Tuesday, December 31, 2013

UPDATE: Project Pan!

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! Hope you all have some fun plans tonight to ring in the new year!

Honestly I think this project pan may be over for me. I'm going to give it one more month to see if I can finish off the eye shadows, but that blue in the quad I just haven't touched. I tried it multiple times and there is just no way for me to make it work for my lifestyle and color preferences. I'm going to attempt to finish off all those colors, but I've given up on the blue, it's just not going to happen. Check out my original Project Pan post here for the full names of all these products!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mani Monday #1: Essie

Shout out to my friend Erica for coming up with this idea for a series! Every Monday, until I run out of brands, I will be showcasing a different brand of nail polish and doing an in depth review on the wear and tear. Obviously within brands the formulation varies between collections, so I will try and pick colors in permanent collections in the hope that this will be a more universal test run. All of these polishes will be tested with the same base and top coat and following this schedule: painting the nails right before bed, allowing them to dry all night and then putting on the top coat first thing in the morning. All of the daily pictures will be taken at night right before bed and a chronicled account of my daily activities with an emphasis on anything that may have added to chipping. All tests will run for a full week, or until there is serious chippage that I just can't live with. I must apologize, I was in a huge rush getting this started so the day one picture is a little unfortunate to look at because I did a bad job cleaning up the edges (nor did I respect my cuticles) but I promise you it gets better!

This week we are taking a look at Essie nail polishes! It is no secret this one is the favorite in my collection due to the pretty consistent formula, as well as beautiful range of colors and glitters. These retail for about $8, a good mid range polish that can be found just about everywhere. I think I own upwards of 30 different colors so I can definitely provide a good insight into the general quality of the Essie brand. There are so many types of Essie I may have to do additional Mani Monday tests with all the different textures and finishes, but for now I chose a simple cream finish polish. This one is called Wicked, which is a dark, dark red and just absolutely gorgeous. I started with the OPI Nail Strengthening Base Coat, followed by two coats of Wicked, and then topped off with the OPI Top Coat. I forgot to take a "pre" photo for this one, but there really was no change for it as you will see in my daily entry.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 MVP: Most Valuable Products

Another year is coming to a close and I have the privilege of trying out a whole host of products. However even with my vast experimenting (and slight hoarding of makeup) there are some truly exceptional products that I feel warrant special recognition for their awesomeness this year. Here's a roundup of these tried and true products that I just keep coming back to time and time again.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

DIY: Glitzy NYE Nail Art!

I've been meaning to do a nail art tutorial for awhile now, but it's difficult and I wasn't sure if it would translate as well in a blog as it would in video, but here we go let's just try this out!

Just because you're decked out in sequins for New Year's Eve, there's no reason you can't bling out your nails too! Today I'm going to show you how to do a fun and easy manicure inspired by glitter and fireworks! First up gather these following supplies, I put in parenthesis the specific polishes I used:

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Favorite Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas everyone! I can't believe another year has passed and it's Christmas again. While Thanksgiving is without a question my favorite holiday, the entire Christmas season puts me in a very festive mood. Now that the bulk of present opening has occurred and I await the heavy food coma that is too come from brunch, I figured it would be a perfect time to share just some of my favorite traditions and things about this whole month really that I just adore.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

They Made Me Buy It!

I like watching YouTube. A lot. And of course doing that I am influenced to buy way too many things I do not need just because someone raved about how much they loved it. Let's be real, some of these they casually mentioned in a haul and I was still like OMG I need that. With that being said, here is my little list of those said items and who it was that (easily) convinced me to run out and pick it up. Also some of these products I was lucky enough to get in subscription boxes!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Makeup Hacks

We all have them. Those little tips and tricks we use to help extend the life of our cosmetics, or just to make our lives more easy when painting on those faces. While I may have an uncontrollable makeup buying addiction, I like to believe that I am still smart when it comes to working with all I have. Here are a few hacks I like to employ to add versatility or save time that not everyone thinks of to do.

