Category Archives: Lifestyle


Replica Flower Market


Out of all the senses, the soft scent of roses or the crisp smell of fall evoke the best of memories.  Replica by Maison Martin Margiela, the Belgian fashion house, does something simple and straightforward in replicating memories with associated scents.  Take for example the replica of a Flower Market - this perfume captures the moment you walk through a row of vases with wet petals crunching beneath your feet and light filtering through artfully arranged blooms.  I know that memory, you have that memory.

This Replica scent is simple and perfect - major floral notes of grasse rose, sambac jasmine, and freesia combine with more moody, earthy tones of oak moss and cedarwood.  However, ultimately, this light, delicate, feminine scent is reminiscent of a fresh bouquet of roses.  Packaged in a classic apothecary bottle with a cotton label and rope detail, the perfume is sleek and vintage all at once.

The Replica collection carries other scents like the Funfair Evening, Beach Walk, and Lazy Sunday Morning and after trying them, if even for a bit, I can assure you the memories are all there.  Although the Replica perfumes are priced at $125 at Sephora (rollerballs are more affordable), the amount of product in a full size is more than other scents and it is well worth the investment (and my new found Ebates love comes in handy, especially now).  My philosophy on perfumes has always been less is more - I’d rather have three or four wonderful scents than a million and one bottles.  And when those perfumes bring about lovely memories, well, that’s just a plus.

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Love and Beauty

married tiffany ring love

Lots of things can happen in a short amount of time, and thankfully, lots of happy things did happen (hint, hint).

My sister and I are excited for the upcoming posts on Pretty Squared, because even during a brief break, we’ve been swatching, sampling, trying, and loving a ton of new products.

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New Year and 2015 Goals

katespadeDSC_14175DSC_135577A new year is refreshing and exciting.  My sister and I are thankful for everything that happened in 2014 and look forward to all that 2015 has yet to bring.  I keep seeing the new year being compared to writing a new book with each page and passing day; (and while a bit cliche), I love that comparison. We can do something different, something new, something better every day. With 2015 off to a great start, we’ve set a few goals (ahem “resolutions”) to help guide us in the new year.

Professional Progress: Pretty Squared has taught us to better manage time and plan ahead.  With a full time job and full time graduate school, our blogging schedule may be affected (and we’ve learned that that’s okay).  Our blog is our space, and we can adjust accordingly.  I look forward to continuously advancing my career, bettering my skills, and learning all around.  My sister will graduate from Columbia this summer, and she is also determined to forge her path ahead (and make amazing art in the process).

Simple Living: We’ve never been fans of hoarding and hauling so this goal is more of a reminder.  I plan on being even more mindful before purchasing products and asking myself if I truly need a specific item (because more often than not, we truly don’t need it).  My sister has already started an apartment cleansing process and will donate or discard any unnecessary bits and pieces that only create clutter.  Simple living is about being smart in what you do and do not own.

Giving Thanks: There is always something to be thankful for (whether small or big, it’s important to be appreciative). We both plan on sending small thank you gifts and cards to friends and family (just because!).

Lastly, we are thankful for all of our awesome readers, followers, commenters, and likers (thank you all for your support and for sharing our love of beauty).  Happy New Year and let’s celebrate 2015!

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. and Mackenzie M.


The Diptyque Experience (and a Confession)

baies baies2This is an honest Diptyque review and also, somewhat, an experience confession.  My sister and I both work and thus value the notion of budgeting and exercising fiscal responsibility.  While it may be easy to go out and buy anything and everything featured on many-a-blogs, it’s not a realistic option.

For the longest time, I have seen Diptyque be featured in magazines, blog posts, and countless instagrams.  And, for the exact same long time, I have chosen not to purchase a Diptyque candle because of the cost.  A 6.65 oz Diptyque candle retails for $60.00 and a 2.4 oz Diptyque candle retails for $30.00 (these costs do not include tax or the Diptyque Limited Edition releases which often are marked-up).  It’s tough to justify a 30-dollar candle and it’s even tougher when that candle costs over 60 dollars.  However, after reading several reviews online, my sister and I decided to save and invest in a smaller Diptyque candle (while realizing that yes, we are paying over $30 on a candle).

Now, for the review, these Parisian Diptyque candles have a cult-like following for a reason and have managed to remain popular despite fleeting trends in the blog-sphere.  Ditpyque candles are luxe, beautiful, aromatic, and most definitely the definition of extravagant. I purchased Diptyque Baies because it is the perfect “starter” scent - Baies contains notes of blackcurrant leaves and Bulgarian roses and the undertones remind me of mysterious, delicious berries.  Baies is subtle, not over powering or intoxicating, but still able to freshen the air with elusive notes.  The candles are long lasting, and the scent has reach as even a mini Diptyque can fill a large space.  With its beautiful trademark lettering and black and white label, Diptyque candles would fit any home and any decor and would make wonderful gifts.

I always try to end a post by addressing the “bottom line” - are Diptyque candles worth it? While Diptyque products are of amazing quality and design, Diptyque is an indulgence for the wallet (and that’s my confession!).

If you’ve ever spent money on a luxury product, share your experience and whether the product was worth it (…and worth the investment).

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.