Yearly Archives: 2017

Travel Makeup Bag Essentials 22

Travel Makeup Bag Essentials // Being Leanna

Travel Makeup Bag Essentials

Happy Friday everyone! 

This has been in the works for quite some time now. I am obsessed with seeing what people pack on vacations so I thought it was about time that I updated my last travel makeup essentials post! I’ve included all of the travel makeup and skincare I take with me on trips. Some of it always stays the same while others are just whatever sample size I’ve got lying around. The makeup that stays the same is really my tried and true favorites so read on! Remember, traveling is the perfect time to use up those dozens of samples you’ve got lying around!

Travel Makeup Bag Essentials // Being Leanna

Real Chemistry Luminous 3 Minute Peel

Love to do a skin treatment while i’m away. It’s nice to pamper yourself on a trip. This one is quick, easy and effective. If you’ve ever gotten a Birchbox i’m sure you have about a dozen of these samples lying around.

Supergoop CC Cream, Supergoop Eye Cream

You basically need this whole kit from Sephora. I love Supergoop. As a pale person the amount of SPF in their products was enough to sell me but the quality keeps me going back.

Supergoop Lip Screen

This goes perfectly over any lip color or just your lips alone. This is water resistant which is perfect if you’ll be swimming. Glossy and not stick. Perfect for a lip balm plus, it’s got SPF 50.

Dove Cool Essentials deodorant

Use the spray version normally, use the stick version for travel. Lasts all day, even when sweaty. Has a  nice, fresh scent. Also perfect for the car of gym bag. Not travel makeup but essential none the less. 

Pixi Glow Tonic

Another product everyone and their mother raves about. I like it so far, but I haven’t used it enough to form a solid opinion yet. Are you guys a fan?

Harvey Prince Sea Salt Mist

The first sea salt spray that smelled good and not like coconuts. Plus, it gives my second day hair some beach-y vibes. A must have when traveling.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream

I’ve talked about this dozens of times. It’s my go to fall/winter moisturizer. It’s perfect for drier skin and doesn’t go on too thick. Sinks into the skin beautifully

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo

Possibly the best dry shampoo i’ve ever used. It smells amazing and makes my hair look even better. Perfect for when you’re on a trip and can’t be bothered to wash your hair. For real though, just go to your nearest Sephora and smell it. I need it as a perfume.

Redken Control Addict 28 

Not crunchy at all.  One of my favorite hairsprays because it is so flexible plus it lasts all day and keeps the fly-aways at bay. I have this in a full sized version for at home use.

Travel Makeup Bag Essentials // Being Leanna

Arrow Endure Water-Resistant Mascara

Any mascara sample will do, I generally use trips to grab whatever baby mascara I have lying around to try out. I generally don’t like a bristle brush but the water resistance is super nice when you’re going to a hot climate where you’ll sweat. Love.

The Balm Fratboy blush

The perfect powder concealer. Not too pink, not too coral and it’s matte. I bring it because of the tiny size but I rarely use this at home. I should really pick it up more often.

Benefit That Gal Primer

I only use this on trips. Generally i’m always tired and this brightening primer really gives that extra needed oomph to my skin. Love how well a foundation layers on top of this.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil – Demolition

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time you know this is my holy grail eyeliner. It goes everywhere with me. Doesn’t smudge in my water line and doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil – Milk & French Fries

I’ve loved these for years. They’re so inexpensive and they are so easy for the lazy girl like me. I use milk as a highlighter and french fries all over my lid. Done and done!

Travel Makeup Bag Essentials // Being Leanna

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray

Not the best eyeshadow primer i’ve ever used but it definitely does the job and you need an eyeshadow primer if you’ll be using those NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils.

Benefit Posietint

There isn’t much I haven’t tried at Benefit and I love almost everything I try, especially the Posietint blush. It’s the perfect light, pink stain that lasts all day. It’s almost a gel formula so it really sinks into the skin beautifully.

Hey Honey Trick and Treat Concealer

I got this as a sample forever ago and I really adore it. This really conceals any dark circles I have plus it’s a good consistency for any redness on my skin so you don’t need to bring 2 concealers on your trip. It’s got Vitamin E which my skin adores.

