Nessas Loves – Beauty and Fashion

I should probably do a Valentines’ Day post, but for my longtime readers, you probably know we don’t do anything really big.  For the last 6 years (minus one year I was away for travel), the hubs has served up some yummy dinner and wine.  We try to stay away from the crowds on this day.  Last year, Eva was teeny tiny and fell asleep early so we were able to enjoy a romantic dinner.  This year she’s more rambunctious but thankfully her daycare does a “Parent’s night out” (for a fraction of the price of hiring a babysitter) and it so happened to be held TODAY!  We won’t be out til midnight, but we will be taking advantage of that and wait for it… GOING TO THE MOVIES!  And no we’re not watching anything romantic like Winter’s Tale.  We’ll be watching The Mounument’s Men.  Can’t wait.  We never go to the movies anymore, so this will be a great treat!  Then we’ll probably go to a bar or a diner and enjoy a later dinner.  No mainstream restaurants for us.  If you need ideas for Valentines, see my post from last year.

Onward with this post. So I haven’t done a Nessas Loves post lately.  I thought I’d share some of the products I’ve been loving these past several months.  We’re playing catch up here so I was going to break this up into two posts:  Beauty and Fashion and Mommy/baby/household loves.


Nessa's Beauty Loves

Dove dry shampoo – This is so much better than the Tresseme dry shampoo.  It actually removes the oils from my hair and leaves it pretty voluminous.  Plus it doesn’t smell as bad.  I’ve tried Suave and L’Oreal Everstyle dry shampoos, which are better than Tresseme but not as effective as the Dove dry shampoo in my opinion.  The smell of the Suave dry shampoo is a bit too fruity and too strong for me.  The smell of the Dove dry shampoo is much more subtle.  The L’Oreal Everstyle dry shampoo was as close to the Dove dry shampoo; however, I do think it’s on the pricier end of drugstore dry shampoo and you don’t get as much product.  However, with that said, all these are cheaper alternatives to my trusty Stila Dry Shampoo.  What are you favorite dry shampoos?  Drugstore or high end?  I’ve been interested in trying out higher end dry shampoos, such as Bumble & Bumble’s Pret a Powder or Oribe (I heard it sprays clear).  I’m currently trying out Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo and it’s okay.  Again, not as great as Dove.  I’ll probably check out Pantene’s next.

Side note/tip:  As a mommy on the go, dry shampoo is my best friend on days that I don’t want to wash my hair and need to get out of the house quickly on days off or on work days.

Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick – While the hubs isn’t a fan of colored lips and won’t kiss me if I have anything but a nude lip on, I’m really loving colored lips.  The Lasting Finish Matte in 110 (Coral) and Lasting Finish in 01 (red) are gorgeous colors.  I’d love to try a fuschia color like MAC’s Candy YumYum, but I’m kind of worried how it would look on my lips.  I get really self concious when I wear a colored lip. This red and coral, well more so the red, is a bit bold for me, but I love the vampiness of it.

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters/Maybelline Color Sensational Whisper – I LOVE how moisturizing these feel.  I’m in love with Revlon’s Pink Truffle, which is a perfect my lips but better color (the appropriate color description would probably be nudish mauve), and Candy Apple which is a reddish orange.  I also love Maybelline’s Made-It Mauve.  I’m obsessed with a mauve lip because for me, it’s a my lips but better lip color, plus it’s very wearable for a conservative work environment.  But if I need to switch it up a sheer application of Candy Apple does the trick.

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain/ColorBurst Matte Balm – OBSESSED with THESE too.  I can’t help myself.  At any given time I have 2 of these in my purse plus 3 lip butters.  I love that it’s a jumbo stick so I can put it on like a lip pencil, plus it stains my lips and I don’t have to reapply for a couple of hours.  Of course, I have these in mauve (Honey for Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain and Sultry for ColorBurst Matte Balm), in addition to a red, plum and pink.  The Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stian is more hydrating than the Color Burst Matte Balm, but neither is as moisturizing as the Lip Butters.

Side note:  I know just talked about a ton of lip products, but as a mom sometimes I don’t have the time to take the extra 5-20 minutes to do my eye make up (yes it can take me that long to put together an eye look), so a quick fresh no make-up make-up look does the trick.  Add on a perfect lip color or a color punched lip and I’m out the door looking a tad less frumpy.  

