Jan 30, 2013

Quick Thoughts: Websites for a Rainy Day

If you all are like me you've spent the majority of this rainy day either in your bed or wishing you were in it.  After my three classes this morning, you best believe I ran home, grabbed my third cup of coffee for the day and headed straight to my room to catch afternoon Sex & the City reruns.  I thought I might help you all cure any boredom that's resulted from this long day inside by sharing some of my favorite websites!

Possibly my favorite blog right now.  She gives great, honest reviews and always manages to do it with a little humor.  Love it!

xoJane's Beauty column offers a compilation of articles, written by a gaggle of authors, with a funny and/or sarcastic twist.  For example, I just read one titled "The Secret To My Super Sick Ass Signature Red Lip".  This website is the anti-cliché beauty blog.  

I just discovered this website today and my mind is BLOWN!  A whole website dedicated to cult beauty products? Sign me up!  Unfortunately this is a UK website, so I won't be ordering anything any time soon, but I love looking at all the unique products. 

This blog is the perfect mixture of pop culture, intelligence, and beauty.  They've done everything from exploring New York's Aire Ancient Bath's to interviews with Laura Mercier (!!!).  I wouldn't recommend this one if you don't have at least 20 minutes.  Their articles are too clever to be skimmed!

Any websites you might like to contribute?

Jan 29, 2013

NOTD #2: Ulta's Fine Pruned

I have a touch of OCD when it comes to my nails.  If one chips, I can barely stand it and I have to repaint them all within a day or so.  This is the second time I've painted my nails in a week, and as you can see, the old polish wouldn't come all the way off around my cuticle area.  I thought I'd go with a neutral color this time around.  Ulta's Fine Pruned is a nice gray with brown and purple undertones.  Perfect for January!

I Dream of... Neon Pink Lipstick?

I'm notorious for weird dreams and sleep talking.  To be honest, I have no idea how my roommate puts up with it.  Last night I dreamed of neon pink lipstick, which makes me wonder what I had to say about that in my sleep...  Anyways, when I woke up this morning I went on a Google search to find the shade I dreamed of and here's what I came up with!

This picture doesn't do this color much justice, but I swear, if you Google image it you will find that it is a true neon fuchsia.

Photo Credit- Sephora

Seeing as this is the second "fuchsia" I've come up with on my search for my so-called "dream lipstick", I suppose neon fuchsia is what I was really looking for.  I may need to make a trip to Walgreen's in the near future.  This color just looks so fun!

Photo Credit- Maybelline New York

MAC Pro Longwear Lipglass- Full Speed Ahead

How could I ever do a post about neon lip color without including at least one MAC product in the mix?  This lipglass "lasts for up to six hours [while it]...Envelops lips with shine and colour and pro-longs the hours between re-application" according to maccosmetics.com.  This color is a truly bright magenta.  Gorgeous!

Photo Credit- maccosmetics.com

I hope I'm not the only one around here with weird makeup dreams... If you have any makeup dream stories, I'd love to hear them!

Jan 28, 2013

If This YouTube Video Was a Beauty Product...

After this past weekend when my boyfriend and I watched "Pitch Perfect" I've become mildly obsessed with looking up different acapella covers on YouTube.  I came across this gem today and I've got to share.  It's just too good.  Big kudos to Pentatonix and their cover if "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis!

For the beauty portion of this post, I've decided to include a few products that this video makes me think of.

NARS- R Rated
Photo Credit- Sephora
I might be off on this one, but few things make me think of thrift shops like bright, tacky colors.  NARS executes bright and tacky so tastefully with their shimmering chartreuse/cobalt combo.

Clinique Almost Powder SPF 15

Photo Credit- Sephora
My first department store foundation ever was Clinique, a tried and true brand.  Their powder foundation still comes in the classic marbled, mint green packaging.  This makes me think of an old blazer you might pick up at a second hand store: a little old school, even outdated maybe, but still looks great with the right outfit.  