Dr. Jart Premium Beauty Balm

I’ve talked about this before too. I prefer a BB or CC cream generally and this is one of my favorites. It comes with me because i’ve got a sample size but any BB or CC cream will do.

Benefit The Porefessional 

My favorite primer ever. I don’t go anywhere without this. Minimizes my pores and keeps me shine free.

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Everyone went crazy over this last summer and i’m still obsessed. Hence why it’s one of the only full sized products in my travel bag. Love the color, love that it has the right amount of sheen. Hate the scent but I think i’m the only one.

Perfume samples

You know you have about a million of them. Traveling is the perfect way to use them up. My favorite perfumes are from Fragonard and I just keep randomly getting samples in the mail. Not mad about it.

Not pictured: Makeup wipes! Those babies are my best friend when i’m on vacation. I always take a pack of whatever I have lying around to take off all my makeup. 

Travel Makeup Bag Essentials // Being Leanna

PHEW is anybody still around? If so, a huge congratulations to you. I hope you had a snack or something.

I was really excited to write up this post because I love to see what people take in their travel makeup bags when they go away on vacation. It gives me all sorts of ideas! I wrote a travel makeup post years ago, feel free to check it out and giggle along with me at how bad it was. Ps- Although some of those products are the same, I promise the ones I have now are all new. I wrote a whole post about how long to keep makeup and skincare products for if you need a handy guide of when to toss your old stuff!

Liked this post? Pin it for later!

Travel Makeup Bag Essentials // Being Leanna

Floral Maxi Dress for Spring: WIWW 20

Floral Maxi Dress For Spring // Being Leanna

The weather is finally starting to feel like spring here in upstate New York and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Soon enough it’ll be summer and i’ll be lounging around in shorts, flowing dresses and sandals! So today, i’m sharing my new favorite piece for spring. It was the first purchase I made fresh off of my spending ban and i’m happy to say that i’m obsessed with it. (Update: it has rained SO MUCH since I took these pictures, everything is so much more green!)

Floral Maxi Dress For Spring // Being Leanna

I am not good at fashion posts as I have no idea what to talk about so bear with me and feel free to give me some ideas in the comments below! Otherwise you’ll just keep getting handfuls of pictures of me in outfits and no text. Luckily I can link to all three items i’m wearing. today!

Maxi Dress

This stunning maxi dress is from Alice and Wonder, whom i’m now deeply in love with. I currently have about 6 items in my cart but I just can’t decide which to buy. Woe is me, am I right? Kidding.

Floral Maxi Dress For Spring // Being Leanna


The shades I can’t link to directly because they’re always changing up their designs, but, they’re from Firmoo. If ya’ll have glasses you’ll love this place. I get all of my glasses and sunglasses here and I couldn’t rave about their customer service more. They’re inexpensive, durable and they ship quickly. What’s not to love? I wrote a whole post about my favorite sunnies you should definitely go read next.

Floral Maxi Dress For Spring // Being Leanna


These chic sandals are the Elani Gladiator from Target. They come in both black and brown and they are just so comfortable. I practically lived in them last summer. For $25.00 you really can’t go wrong. 

Floral Maxi Dress For Spring // Being Leanna

Anyways, I know i’m not alone in loving the maxi dress trend but as a tall person I tend to shy away from a maxi dress. They never seem to be long enough for me but this beauty hits at just the right shortness where it looks just fine. Perfect. So, now I need to buy all the maxi dresses as they are my new favorite thing. So please, please, tell me where you love to buy summer dresses from! 

I also love that I can wear a racerback bra with this and have very minimal bra strap showing. That is the number one concern I have with any article of clothing I buy. Am I the only one? The age old question, can I wear a regular bra with this, or not? I cannot stand strapless bras. 

Okay, i’m definitely rambling at this point but i’m not great at fashion posts but I love how these pictures came out so here they are. Feel free to make fun of the remote in my right hand because i’m just not great at hiding it. I was thinking about doing a whole post about how I take blog photos but now you all can see. A remote. And a tripod. Easy peasy.