Elf brow kit – I’m not being boastful here, but I was blessed with decent eyebrows.  Thankfully, plucking them in the 8th grade didn’t ruin the growth (My parents were SO MAD at me when they realized what I had done.  They were REALLY big on natural beauty even though I was going through my ugly duckling adolescent stage.  😦  But now that I have a daughter, I see where they’re coming from.   Oh the irony.).  Every for weeks, I get them shaped by my trusty aesthetician Danielle at The Green Room.  I try not to touch them, if possible, in between wax sesions.  While they’re a nicely shaped and relatively full, there are some days I do need to color them in, depending on how much make up I have on.  The Elf brow kit matches my hair color right (I got it ombre’d last summer!) now; not to mention, you can’t beat $3.  However, when I don’t have this in arms reach I use a dark brown eyeshadow.

NYC Bronzer – Previous to finding this bonzer, I was using a darker foundation as a bronzer as I wanted a matte yet natural bronzed and contoured look.  I heard YouTube Gurus raving about the NYC bronzer, so I figured I’d give it a try.  And at a $2 price point, why not?!?  I’m so happy I did.  It gives me just the right amount of natural glow.

Benetint – When you open this up, its a bit daunting to use because its a very liquid red formula.  If you work fast enough, it’s relatively easy to use.  I love it because it gives that natural flush look.

Side note: anyone noticing a trend with my natural makeup holy grails?  😉  

Real Techniques expert face brush – I love how flawless my foundation looks when using this brush.  I’m really interested in trying the other brushes in this line.  They’re decent quality and pricepoint.  Definitely alternatives to MAC or Sigma brushes.

Cle de peau concealer – Previously, I was using the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer, but I noticed that my undereyes were still looking dark.  After testing other drugstore products and the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, I bit the bullet and tried something highend.  Youtube gurus, magazines, etc. raved about this concealer so I bought it.  You see, when you’re a mom, who is dealing with a child who is teething, sick, going through some major change, etc. and is not sleeping well, concealer is your best friend in the morning.  I LOVE this.  It highlights yet conceals like a dream!  I can fake not looking tired!  The Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is wonderful; however, it was a bit too heavy and creamy for me.  I still use it on days I don’t have the Cle de peau nearby.


Nessa's Fashion loves

Philip Lim by Target purse – Yes, this purse has been out for a while, but I still LOVE IT.  I can fit my laptop in here and still have room for so much more!  So spacious… maybe too spacious sometimes because I have trouble finding stuff.  😛

Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote – Yes, I’ve talked about this in my baby’s first year essentials post.  I actually need to get a new one.  I’ve had mine for the last 4 years and it’s starting to show some evidence of wear and tear on the bottom.  But that’s what’ll happen when you use it as a diaper bag, an overnight bag, and a laptop bag.  I love how versatile it is, compact, and its so easy to clean.

Madewell leopard flats – I’ve been SEARCHING for leopard flats to replace my Target leopard ballet flats.  It took me a while to find THE pair.  I wasn’t happy with the texture of the leopard spots or the color or the shape of the shoes I was finding.  Finally, I came across these and Madewell was having a sale on shoes PLUS an extra 40% off.  SCORE!  They’re the perfect neutral alternative to a black, brown, or nude shoe.

Alex and Ani Bracelets – I LOVE these.  My SIL got the E and I initial bangles for my birthday and completed the set with a V for Christmas.  While my husband has gifted me with lovely jewelry in the past that I still wear, I wanted something in my jewelry collection that would represent our little family.

DogEared Initial Necklace – I was thinking about getting a necklace with Eva’s name on it for myself; however, I’m so paranoid about that stuff.  (Blame my mom and the news for all the stories of kids getting snatched because their name was on their backpack or shirt  I wish I was kidding.  That plus SVU gets me all paranoid.)  So instead I asked for a DogEared necklace with the Initial E and was gifted it from my sister for Christmas.

RoseGold Sideways cross – I don’t think I’ve shared this with you, but my sister got this for me last christmas.  She’s always getting me necklaces, which I’m so happy about it.  I LOVE THEM ALL.  She actually got me a Virginia pendant (similar here), so home is close to my heart.  😉  I made that up not her.  She’s not that corny.  🙂

So we’ve caught up with my beauty and fashion loves as of lately.  Stay tuned in the next couple of days for my mommy/baby/household favorites post.


The Dressing Room – Trusted Friend

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I last blogged.  Sigh.  Well, I’m back returning with a The Dressing Room post.

