I’ve got my fair share of vices; I can’t resist shoestring licorice or a glass of red wine. But, my biggest vice of all is definitely the sun. It’s *basically* my therapy.

Being a stone’s throw from Manhattan and experiencing all four seasons are two major perks of where I live, but during the cooler months I really miss bikini weather–and the tan that comes along with it!

So, self-tanner is a necessity for me. I have no shame in admitting I love having a glowing, bronze complexion from head to toe all year long. Plus, self-tanner is *waaay* better for you than tanning beds are (plus, I take pride in saying I’ve never, ever stepped foot in one).

That being said, I’ve gotten pretty good at creating a flawless, long-lasting faux tan over the years. To show Haute Mess readers that artificial tans don’t have to be orange and unsightly, I decided to share my go-to self-tanner routine so that all of us can glow into winter and beyond.

Step 1–Cleanse: You should never, even apply self-tanner to dirty skin–that’s just asking for a breakout. Even if you don’t think your skin is *that* dirty, it is definitely in your best interest to remove any excess oil and grime before you bronze. In the case of self-tanner, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. Milky Jelly Cleanser, Glossier & Daily Cleansing Oil, Glossier

Step 2–Exfoliate: It’s no secret that self-tanner applies much more smoothly and evenly on freshly exfoliated skin. But, it can be too easy to skip this step because a full-body exfoliation is so time consuming.

Trust me, though–you’ll feel much more confident in your newly bronzed skin when you exfoliate beforehand; it is one of the best ways to avoid streaks and patchiness. I

love Cup ‘o Coffee from Lush because it’s safe for face *and* body (and it smells ahh-mazing). Cup ‘o Coffee, Lush Cosmetics

Step 3–Moisturize: Self-tanner’s pigmentation has a tendency to break up when exposed to oil-based moisturizer, so I make sure to moisturize my skin a few hours before going in with a self-tanner. Priming Moisturizer, Glossier & Daily Perfection Lotion, Glossier

Step 4–Tan: Like I just mentioned, it is super important to wait a little while in between moisturizing and the actually apply the self-tanner. So that your tan lasts as long as possible and looks flawless, you don’t want it mixing with any oils in your moisturizer.

Having a trustworthy mitt is also crucial; St. Tropez’s has never steered me wrong (and it’s only $6!). Applying bronze-hued foam to your skin may seem like a daunting task, so it is definitely important to take things slow.

Start with a quarter-sized dollop of St. Tropez’s Dark Bronzing Mousse. I love this formula because, not only is it ultra-lightweight, it has a greenish tinge to it, so it never appears orange on the skin. Instead, it leaves you with an olive glow (like one you’d get on vacation in Saint-Tropez).

Begin applying from the bottom up; from your ankles to your bum, making sure to cover yourself front to back (it helps to use a hand mirror in tandem with your wall mirror).

Once all the mousse is applied, run the mitt over the application site several times before going back for more product. This ensures that the tan is spread as evenly and streak-free as possible. Work your way up the upper body using the same technique until you reach the neck.

As it states on the packaging, it’s best to gently glide the mitt, with any remaining product on it, over the tops of the feet and hands for a seamless tan. Self-tanner, no matter how good the quality is, has a tendency to look blotchy on the hands and feet if not applied correctly (or if too much is applied).

Using your fingers, apply St. Tropez’s Bronzing Face Lotion; work from the center of the face in an upward and outward motion. Then, drag some product down the jawline and onto the neck.

Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse, St. TropezSelf Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion, St. TropezTan Applicator Mitt, St. Tropez

I don’t like to touch my tan–or expose it to water!–for at least 6 hours. This means no crossing my legs, no lying face down or on the side of my face and, of course, no sweating or showering.

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Ropes Mansion, aka Allison’s house in Hocus Pocus

Quite possibly my favorite building in the whole city! It’s directly across the street from The House of the Seven Gables.

All the decorations in Salem are so adorable! Love this color combo.

Another one of the many gorgeous federal style mansions Salem has to offer

My BFF and college roommate Rachel and I just returned from our second annual trip to Salem, Massachusetts. We started this tradition last year on a whim as a way to celebrate her birthday (and Halloween!), and we instantly fell in love. Now, we see ourselves returning to Witch City this same time every year.

Because it was our second time, we definitely knew which spots we had to hit. There is so much to do in this small city, so our weekend was totally packed–but it is so worth it!

