2016 - Natalie Inspired | Southern California Lifestyle, Fashion, Beauty, & Travel







Touring Venice

A week before my study abroad program began, I decided to take a trip to Italy first! Every moment there felt like a dream. First stop was Venice, and then I later ventured into Rome. The views of Venice were breathtaking – full of dreamy skies, beautiful aged buildings, and charming canals. It's a place that I will never forget.

Currently Coveting: October 2016

Back at it again with another wish list! Here's what I currently have my eye on.

Scratch Map

Photo from amazon.com

I've been doing so much traveling around Europe lately. It's only appropriate that I get this adorable scratch map to document all the places I've visited! I think this would make for an interesting piece of decor for my all white bedroom.

Le Pilage Bag - Longchamp

Photo from longchamp.com

Photo from longchamp.com

I am so excited to visit Paris in two weeks. Not only for the views, but also for the shopping! ;) I'm not about to drop a thousand euros on a bag (maybe someday when I'm making more money), but a Longchamp Le Pilage seems like a good compromise. This would be a cute bag for school/work or also just when I'm out and about running errands. I just can't decide between the black or navy! Maybe both?!

Watch - Fossil / Daniel Wellington

Photo from fossil.com

Photo from danielwellington.com

I don't wear watches very often because I don't like the clunky feeling on my wrist, but these two watches are quite dainty looking. Currently I have one of those big rose gold watches that were popular a few years back. I think it's time for an update – I would love to add a new timepiece to my wardrobe!

Boyfriend Jeans - Urban Outfitters

Photo from urbanoutfitters.com

I've been putting this off forever because it's so difficult for me to find pants that fit me right, and jeans shopping is like my least favorite thing ever. But I'm still on the lookout for a pair of boyfriend jeans similar to this UO one. I'll have to buy a pair sooner or later!

Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay Palette - Tarte

Photo from tartecosmetics.com

Aren't these shades gorgeous? I currently use the Tartelette Palette, but this one caught my eye because of the pretty purple and burgundy shades. I'll definitely keep my eye out for this the next time I need a new palette.

What Past Relationships Taught Me

Though the end of every relationship is difficult, I choose to see the upside of it all. Each relationship is a stepping stone towards discovering what I want and don't want in love and life.

How To Get FREE Full Sized Beauty Products!

I do unboxing videos on Snapchat from time to time when I get free products in the mail, and I get friends asking me how I get this free stuff all the time! Today I'm sharing how...

Skincare Essentials

I vehemently believe that skincare should come before cosmetics. Yes, makeup is amazing, but wouldn't it be even more amazing if you didn't need to cover up blemishes in the first place? That's why I strongly advise younger girls (like my little sister) to take care of their skin starting at an early age. Sure, they might not look like they need it, and I'm certainly not suggesting them to go out and buy anti-aging products or anything like that, but developing small habits like moisturizing and using sunscreen will definitely benefit them in the long run.


Arashiyama Bamboo Forest + Nara Deer Park

Two spots you must see in Japan are Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and Nara Deer Park! They are both in close proximity to each other (like maybe an hour apart?) so you can realistically see both in one day.


DIY Notebooks In 3 Ways

My sister is back in school now, and she asked me to help her revamp her school supplies, so I was inspired to do a post on different ways to decorate notebooks!


Makeup Essentials: Travel Edition

My idea of a fun vacation does not include lugging around heavy suitcases! So when it comes to packing beauty products, I try to be strategic and minimal. Keep reading below to see my travel makeup must-haves.

Visiting Antelope Canyon + Horseshoe Bend

The second half of my Utah/Arizona roadtrip was spent seeing the gorgeous Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend! If you haven't already seen it, check out my earlier post on Zion National Park, which was the first part of this trip.

How To Start A Blog

Recently, I helped my sister start her own blog and she's been hooked on it ever since. That inspired to me write an informative guide for people interested in blogging but don't know where to start! I've broken it down step-by-step. Hope this will help!


Why Harry Potter Is the Best Book Series of All Time

When I was a little girl in elementary school, I had a teacher who liked to give her students books for Christmas. Every student got something different, and she choose what book to give based on that student's personality and what she thought they would enjoy reading. For me, she gave me Harry Potter. Ever since then, I've been in love with the series and have re-read and books and re-watched the movies countless times. I have a little personal tradition of watching the movies during Thanksgiving/Christmastime. (Probably because ABC Family always does those Harry Potter marathons during those times?) When I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando when it first opened up, I think I had literal tears welling up in my eyes, because here I was surrounded by my childhood fantasy.

Harry Potter is not just a book of a fantastical wizarding world, folkloric creatures, and perilous adventures; it is also delves into the intricacies of real-life such as racism, classism, bureaucracy, violence, death, and much more. Although I only took the books as interesting tales when I was younger, I uncovered more and more of these real-world connections as I got older and re-read the books. I really appreciate the complexity of JK Rowling's writing. It's as if I'm reading something new each time. And on a tangent, if you read up on how JK Rowling chose the names of literally everything in the Potterverse, you will see that it was thoroughly researched and required insane amounts of contemplating. I give her major props for all that effort and I get so happy every time I learn something new about her writing process.