What's your opinion on thrift shops and/or the Thrift Shop cover by Pentatonix?

Soap, Glory, and Disappointment

 Let me start off by saying Happy Monday!  I know Mondays tend to get a bad rap being the first, and typically the longest-feeling, day of the week, but I actually enjoy them sometimes.  A good Monday can shape a whole week.  I've managed to wake up, shower, AND get Starbucks this morning!  What a great Monday!

 Unfortunately, I have to follow up that positive greeting with a negative product rant. I had Soap & Glory's Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser on my February Wish List (here), but I was able to purchase it before I expected.  I wanted to like this one so bad...the smell, the texture, the cute packaging, all gorgeous!  UGH, why me?  But now that I look back on it, I can't help but think: "Hey, dummy, if cleansing oils don't work on your skin then what made you think a cleanser full of oils would be beneficial???"  Mind you, I am not one to write a rant before I have experienced adverse effects, so let me tell you now that a couple new blemishes have appeared (in areas where I don't breakout normally) in the last couple of days.  Seeing as this is the only new addition to my routine, it has to be the culprit (*Sad Face*).

-Fragrance: like lavender and oranges
-Texture: very creamy, much like a thick lotion
-Cleanses Well:  it managed to remove every speck of makeup on my skin; eye makeup was a bit trickier, but it did the job on that too

-Fragrance: it smelled great, but fragrant oils+ eye makeup removal= disaster! (Note: Soap & Glory does warn about this on the back of the box)
-Not Great with Acne-Prone Skin: this one pretty much sums it up; I got a pimple on my cheek and under my eyebrow... I never breakout in these areas.  

 Did I like this "hot cloth cleanser"?  No.  Does this mean you won't like it? Not at all, if you think your skin can handle these ingredients (shown above), then go for it.  It does smell lovely and comes with with a free muslin cloth (which I'm hoping I can keep once I return it!). Also, at $20 it's one of the cheaper hot cloth cleansers on the market.
                            How do you feel about hot cloth cleansers?  Love 'em or leave 'em?

Jan 27, 2013

Weekend Ramblings: Bronzer 101

Today... what about today?  I haven't got much for you all in the way of new beauty products, but I do have a pretty snazzy bronzer application technique.  I think everyone loves to look like they just spent a week at the beach, but I know many women (like myself) are skin cancer paranoid these days.  This is a suntan minus actual sun!

We've all made the mistake of over-bronzing at one point in our makeup lives.  Up until last year, I wore bronzer all over my face, every day.  Through my obsession of makeup tutorial videos on YouTube I learned that is not the way to go.  Here's How you do it:

1.  Find a bronzer that is about one to two shades darker than your own skin.  Ideally, the 
bronzer will be very natural.  Shimmery bronzers are fine for special occasions, but I've found that matte bronzers are best for daily use.
2.  Swirl your brush of choice in the bronzer, blowing off any excess.
3.  Trace a large "3" on your face hitting your forehead, cheekbone (I marked the cheekbone a little high on the diagram...whoops!), and chin. 
4.  Repeat on the other side of your face.  Also, don't forget the bridge of your nose!
5.  Voila!  You are perfectly bronzed!

Note:  I realize some people prefer to contour, using bronzer only below the cheek bones.  This is really a personal preference.  I've found that by putting it on your cheek bones, with a little below, you create a more natural look.  All the points of the "3" hit prominent features where you are most likely to tan in the sun.  
I've exaggerated the bronzer on the right so you can have a better idea of where
to place the bronzer!
Sephora Los Cabos Bronzer is gorgeous and so natural!
Sephora Los Cabos!
*Note: Face diagram courtesy of beautynewbie.com*

