Feb 27, 2013

Midterms Strike Again

 I hope this week is treating everyone well!  It sure has been nice to me.  I've been getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night, which has basically turned me into a schoolwork machine.  Tonight, I am studying for a test that isn't until Friday.  That may not seem like a huge amount of time to all of you, but for procrastinators like myself, it sure is a step in the right direction.  I actually had time to apply a face mask AND nap today.  Ahh, sweet relaxation!  But of course, there is never a two week period of relaxation in college.  For every one week of calm, there are usually two weeks of storm to follow (the storm in this case is endless amounts of papers and exams).  Midterms are approaching quickly, next week to be exact, but I am taking the optimistic approach.  I will welcome midterms with open arms.  How can I not be optimistic with Spring Break being so close?  I'm sipping on a 3 shot caramel macchiato right now and creating a little list in my head of things I plan on doing and/or buying over break.

1)  Get a haircut:  I love my hairdresser  (big shout out to Whitney at Natural Essence Salon in Alexandria, KY) and going there every few months is such a treat.  The atmosphere is great.  Plus, I am so terrible about getting my hair cut that when I finally go, it is a huge weight off my shoulders...literally.  Ideally, the haircut I get might allow me to purchase and utilize Bumble & Bumble's new SemiSumo, which smells delicious and gives hair a shiny-tousled-sexy look.  I need that.
2) Search for a new foundation:  The current contenders are...

  *Photo Credits: Sephora

I am in the midst of a sample session for these two, so once one has been purchased, prepare for the full review!

3) Blog better and more often:  It's no secret that my blogger enthusiasm has been lacking lately.  Spring Break free time should allow me to come up with some creative articles and good pics!

4) Invest in an eye cream:  I am going to take the plunge!  I am turning 20 on Tuesday and fine lines don't rest.  It's time to start the anti-aging routine.  Call me over-dramatic, but I think it's better to be over prepared than to one day wake up looking like the Wicked Witch of the West and wishing I had done something to prevent it.  I am always looking for suggestions in this area, so if you have a cream you are crazy about, let me know in the comments section!  

5) Finish a book:  Have you all seen "Lawless"?  It's Such a great movie and Shia LaBeouf looks mighty fine in it.  I started this book (which "Lawless" is based on) over Christmas break, but due to my lack of free time, I don't think I've made it past Chapter 5.  I plan on changing that.

6.  Brush up on my medical Spanish:  This summer I am going on a medical brigade to Ecuador as a translator.  I am so excited, but a bit nervous at the same time.  While we will obviously have supervisors, I think us Spanish students will be heavily relied on as part of the brigade.  That's a lot of pressure.  My grandma gave me a medical Spanish terms book that I haven't had much time to look over.  Spring Break will be the perfect time to browse through it.

That is pretty much my Spring Break To Do List, y'all!

Feb 26, 2013

Quick Thoughts: Saks Fifth Avenue's Beauty Week

Listen up, fellow beauty addicts!  This week is Saks' oh-so-generous BEAUTY WEEK!  With the purchase of $100 worth of beauty or fragrance, they will ship your loot (along with a hobo tote filled with samples) to you for free (of course, standard shipping only).  Hurry, though!  The offer expires on Sunday March 3rd at 11:59 pm.  Even if you don't intend to purchase anything, I highly recommend browsing through Saks' beauty section online (here).  They've got a great selection of luxury products that are enough to make any girl swoon.

Feb 25, 2013

Makeup Crush Monday

    I've been feeling a tad guilty for neglecting my blog for the past week; however, school is the most important thing in my life right now and it often requires my full attention, so I suppose I can't feel too guilty.  But that's enough school/pity talk.  There is only so much Spanish Linguistics and Philosophy 330 a girl can take before she's got to switch gears and delve back into the world of the Cosmetically Obsessed.
     Today's Makeup Crush is actually not makeup at all, but rather a hand cream.  My hands have been super, super dry lately.  Not in the "slightly dry, better get some lotion" way, but more like the "bring me a vat of olive oil to dip these hands in" kinda way.  It's not a good look.  Recently, I was on a little overnight trip to Louisville with my friends and I asked my friend, Sara, to borrow some lotion for my hands.  Ever prepared, she whips out Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula Hand Cream and I've gotta say, I was impressed.  This formula was developed many years ago in Norway to protect people's hand from the harsh winter weather.  One of the retro formula's first ingredient is glycerin, an excellent water-binding agent.  It keeps hands soft, doesn't feel greasy, and has greatly improved the condition of my hands after only a few days of use.  I bought a 2 ounce tube of this stuff for about $4 at Target.  I think we are talking HG status hand cream, people!