Between historic landmarks and a number of museums (and all the amazing places there are to eat and shop), there are so many fun little things to visit in Salem. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that everything is so adorably festive (and photogenic).

Apple of my Chai is the perfect fall drink; it’s a dry, spiced cider.

Ectoplasm is such a unique concoction! So happy I had the chance to try it while in town.

The freshest oysters at Turner’s on Church Street

Cute sites (and yummy smells!) at the Derby Street Carnival

On our first day there we grabbed oysters at Turner’s, a restaurant at Lyceum Hall. Salem’s seafood really cannot be beat, and we had been craving Turner’s since our visit last year–it was our fav by far!

Then, we took a quick walk to Essex Street, one of the main roads in Salem, which is great because it’s closed off to vehicles. The shopping is the best in the entire city, and the people watching is truly one-of-a-kind.

After that we made our way over to the cemetery and Witch Trials Memorial by way of the Derby Street Carnival. We’re so thankful we did a couple walking tours last year because we were able to navigate the city ourselves and know the history behind everything we looked at.

The Witch Trials Memorial is one of our favorite spots in Salem. In addition to the meaning behind it, it is a really cool spot to relax even though it’s in the city’s center. Plus, there is always a ton going on at the Carnival.

We ended the day at Far From The Tree, a hard cider tap room we discovered last year. I was so happy to enjoy Apple of my Chai again, as well as their new limited edition flavor Ectoplasm.

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

Pumpkin and apple ice cream (and Rachel) at Maria’s Sweet Somethings

Outdoor decoration inspo!

On Saturday we woke up early to get caffeine at Jaho Coffee, another one of our favs from last year. Because it is so closed to the Derby Wharf, we stayed in that area for a bit. It is arguably the cutest area in town (and the seafood doesn’t get any fresher!).

After visiting The House of the Seven Gables, we stopped at the nearby Ye Olde Pepper Companie, an old-fashioned candy shop. Rumor has it that this place is home of the first commercially made candies in the U.S., dating back to the 1800s. I stocked up on *all* the licorice 😉

Windswept at the Witch Trials Memorial

On our way to Salem Witch Museum

At Old Town Hall, which you may recognize it from the “I Put A Spell On You” scene in Hocus Pocus. (It’s a museum IRL.)

Although it was a little warmer than last year, temperatures were still pretty low–especially in the a.m. So, I packed warm layers and a ton of knitwear.

The pullover turtleneck (pictured above) from Free People was soooOoOoOo cozy, and it paired perfectly with the plaid trousers I wore. I love, love, looove menswear-inspired looks durning the fall, but to keep this outfit slightly femme, I chose a go-to pair of heeled booties.

Then, I tied everything together with a thick black belt and a matte lip in Bunny by Kylie Cosmetics. I also added a pair of gold hoops and my Camera Bag from Pop & Suki.

We had so much fun exploring this quaint little city–with a rich history!–for the second time. Now, we’re definitely in the Halloween mood (and already planning next year’s weekend getaway to Salem)!

The cutest home near Derby Wharf!

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Last year my friend Rachel and I started a new Halloween tradition: a girls’ weekend in Salem, Massachusetts.

Salem can’t be beat this time of year (I promise a travel diary detailing everything as soon as we get back!). And now that it’s our second time, I for sure have a better idea in terms of what to pack. (I did not not pack enough warm layers last year, so I definitely learned my lesson.)

There is so much to do in this little gem of a city! We spend about half our time exploring the sites and shops downtown and half our time learning about the city’s history at museums and through walking tours (and another half drinking pumpkin beer and trying local cuisine). So, I like to pack casual, relatively polished clothes that are warm and comfortable, yet still reflect my personal style.

Thankfully, fall fashion is my favorite (#basic). Layering gives a girl a ton of options, and mixing different prints, textures and silhouettes is the perfect way to liven up what could otherwise be a frumpy outfit.

Beauty:

Salem’s vibe is super cool, so it is the perfect place to experiment with a new and/or bold beauty look. For the most part last year, I kept things fairly neutral, and I plan on doing pretty much the same this year. But, I’ll definitely be throwing a few fun accents in my bag.

In addition to the usual suspects (like Boy Brow, Balm Dotcom, a good primer, my must-have BB Cream and a trustworthy mascara), I added some extras to my makeup bag for this trip.

