The 10 Best Albums of 2015 (So Far)

We’ve only just wrapped up Q1 but I’ve already been blown away by music dropped so far this year. Whoever says that there isn’t any good music these days isn’t looking in the right places. Here are a few favorites I can’t stop listening to.

10. Action Bronson, Mr. Wonderful

Bronsolino is back with more raps about food, vacations and obscure 80s sports stars, now with big money production (Mark Ronson), but maintaining his signature silliness.

9. Laura Marling, Short Movie

Prickly British singer-songwriter goes full Joni Mitchell.

8. Matthew E. White, Fresh Blood

Hushed vocals are paired with retro arrangements on this Richmond, Virginia-based musician’s followup record.

7. Tinashe, Amethyst

Filling in where Ashanti fell off; light-touch R&B mixed with The Weeknd-style darkness and carnality.

6. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear

I was wondering what a post-marriage FJM record would sound like – turns out he’s just as acerbic, absurdist, and tripped out.

5. Jazmine Sullivan, Reality Show

A Philly R&B singer with a lot of soul, Jazmine explores her vocal range and a variety of characters throughout this album.

4. Natalie Prass, Natalie Prass

Nashville singer with a dainty voice and intimate lyrics, backed by Matthew E. White’s lush strings and brass backing band.

3. Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

Delivering his slickest rapping yet, Drake plays around with new flows over signature murky, hypnotic OVO beats.

2. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Australian songwriter focused on the quirky, banal everyday details that make life profound.

1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly

If Drake dropped a smart blockbuster, Kendrick put out the Oscar favorite: raw, powerful, and experimental, at once incredibly personal and furiously political.

A Re-Introduction to Nath Attack

When I started this blog two years ago, I spent a few weeks debating what I should call it. Should I pick a specific name that made it clear what I was writing about? Or go with a broader name that would give me more freedom to explore my interests? Ultimately I chose Nath Attack because I had a feeling some day I’d want to write about a lot more than makeup.

I’ve been feeling the urge to blog again. This time I want to tackle a larger swath of my interests, like music, football, travel, skiing, cooking, and trying (and failing, and trying again) to meditate and be more mindful. Stayed tuned. There’s more to come.

My 5 Favorite Things I Read This Week

Real talk: I’m a compulsive reader. It can get me into trouble when I’m trying to finish something (damn you, Internet, bottomless pool of words!). But the upside is constant inspiration, and I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite things I read this week:

  • Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. Run, don’t walk to the bookstore for this one. Or just open a tab for the eBook, that’s faster. This is a really powerful memoir about the author as a young woman dealing with grief, addiction, and divorce, all while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with no experience and a very heavy backpack. I read it straight through on a flight and silently wiped away tears. This was the first book that’s made me cry within the first 20 pages. I won’t say anymore, but seek out this book.
  • On a lighter, shorter note, here’s a really fascinating discussion about Rihanna, feminism, and sexuality. I feel very ambivalently about Rihanna: I admire her resilience and refusal to play the victim, but there are times when she comes off as immature. However, you have to take in the account the “millionaire pop star since a teenager, no one saying no to her in years” situation. Not the typical adolescence to say the least.
  • Did you know that Kevin Hogan, Stanford’s quarterback has gone 9-0 since starting against Oregon last year? Yet has hasn’t gotten much national attention at all. This year the media’s SEC bias has been exposed as a joke. PAC-12 is the strongest conference this year, and Hogan also has the backing of the nation’s best defense. Have I blown my cover as a rabid Stanford fan? Oops. Needless to say, I’m very excited to see the game tomorrow against Washington, with the much improved Keith Price.
  • Here’s a models explaining their tattoos, a beautiful slideshow from It’s interesting to see the rise in models with tattoos. I don’t have any myself, or any strong desire to get one (I have plenty of freckles already), but some of these are really stunning. I think it’s a sign of the re-emergence of models with known personalities, rather than the anonymous clothes-hanger figure of the last decade and a half. Cara Delevigne is a perfect example of the next supermodel who has risen to success by being her very wacky self. I approve.
  • Mike Dang gives the best financial advice over at The Billfold. Very soothing and reassuring. I don’t have the letter writer’s problem (which is $11k in savings, grad school, and a terrible job), but this was still a great read and reminder to be frugal but not miserly. Some things aren’t worth the emotional energy.
  • Fashion Month (New York, London, Milan, Paris) is over, which means it’s time for me to analyze all my notes and pull together trends and reviews. An exciting but daunting task, because I want to take the time to really consider the collections. Sometimes clothes grow on you the same way that records do. The Cut posted a slideshow of their 50 best images from fashion month, which is a quick and visual way to catch up on what you missed.

Beauty Resolutions Revisited: Flossing Daily

whitening floss

Flossin’ like whoa

In this edition of Beauty Resolutions Revisited, let’s see how I’ve been doing on my flossing habit. When I last wrote about this back in November, I was determined to floss every day (November! Can’t believe I’ve had this site for almost a year). And how I have done?

Well, I’ve been flossing every-ish day for the last two months. But I fell off the wagon for the first half of 2013. I’d floss occasionally, and I’d brush for the full two minutes of the electric toothbrush (it really feels like forever). But, let’s focus on the positives. Gold star for excellence!

What helped me recommit to flossing was buying a new fancy floss, the above Glide 3D White. Because why not multitask? If you’re a regular flosser, keep up the good work! If you’re struggling, keep up the good fight!

My 5 Favorite Beauty Looks from the 2013 Emmys

christina hendricks emmys

Glamour perfection

Confession to make: I didn’t watch the Emmys last. I don’t keep up with current TV shows, as I prefer to binge watch without commercials on Netflix. And at award shows, once names are being called, the most exciting part is over: the red carpets. Award show beauty takes skill – you need skin that looks great when flash photographed and when filmed in HD (a hard combination. Makeup Forever’s HD powder can result in scary flashback if you apply too much). The makeup needs to be strong enough to be seen from far away, but it must look good in close ups as well. That sounds like a lot of effort, but these five actresses make it look easy.