Jan 26, 2013

If You Can't Buy 'Em, Sample 'Em, Part 3

GlamGlow's Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask... where do I start?  This mask claims to leave "skin noticeably radiant and glowing... [and] While providing tighter skin texture and tighter pores, it provides a more youthful appearance and absorbs impurities without removing natural oils."  At $69 per 1.7 ounces I'd expect it to walk my dog and go shopping with me as well; and though I think the price point is a little extreme, I have to admit that the claims seem to be true thus far.  I picked up a small sample at Sephora and applied it to clean skin for about 30 minutes.  I think instructions said to leave it on for a max of 10-15 minutes, but at $15 per application, I was trying to get my money's worth.  By the end of the 30 minutes, my face looked very statuesque, as in rock solid. I rinsed the mask off using warm water and applied a thick layer of moisturizer, dabbing off the excess after 10 minutes.  My face truly did have a glow about it.  I would not recommend this to those of you with sensitive, dry, or irritated skin as the clay and acid content would be too harsh; but oily, acne-prone girls like myself should give it a go.  I don't think it's currently in my budget to purchase a full sized container of GlamGlow, but I highly recommend it to those of you who have a nice, big beauty budget!  

Jan 25, 2013

The Flu Season Just Got a Whole Lot Prettier!

I am an incessant nose blower during this time of year.  I may not all the way catch the flu, but you better believe I will have a stuffy nose for the better part of the winter season.  As a result, I am always on the hunt for something to help protect it from the cold, stinging air.  While I waited in line at Sephora yesterday, Smith's Rosebud Salve was calling my name from one of the pre-checkout bins, and at $7 I figured why not?  And I'm loving it so far!  This stuff has turned out to be the bee's knees for my tissue-abused nose and great as a lip balm too.  Fewer things get to me like a good multitasking product, especially one that comes in an adorable vintage tin!

What multitasking products are you into right now?

Jan 24, 2013

Face of the Day #1

Hey hey hey!  Regardless of the chill in the air, today's turning out to be a beautiful day.  I actually managed to wake up and put a face on this morning.  Here's what I'm wearing...

Face Base:  Revlon Colorstay is the bomb.  I've got a meeting at 4:00 today, so I need coverage I can rely on for hours.  To combat under eye circles, I've layered Revlon Colorstay Under Eye Concealer over BB's Corrector.  You would never be able to tell that my energy is coffee rather than sleep fueled!

Revlon Colorstay Combination/Oily in Buff
Revlon Colorstay Under Eye Concealer in Light
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque
Eyes:  Maybelline's Great Lash is a cult classic and for good reason.  It's formula is not clumpy, lasts all day, and washes off easily.  The Laura Mercier eye shadows are gorgeous and subtle.  Perfectly complimentary to my bronzed cheeks.  The Merle Norman liner is my all-time favorite liner, so of course I had to include it in my first FOTD.

Laura Mercier Colour-To-Go Palette
Merle Norman Age Defying Eyeliner in Coffee Bean
Maybelline Great Lash BIG in Very Black

Cheeks:  I wanted a subtle glow today!  A bronzer paired with a glowing powder makes for a nice post-spring-break-esque complexion.

Physician's Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls in Beige Pearl
Lancôme Star Bronzer Natural Glow in Lumiére

Jan 23, 2013

Quick Thoughts: February Wish List

It's been a while since I've done "The Quick Post" so now that I've learned to use a bit of photo editing software I'll do a quick Wish List Post complete with a cute little picture and all!  I know it's not February yet, but I think it's a little late to be doing a January Wish List and I'm bored, sooooo... February Wish List it is!  As I'm sitting here typing, my face is as solid as a rock thanks to a sample of Glam Glow I picked up at Sephora the other day.  Apparently, it contains seven different types of acids (sounds appealing, huh?).  Hopefully these acids will eat away all the blemishes that have been popping up on my face lately.  Ah, stress...such a wonderful thing!  So, hey, can we talk about my February Wish List now?

Florabotanica by Balenciaga:  To be honest, it's been a while since I've sampled this and I can't remember individual notes.  The main thing I remember is that it was floral without being overly feminine and that is quite a feat for a perfume to achieve.