Friday, December 20, 2013

DIY: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm not a big sweets person, but every once in awhile I get a craving for a nice chewy cookie. I can be picky about it, there must be the slightest crunch to the cookie while being soft and gooey in the center. I whipped up these ahhh-mazing mint chocolate chip cookies and just had to share! These make a great treat or even gift for this time of the year, the peppermint extract is really the winner to this, and gives the most delightful minty taste throughout the cookie.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unboxing Match! December 2013 Ipsy vs. Birchbox

This hasn't been my favorite month for either of these. After the super packed bags and boxes I got last month I guess I shouldn't be too surprised of the slight let down this month. Also it was surprise that my Ipsy turned up quicker than my Birchbox, which seemed to get lost in the mail forever. I checked the tracking page daily and it seemed like it took a nice tour of California and then was lost at the post office for awhile coming a feel week after the projected delivery date. I was almost scared I wouldn't even get it this month. Nevertheless, here they are, a little later than usual, but still here.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these services, Ipsy and Birchbox are two beauty subscription boxes that come monthly. Both of these cost $10 a month and each arrive with 5-6 different goodies ranging from sad little foil packets to full size products!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Ode to Eyeshadow Sticks

While I adore cream and powder eyeshadows, nothing compares to an eyeshadow stick when I find myself running late, which is often. A few quick swipes and you can have an effortless eye look complete, and they are excellent for lining the lower lash line when you want a smokey eye effect. There's no danger of fall out so it's virtually mess free, so those days where it's really bad you can just grab a few colors to go and apply in the parking lot when you get there. The most versatile of the colors that I have is definitely the white, in a pinch it can act as a base on my eyelids, the highlight for both my brow bone and cheeks, as well as lining my waterline and dabbing onto the inner corners for the really wide eyed look. So far my collection consists of three brands: Nyx, Jordana and BH Cosmetics, with all three falling in the $2-$5 category per stick. Whether it is a shimmer or a matte shade I do find that eyeshadow sticks across the board apply smoothly in beautiful creamy shades. These really are great everyday alternatives for when you just don't have time to blend out and define using traditional shadows where you need to spend longer layering colors to get the seamless transitions between shades. I find it much easier to use these sticks and either with a brush or even just a finger to gently smudge out the harsh line between colors to achieve that flawless transition. Even when I'm miraculously on time in the mornings, I still find myself reaching for these guys more and more often.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ins & Outs #2

In

  • Tea. You guys I have a serious juice addiction. And I'm not talking about that healthy juicing with all the fresh vegetables and fruits, but the store bought stuff that is 50% sugar and 50% preservatives. In an attempt to lead a healthier lifestyle because I just cannot bring myself to say no to french fries, I have replaced my sugary/flavored drinking needs with some delicious healthy tea! It's helpful to do this now as there are a bunch of vanilla and sweet holiday teas out now for the season which is helping the transition greatly. I must say I've been doing very well, I did have a few bad days of craving for something with a little bit more flavor but this just leads me to the next thing...
  • Almond Milk! I'm by no means a milk drinker, I have a slight lactose intolerance that makes drinking straight up milk an unfortunate situation for everyone, so enter my latest delicious discovery: Vanilla Almond Milk. This stuff is so good that I drink it by itself sometimes. But I LOVE adding this to my vanilla flavored teas (or even some herbal teas that are just to herb-y for me) and it just tastes heavenly. I've also been making some hot chocolate with this stuff and it is just genius. Hot chocolate seems to go against my sugar decreasing however it makes sense because I'm trying to burn through some hoarding habits which leads to...(I know everything is connected lately)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Is My Makeup Killing Me? Lip Products

In this second edition of "Is My Makeup Killing Me", we will move away from the terrifying secrets of nail polish and instead explore the wonderful world of lip products! Hence forth all lip products (glosses, lipsticks, crayons, chapstick, etc. if it goes on your lips it counts) will be referred to as lippies. If you really think about it, lippies go right on your lips and a good chunk of it is actually ingested through the regular wear and tear as well as coming off while you're eating. I don't know about the rest of you but when I bite into a burger I always leave a nice lipstick mark on the bun which I go ahead and just eat anyways, ew, I know.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: Maybelline Baby Skin