Floral Maxi Dress For Spring // Being Leanna

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen this one but it’s my favorite. Last one, I promise :-]

Floral Maxi Dress For Spring // Being Leanna

Favorite Smoothie Recipe for a Quick and Easy Lunch! 15

Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipe // Being Leanna

Quick and Easy Smoothie Lunch!

There are smoothie recipes everywhere right now. I thought it was about time I shared my favorite smoothie recipe with the internet. I’ve been making this for years now. Back when I worked at a credit union they used to supply us with a nutribullet and fresh fruits and veggies in an effort to encourage us employees to eat healthier. Well, we had smoothie time as our afternoon snack every day for months. Recently I’ve been trying to get healthier again (more on that later!) so I started having a smoothie every day for lunch instead of my typical sandwich or leftovers.

Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipe // Being Leanna

I’ll be honest, I am not a salad person which is originally where I got this idea from. I don’t generally eat my greens because I could really care less for a salad. So, I started putting spinach and kale into my smoothies to get some greens in.

Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipe // Being Leanna

Being Leanna’s Green Smoothie:


1 apple (I prefer Macintosh)
1 pear
2 handfuls of spinach
1 cup mango juice
½ scoop protein powder
1 scoop MSM

Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipe // Being Leanna


I have this smoothie almost every single day for lunch and I’m loving it. It has enough substance to keep me full until dinner and it’s healthy! Plus, it only takes about 5 minutes to prepare. I start off by adding in my mango juice. (You can use any juice you prefer but I love the flavor of mango juice the best). Toss in about two handfuls of spinach. I used to do one handful of spinach and one handful of kale but I don’t really care for kale but you do you.

Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipe // Being Leanna

Chop up an apple and place it in there. Screw on the blade and mix up your ingredients. Once well blended I add in the chopped pear, protein powder and msm. Those last two aren’t necessary but I find that the protein powder helps me to stay full longer even though i’m not using the recommended full scoop. It’s the most protein powder I can handle, okay? Am I the only one that hates the flavor of even “unflavored” protein powder?

Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipe // Being Leanna

MSM i’ll let you look up on your own. It’s mostly used for inflammation but I find it to be helpful for muscle cramps and soreness after a workout. I don’t know if it does anything but I’ve been taking it for so long maybe it’s helping something I don’t even remember bothering me.

Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipe // Being Leanna

Blend again until smooth and ta da! A quick and easy smoothie. Obviously this can be switched up and you can add in whatever you want just be mindful of your ratios. You don’t want a super thin or a too thick smoothie. I like that when blended there is still some apple skin in there but it’s small enough to fit through a straw. Any more juice and it would be pretty watery. If you’re going to be adding berries I suggest using a bit less liquid as berries are pretty juicy if you want to keep that smoothie consistency. Play around with it and have fun!

Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipe // Being Leanna

Be sure to share a picture on Instagram if you create your own! I’d love to know what ingredients you guys use.

Now, I also like to eat a few more things than just a smoothie. What can I say, I like to eat!. I’ll generally snack throughout the day at work so here’s a snapshot of everything I eat. I generally have a nut of some kind (this month I’ve been munching on Brazil nuts) as well as another veggie, usually carrots. I’m especially into these rainbow organic carrots. If i’m feeling crazy i’ll have some pretzels or some Triscut’s for an extra crunch and some salt.

What do you guys like to eat for lunch? Do you have to switch it up every day or are you like me and could eat the same thing day in and day out? Let me know and be sure to pin this smoothie recipe for later!

Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipe // Being Leanna

Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA 6

Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna

One of the most important things to me when I go traveling is finding a place to eat. I love to explore the local cuisine and try some foods that are new to me while exploring a new city. I’m still working on navigating the solo dining experience without feeling too awkward so most of my meals end up being on the go or during lunchtime where it’s less uncomfortable for me to eat alone. So, if on the go eating is your thing, or you’re just not 100% comfy with sitting at at table for dinner by yourself, this guide is for you!

Check out the bottom of this post for a Google Map with all of the places to eat I mention below! 



Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna

Nom Nom Ramen 

This was literally around the corner from my hotel (as most of these places are) and I had never had ramen before. It was a great experience and the staff was great. Clearly I had no idea what I was doing and the waiter was incredibly helpful in deciphering the menu for me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell you what I got but I can say that it really was “nom nom”. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Really though, for being my first ramen experience, I was incredibly thrilled. I can’t wait to find a ramen place where I live.  