Feb 20, 2013

Looking On the Bright Side

    To put it kindly, this week has been homework hell.  I've had at least one test, exam, or some other form of academic torture everyday and I am exhausted!  Despite all of this, I'm looking on the proverbial bright side, which, in my case, is filled with makeup, long weekends, and coffee.  The makeup I am referring to here is a CoverGirl LipPerfection lipstick that I picked up the other day at Rite Aid.  It's called Flame and hellooo, it is so BRIGHT!  It makes me feel super sassy (even sassier knowing I only paid about $8 for it) and a girl needs that sometimes!  Actually, I found an article in the NY Times which claims that buying lipstick gives women a mood boost, especially during times of economic difficulty.  Cool, huh?  But enough of my rambling.  Have a look at the lipstick!

     The lipstick appears to be bright red in the pictures above, but in person it is really quite pink. Embarrassingly enough, I have been swiping it on before I study.  A touch of lipstick makes me feel pretty despite the fact that I've been living in yoga pants and over sized sweatshirts.

What products do you look for when trying to cure studying blues (or any blues for that matter)?

Feb 18, 2013

Makeup Crush Monday

    Hello, everyone!  I hope you're all having a fabulous first day of the week.  Mondays can be difficult sometimes, but only if you let them be.  I've chosen to take the optimistic approach to Monday in which I pretend I'm consistently well rested until I actually am (fake it 'til you make it, honey).  So chug that coffee and comb your hair, because it's going to be a great week!  I was on intothegloss.com this morning, browsing through their Monday Moodboard as I usually do and I decided I wanted to start a little Monday morning ritual of my own.  Let's call it Makeup Crush Monday.  In today's installment I am going to ramble on about the new Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose Eye Palette!
Photo Credit: Bobbi Brown
    Bobbi Brown has recently released this gorgeous palette as her solution to the beauty lover's annual hunt for Spring pastels.  I actually hate pastels.  There, I said it.  Besides on my nails and the occasional light pink eyeshadow, you will never catch me wearing light blues, light yellows, or light purples, etc.  However, this is not to say I don't keep an open mind.  This palette, with its pastel pinks, creams, shimmers, and dark brown is the perfect Winter-to-Spring transition palette for those of us who are a tad pastel-weary.  I think I may start saving for this one.  At $60, it's quite a hit to the wallet, but you get 8 eyeshadows.  So figure $7.50 per shadow then it becomes a steal!  What do you all think of this palette?
    Also, I was watching the Today Show this morning and after seeing guest Steve Harvey, I had a thought: Steve Harvey looks like a cartoon character.  Am I alone in thinking this?

Feb 17, 2013

Weekend Ramblings: Lashing Out

While I was going through my beauty stash during my last visit home, I came across some fake lash clusters (for lack of a better word) that I've had since prom of my senior year!  Wow, that's about 4 years.  Of course the tube of glue that came with them was totally dried out, but the lashes were still useable.  I've already worn them once since coming back to school and I have fallen head-over-heels back in love.  My eyelashes are pretty long naturally, but they are also quite thin.  These help to increase volume more than even the best mascara.  I've found that using 3 lash clusters per eye is perfect for me, but of course how many or how few you use is completely up to your discretion.  A package of 56 lashes costs only about $4 at Walgreens.  There are four different lengths of lashes in the package, but I recommend cutting them each down to a length to match your own or you run the risk of giving away your fake lash secret.  The lash glue I purchased (from Walgreens as well) is by a brand called Duo and it costs $6.49 for a tube.  I am guessing the tube contains enough for at least 15 applications.  My only word of advice when it comes to eyelash glue is that you keep the cap screwed on tightly.  As soon as air gets into the tube your lash glue is dunzo.  I just put some glue on the back of my hand, pick up a lash cluster using my tweezers, dip the end in the glue, and place it very gently on my lash line.  I've put some before and after pics below so you can see just how much of a difference these babies make!

Before and without mascara
After and without mascara
The final result with eye makeup and all
And of course, a photo of me and my besties (Emily, Me, Sara) before our fun night out in Louisville!

Feb 14, 2013

Valentine's Makeup For a Night Out

The Goods
 Happy Happy Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  Amidst writing this post, my boyfriend surprised me at the sorority house with a beautiful bouquet and chocolates.  I am too spoiled! He hasn't told me what exactly we are doing tonight, but I know I'm wearing a black dress which lends itself to a smokey eye.  Using a few random shadows in my stash, I have created an awesomely easy smokey eye that's perfect for a night out on the town with your man, your girlfriends, or whoever you've decided to celebrate Valentine's Day with!  Check it out!

Top to Bottom: Merle Norman Coffee Bean, Maybelline Color Tattoo Tough as Taupe,  Maybelline Natural Smokes 1 and 4,  and Stila Kitten 

Step 1: Apply a thin layer of Tough as Taupe to your entire lid.  This creates a great deep shadow base, but make sure to be light-handed with this step as dark taupe would be extremely overpowering. 

Step 2: Sweep Maybelline's Natural Smokes 1 (the cream color) across your entire lid.  This softens the taupe without covering it completely.  

Step 3: Use a small blending brush or your pinky and dab the darkest Maybelline Natural Smokes shadow 4 along your top and bottom lash lines, blending it outwards on your top lid towards your crease.  Also, put a little bit of this eyeshadow on the outward corners of your eye and blend it inward towards the crease.  

Step 4: Use only a little bit of Stila Kitten on your inner eyelids and sweep it over your eyelid.  Shimmer and light colors on the inner corners really brighten your eyes.  Sweeping it outwards over the entire eyelid gives a quick wash of shimmer that glams up this simple look.

Step 5:  Finally, line your eyes all the way around and smudge the eyeliner so it isn't in a perfect line.  This adds to the smokiness!

Now, don't forget to curl your lashes and add mascara.  You look gorgeous, darling!

Feb 13, 2013

Clean Up Your Act!

I don't know about you all, but cleaning my makeup brushes is a huge chore for me, especially liquid foundation brushes.  After a long trial-and-error process, I have come up with a great, quick way to effectively wash your brushes. Read on for more deets!

Step 1: Gather Supplies
-2 cups
-mild soap (I prefer Johnson's baby wash)
- 1 small towel 
-any brushes that need cleaning 

Step 2: Fill cups with soap and water
Fill one cup with soap and warm water.  This is the cup you will use to clean makeup off the brushes.  Fill the other cup with only cold water.  I have found that cold water rinses soap off of brushes more easily. 

Step 3: Cleanse
Swirl the brush around in the warm, soapy water for about 15 seconds.  The water should change color from all of the makeup washing off of the bristles.

The soapy water post-dirty brush

Step 4: Rinse
Now, rinse the brush in the cup containing only cool water by swirling it around for 10 seconds.  If the water in this cup changes color at all, you need to repeat Step 3 (but with new soap and water, of course).

Step 5: Drying
First, towel dry the bristles by swiping them back and forth across the towel until they are no longer dripping wet.  Finally, lay the brush on the towel so that the bristles hang over the edge of your  countertop.  This allows them to dry in a more natural position so that the bristles aren't flat on one side.  

I recommend repeating all 5 of these steps per brush, because you don't want any of the dirt from the first brush to transfer onto the next.  I hope this helps any of you looking for an easy, effective way to clean your brushes.  I would even say this is more effective than using a professional, expensive makeup brush cleaner!  Give it a try and report back to me with your results!

Feb 11, 2013

Quick Thoughts: New Mascara Monday

The color of the bottle is too pretty!
Don't get too excited just yet.  New Mascara Monday isn't a new weekly segment.  It just happens to be Monday and I happened to have bought a new mascara.  As I've mentioned before, I had Greek Sing over the weekend.  During this event, sororities and fraternities perform 5 minute dance numbers and ticket proceeds go to Make A Wish.  Though I love the dancing, I am obviously partial to the crazy makeup we have to wear.  The girls in my dance segment had to wear craft glitter on our eyes that went all the way up to our eyebrows.  Unfortunately when using a lot of glitter, you can expect it to get everywhere, especially in your mascara.  Long story short, I ended up needing some new mascara and didn't feel like forking over the $26 for my fave Lancôme Hypnose.  Enter CoverGirl's Lashblast Fusion in Black.  I love the brush on this thing.  It claims to lengthen and thicken, which I think it definitely accomplishes.  The formula does not clump or flake even a little bit.  It cost me $8 at Target.  Clearly, it's a steal!

Check out them bristles!

What is your favorite drugstore mascara?

Feb 10, 2013

I've Got A[n] [Aztec] Secret!

Lawdy, lawdy... I think today marks the first day in nearly TWO WEEKS where I have been able to sit on my behind and just worry about nothing but beauty products.  Every time I sat down to write a post in the past few days, I ended up writing in circles, not making any sense.  I couldn't get my thoughts straight!  But let me tell you, my brain is working again and I am ready to write about one of my new fave products.  You all are going to love this one!  It's cheap, effective, and deep cleansing.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the post!

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

It looks so exciting, right?!
     I honestly am not one to care about a product's chemical content.  I suppose I probably should be, but  au naturale/ organic is just not my thing.  It's not that I won't try natural cosmetics, I just don't actively seek them out.  But recently, my uncle's girlfriend recommended this all natural clay mask to me, and since I'm running low on my trusty Clinique Blemish Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask (and she has great skin!) I figured I'd better give it a try.  I ordered it off of iherb.com, which I highly recommend.  Their website is super easy to use and products are very reasonably priced!
     This product claims to be the "World's Most Powerful Facial".  I can't verify this claim as I obviously have not tried every facial in the world, but I think it probably comes pretty close.  I was a little nervous to use this when I read the instructions on the back which say "Feel Your Face Pulsate!"  My first thought was: "Do I want a pulsating face?  Is this safe?"  I am here to report that I've survived and I am in love with this mask.  To use it, you mix equal parts water and powder and apply it liberally to your face.  You can leave it on for 5 minutes or 20 minutes, just depending on your skin's sensitivity.  Your face will be a bit red after rinsing it off, but the redness should subside after 30 minutes.  This mask cost only $6 for a whole pound!  That is a serious deal for such a great product!  Go and buy yours ASAP, especially if you have oily/ acne-prone skin.  You won't regret it!
Before adding water
After adding water...Yummmm
Do you have a favorite mask you can't live without, clay or otherwise?  I love to hear your opinions!

Feb 7, 2013

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...

I LOVE Valentine's Day.  What about you?

 I hope you all can appreciate the creativity of my poetic intro!  I tried to resist, but Valentine's Day just lends itself to cheesiness.  I love the V-Day cheese, though, especially since my boyfriend and I will celebrate our second anniversary this Valentine's Day.  Gosh, he's so wonderful.  Really.  I hope I'm not making anyone gag just yet.  But before I get carried away with all of this, I'm going to give all you people out there a few gift ideas!  Here's my Valentine's Day Gift Guide:

The Beauty Lover
I know you all didn't think I could start this post off with anything but the group which most of us here are a part of!  Guys often need a little help in this area, but never fear boys, I've got great suggestions!

Diptyque Candles:  These ultra-chic European candles are enough to make any girl swoon.  Here in the States you have to order them online.  Try shopping here or here!

Photo Credit: Nordstrom
Laura Mercier Body & Bath Set in Creme Brulee:  This beautiful set (which can be purchased here) is so luxurious and will benefit both you and your lady! Your girlfriend will love smelling like fancy French dessert and you'll look like you actually know/care about who the heck Laura Mercier is! Win, win!

Photo Credit: Sephora

The Accesory-holic

Catbird NYC:  This jeweler is quite the talk of the town these days.  Whether you're seeking gaudy or dainty, they can do no wrong!  Browse their website for great gift ideas: catbirdnyc.com

Photo Credit: Catbird NYC
Anthropologie Jewelry Storage:  Anthropologie has a wonderful selection of jewelry boxes and hangers.  Styles range from quirky to woodsy to ensure that there is something for everyone!  Check out Anthropologie's website for more ideas.