She’s one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, and last night that glamour shined through. The classic Hollywood makeup suits her peaches and cream complexion, and her lipstick is the perfect neutral red. While the makeup style is pure vintage, the slightly mussed up hair adds a modern touch. Her faux-bob curls were created with a 1/2 inch barrel, smaller than the typical 1 inch barrel most women use. For more details on how to replicate Christina’s hair, check out Temptalia’s details from her hair stylist.

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Music and Makeup: Get Lauren Mayberry from Chvrches’ Cool Look

chvrches lauren mayberry

Flawless, etc.

One of my favorite music discoveries in 2013 is the Scottish electro-pop duo Chvrches (yes, that’s a v, but it’s pronounced Churches. Just stylized with a Roman u for smart SEO purposes). My friend described them as a cross between Passion Pit and Tegan and Sara. I’d also throw in The xx, Purity Ring, and Robyn, all great bands to evoke. They make insanely catchy yet intelligent music, which is not an easy accomplishment.

I saw them perform at the Mezzanine in March, and I’ve got tickets to see them at the much larger Fox Theatre this November: an impressive rise that shows how popular they’ve become. They even had a writeup on Buzzfeed yesterday – surely a sign of good things to come.

The frontwoman Lauren Mayberry entrances you onstage with a clear soprano and charming asides. She’s the kind of performer that makes the entire crowd fall in love with her, men and women alike. You can check out their first album, The Bones of What You Believe, streaming on NPR until its full release on September 24th.

Along with Lauren’s beautiful voice and enigmatic lyrics, I’m a fan of her eye makeup, which is usually a funky version of the classic cat eye. Keep reading to find out how I got this look:

chvrches makeup tutorial

Turn the other cheek

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Beauty Resolutions Revisited: Daily Makeup Brush Washing

makeup brush washing

Netflix and makeup brush washing

One of my earliest series for this blog was Beauty Resolutions, where I made promises to change for the cosmetically better. I typically avoid New Years resolutions because they never stick, but I figured if I made resolutions regularly throughout the year, I might have better luck. Now I’m going to revisit some of those resolutions and see how successful I’ve been.

When I decided to wash my makeup brushes with every use last year, I was feeling very ambitious. One smart move was buying Sephora’s Daily Brush Cleaner, a no-rinse cleanser spray. It’s a lot easier to do use than shampooing your brushes with soap and water. All you need to do is spray directly onto the bristles, then brush it across some tissue to remove makeup residue.

While the cleanser spray is convenient, it doesn’t do as thorough a job as shampoo. That’s where a travel size bottle of Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo comes in. You can find it for under $2 at your local drugstore, and it’ll last you several years of cleansing. It only takes a small dot of shampoo mixed with water to cleanse dozens of brushes.

So how have I fared with this resolution? Well,  I think daily brush cleansing was a bit too ambitious. That said, I definitely wash my brushes much more often than I used to thanks to the cleansing spray. Confession time: I didn’t wash my brushes at all for the first several years of using them (oops!).

I’m going to rededicate myself to regular makeup brush watching. It’s a fun activity to pair with some Netflix and wine – just don’t spill your drink on the brushes! For more information on how to go about washing those brushes, check out my original article.

Hello, Fall! An Autumn Inspired Gold, Purple, and Copper Look

copper smokey eyes

I’ve got a secret

Last week we said goodbye to summer with lots of liner and primary colors. Now it’s time to welcome autumn with some seasonally appropriate shades. For me fall means warm, rich shades like copper, purple, and gold. I miss the changing leaves of Pennsylvania, but I can mimic that look with some fun eyeshadow and nail polish.

I’ve been looking for a gold-purple duochrome polish forever (weirdly specific, I know), and now I’ve finally got Julep Julie, described as purple orchid with golden micro-glitter metallic. It’s a gorgeous rich shade that’s very hard to duplicate.  I decided I’d pair that with a similar gold, copper, and purple smokey eye.

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Music and Makeup: Love Like a Sunset Nails Inspired by Phoenix

Two of the most beautiful shows I’ve been to this year were the same band: Pheonix’s triumphant performances at Coachella and Outside Lands. It’s hard for me to pick which set was better, but I’ll lean toward Coachella for the favorable weather and the impact of seeing it the first time.

Phoenix has one of the simplest yet most moving visuals I’ve seen. At the front of the stage white lights illuminated the band through the mist of a fog machine. Behind Phoenix was a huge LED screen that shifted between solid colors: blood red to stark black to bright aqua to lime green to wild magenta in quick succession. Here’s an clip of the show. It’s worth it to watch straight through, but if you want to skip ahead, the light show gets crazy beginning at 2:48.

[SEIZURE WARNING: intense flashing lights ahead]

Remembering this set fondly, I decided to do a sunset manicure inspired by the song. Luckily for klutzes like me, this is a very simple look: all you need are three shades of polish and a makeup sponge.

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Easy and Fun At-Home Facial (for when you don’t have the $ to go to a spa)

at home facial

Cleanser, exfoliator, mask, serum, and face oil: all you need!

Last year I bought heavily discounted visits to a few estheticians in San Francisco as a treat to myself.  All three facials were relaxing and enjoyable, but at the end of the day, I think I would prefer that money going to massages. Massages! A Thai massage with heavy pressure is my idea of heaven, and my tight shoulders and back need a lot more help than my skin.

Luckily it’s easy to recreate the luxury and comfort of a facial at home, with just a few products. Read more to find out how!

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