I’ve always loved a bold lip for fall, so I am bringing both Bunny by Kylie Cosmetics and LBB by Colourpop. Bunny is a cool mauve and LBB is rich berry that gives the perfect wine-stained pout; both are festive fall hues.

And, I cannot get enough of my new Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Mocha and Chili Mango, so of course I have to have them with me, too. Mocha makes contouring a breeze (plus, it looks much more natural than a powder contour in my opinion), while Chili Mango is a spicy, sparkly orange that draws attention to the eyes in one easy swipe across each lid.

A nude, dusty rose blush is the way to go in my opinion, so I’ll be bringing my go-to Amazonian Clay Blush in Seduce by Tarte.

To amp up the eyes for a night out, I packed an eyeshadow primer from Urban Decay, as well as their Naked Heat palette (which quickly became my favorite eyeshadow palette ever when it launched a few months ago) and Marc Jacob’s Matte Gel Eye Crayon eyeliner in (Earth)quake 41, a rich, deep brown.

No look is complete with a killer highlight, so I’m bringing Glossier‘s Haloscope in Moonstone for daytime and Milk Makeup’s Mars (the powder version) for an evening glow.

I also packed a few of my favorite on-the-go skincare products. Simple’s micellar makeup remover wipes (available at drugstores) are a must-have, and so is Glossier‘s Invisible Shield SPF 35+. And the Tea Tree Water spray by Lush is perfect for cleansing, toning and keeping oils at bay while on the go; it’s the ultimate skin refresher.

Clothes + accessories:

There’s no better place to rock your favorite fall pieces than in Salem! So, I packed quite a few fall staples to layer throughout the weekend. I cannot wait to show Haute Mess readers these gorgeous fall looks I put together while in Salem. Stay tuned! 😉

  • A versatile cardigan from Rat & Boa
  • A neutral pullover sweater from Free People
  • Plaid trousers from Topshop
  • A warm knit scarf from Free People
  • (Vegan) leather moto jacket by Blank NYC
  • My go-to winter coat in blush
  • A pair of clogs for daytime from Free People
  • A pair of heeled booties in black for a night out
  • Sneakers by APL
  • Statement earrings
  • My custom Pop & Suki Camera Bag (so I can be hands-free while touring the city)
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Ok, so, I’ll be honest.

I didn’t own a full-size moisturizer until a month before my 24th birthday.

Growing up with normal to oily, sensitive skin, moisturizer slightly terrified me.

My skin is already oily enough, I thought. Why would I need a moisturizer? Wouldn’t that clog my pores, making me even *more* oily and prone to breakouts?

Wrong.

The first moisturizer I ever tried was Glossier‘s Priming Moisturizer, a product I still use regularly. When I became an official Rep for the company, I received a sample size of this cult-favorite moisturizing primer with an order.

So, I tried it. And, guess what? I really, really liked it–so much so that I began to research the benefits of moisturizing. It turns out, there’s more to it than just mere hydration.

Using a moisturizer daily, after cleansing and toning, helps regulate the skin’s natural production of oil.

You see, when you dry out your skin, stripping it of its natural oils, it kicks into overdrive, producing more sebum than it would otherwise. (Our skin–and hair!–creates sebum naturally, as a form of self-lubrication. As a rule of thumb, individuals with oily skin naturally produce more sebum, while those with dry skin tend to produce less sebum.)

It turns out, drying out your skin to reduce oil or breakouts is actually counterproductive. If you want to regulate your skin’s oil production, you should *actually* moisturize every day.

Not only that, though. Oils are great for our skin in other ways.

Those with oily skin can thank their body’s natural sebum production for suppressing signs of aging. After all, our skin is made of this oil, so, it only makes sense that stripping our skin of it would speed up the aging process.

I’ve learned to love my skin’s natural dewy sheen; I think it looks healthy and glow-y. And letting it shine through looks a hell of a lot better than caking my face with powder and other mattifying products.

After moisturizing, my skin not only looks better, but feels better, too. I never realized how tight and irritated my face was without moisturizer until I began moisturizing. (Typing that out now, I definitely realize how obvious that may seem…especially to those who are in a longterm love affair with moisturizer.)

And, my makeup goes on more smoothly. I’ve never been a huge makeup person (I’m more into skincare and holistic beauty), but I do love getting glam-ed up once in a while. With a freshly moisturized face, makeup no longer looks blotchy or flakey (and it definitely doesn’t cling to dry patches)!