The Dandelion 

A London style pub with gastropub type food. I had to wander in because of the name. This was a rare solo dining experience for me and I took 0 pictures. A) I was a bit scared to be “that person” and B) it was so dim inside! Perfect for the atmosphere but bad for smart phone photography. The menu is spectacular and I highly recommend any of the fish/seafood dishes. Personally, I had the smoked salmon and trout pate and it was devine. If you ever arrive before 5 they serve afternoon tea as well! 

Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna

Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna

Steve’s Prince of Steaks

I know, I know. Pat’s is the place to go but I just didn’t make it over in that neck of the woods (I still put it on the map!). Pat’s is the original home of the Philly cheesesteak with its rival Geno’s right across the street! I ended up at Steve’s which is right near my hotel on my last night in Philly because I had totally forgotten all about getting a cheesesteak! I have no idea how that happened. Luckily, with some swift Google searching, the internet told me that this was the best place near me to grab a cheeseteak. Man, they were not wrong. As someone who normally could care less about steak, this was a bomb a$$ hoagie. I could have eaten 3. 

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

I did not eat here but I’ve heard so many amazing things about this steakhouse that I just had to include it. If you’re staying at the Sonesta it’s in the same building! 

Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna

Chestnut Street Bagels 

So good, I went twice! Breakfast my first day and lunch my second. Coming from a New Yorker that can be pretty snobby about their bagels, this place was fantastic. The perfect spongy on the inside, crispy on the outside texture. What really blew me away was the cream cheese that had bits of salmon in it instead of slices of salmon on top. I wish I could have brought gallons of this stuff home with me. I didn’t take any pictures because I ate them on the move but i’m sure ya’ll know what an everything bagel looks like, right?

Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna

Snap Kitchen

I wish I had these back home. These are tasty meals you shop for just like you’re in a grocery store. They’re all pre packaged and they have everything from soups, to snacks, dinners and even breakfast! And, it’s all on the go. You can heat it up in the microwaves at the store or bring it home to heat up. The weather was astonishingly beautiful for February so I grabbed a nice veggie lasagna, some juice and a small bag of chips and headed out to Rittenhouse Square to enjoy a picnic dinner. 

Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna

Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna

Federal Donuts

You guys, these donuts. I can’t. They were so good, and worth the wait. Which reminds me, you need to go as soon as they open or be prepared to wait for the flavor you want. I tried the churro and the blueberry pancake donuts and I fell in love with both. The best part about Federal is that they also serve… wait for it…. fried chicken. Why fried chicken and donuts is a thing, i’ll never know. But, it’s cool and trendy and you need to try it asap so why not try it at Federal Donuts? 

Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna

Big Gay Ice Cream

The mother of all ice cream parlors. I was on a mission to head to see these mosaics and I happened to walk by Big Gay Ice Cream and I couldn’t just walk by and not have any. If you’re from NYC or Philly than i’m sure you’ve heard all the buzz around this place. Let me tell you, this was the best ice cream I’ve ever had. If you like a thick, custard like ice cream then this is the place for you. Grab my new favorite American Globs which has bits of pretzel and is covered in chocolate. Salty and sweet together is the best combination but if that’s not your thing, they’ve got tons of options.

After re-reading this I think it’s abundantly clear I ate super healthy on my trip to Philadelphia, ha! When in Rome, right? If you’re headed to Philly soon, or even if you live there, you’ve got to check out these places to eat. Save the map below and it’ll take you right to all of them! Also, don’t forget to leave your Philly recommendations in the comments below so others can find them!

If you’re interested in more Philly posts, I wrote all about my amazing hotel stay at Sonesta and where to immerse yourself in Philadelphia history!




Things and Places to Eat in Philadelphia, PA // Being Leanna


This or That? Battle of the Blushes 19

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

This or That: Battle of the Blushes

I’m trying to bring this back as a series. If you’ve been here any length of time you may remember my other This or That posts: Bronzers, Foundations and mascara! Today, i’m bringing you blushes! And not just 2, this is a comparison of 4 of my favorite blushes. So, before we start this battle, let’s introduce the contenders.

