Category Archives: Lifestyle

San Francisco

A Weekend in San Francisco

You know what they say about California girls … actually I have no idea what they say, but for a brief week I was a San Francisco chick. I was flying out for work, so I decided to visit my soul sister who moved out to SF a couple of years ago for the weekend before all of my work duties began.

We had a great time people watching on the bus, sweating to death as we walked to the Golden Gate Bridge, partying on a rooftop as we watched the Blue Angels and doing major damage at Sephora … obviously. The only thing on my list that I missed was Lombard St, but there is always next time. Instead of boring you with all the nitty-gritty, I figured I’d share a few snaps instead. Enjoy!

San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco

Have you been to San Francisco? I’d love to hear about your favorite parts of the city so I can add them to the itinerary for my next trip.

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

beautyXposé on Instagran

beautyXposé on Instagram

What’s that you say? We’ve joined this century and officially made an Instagram account? I say officially because I was using my personal ‘gram as the BX account for some time. If you’re interested in getting a healthy helping of beauty, fashion and miscellaneous awesome photos, make sure to give us a follow. And in case you aren’t sold just yet, check out some of our recent ‘grams below.

beautyXposé on Instagran
‘gramming the day away

If you give us a follow, we’ll make sure to give you some love,too!

Photos: beautyXposé

my so-called beautiful life

My So-called Beautiful Life: Seattle

This is has been quite the year of travel. Montreal, Austin, NYC, California, North Carolina, New Hampshire and now Seattle. And I still have four more trips before the end of the year! Right after Labor Day, we hopped on a plane to fly out west to attend a friend’s wedding. I hadn’t been out to Seattle for three years when the BF moved back to Boston from Washington, so it was nice to spend five days in the gorgeous city.

my so-called beautiful life
Little cutie … #stalkedstatus
my so-called beautiful life
Hot child in the city
my so-called beautiful life
Happiest Moment of my life

It has mountains, forests, beaches and a downtown with high rises and everything. I can’t make up my mind, but I might enjoy the PNW (pacific northwest) scenery more so than the New England scenery. They just have so much moss, and I LOVE moss. Don’t ask, it’s a weird thing.

my so-called beautiful life
Snoqualmie Falls
my so-called beautiful life
The only Starbucks I got in Seattle was from the hotel … woops
my so-called beautiful life
Let’s go to the beach

It was such a fun, relaxing five days. We hiked, walked around downtown, visited family and friends, lounged on the beach got a makeover from M.A.C and danced the night away. It should be no surprise to you, but the most exciting part of the trip was stopping by M.A.C. Believe it or not, I have NEVER, I repeat NEVER, tried out their products before. I know that’s insane to hear coming from a beauty blogger, but I can be scared by their bright colors. I’m just a neutrals girl at heart.

my so-called beautiful life
Thanks M.A.C for the makeover!
my so-called beautiful life
My outfit for the wedding
my so-called beautiful life
Obligatory bathroom selfie

I went in a bit unsure of how my makeup would turn out, but I LOVED the look. A nude eye with a bold cat eye and a hot-pink lip were the perfect match for my blue lace dress, leopard heels and geometric purse. And of course, I couldn’t help but snag a few of the products my fabulous makeup artist used: Girl About Town lipstick, More to Love Pro Longwear Lip Pencil and the Painterly Paint Pot. I couldn’t be more pleased with my purchases!

Have you been to Seattle before? What do you think of the city?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Mark Your Calendars: It’s 21 Days of Beauty at ULTA

Post sponsored by ULTA, but undying admiration for the beauty store and other opinions are all Anne’s own.

Everyone knows how much I love ULTA. But this is the time of year when I love them even more (as if that were possible!), because it’s time for 21 Days of Beauty at Ulta!

21 days

For those of you aren’t familiar with 21 Days of Beauty, it’s a glorious celebration that happens twice year, when ULTA gives special offers, expert beauty tips and brand focus days. And when I say the deals are special, I mean special — as in you might get a high-end makeup item for half off (or more)!

Through September 27, ULTA will feature one “Beauty Steal” and “Beauty Focus” per day.  Beauty Steals are special offers on top beauty products from brands like Urban Decay, Tarte, IT Cosmetics, Bare Minerals, Butter LONDON, Philosophy and more, and Beauty Focus Days are events with demonstrations like customized makeup lessons, expert beauty tips, and one-on-one appointments with beauty experts.