Photo Credit: Anthropologie

 The Music Lover

Concert ticketsThis one should pretty much be a no brainer.  I may not know what kind of music your significant other is into, but I do know buying tickets for them to see one of their favorite artists is always a good idea!

Frends Headphones:  These headphones are possibly the most gorgeous piece of technology I have ever seen.  These headphones make a statement, but aren't overpowering.  Buy these bad boys here.

Photo Credit: Wearefrends.com

Beats Solo HD Headphones:  I bet you girls were thinking I've forgotten about gift suggestions for the boys.  I found some nice headphones for them too!  These are quite popular these days and the sound quality on them is incredible!  You can find them at Best Buy and many other tech retailers.

Photo Credit: Best Buy

The Sports and Fitness Addict

Fitness classes:  I'm not much for working out, but I know people swear by expensive classes such as Pure Barre and hot yoga.  Help out your resident fitness addict by purchasing a few classes for them at a local gym.  I am not up-to-date on popular male fitness classes, but I bet they're out there as well! 

Sports tickets:  Valentine's Day falls right into the middle of basketball season.  A couple tickets to your boo's favorite game would much appreciated.  Not a fan of basketball?  That's alright!  Write an IOU (maybe word it more romantically) and create an elaborate scheme to surprise them with baseball or football tix later on in the year!

Lulu Lemon:  Fitness never looked so stylish!  Check out lululemon.com for an extensive selection of fitness gear for men and women alike!

 Photo Credits: Lululemon.com

I hope some of my suggestions help out you weary shoppers.  Best of luck to you and Happy [Early] Hearts Day!

Feb 6, 2013

Where I've Been This Week...

I am no longer sick, FINALLY!  But, my sorority is still practicing for Greek Sing, which is supposed to end up looking something like this (this is our performance from last year):

 Greek Sing practice, starting a student organization, exams, and the summer internship hunt is keeping me more than busy.  I feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off.  I hope I can get back to blogging on a regular basis next week.  Until then, hang tight!  Thanks for reading, everyone!

Feb 3, 2013

Weekend Ramblings: Super Bowl Sunday Nails NOTD

 Ok, so before you crazed football fanatics read any further, I want to warn you that this NOTD has nothing more to do with Super Bowl Sunday than the fact that I was wearing nail polish on Super Bowl Sunday.  I didn't come up with any 49ers designs or any Ravens nail art.  My hand is not steady enough for all of that business.  My current nail design is just a little something I thought up on my own while spending a night at my home in Northern Kentucky after rummaging through my younger sister's AMAZING nail polish collection.  Unfortunately, I neglected to write down the names of these polishes/ take pictures of the bottles, but I can tell you this:  one is navy blue, one is opaque gold and one is clear with gold flecks.  Do 2 coats of navy blue on the bottom, then opaque gold towards the cuticle, and then lightly brush the clear, gold-flecked polish over the opaque gold while it is still wet so as to spread the glitter and create a gradient effect.  Finish it off with a sweep of clear coat and you're good to go.  I hope that helps if any of you plan on recreating this look!

Also, I apologize for being so lazy with posts these past couple of days.  I've been sick and when I'm sick my laziness level reaches an all-time high.  I promise to be more diligent once I'm cured.  I hope you're all having a great weekend and suffering from as much Super Bowl Snack Remorse as I am.  And finally, I hope that we all have dreams of Beyonce's halftime performance!  Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Feb 2, 2013

Weekend Ramblings: Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush

Surprise, surprise!  Another addition to my ever growing cream blush collection!  I actually went to Walmart with the intention of purchasing a neon pink lipstick, like the ones I wrote about a few posts back (here); but then I thought: "Who I am I kidding? It's winter and you live in Lexington, Kentucky."  We don't do much neon around these parts, so I thought maybe a vibrant blush would cure my new found hunger for bright colors.  I was right!  The color I purchased is Coral Reef.  It is shockingly bright in the package, but it blends down nicely to a pretty, muted coral.  The texture is light and it's extremely easy to blend.  My only complaint is the staying power, which leaves something to be desired as it lasts about 4 hours max.  However, it's perfect if you're just wearing it to dinner or to class for the day.  It cost me about $11 at Walmart. While it may not be the best cream blush out there, it is definitely one of the more affordable options and a pretty good one at that!