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

Cargo Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos $26.00 for .11oz

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

NARS Blush in Deep Throat $30.00 for .16oz

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

Benefit Rockateur Blush $29.00 for .17oz

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

NYX Cosmetics Ombre Blush in Soft Flush $9.99 for .28oz

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna


Each of these 4 blushes have vastly different packaging which makes this pretty difficult to chose the best.

Cargo- Metal, compact tin. Easy for travel.

NARS- Using their signature rubberized packaging that is amazing and easily recognizable but also gets insanely dirty. I definitely used some makeup remover for this picture.

Benefit – Again in the signature box packaging. Very fancy, but also very clunky in terms of size.

NYX – Thin and sleek packaging but it’s as large as the palm of my hand.

Winner: Cargo

 This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna


Cargo- The silky texture of this blush is easily picked up by a blending brush and can be applied effortlessly with a light hand. This blends in beautifully if you don’t have too much product on your brush. You definitely do not need to swirl your brush around in this as it is very pigmented.

NARS- This blush has an incredibly silky feel and is definitely the most finely milled powder of the bunch. It’s fine texture easily melts into the skin and applies sheer but can easily be built up to a rosey hue without looking like you’ve got too much blush on.

Benefit- Almost a creamy texture if you can believe it. The packaging creates a nice barrier in which to swirl your brush in to get as much product as possible. The creamy texture blends into the skin flawlessly and almost acts as a cream blush. Are the other Benefit blushes like this? Let me know your favorite Benefit blush below!

NYX Cosmetics- You might have assumed that because of the lower price point this wouldn’t blend or apply as well as it does. I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of this blush, especially with how well it applies. Definitely use a light hand and be sure to tap off any excess as this is a very pigmented blush that is super powdery.

Winner: Tie between Cargo and NARS

 This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna


Cargo – Depends on the shade but this coral/tangerine shade is incredibly pigmented and it’s perfect for spring/summer. You definitely do not need to swirl your brush around in this as it is highly pigmented, a few taps in the product and you’re good to go. Lasts all day but is definitely not “swimmable” as it claims.

NARS – Very sheer but easy to build up without looking cakey on the skin. Orgasm is the usual favorite shade but I prefer the more blush pink of Deep Throat. It’s a beautiful natural looking flush with a hint of shimmer. Flatters all skin tones.

Benefit- The very sheer coverage does require some more swishing than all the other brands but the color payoff is fantastic. Because this acts as almost a cream blush I find it lasts longer than all the other brands. Plus, who doesn’t love rose gold?

NYX- Huge color payoff and pigmentation with little product needed. Because this is so pigmented you need to be careful to not apply too much. This lasts moderately well throughout the day but if I don’t touch it up it’ll be gone by dinner time. Have ya’ll tried this ombre blush? 

Winner: NARS

 This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna


Cargo: Easily removed with soap and water or a makeup wipe.

NARS: Needs a little coaxing with a makeup wipe.

Benefit: Slides right off with some makeup remover

NYX: Usually removes itself but also easily removed with a makeup wipe. 

Winner: NARS- lasts all day and doesn’t fall off your face unless you want it to.

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna 

Overall Thoughts?

Honestly, I love all 4 of these for different reasons. The Cargo is my absolute favorite in the summer because of its coral shade. It’s not waterproof but I do find this works the best when i’m working up a sweat out in the sun. The NARS I’ve been using for years and feel that this is the most flattering blush shade I’ve ever used. This works on any skin tone at any time of the year. Benefit and I have a very strong relationship and I love me my Rockateur blush but i’m falling out of love with it as it gets older. The product is getting flaky and strange, has this happened to anyone else? NYX is good, but not what I grab for on a daily basis. I love this when i’m in desperate need for a bit more color on my cheeks. The NYX blush definitely is the most bang for your buck but I think the Cargo blush is the most value for your money.  

Overall Winner – Cargo!

Question of the Day: Have you guys ever used this blush or any of the other shades? I’d love to know your thoughts! Leave a comment or tweet me!

Liked this post? Pin it for later!

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna