Nasty Gal: My Brutally Honest First Impression

“You shopped where?” My mother inquired, eyebrows raised, as I opened up my huge mail-order package with “Nasty Gal” stamped on the front.

Whether or not most of us have actually shopped this popular retail site, most twenty-something females have heard the name “Nasty Gal” thrown around. Famous for its controversial CEO Sophia Amoruso (author of “#Girlboss”) and frequent flash sales, various popular fashion and lifestyle YouTubers like Danielle Carolan have posted Nasty Gal haul videos over the years that have piqued my interest.

As a recent college grad, I am most definitely ballin’ on a budget when it comes to shopping, so Nasty Gal definitely appealed to me because it offers fashionable clothing items at reasonable price points.

So what did I think? Would I shop there again? Let’s dive right in!

SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
As a whole, I did not find the shopping experience on Nasty Gal to be enjoyable. The site layout was kind of complicated and was not organized in a way that seemed efficient.


QUALITY
While I kept my standards low to match Nasty Gal’s low price points, this is not a place I would shop again for basics. The two bodysuits I ordered were not up to par with what I wanted in terms of quality. I like a bodysuit to be a thick material and these were just too thin that they weren’t flattering/showed every bump and lump. I also ordered a few blouses and chose to return them because they were just too thin.

However, I was pleasantly surprised upon opening a skirt and faux leather jacket I ordered. The skirt had a sturdy zipper and was also very flattering. The faux leather jacket was high quality but not overly expensive, perfect if you’re forgetful like me and see yourself losing it haha.


FIT/SIZING
My biggest tiff with Nasty Gal was how inconsistent their sizing was. I felt that many of their clothes did not run true to size…most fit too big and a few too small/short to be worn.


THE FINAL VERDICT

Because of these given variables, I believe Nasty Gal to be kind of hit or miss. With that in mind, they are similar to other fast fashion stores like Zara and Forever 21, in that you definitely get what you pay for.

However, I was very happy with two of the items that I purchased from Nasty Gal — these being a snakeskin skirt and faux leather jacket. Whenever I have worn either piece, I have recieved compliments and definitely felt very on trend and liked that either piece didn’t break the bank.

So, would I shop there again? Sure. But it definitely is not my new go-to spot for shopping, because of its inconsistency in sizing and quality.

My 6 Best YouTube Beauty Guru Approved Makeup Tips & Tricks

While I cannot say that I am a beauty guru by any means necessary, I can say that I have acquired some tricks of the trade over the course of the last few years by watching various YouTube makeup tutorials. I am the kind of girl who prefers a natural makeup routine most days but will definitely amp it up for a special occasion or night out with a dark smoky eye or a statement lip. 

Wet your beauty blender/sponge and then ring it out on a towel to get rid of excess water. 

I’ve used my sponges dry and soaking wet, but wetting in then ringing it out is how to make your makeup adher best to my skin. Spray your sponge with setting spray to further extend your face makeup’s life!

Foundation is meant to be used sparingly. 

At this point in my life, my skin is pretty clear, so I work with what God gave me and I work to enhance that. For this reason, I wear a high-coverage concealer under my eyes every single day and skimp out on wearing foundation on the rest of my face, just using powder, blush and bronzer to make me look more ~alive~.

I will wear a tinted moisturizer sometimes, because I like the way that it simply evens out my skin tone and contains SPF and doesn’t make me look cake-y or unnatural.

Prevent mascara mishaps by applying it in a handheld mirror, s-l-o-w-l-y.

The key to doing your mascara effectively is taking your time with it. I find that whenever I am rushing, I get it all over the place and have to do major clean-up, which just ends up taking more time and (Q-tips).

Blend, blend, blend and then blend some more.

If you are not satisfied with your eyeshadow has turned out, just keep blending around the edges. When in doubt, add a dark brown on the outer corner and just keep blending. It makes a WORLD of difference. To blend the edges of your eyeshadow even more seamlessly, pick up a bit of your face powder on an eyeshadow brush and blend up toward your brow bone. 

Apply your eyeshadow before your face makeup. 

This is especially applicable when using dark colors, so you are able to easily wipe away fallout under your eyes without messing up the beautiful ~canvas~, for lack of a better word, you’d just created.

Hand too shaky for liquid liner? 

Use an angled brush to apply a dark shadow to your lash line in the place of eyeliner. I love how much more easily it is blended. 

And those are my best makeup tips! If you liked these tips, please share with a friend!

I’d like to finish off this blog post with a question: What is your ride-or-die makeup product?

Spilling The Tea: My Family Trip to London

Hi everyone! In March, my family and I took a mini vacation to London, England for a few days. My younger sister is currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy (lucky girl!), and we set off to visit her in Europe during her spring break. After having caught the traveler’s bug following my own semester spent studying in Florence, I was pumped to go back to Europe for a few days, get my mind off of work and just soak it all in. I had visited London before and LOVED everything about it–the history, the architecture, the music…

Because we only had about three days to see London in its entirety between having to leave for flights, our trip was jam packed. With this being said, there were some parts of the trip that weren’t captured, because some of the sights, like the Crown Jewels, didn’t allow photography, and because I wanted to live in the moment and get away from my damn phone/camera.

We stayed at the Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair, London, which is an upscale area known for its beautiful homes and shopping. We ate breakfast there every morning and thoroughly enjoyed the food and stay as a whole.

One of the first stops in our Tour de London was Buckingham Palace. Convenently located nearby our hotel, Buckingham Palace is a spot you simply cannot miss while visting London.

I had the chance to watch the Changing of the Guards while in London both times and looking back, I’m not sure if I had to see it at all. It is difficult to find a good spot to watch the actual ceremony because it gets so crowded and also only occurs on certain days of the week. Definitely research which days the ceremoy is occuring beforehand so you can show up early!

The next stop was the Tower of London. It was built in the 11th century by William the Conquerer and is known for housing and torturing famous and infamous prisoners during the 16th and 17th centuries, mainly royalty. It also houses the precious Crown Jewels, which is a collection of beautiful crowns and outfits worn by past royals.

Before we headed off to tea, we walked out of the Tower of London to get a view of Tower Bridge, which is hands down one of the most iconic landmarks in London. It runs across the River Thames, which we took a boat cruise on later in the trip to see London from a different perspective.

What’s a trip to London without attending high-tea? Not a very fun trip to London, I’ve gotta say. We attended tea at The Savoy Hotel, and were given three courses, along with our choice of tea. I picked the Vanilla Black tea and it was delicious! We were also offered a wide array of finger sandwiches as a first course, salmon as a main course, and scones with clotted cream and jam for dessert.

Attending afternoon tea was one of my favorite things that we did in London. It was what 5 year old birthday party dreams were made of! Except this time, I could drink champagne 😉

Here is one big thing to know about the British: they love a nice, cold pint. As per our concierge’s suggestion, we checked out the Grazing Goat, a gastropub, for a pint and a piping hot plate of fish & chips. Delicious! We also checked out a few other pubs while there, to really live like the Brits do.

One of my favorite pubs that we visited was called The World’s End. It is located in Camdem Town, which is where the rock music scene in London is. Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, Queen, The Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones all came from Camden — just to name a few. We were surrounded with people who had mohawks and piercings — very cool and reminded me almost of Brooklyn. **Insert playing of “London Calling” by The Clash here**

Upon visiting Westminster Abbey, a church where a large number of past kings and queens have been buried, we crossed paths with the global student Climate Strike happening at that time. British students marched up the street and up towards Parliament, completely blocking traffic. It was pretty cool to see, knowing it was making headlines on Twitter.

Once we finally got past the crowd of students, we passed a nearly unrecognizable Big Ben. Big Ben is currently being renovated and at the moment is completely covered by scaffolding. Set to be up and running again in 2021, Snapchat created a Geofilter for the time being so onlookers could see what Big Ben would look like once complete.

One of my favorite places we visited in London was St. James’ Park. It was like walking in a dream — I loved how green the grass was, thanks to all the rain in London, along with all the freshly planted flowers. It was refreshing to see some greenery in March, as everything at home in New Jersey was brown.

On our last day, we visited Notting Hill, which is a gorgeous neighborhood in London made famous for its brightly colored Victorian style houses, and of course, the Hugh Grant film under the same name.

On Saturdays, you can visit Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, which is a one of the world’s largest antique markets. Vendors set up tables for blocks and blocks and sell anything and everything from records to jewelry to cutlery.