Here’s a preview of what’s happening the rest of this week!

Weds., Sept. 10

Steal:

bs7

Too Faced Bulletproof Brows:  $15 (reg. $30)

Events: Too Faced, Exuviance

Thurs., Sept. 11

Steals:

stila

STILA In the Moment, In the Light & In the Know Garden Palettes:  $20 each (reg. $39 each)

murad

 

ONLINE ONLY — Murad Select Cleansers:  $20 (reg. $36)

Events:  Stila, Murad

Friday, Sept. 12

Steals:

smash

Smashbox 24 Hour Shadow Primer: $10 (reg. $20)

per-fekt

ONLINE ONLY — Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel: $14 (reg. $28.50)

Events:  Smashbox, Tarte, Lancome, Clinique, Dermalogica

Sat., Sept. 13

Steals:

butter

Butter London Nail Lacquer: 2 for $15 (reg $15 each)

philosophy

Philosophy Purity Wipes: $10 (reg. $15)

Events:  bareMinerals, Philosophy, Benefit

And if that’s not enough for you, stay tuned — we’re partnering with Ulta for our own celebration of the 21 Days of Beauty, where we’ll be giving you the latest scoop on deals and steals for the next two weeks. And there might just be a fun reader giveaway you can enter to win!

Photos: Brands via Ulta

my so-called beautiful life

My So-called Beautiful Life: North Carolina and New Hampshire

This year has been a travel whirlwind ever since April. Between work and pleasure, I’ve been on 6 trips so far, the most recent being a double-whammy last week. The first part of the week was spent at my family beach house down in North Carolina and the second part of the week was spent in the New Hampshire mountains for a family wedding. While the landscapes were very different, both areas were gorgeous and the week fun yet relaxing.

my so-called beautiful life
Sister twinning
my so-called beautiful life
A gorilla and his gurlz
my so-called beautiful life
Saying goodbye to the beach
my so-called beautiful life
Life is tough

It was so nice to spend days on end relaxing by the beach with no real plans or responsibilities … outside of doing nothing and drinking gin and tonics. And of course, it was nice to catch up with family and to meet my first niece for the first time. Plus, it’s always such an honor to be invited by our friends and family to spend a day celebrating their love for their new husband/wife.

my so-called beautiful life
A beautiful location for a wedding
my so-called beautiful life
Look at that color coordination

I’m sad to be back home and back to the daily grind, but I know it’s just a little bit of time before we’ll be on the road again visiting with more friends and family.

What have you been up to this Summer? 

Photos: beautyXposé

sephora gift card

Enter to Win a $50 Sephora Gift Card

This giveaway is now closed. 

To apologize for the lack of content this past month (aka to bribe you not to leave us), we wanted to give one of you a $50 Sephora gift card. The dog days of Summer are upon us, which means you definitely deserve a special somethin’-somethin’ to help you beat the heat and humidity. All of the entry details are below – good luck! We wish we could give you each a gift card.

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What would you buy with a Sephora gift card?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

being lazy

My So-called Beautiful Life: On Being Lazy

If you haven’t noticed, things have been a bit slow around here. During most months we try to post something new each weekday, but we’ve been lucky to get up two posts weekly since the beginning of June. It was semi intentional and semi unintentional. Let me explain myself before you think I’ve forgotten about you altogether.

I was gone more than half of June for work, and while I planned to keep posts going during my business trips, I was just too busy at the end of the day. So I thought, great, July 1 will be a clean slate. Welp, mid-July is here and I’m just starting to getting back in my groove. After a busy month, I realized I needed some time to actually relax, enjoy some me-time and spend some time with loved ones. I mean, could I take this cliche couples picture if I was blogging my heart out?

being lazy
Just on the cliffs of Newport, RI
being lazy
Surveying the lands

Just like I’ve taken a bit of an unplanned break from every-day blogging, my hair and makeup game has been a bit off the past month and a half too. With this heat and humidity, it just seems like such an undertaking. Why do my hair if it’s just going to go wild once I step outside? Granted, I could heat-proof my hair and makeup, but that’s just a lot of extra work that I can’t fathom handling right now. Some days I go without foundation, most without eyeliner and some days without everything. #barefacedbeautiful

being lazy
Just doing a little hiking

And while I feel bad about not posting as frequently as before, I don’t feel bad about the relaxing bit. I just hope you bare with us as we wrap up our downtime and ramp up our blog posts again!

Have you had any downtime so far this Summer?

Photos: beautyXposé

 

My So-Called Beautiful Life: Austin and NYC

As I’m sure you have noticed, things have been a bit quiet around here for the past couple of weeks. I haven’t forgotten about you, I swear. I’ve been traveling for my “real” job and also for this here blog.

In my “real’ life, I work in the Marketing department for a tech company. We were sponsoring a conference down in Austin, so I was down there for a week manning our booth, applying sunscreen nonstop and eating all sorts of tasty treats. I was supposed to meet up with fellow blogger Kendra from Citizens of Beauty, but that sadly didn’t work out. Next time, though! Here is soms photographic proof of my trip down south.

The Texas state capital
The Texas state capital

 

 

 

Inside the dome
Inside the dome

 

Veggie sausage and grilled corn
Veggie sausage and grilled corn

 

Congress Ave bridge
Congress Ave bridge

 

Then, once I got back last week, I was on a train heading out of town again. This time, NYC for a night so I could meet up with my friends from Skin Authority. Celeste, the CEO, was speaking at HBA Global, so I made the trip to hear her panel and to have dinner with her and some other fabulous ladies. We shared some delicious eats, lots of laugh and hours-long inspiring conversation. It was such a pleasure to meet everyone and to discuss potential collaborations. I hope to have something more for you in the coming months.

I have arrived!
I have arrived!
Celeste's panel
Celeste’s panel
She totally rocked it
She totally rocked it

So there you have it, my travels as of late. I have one more work trip next week, but after that I should be back to my normal groove. Thanks for your patience in my slower weeks!

What have you been up to lately?

Photos: beautyXposé

A Beautiful World: Puerto Rico Edition

Most of the time, I’m ogling some sort of lip gloss or touting my favorite new eyeshadow palette here on beautyXposé.  But it’s also nice to pause and examine the beauty of the world around us.

This past week, I had the pleasure of vacationing in Puerto Rico (my first real vacation in over two years!), and I simply can’t keep the beauty of  what I encountered to myself. I hope you enjoy these pics as much as I enjoyed my trip!