This is a lovely product all the way from Shanghai, China that I had been dying to get my hands on. Maybelline has decided to respond to the crazy cult following of Baby Lips (I still don't get it) and to start churning out an entire Baby Line of makeup. Baby Skin is scheduled to release in the USA next year so I was thrilled to be able to get a little sneak peek of what this is all about. Baby Skin claims to be a great makeup base that is a lightweight and breathable formula with cherry extract promising a baby smooth and matte finish that moisturizes all day. This retailed for around 100 Chinese Yuan or roughly $17 which I think is fairly pricey and I expect a lower price when this finally comes to the US. This is comparable to the Benefit's POREfessional which retails for double of that.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lazy Girl's Guide: Quick Outfits

Everyone has those days where getting dressed just seems like such an unnecessary effort. I have come up a solution for those lazy girl days: throw out those tabloids and embrace the use of leggings as pants. Hang on, before people's go up in arms to storm my home and those who immediately take it literally and start rocking the crop top and leggings look, there are ground rules to be set down to make this potentially trashy look tasteful.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Whole Lot of Lippies

As you can see from my recent haul I got a bunch of different lip products so I decided a post featuring some thoughts and swatches would be appropriate. I will be a doing a quick review on all of the lippies have hauled recently as I've gotten a chance to try each of them out. There's also a Nyx lipstick that I totally forgot to photograph above but no worries it will still be discussed!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cover Me Up

These days there dozens of brands of foundation out there, and within each brand there is a maddening amount of types to choose from. Fear not, here is your one stop guide to figuring out what kind of foundation will work best for your skin type! I have selected five different types of foundation, the most common forms of foundation you will find in stores these days and I am here to walk you through the pros and cons for each, as well as tips for achieving the flawless finish despite the product.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lazy Girl's Guide: Quick Makeup

Sometimes Everyday when I wake up in the morning, I'd much rather stay a few minutes longer in my warm bed which inevitably causes me to run late and have to rush to get out the door. I know better than to leave the house sans makeup where I will terrify people with how tired I look, so in a pinch there are a few items I am sure to always reach for and can be applied in minutes to create an effortless and wide awake look.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Does It Work?? Smooth Away

I find that using a razor leaves me with razor bumps and an increase of ingrown hairs so I have been seeking at alternative that would get the job done and smooth out my legs. Enter the As Seen On TV product Smooth Away! Instead of purchasing the kit in stories I actually ordered it offline a deal that came with the large and small size pads along with 50 refill pads for each size. The instructions say to use the larger size for legs and armpits, and the smaller size for facial hair and other places such as knees for better precision. The pads have some sort of magical crystal things that painlessly buffs away hair and also dead skin leaving you with smooth and hair free legs. Think exfoliant with hair removing power for your legs. Taking the pad you rub it against an area for about three circles one way and then three circles the other way and now you are awarded with a nice smooth patch.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: theBalm Nude 'Tude Palette

The Nude Tude eyeshadow palette by theBalm cosmetics retails for $36 and consists of 12 shimmery neutral shades. The colors are perfect for creating beautiful natural looks with the options of darker colors to build a more smokey eye. This palette covers all the essentials for a complete look with light highlights to darker defining shades to add dimension to your eyes. This palette comes with a small two sided applicator brush that are angled ones on both side, one side being stiffer brushes that allows you to precisely line your eyes and the other side is softer to make it easier to sweep across your whole lid and blend out. Each color is given a sizeable amount, however they are a little powdery so it does tend to get messy while using them.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Collective Wishlist Haul!


Awhile ago I had put up a wishlist of items I had been lusting after and I have managed to make some of my wishlist dreams come true. I thought it would be fun to have a little update on the ones I managed to get a hold of. I have had the chance to try everything out a few times already so here are my impressions on everything and whether they lived up to my expectations.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November 2013 UNfavorites

Going along with my not wearing makeup, nor experimenting (despite my retail therapy), this month has been an all time low for unfavorites too. With just three on my hit list this month it's making me at least feel like I'm becoming a smarter shopper...

Monday, December 2, 2013

November 2013 Favorites

I'll be honest I haven't been wearing a lot of makeup this month, it's been stressful especially with the return of my sleep problems and I just really didn't have the patience to play around with stuff. Despite buying a ton of it lately I will admit that my daily look (if I even bother at all) is brows, mascara, a little eyeliner on top and then some sort of lip product. With that being said I have few beauty favorites this month and more random ones. Mixing up the post formats this time with some closeup shots and appropriate swatches of the beauty products at the end of the post.