No visit to Notting Hill is complete without taking a tourist-y photo in front of the famous “blue door” from the classic 90s film Notting Hill, which is where Hugh Grant’s character lived. It was a shame to see that the door had been graffiti’d on — my sister and I expertly covered it with our stance. Someone’s not a big Hugh Grant fan, I’m assuming?

Now please enjoy some random photos I snapped —

I bought my sick white platform sneakers in London from a UK retailer called Russell & Bromley and have been living in them because they’re SO comfy! Sadly, they’re out of stock right now 😦 They are definitely a dupe for this pair of Alexander McQueen sneakers that are way too expensive but check out this pair of Adidas I found online if you want a similar more affordable option 🙂

And that’s it! My time spent in London was like dream — one, because it was amazing, and two, because it was too short. Here’s to hoping I can go back to England again some other places I didn’t get to see, like Stonehenge.

5 Easy Ways To Cut Calories At Starbucks

Ahh, Starbucks. A millennial, American staple. Where would we be without our caffeine?

Unfortunately, many of the delicious drinks we order without a second thought sometimes are loaded with empty calories. (Enter: Pumpkin Spice Latte, Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Frappucinos….). With summer on the horizon, many of us are finding ways to easily cut calories so we can look and ultimately FEEL better on the beach.

Read on to find out how to satisfy your Starbucks cravings, while also not cheating on your diet.

If you want to have a “treat yourself” drink, opt for a tall.

Do you really NEED that Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte anyway? Instead, order a tall and drink it slowly to really savor it. Everything is ok in moderation, anyway!

Go for “skinny” versions of drinks 

This means you’d like sugar-free syrup, nonfat milk and no whipped cream. Easy enough, right?

Ask for almond, soy or nonfat milk rather than having the regular whole milk 

You are also less likely to have a stomachache after, as these options will have you avoiding dairy.

If you love added flavor, ask for sugar-free syrup or fewer pumps of it.  

1-2 pumps of sugar-free syrup should definitely curb your sweet cravings.

Avoid going to Starbucks often.

I found I was cutting calories (and saving my precious paychecks) when I chose to make coffee at home with my own, low-calorie creamer that I love. If you’re in need of a good creamer, I’ve been recently loving the Trader Joe’s Lactose Free Coffee Creamer in Vanilla.

9 St Paddy’s Day Tees For All Your Day Drinking Needs

It’s that time of year again — St. Patrick’s Day. For me, this is the day of every single year that I am reminded that I have nothing green in my closet and don’t like corned beef and cabbage very much. But I still eat in anyway and wear whatever I can find, in honor of my Irish heritage.

Given that I will be out of the country for St. Patrick’s Day this year and will unfortunately not be able to go out on the actual date, I went out this past weekend with my friends in Hoboken, NJ. While most may consider this to be rather early, I know this is what my Irish ancestors would have wanted ;). How twenty-something of me.

While I did not order any of these shirts, mostly because I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early this year, I would definitely consider ordering one of these affordable options to wear in years to come.

Whether or not you will actually be partying this year for St. Patrick’s Day, some of these options are still appropriate for school or work. Hope everyone has a happy, healthy and safe St. Patrick’s Day 🙂


10 Last Minute Gifts For Her You Can Find on Amazon Prime

Procrastinating on Christmas shopping again? That makes two of us. 

I know that I’ve done a lot of my own Christmas shopping on Amazon Prime, thanks to their amazing free two-day shipping policy, AND because they sell just about anything you can think of. 

Whether she’s your girlfriend, sister, mother or second aunt once removed, it is likely that she will be happy receiving at least one of these gift ideas. I’ve also taken the liberty of including gifts of multiple price points. 

Wireless earbuds

In my eyes, you can never go wrong with technology — everyone has a cell phone.

Since Apple made the decision to remove the headphone jack on their newer iPhone releases, many consumers are making the switch to wireless bluetooth earphones.  They’re so easy to take on the go too! 

An essential oil diffuser

These are so popular these days because of their calming properties, and have been shown to promote higher quality sleep patterns. Perfect for that aunt that just started a new job and that cousin that’s working through her college application process.

A rose quartz face roller

For some reason, these rose quartz face rollers are flying off the shelves this season as they are considered to be the DIY version of getting a facial. A facial at home for a quarter of the price? Yes, please!

A winter scarf

Scarves are absolutely timeless. And a girl always need another one.