I went to the Poshmark SF event the other night in the Spanish Suite of the Clift Hotel.  Met some awesome fellow bloggers and members of the Poshmark community team.  It was such a great night meeting other bloggers and talking about Poshmark.  My husband and I are going through our semi-annual closet purge, so I’ll be selling some items on there soon.  Be sure to check there in the future for some of my closet pieces.

Here are a couple of photos from the event.

The Spanish Suite (photo cred:  Poshmark FB)

Meeting fellow South Bay Blogger, Heidi (photo cred:  Poshmark FB)

View of gorgeous SF from the suite

Attendees taking pictures in front of the step and go

Meeting April and Sheila

The lovely girls from the community team at Poshmark

Now about my outfit.  I was struggling to pick an outfit to wear.  I love my clothes, but lately, more often than not, I’m not too pleased with my options.  My sister suggested I build my outfit around the Gap two toned clutch (Celine inspired) she bought me.  It’s the perfect bright accessory for spring.  Since the clutch was a bright orange, I knew I had to go with a simple outfit.   I wanted to wear a gray or white dress, but any dresses that I have in those colors are either winter dresses or don’t quite fit me properly (darn you post baby body!).  So I went with the next neutral option, a trusty little black shift dress.  Sure, it’s plain, typical and easy but it’s such a great canvas for accessories.  I was going to belt it, but my husband suggested I go unbelted for a mod shift dress look (not those weren’t his exact words. He said I like the unbelted look.).  Pair with a statement necklace for more glam, TADAAA.  And instead of going with black pumps, I opted for a nude heel to pair with the clutch plus lengthen my (very short) legs.  🙂


Dress:  H&M (last season)
Necklace:  Santee Alley (last seen here)
Watches:  Michael Kors (last seen here)
Clutch:  Gap
Pumps:  LK Bennett (last seen here)


Photos not belonging to Nesscetera have been linked back to the original source.

The Dressing Room – Maxed out

I used to live in dresses before having Eva.  Now because I have to bend over to pick her up or help her walk, I’ve swapped my beloved dresses for pants or shorts (which of course are a respectable length).  That is, until I rediscovered my maxi dresses, which were tucked away amongst mine and Eva’s clothes (The three of us share a closet.  It’s brutal.   I try to stay organized and rotate clothes based on season but sometimes, it’s exhausting.  LOL!).  I was upset with myself that I didn’t think about these dresses sooner.  It’s such a baby-friendly outfit (a go-to momiform even).  A maxi dress (At an appropriate length.  We, petite girls, need to have it hemmed unless you wear heels, which isn’t always ideal when totting kids around) is an easy quick outfit to put on and comfortable too.  If it’s cool out, pair it with a denim jacket (like I have below. loving the denim trend right now.) or a leather jacket (love that edgy meets boho chic look when paired with a maxi) or a cropped cardigan.  I say cropped cardigan because of how loose and flowy a maxi dress is.  Pairing it with a boyfriend cardigan can swallow your frame, especially for petite girls.  If it’s warm, pair it with a denim vest (which I just nabbed recently during a trip to Marshalls.  I’ve been searching for one for a while!) or a lightly somewhat loose crocheted top or an light scarf (a la Jessica Alba) or just the maxi itself.

When I was younger and the maxi dress/skirt was in style at the time (late 90s), I stayed away from the trend because I was told “You’re short.  You’re going to look even shorter.”  “The fabric is going to swallow your frame.”  For petite girls, all these statements can be true.  However, the secret, as in all things fashion related, to not looking shorter is fit!  How wide is the skirt?  If you cut off the length, will it affect the shape of the dress?  If you don’t get it hemmed, then commit to wearing the dress with heels.  The extra fabric with flats may look sloppy and swallow your frame.  After I saw petite celebrities, such as Eva Longoria, wearing maxi dresses, I knew that if they could wear these dresses and not look ridiculously short and frumpy, then I could too.  I purchased basic colors first then moved on to prints.  Prints can be tricky though.  You have to select one that won’t overwhelm your frame.  When in doubt, take a picture of you in your outfit in the mirror (Selfies anyone?  :-P).  Silly but it works!!!


Dress:  Forever21
Jacket:  Uniqlo
Watch:  Michael Kors (last seen here)

Roll up your sleeves for that casual chic look.

Ready to play with baby girl at the playground.  

Photos by Laurie