We kicked off our trip at the Wyndham resort for a couple of days of R&R
We kicked off our trip at the Wyndham resort for a couple of days of R&R
I went largely makeup-free during this trip, with the exception of SPF and Pond's BB Cream.
I went largely makeup-free during this trip, with the exception of SPF and Pond’s BB Cream.
Iguanas kept us company at the pool, and pretty much everywhere on the island.
Iguanas kept us company at the pool, and pretty much everywhere on the island.
Speaking of the pool.....
Speaking of the pool…..
We enjoyed our first night gazing at a beautiful moon  framed by palm trees.
We enjoyed our first night gazing at a beautiful moon framed by palm trees.
The resort at night was breathtaking to behold.
The resort at night was breathtaking to behold.
And isn't my husband a breathtaking sight to behold too? ;)
And isn’t my husband a breathtaking sight to behold too? 😉
Next, as we made our way to Old San Juan, we stopped along the road to enjoy secluded beaches.
Next, as we made our way to Old San Juan, we stopped along the road to enjoy secluded beaches where only a few locals go.
My new happy place. Tranquility!
My new happy place. Tranquility!
Just passing by. This guy thought I was a nutso tourist for taking his pic.
Just passing by. This guy thought I was a nutso tourist for taking his pic. (Which I was.)
Then we made our way into Old San Juan. The city is encircled by a wall and old fortresses to protect it.
Then we made our way into Old San Juan. The city is encircled by a wall and old fortresses to protect it.
Another view of the water surrounding the city.
Another view of the water surrounding the city.
One of the small lookout towers on the wall.
One of the small lookout towers on the wall.
Just one of the many statues in the city, encircled by beautiful foliage.
Just one of the many statues in the city, encircled by beautiful foliage.
Old San Juan is filled with art depicting saints and other religious figures.
Old San Juan is filled with art depicting saints and other religious figures.
We never figured out what this place was, but there are marionettes hanging above the doorway.
We never figured out what this place was, but there are marionettes hanging above the doorway.
Translation: Park of the Pigeons.
Translation: Park of the Pigeons.
The reason for the park's name.
The reason for the park’s name.
The pigeons parked out in these cubby holes.
The pigeons parked out in these cubby holes.
Our Lady of Guadalupe was a common religious symbol in the city.
Our Lady of Guadalupe was a common religious symbol in the city. Fun fact: My birthday is that Saint’s Day.
A stunning fountain marked a charming square where city dwellers stopped for morning coffee.
A stunning fountain marked a charming square where city dwellers stopped for morning coffee.
An up-close look at an example of the iron work that lines virtually every building in some way or another.
An up-close look at an example of the iron work that lines virtually every building in some way or another.
Old San Juan's roads are cobblestone, making it hard on high-heel-wearers (note: I was not one of them).
Old San Juan’s roads are made of centuries-old cobblestone, making it hard on high-heel-wearers (note: I was not one of them).
No boring colors allowed in Old San Juan. All the buildings seem so vibrant!
No boring colors allowed in Old San Juan. All the buildings seem so vibrant!
The San Juan Cathedral housed the tomb of Ponce de Leon.
The San Juan Cathedral housed the tomb of Ponce de Leon.
A VERY important landmark, which clearly needed a plaque of commemoration.
A VERY important historical landmark, which clearly needed a plaque of commemoration.
This is the inner courtyard of our hotel, which used to be a convent. Fitting, because I'm so nun-like.
This is the inner courtyard of our hotel, which used to be a convent. Fitting, because I’m so nun-like.
The hotel was a really interesting mix of indoors (the rooms) and outdoors (the hallways were basically balconies overlooking the inner courtyard).
The hotel was a really interesting mix of indoors (the rooms) and outdoors (the hallways were basically balconies overlooking the inner courtyard).
When's the last time your hotel room had a legitimate metal key? This is what opened our heavy iron door.
When’s the last time your hotel room had a legitimate metal key? This is what opened our heavy iron door.
Who are these happy travelers? Oh, it's me and my hubby!
Who are these happy travelers? Oh, it’s me and my hubby!
A view of the city from our hotel's rooftop.
A view of the city from our hotel’s rooftop.
The city becomes warm and inviting at night.
The city becomes warm and inviting at dusk.
Small lizards were as common as flies.
Small lizards seem as common as flies.
The intricate old garden at the Ponce de Leon residence.
The intricate old garden at the Ponce de Leon residence.
This looked ancient...and smelled just as ancient.
This looked ancient…and smelled just as ancient.
The Ponce de Leon peeps really knew the beauty of nature!
The Ponce de Leon peeps really knew the beauty of nature!
Another vibrant view from the Ponce de Leon garden.
Another vibrant view from the Ponce de Leon garden.
We ventured out to El Yunque rainforest, which was ... rainy.
We ventured out to El Yunque rainforest, which was lush and … rainy.
A stunning waterfall in El Yunque rainforest.
A stunning waterfall in El Yunque rainforest.
Ever see a horse go swimming in the ocean? Me neither until this day.
Ever see a horse go swimming in the ocean? Me neither until this day.
I couldn't believe how happy this horse seemed to just swim along.
I couldn’t believe how happy this horse seemed to just swim along.
It was a rainy day right before we left, but it produced the most vivid, beautiful rainbow I've ever seen in my life.
It was a rainy day right before we left, but when the sun peeked back out, it produced the most vivid, beautiful rainbow I’ve ever seen in my life.  A promise that I will one day return to Puerto Rico!

 

Photos:  Anne Houseman/beautyXposé

nourage

Win a Month’s Supply of Nouráge

Disclaimer: We have not tested this product, as this is a sponsored giveaway. We are not doctors, so please consult your physician if you have any questions about this supplement.  

This giveaway is now closed. 

I love hair care and I love bringing you a giveaway, so I’m excited to bring you a giveaway sponsored by Nouráge. Nouráge is nourishment for healthier hair. Formulated in the Swiss Alps, the natural blend of essential proteins and vitamins provides your body with building blocks to grow healthier hair. Nouráge’s natural replenishing formula invigorates hair and stimulates growth, for a richer, thicker, more lustrous look.

And a special treat for any Real Housewives fans, Nouráge is endorsed by Kylie Richards from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You can hear her thoughts on the supplement here, learn more in the FAQ document here and enter for your chance to win a month’s supply of Nouráge below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck to all of those who enter!

Tell us – why do you need a month’s supply of Nouráge?

Photos: Nouráge; Disclaimer