Finishing the sample of Priming Moisturizer took me all of two days. Then, I received a sample of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, which I also loved. This was a travel-size bottle, which lasted me a couple weeks. After I finished it (I actually cut the tube to scrape the last bit of it out), I bought the full size.

Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a newer version of Clinique’s original (and infamous!) Dramatically Different Moisturizer. The Gel’s formula, however, is designed to work with oily skin, while the original is targeted at normal to dry skin.

It absorbs quickly and leaves skin hydrated–never greasy.

Like all Glossier‘s products, Priming Moisturizer is great for sensitive skin. Hyaluronic acid plumps skin as it moisturizes; plus, it reduces redness and blurs pores, creating a smooth surface for makeup (or not). It’s also loaded with antioxidants–vitamins A, C and E–that help protect skin from damage.

Both Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and Priming Moisturizer are build-able, meaning you can layer it on for the amount of moisturize your skin needs on a given day (factors like season, climate and hormones all play a role in skin’s moisture levels).

To prep the skin for makeup, I’ve also been using First Aid Beauty’s Oil-Free Mattifying Gel Moisturizer. It blurs pores and cuts shine, while also moisturizing the skin, creating a smooth canvas for foolproof makeup application.

When it comes to all three of these products, I love to put a layer over my entire face, then add a little more where I’m prone to dryness, like around my nose and between my brows.

Other notable moisturizers in my makeup collection include Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask. But, I’ll let you guys in on a little secret: I don’t use this product as a mask. Instead, I find it works much better as a night cream. Before I go to bed, I’ll add Moisturizing Moon Mask to any problem areas; by morning it’s fully absorbed, and my skin looks–and feels!–super supple.

There’s also Glossier‘s Super Bounce, a hyaluronic acid serum whose concentrated formula really plumps up the skin where I need it most (such as the little fine lines around my mouth and on my forehead).

Last but not least is my holy grail Balm Dotcom. If you know me, you know I can’t go a day without this (and that it’s replaced every other lip balm I’ve ever owned). I’ve talked a ton about this product on Haute Mess and on social media, so I won’t bore you guys too much.

But, BDC is the longest-lasting, most effective salve ever. It does its job for hours on end, and it even holds up through long workouts. (Plus, in addition to the original, it come in five yummy flavors! Birthday and Coconut are tied as my all-time favs, but lately I’ve also been reaching for Cherry quite a bit.)

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I’m not 100 percent ready for summer to end, but I do love fall fashion. And I’m especially a fan of the athleisure trend that has been popular over the last couple years.

Lower temperatures are beginning to set in, so I decided to incorporate some atheleisure vibes for a casual early autumn look.

Regardless of the weather, I tend to favor full-length leggings over cropped styles. (Is it me, or are they just more flattering?)

So, to make things autumnal, I went for this gorgeous olive green color. It’s muted enough to match almost anything, but it is a nice change of pace from typical black or gray pairs. Don’t get me wrong, though, I still *love* my grays.

White is my favorite neutral, so I paired these leggings with a white cropped tank. Because the fabric is super smooth, this top is perfect for wearing with athletic-inspired looks. But, it also has ultra-skinny straps, so it’s still feminine–not overpowering–which I love.

These two pieces work perfectly together in my opinion. The high-waist on the athletic pants elongates the legs while also compensating for the crop top’s lack of coverage. It’s definitely a silhouette I can see myself rocking all season long and into the next (with various jackets, sweaters and scarves, of course).

When I ordered these Free People leggings, I was a little nervous they may not fit 100 percent because they are only available in two sizes (XS/S and M/L). It turns out, these are some of the most comfortable leggings I’ve ever worn!

I love that they’re impossibly soft and stretch with my body, yet supportive enough to get me through some my fav workouts, including cycling and pilates. They’re perfecting for taking from the streets to the gym, and I cannot wait to get them in another color (or two).

To top off the look I added a pair of classic white vans with a tan sole. These are definitely my go-to shoes when I need something both stylish and practical. I love that the athleisure trend has made supportive sneakers part of a fashionable wardrobe.

I skipped jewelry and accessories all-together, as I typically do with my athletic-inspired looks. My style tends to be minimal most of the time, anyway.

Shop my look:

Cropped tank, Free People, $20

Leggings, Free People, $68

Shoes, Vans, $55

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