Catbird NYC Alphabet Rings:  One of my friends received the little gold heart ring as a Christmas gift and I loved it, so of course I had to go checkout their website (catbirdnyc.com).  Turns out they have tons of adorable  stacking rings as well as rings you can wear alone.  Even if you don't plan on buying anything, I highly recommend taking a look at their stuff.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Cheek Tint in Sheer Cherry:  I was bitten by the Bobbi Brown bug a few weeks back and I can't get enough.  This product is a part of her new Pink & Red Collection.  I think sheer cherry would give you that Icelandic princess look.  I hope that description gives you all the same picture I've got in mind.

Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser:  First of all, what's not to love about Soap & Glory's products?  They've got the cutest names and packaging to die for.  I also must admit that I'm a sucker for products that come with a little something extra, i.e. the cloth that comes with this cleanser.  This emollient cleanser apparently does some serious makeup removal and I need that, especially after a long night.

Sephora Collection Deluxe Airless Travel Kit:  I need these containers for those foundations that come in annoying glass bottles sans pump (*cough* Revlon Colorstay *cough*).  Also, these would be awesome for travel, as the kit contains multiple sizes of pump bottles plus two reasonably sized jars.  
What's on your February Wish List?

Jan 21, 2013

Surviving "Blue Monday"

    Let me just start this post off with a quick congrats!  If you are reading this, you have survived "Blue Monday".  Apparently Blue Monday is a yearly phenomenon that occurs in January when everyone is coming down from their Holiday High.  Pants are a little tighter and wallets are a little slimmer.  Combine these factors with the dreary weather and you've got yourself the most depressing day of the year!  Read about it here on Wikipedia for a more in depth explanation.  While it would be easy to sit here and discuss all of the bummer days I've had over the past year or so, I would much rather share a list of things that make me thankful for this post-Christmas, should-be-depressing time period.

 I am currently in the middle of reading both Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James and The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant.  I know we've all heard of Christian Grey and his kinkiness, and though I am not absolutely enamored with this book as most people seem to be, I feel like I've got to finish it to see what all of the fuss is about!  The Wettest County in the World is a historical novel based on a true story about moon shining in Franklin County, Virginia.  Actually, Shia LaBeouf's recent "Lawless" was based on this novel (and he looked daaaang FINE in it, if I do say so myself).  I'm not too far into the book yet, but if it's anything like the movie I'm going to love it!  

Cozy Socks 
The picture above shows only a tiny sampling of my sock collection.  Admittedly, I am a sock junkie.  This cold weather gives me an excuse to bring out the dorkiest, wooliest, thickest socks I own!

 Tea and Coffee
What more can I say?  Ever since I had my first cup of Earl Grey and my sister bought me a French press, my coffee cup has been constantly filled with one hot beverage or another. I prefer black or white teas and bold coffees, but I can be persuaded to drink a sugary Starbucks drink every now and then!  I've got a couple different tea diffusers which I left behind at my house, but I'm sure they will be making an appearance here soon as well.  

What are some things you used to stave off the Blue Monday blues (or just the plain ol' winter blues)?

Jan 20, 2013

Moroccanoil, Knockoff Edition

 Not too long ago I found myself writing a blog post on a disappointing generic product (read here), but I am back to report, and happily so, that not all knockoffs are worthless!  Before I can get to my main point, though, we've got to talk about one beauty trend that has actually managed to stay relevant for a few years.  This trend is argan oil.  Mediterranean women swear by the stuff for anti-aging, soft hair, broken legs, etc. and for good reason!  If any of you have seen Josie Maran, of Josie Maran Cosmetics, you know the rumors of anti-aging benefits are true.  The woman is 34 and  she looks 24.   I have yet to use argan products on my face, but so far I am loving it as haircare!  Moroccanoil was probably one of the first companies to bring argan oil to the attention of the American beauty market, selling it as a miracle hair product used to keep frizz away.  However, I've been pretty hesitant to spring for their 0.85 ounce bottle that costs about $17, so when I discovered this Light Moroccan Argan Oil by Organix for only $8, I obviously had to buy it.  I am so glad I did!  I run a pea sized amount through my wet hair before blow drying it.  It really cuts down on frizz and it seems to provide a little heat protection as well.  It smells fresh, but the scent wears off shortly after blow drying your hair.  Maybe one of these days I'll invest in the real deal, but until then I'd say this makes a pretty good replacement.  