A reusable water bottle

I love my Swell bottle and bring it to work with me most days to ensure that I am always drinking enough water.  

The Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

The Amazon Echo offers many capabilities — you can use it to listen to music and audiobooks, adjust lighting in your home, etc. 

A female of any age will love this — your college aged cousin can use it to play her music at parties and your grandmother will finally be able to listen to 50 Shades of Grey aloud on Audible. 

A leather tote

Every girl could use a classic tote because it’s so incredibly versatile and low maintenance. She can use it for high school classes to carry her books or as a diaper bag if she’s a new mom. 

Becoming Michelle Obama

This is the book of the moment. Every female on the planet is either reading it, has read it, or wants to read it because who doesn’t love Michelle Obama?

A beanie 

You can’t go wrong with a cute winter hat. This pom pom beanie comes in a ton of colors so there is bound to be something that fits her personal style. 

A pajama set

Give a girl a matching pajama set, and she can conquer the world. That’s how the saying goes, right? 

The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List for a Semester in Florence, Italy

As David Mitchell once said, “Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”  

I can firmly state that the making the decision to study abroad in Florence, Italy of spring 2017 was one of the best things I did during my time as a college student. I was able to make amazing new friends that I would not have otherwise made, experience a new culture’s fashion, food and language first-hand, visit many European cities I had never seen before and gained an entirely new sense of independence.

With that being said, here is your go-to guide for packing for your semester abroad. 

Travel documents: 

  • Passport and/or visa 
  • Driver’s license 
  • Plane tickets
  • Proof of medical insurance 
  • Copies of passport, driver’s license and proof of medical insurance 
  • Local currency
  • Credit/debit card 

Toiletries: 

It is smart to bring travel-sized products for the first few days abroad and then stock up once you move in, especially because I struggled to find travel-size products in Europe. The small bottles are great to have on hand for weekend trips and are easy to refill. 

Also, leave hairdryers/straighteners/curling irons because they are likely to fry in converters. Instead, pick up whatever you need after you arrive in your host country. 

  • Travel size shampoo and conditioner bottles 
  • Toothbrush 
  • Travel size toothpaste 
  • Glasses and contacts for length of semester 
  • Travel size bottle of contact solution 
  • Deodorant 
  • Hair brush 
  • Makeup/hair products 
  • Medications for entire length of stay 
  • Emergency stock of ibuprofen, bandaids, and antibiotic ointment 
  • Razors
  • Feminine products 
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers 
  • Sunscreen 

Clothing:

Definitely research the climate of your country before leaving, as this will heavily impact what you need. Italy does not get as cold as Ireland does, for example. 

Also bring clothes that can be layered easily. 

  • Rain coat
  • Gym clothes 
  • Bathing suit 
  • Winter jacket (If needed. I only wore mine a handful of times during the semester!) 
  • Underwear, bras and socks (2 weeks’ worth!)
  • Sweaters/sweatshirts
  • 1-2 nicer outfits 
  • 3-5 long sleeve shirts 
  • 5-7 short sleeve shorts 
  • Shorts
  • Skirt
  • Shower shoes/rubber flip-flops —Good for warm weather trips and for showering in hostels/Airbnbs
  • Walking shoes – your go-to sneaker for long days of walking/traveling. Expect to toss these out by the end of the semester. I wore my Adidas Superstars as a stylish option and other people wore actual running sneakers. This is purely personal preference. 
  • Nicer pair of shoes — flats, booties or boots, etc. 
  • Leggings
  • A few pairs of jeans 

Accessories:

  • Beanie 
  • Blanket scarf — Use as a way to elevate your outfit and as a blanket on airplanes  
  • Gloves
  • Watch 
  • Sunglasses 

Technology: 

  • Headphones
  • Laptop
  • Smartphone  
  • Camera and extra memory card
  • Any corresponding chargers, chords or batteries. These can be difficult to find abroad.  
  • Outlet converters/adaptors — this is something I definitely forgot and would struggle to find on trips 

Extras: 

  • Overnight bag for weekend trips (duffel or carry on suitcase)
  • Backpack — great for weekend trips.
  • Purse that zips —  I brought my Longchamp bag and a crossbody purse to have options. 
  • Notebook and pen to write about your travels 
  • Waterbottle 
  • Umbrella 
  • Portable charger — handy on weekend trips so you never have a dead phone 
  • Travel pillow