Loft and Gap have, that you can get items for prices close to places like H&M, and they generally hold up longer too. Now to answer your question about finding a specific article of clothing, have you tried using ShopStyle? You can type in what you are looking for, set the perimeters (how much you want to spend, what colors) and a bunch of options come up.
  • I'm on the market for an everyday kind of cross body bag to reward myself for finishing my first year on dental school! I don't want to break the bank because, you know, loans, but I want it to be a quality item. I'd love for it to be large enough to fit my Kate spade wallet and transition between seasons.
    • Congrats on finishing your first year, that's so exciting! I have a few suggestions, depending on what you are looking for, all under $100! The most classic cross body I found, and my personally favorite, is this slick number from Street Level. If you're looking for a real leather purse, KC Jagger has a really cute option that is now on sale (and comes in several different colors!). And lastly if you want a something a bit more brand name, Kate Spade's cross body bags are always a good bet!

on franish

notable sales
  • Kiehl's: 20% off everything
  • Loft: 30% off everything (40% if you have a Loft card)
    • While this wrap skirt is a bit too short for me to wear to work, I just think it's so darn cute for summer. I love that it's a bit different from your typical skirt without being too different. 
    • A simple black lace tee shirt dress that has full short sleeves? Sign me up. 
    • I haven't tried any accessories from Loft before, but I'm tempted to try out their new saddle bags - I love how sleek they are!
  • Old Navy: 40% off everything
    • I've seen similar scalloped suits for 2-3 times the cost of this version, so it could be a good option if you like that style!
    • How adorable is this pleated dress?! Plus it's now on sale, so it's even more inexpensive than it is. 
    • Old Navy's compression pants are my favorite, so I'm digging them in a palm print

  • I can't believe this rotation is already half over - it's crazy how quickly rotations go when you are really enjoying them. This week I spent time on GynOnc, maternal fetal medicine, and spent time in the clinic. I'm so happy to be seeing parts of ObGyn that I haven't seen before, although these are usually the sadder parts of the speciality as well. 
  • After this rotation is over, we have a dedicated month of studying for Step 2. I finally completed my study schedule and am half looking forward to have control over my time, but also dreading how much I have to cram into 2.5 weeks of studying, with 3 board exams at the end. Yikes!
  • It was my first full week in the dorms, and it was actually very nice! My roommate is a friend of mine, so on that side of things, we both got really lucky. It's so nice to just walk upstairs and be at work, but it is also a bit strange to never go outside. On the other hand, I like that I never have to cook anything, sooooo I'll take not always knowing the temperature in exchange ;)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

review: all the loft things

Hey guys! Sorry I've been a bit MIA lately (although I know none of you are waiting with bated breath for a post of mine, haha) - this rotation has been really busy (in a great way!) and when I get back to my dorm at night, I've really been trying to study as much as possible. Combined with the fact that I brought six shirts with me for the month, and wear scrubs half the time, there aren't a lot of things to share. BUT, I did get a Loft order in right before I left, and stopped at a story with my girlfriends last weekend, so I wanted to share my thoughts on a few of the things I tried!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

beauty tuesday: how to trick people into thinking you have thick hair

I've mentioned this a ton of times before, but when it comes to my hair, it has taken me a while to find ways to trick people into thinking I'm good looking that I have thicker hair than I do. I have a lot of hair, it's just very fine and thin, so it just lies flat without help. There are a ton of products that give your hair volume, but I've found that a lot of them leave your hair super crunchy or sticky or dirty looking. Over the years, I've found a few products that not only give my hair volume but also make it look naturally thicker. I kind of think of them in tiers - from the ones I use every day for a bit more volume, to the product I only use for certain occasions when I really want my hair to look thicker and stay voluminous.

The first one is the Aveda volumizing tonic. I did a full review on this last fall, but basically, I use spray this onto wet hair, and it just gives your hair really natural volume. It doesn't leave your hair crunchy, and to be honest, I don't really know how it works, all I know is that I'm running low and am definitely buying a second bottle (this one lasted about nine months, using it 2-3 times a week). If you are looking for an easy way to add volume, this would be a great place to start.

Now if you want to up the ante a bit, a texturzing spray is the way to go. I've tried several, but keep going back to the Oribe Dry Texturizing spray. I use this two ways - I first spray just a bit on the ends of my hair before curling - I've found that this really helps my hair hold the curl a bit more. Then once I'm all done, I'll spray a bit more at the crown for volume. Because it is so expensive, I try to be conservative with my use of it, but this goes such a long way. If you aren't ready to commit to a texturizing spray, simply using dry shampoo, even the day you wash you hair, will add enough product to your hair to give it some oomph. What did people ever do before dry shampoo?!

The last tier of volume producing products is the Aveda hair potion. I mentioned this in my April Favorites video, but basically, this is a powder you sprinkle into your hair and it creates almost a stickiness that thickens up your hair. Unlike the other two products, this one does make your hair feel like you have product in it, so I don't use it every day because I really try to minimize how often I wash my hair. I'll use this if I'm putting my hair half up (so I have more volume at the crown that also stays there) or if I have a special occasion.

And that's it! How to trick people into thinking you have thick voluminous hair when you really don't ;)