I could probably go on forever about how much I love Harry Potter, but I'll just end this post with some of my favorite quotes.

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.

If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.

It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.

Currently Coveting: July 2016

I've had my eye on a couple things I've seen online. Here's a roundup of this month's currently coveting...

Round Beach Towel – The Beach People

Photo from thebeachpeople.com

I'm not sure why I even find this necessary, but a round beach towel just seems like a really cute thing to lay out on the sand. It's unique. Oh, and just imagine all the instagram-worthy pics on the beach you could get with this.

Leather Backpack – Marc Jacobs
Photo from nordstrom.com
I've actually been wanting a small leather backpack for a while now. I think it would work well for school/play. I hate wearing bags on my shoulder cause the weight just kills me, but I also hate the look of an ordinary backpack, so I think this would be a stylish happy medium. It would also be nice for a day trip when I need to carry more things with me.

Journal - Moleskine

Photo from target.com
I was gifted a Moleskine journal by one of my cousins when I was a young girl. I thought it was so beautiful that I was afraid to start writing/sketching in it for over a year. Anyway, ever since then, this has been my brand of choice for journals. In preparation for my study abroad term for Fall, I wanted to get a new journal to write about my travels.

Passport Case – Ban.do

Photo from macys.com

I like to travel in style! I always like to make plain things look a little nicer. I feel like this cute little passport case is so me. 

Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer - Polaroid

Photo from polaroid.com
I think I'm secretly a grandma stuck in the body of a 21 year old. I love to journal and scrapbook, and this handy tool would make it so much easier. Right now, I usually run to the nearest Target to print photos out. Just imagine how much money I would save in the long run if I got this thing!! It would prevent me from getting sucked into the black hole that is Target and coming out with $50 worth of things.

Leather Tassel Keychain - Kate Spade

Photo from macys.com
I feel compelled to accessorize my accessories. How cute would this look on a purse?! I'm actually thinking of DIY-ing this, because it seems fairly simple to make.

Wallet - Matt & Nat
Photo from mattandnat.com
Oh my goodness, there is a brand out there called Matt & Nat, which coincidentally is me and my boyfriend's name. I would totally buy this hahaha. Call it cheesy, but this wallet was made for me.

Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bow N Arrow - Kat Von D

Photo from katvondbeauty.com
This is not my usual shade, but I've been really liking the darker brown lip colors lately. Didn't think I could pull it off, but I recently played around with some lippies at Sephora and was pleased with the look.

3 Things I Wish People Told Me About Internships

As I near graduation, I realize that I've gained a fair amount of knowledge in the internship field. I wanted to share a few of my insights with you in hopes that I can save you from wasted time and unnecessary deliberations. I also hope this post can help you see the good in an internship, when your experience has not been what you were looking for!

How to Become Yelp Elite

So a cool thing happened the other day...I got an email from Yelp saying I had been invited to join Yelp Elite. I had started Yelping in April of this year, so I was pretty psyched that I got the invitation in just three months. Mind you, it wasn't easy! I definitely had to be quite active on the app/website during those three months.

Here's a quick overview on what I did to earn that badge.

Beauty Essentials

Hi, my name is Natalie and I am a makeupholic.

Favorite Makeup Products

Tartelette Palette
Around last year, I wanted to change up my eyeshadow look and stray away from all the shimmering shadows I used in my Naked 1, 2, and 3 Palettes. I decided to look for an all matte palette and the best one I found was by Tarte. I was also digging the plum look at the time, so pretty purples were a must. I am crazy about this palette - I like every single color and I feel they suit my style well.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan and Copenhagen
NYX is such a great brand. They have quality products and they aren't expensive either, which I can totally appreciate because I don't feel so bad when I come home with like 8 new products. My favorite thing to buy from them are their Soft Matte Lip Creams. Their color payoff is fantastic and they can last for hours without budging. I currently have about 6 in my collection. I featured the colors Milan and Copenhagen because those are my two favorites. Milan is great for a sweet daytime look, and Copenhagen is an ideal Fall lip color.

Stila Set & Correct Baked Powder Trio
I always like to use a little setting powder to keep myself feeling fresh and oil-free. This Stila powder is really great because it has peach, green, and lavender pigments to color correct your skin. The lavender powder fixes sallow skin, the peach powder brightens and illuminates, and the green powder fixes redness.