What about you all?  Do you believe in product dupes? 

I love that they added "seductive" into the description.

Jan 17, 2013

The Girl's Got Style!

    The title of this post does not refer to me.  I can get fancy every now and then, but to say that I've got style is a bit of an overstatement.  The word style makes me think of women who have the ability to throw on a dress and red lipstick, all the while maintaining the same level of ease most women only feel when wearing a t-shirt and jeans.  How they do it, we may never know.  I am personally a huge fan of jeans, white shirts and down vests coupled with my Wallabees or brown riding boots.  I'm basic when it comes to clothing.  The "Style" to which I was referring is the MAC blush I bought last year.  I have used it maybe three times, including today.  I'm not sure why, though.  It's a gorgeous color!  Even though it is January, this warm salmon-tangerine color, which translates to a gorgeous golden-coral on the cheeks, adds a necessary pop of color in this dreary weather.  Does anyone think I'm hypocritical yet?  I'm always talking about weather appropriate colors.  I, however, do think that there is an exception (or a few) to every rule.  MAC's Style is my new favorite exception!

Do you have a favorite weather inappropriate color you find yourself using a lot during these winter months?

*Note:  I think this blush has been discontinued since I purchased it, but MAC has plenty of replacement options that are equally gorgeous!*

Jan 16, 2013

What's In My Shower Caddy

Family Pic
 Yes, I am still in college, living in a sorority house, so a shower caddy is still necessary.  I am so looking forward to the day when I will be able to decorate my own bedroom and bathroom, but until then it will be shared showers and a caddy for me!  This is my first every "What's In My..." post, so bear with me.  I've chosen a few of my fave shower items for this month, which includes a body scrub, body lotion, body oil, and body wash.  It's all about the bod!

Bliss Raspberry Champagne Soapy Suds:  This is just a sample size I received with a Sephora gift card, but I am seriously considering purchasing the full size.  It's a lovely fruit and champagne combo that isn't overly sweet.  It reminds me of a classy New Year's Eve party, which is a rarity in my opinion.   But hey, no one can have too much champagne if they're just bathing in it!  The fact that it's sparkly and pink doesn't hurt either! 

Trader Joe's 100% Pure Jojoba Oil:  I originally purchased this as a facial moisturizer.  That was a terrible mistake.  Clogged Pore City!  I've repurposed it as a moisturizer for after I shave my legs.  It's especially perfect for nights out when you've got a short dress on.  A nice sheen elongates the legs... or so I've heard.  

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion:  Besides BBW Twilight Woods, I don't like using scented body lotions after I shower.  I feel like it takes away from the perfume I'm wearing that day.  This lotion is perfect, as it doesn't have a scent and sinks in quickly.

Sensual Dead Sea Body Salt Scrub:  If I had to create some strange math equation that would equal smooth legs, this would be an extremely important variable.  I use this before I shave.  The oils provide a cushion that prevents razor burn and the salt buffs away dry, dead skin.  The smell is a warm vanilla with a hint of masculinity.  This stuff is amazing!

Jan 15, 2013

My First Birchbox, January 2013!

      Over the past year or so, Birchbox, known for their generous monthly box of samples, has received a lot of publicity in the beauty world.  And why wouldn't it?  A Birchbox subscription is to beauty addicts what candy delivery would be to small children!  I finally asked for my own Birchbox subscription this Christmas, and my first one arrived today.  Have a look!