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
Long gone are the days of Urban Decay's Primer Potion. When I first discovered this, it took my eyeshadow game to a whole new level. (Trust me!! If you try it, you will definitely see a difference in how well your eyeshadow is applied!) It's also about the same price as the primer potion yet can outlive it at least 4x longer. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Medium Brown
I have pretty dark and full brows already, so I never really thought much about drawing them in. But wow it sure makes a difference! Even though I don't really need to fill them in to make them darker or fuller, it still makes it look nice to define them. I like to focus on the outer half of my brows and draw a more defined arch and longer tail. This stuff also lasts forever and ever. I'm convinced I will only need one of these in my entire lifetime. 

Clio Kill Black Eyeliner in Kill Black
Before discovering this brand, my go-to eyeliners were from the Stila and Sephora brand, but I found that they dried out way too quickly. They lasted maybe 2, 3 months tops. It didn't help that they cost $20 a pop either. But Clio's brush liners work incredibly well and I have been using this for years now. I was first introduced to this brand when I did a sponsored review on it back in 2013. This is by far the best eyeliner I've ever used and it takes forever to run out. It can last you probably ~6 months of frequent use. 

Kose Sekkisei White BB Cream
I tried many BB creams in the past and most of them have just felt way too rich and creamy for me. It leaves an uncomfortable oily feeling on my face. What I love about this Kose BB Cream is that it feels weightless on my skin. It dries with a powder-like finish so I don't get that oily feeling at all.

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Rose Petale
I just absolutely love this blush. The pigment is lovely and it has the nicest rose scent. And of course, its iconic packaging looks so classy. Everything about this blush is just perfect.

Hiking in Zion National Park

Zion National Park, located in Utah, is one of my favorite U.S. destinations to date. There is so much natural beauty all in one place! I believe Zion truly helped me develop a greater sense of appreciation for nature and an interest in hiking. 

Apps for the Twenty-Something Year Old

I'm constantly amazed by how much technology has transformed over the past decade or so. The entire world is now at our fingertips; everything is so easy and accessible. I got my first iPhone about 4 years ago, and I was instantly hooked on downloading the coolest apps I could find. But now that I am an ~adult~, I find myself downloading less apps like the Kim Kardashian game, and more of the ones that are useful and make adulting just a little bit easier.

Shopping and Dining in Tokyo

I've decided to share my Japan experience in small installments rather than one mega post so keep reading below to hear about the shopping and dining in Japan!


Packing for Trips

Here are some of my tips for packing light when you travel and avoiding those long lines to check in your suitcase. 

I like to pack light. Most of the time, I just bring a small suitcase that I can carry on board rather than checking it in. I bring the exact amount of outfits I'll need, plus one spare set just in case. I plan my outfits ahead of time (check the weather forecast where I'm going ) and also pack my suitcase by outfit so I don't have to dig for the clothes I want. I try to be utilitarian and pack clothes that I can incorporate into multiple outfits, such as a pair of jeans I can wear twice or three times and outwear that matches several outfits. It's a lot easier to accomplish this if you use a neutral color scheme. I like wearing black, white, beige, tan, etc. For shoes, I limit it to two or three pairs max (that's including the pair I wear on flight), and try to avoid bulky shoes.

Cosmetics + Skincare Products
I live off makeup samples when I'm on vacation. One reason is that it's so much lighter to carry, and the other is because I would be devastated if I shattered a $50 eyeshadow palette or cracked a bottle of perfume in my suitcase. You know how much that stuff costs... Prior to my trip, I'll sometimes stop by Sephora and ask for samples of makeup I often use, like eyeshadow primer, my favorite perfumes, etc. Other things that I can't ask for samples of, such as eyeshadow palettes or eyeliner, I will bring the most compact ones I own. I usually bring my Naked Basics palette.

For skincare items, if possible, I will put it in smaller cosmetics containers that you can buy at places like Daiso or drugstores. If I don't have to carry the full size product, I won't.

And that's about it! With these methods, I end up with a lightweight suitcase and plenty of extra room in case I do some shopping while on vacation, so there's no struggle trying to figure out how to bring all my new purchases back home.

On Long Distance(ish) Relationships

This is the first of what I hope to be many "real talks", a segment on my thoughts and realizations in life, whether it be about self, relationships, or essentially anything and everything. I would like this segment to help me see how my perceptions on certain topics change as I get older, and I hope that you'll enjoy/get something out of me putting in my two cents.

Before I get into detail, let me preface this with a brief background on how I view relationships. I am very much a person who values quality time with my special someone. If it were humanly possible, I would be with him practically all the dang time. I wouldn't say I am clingy, because idealistically, I do want us to have lives that can be separate from each other. I just think it becomes really easy for couples to fall into a comfortable pattern of sticking together – it happens to everyone. So when I was no longer able to see him all the time, it was initially disorienting.

Happy New Year from San Francisco

I rang in the new year with Matt by going on a weekend getaway to Northern California. I've never done anything spectacular to celebrate New Years before (last year I think I was in bed by 10:30), so this time, it was definitely one to remember. 

Back to Top