The Photos

Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go


The Balm Hot Mama


The Reviews

Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo:  This is one of the few clarifying shampoos I've used that left my hair feeling soft, not stripped.  It smells amazing, too!

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go:  This single mitt is meant to remove nail polish from all ten finger nails.  I was really skeptical about this one, but it did remove the polish from nine of my nails (and it was glitter polish), so I think this is a pretty good product.  However, the only reason i might purchase this over a good old bottle of Cutex is if I was traveling a lot, which I am not.  

The Balm Hot Mama:  This is a gorgeous blush, but the color is not something I would probably reach for very often in January.  The texture is great,  quite smooth.  It's a glowing, tangerine-coral color. Very pretty!

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentré: This makeup artist favorite has a lovely, light texture.  It also seems very moisturizing from what I can tell by using it on the back of my hand.  I am very leery of using it on my face, though, since it contains mineral oil and stearic acid.  These two ingredients just don't seem to get along with my skin. Hmmmm...

Aerie Shimmer (Not Pictured):  I apologize in advance that I am not too great at fragrance reviews.  In the bottle, this smells a bit old lady.  After dabbing some on my wrists, I found the dry down to be rather nice...a bit of a woodsy vanilla.  Haha, see what I mean about fragrance reviews? 

Jan 14, 2013

Hello, Bobbi!

 I have a terribly embarrassing secret for you all:  before this week, I had never purchased a single product from Bobbi Brown.  Sure, I've dabbled here and there with her samples, but I've never fully committed to a single full-sized Bobbi product.  I'm so ashamed of this as I am truly a HUGE fan of Bobbi Brown the person.  In fact, if I get the chance to work for a large cosmetics company one day, Bobbi's would be one of my top choices.  I love her story, her work ethic, and her style.  She is truly an innovator of the natural look. Finally, one shopping trip and $50 later, I am going to reiterate to you what most beauty junkies have already discovered:  her products are just as outstanding as she is!

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque

I don't often suffer from prominent, dark under eye circles, but alas, I am a college student.  It's hard to make it a full month without at least one late, dark-circle-puffiness-causing night.  This stuff is a miracle worker.  Unlike many concealers, this corrector has pink undertones meant to counteract the blue and purple tints of under eye circles.  Beware, however, that if your eye area is not well moisturized, this heavy cream formula may adhere to dry patches.  At $23 on BobbiBrownCosmetics.com, it's a bit pricey, but in my opinion, it's well worth the investment.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink

Cream blushes...what can I say about cream blushes?  Up until this winter season, I was totally inexperienced in this area.  But let me tell you, I have delved whole-heartedly into the world of cream blushes and I am loving every minute of it!  This product is cream of the cream blush crop.  The color pigmentation, a tad brighter/pinker than dusted rose, toes the line between moderate and sheer.  Bobbi's Pot Rouges also supposedly work on lips, but I would recommend a moisturizing balm underneath and maybe a gloss over top.  This baby set me back about $25, but I would gladly buy three more. Check out BobbiBrownCosmetics.com for the color selection!

Jan 13, 2013

Quick Thoughts: Makeup Playtime

 Admittedly, I am a bit of a cosmetics snoop.  If you leave your makeup bag open around me, I will probably have a look inside.  It's always fun when friends bring over their makeup bags for me to go through.  I love comparing notes and sharing opinions.  My best friend, Katie, just came to visit me last night and she brought a small sampling of her beauty collection, which included a lot of Laura Mercier and a few other items.  The girl's got great taste and her look tends towards the natural side of the makeup spectrum.  Gorgeous!

LM Tinted Moisturizer and Primer
NARS Orgasm
Chanel Glossimer No. 85 
LM Undercover Pot, Left is Concealer, Right is Undereye Concealer 
LM Undercover Pot