Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 In Review

I seriously apologize for the amount of reflection and updates posts that have come lately. 2014 has been a big year and I'm doing everything I can to document it so of course it is appropriate to come here on the last day of the year and just look back at everything that has happened. This will be a little different since I'm sure everyone is sick of hearing me repeat myself so I think it will be a fun time to just kind of reflect on a few things as well as talk about some random revelations. Okay go!

First of all, why has it taken me so long to cut layers back into my hair?? The dramatic slash in hair volume has been life changing in that a single hair tie can now hold up a pony tail and drying time has been reduced to under an hour! However I do miss my flat boring hair so I think this shorter layered look will be great for winter when I just can't be bothered, but I do want my hair to grow out again!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mini Unboxings: Walmart, Target, Glossybox Holiday!

I am beyond late getting these up but I decided in the end I would want this as a reference point for later boxes so I decided to just throw it together anyways. There's been an overflow of boxes arriving at my house so today I'm bringing a quickie unboxing post of four different boxes that came to me throughout December. I'm just going to provide a simple list of product names plus a small blurb of my thoughts and that's it. These four boxes will be the two Cyber Monday special Target boxes (Naturally Festive and Beauty Box for Her), the Walmart Winter Beauty Box, and then the Glossybox Limited Edition Holiday box.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Nails of the Week #24: Essie in Warm & Toasty Turtleneck + Simple Designs!

Next week you will get to see my fun glitzy NYE nails, but this week I have kind of an in between look. No more winter themes, this is a simple design utilizing my new obsession, the nail art pens, on top of my one of my favorite wintery purples. So the purple is Essie in Warm & Toasty Turtleneck which is this great dusty lilac. I believe this was in last year's winter collection and definitely one of my favorite purples of all time. It goes on great in two coats and is a really easy polish to control if that makes sense. Then I used a black nail striper for one stripe down the middle followed by using a white pen for the dots at the top. I'm really enjoying these simple designs but I definitely want to get more creative like my snowman nail art!

Friday, December 26, 2014

What's in my Trash?! #13

The non-hoarder side of me is getting so happy watching my stash deplete while the hoarder side of me is now thinking oh good time to replenish the reserves! This is a dangerous game I'm playing here...Another month, another set of empties! I've hit some highs and lows with these products and even though I'm trying to ban myself from purchasing new products (aside from my standard products) until I concur my stash I think there's one item in here that I might need to make an exception for!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Fun & Festive: Christmas Favorites

Holidays are from rambling so grab a cup of something warm and hunker down with me here. First of all Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to all!

Holidays are really sneaking up on me this year. First Thanksgiving came out of nowhere and there was the great marshmallow debacle where that didn't make it on the shopping list for the yams therefore it became a Thursday morning scramble to find a grocery store that was open....but how is it already Christmas?! Christmas has sadly turned into one of those holidays for me that just kind of come and go, there was never a tradition of a big Christmas dinner and now present giving has also been banned. However there are a few things that scream Christmas to me, others might argue that these are just winter essentials but these are really the things that put me in the Christmas mood.

Loungewear, more specifically soft and stretchy over the knee socks and cozy flannels. Christmas time to me is about being warm and comfortable and while you receive the warm fuzzies from being surrounded by family and loved ones, it doesn't hurt to be swaddled from head to toe in comfortable clothing.

Christmas to me also means warm drinks and baked goods. Personally I'm a huge fan of the Pillsbury Ready to Bake cookies, but all baked goods are good in my book. Also it's the season of Christmas themed teas (Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is my favorite!) as well as hot chocolate stirred with a nice peppermint candy cane.

The last things that really put me in the Christmas spirit is special tree ornaments and Christmas scented candles. While there is not much Christmas celebration going on, I always make sure to have a fresh tree to decorate each year and something new I started doing this year is going out and buying a special ornament. This was an accidental action this year but I think it will be something I will carry on from now on. Any season and holiday is an excuse for me to raid Bath & Body Works for candles but there's something about a Mint Chocolate Chips and Vanilla Snowflakes that really get to me. Despite always picking the most generic scents that are clearly just repackaged with a festive name they just smell better to me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Unboxing: Memebox Collaboration #9 Soothing Sista

Well my friends, the time has come, this is my last Memebox and I don't have any intention of purchasing anymore for a long long time. During my long dance with Memeboxes I found there were just more misses than hits and it's clear to see that the curation of these boxes has seriously suffered and just making them not worth it anymore. Also these boxes must be signed for now so often I'm missing the mailman and having to make an extra trip to the post office, plus they charge sales tax now! So everyone join me in a moment of silence for this final Memebox unboxing.

For those that don't know what I'm talking about Memebox is a Korean beauty non-subscription box that sells boxes of surprise products curated with different themes in mind straight from Korea! Like I mean your box is shipped to you FROM Korea! These are great deals because boxes typically run between $19 - $39 (there are more expensive ones) but the value of the boxes are usually double and often triple the price you pay! 
This one is the Memebox Collaboration #9 Soothing Sista which is one of those boxes that reveal all the contents right away and this one was very skincare heavy. Memebox really has skincare down pat and there were a few items that really piqued my interest so it seemed like an appropriate final box. If I didn't pull the trigger on this one the Blackout/Apple Mojito fiasco would have been my last!

Most often found on the streets of San Francisco, Soothing Sista AKA Stephanie Villa is taking the YouTube world by storm with her skincare, makeup and fashion tutorials. Showcasing looks for the edgier goddess in you, Stephanie isn’t afraid to take a risk. She’s hand-picked hottest skincare and makeup products of the month straight from Korea, which we’re sure you’ll love!

I honestly don't remember when this shipped but it took something like two and half weeks to actually arrive, plus it spent a few more days at the post office before I remembered to go collect it. It was finally in my hands on December 16th.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Unboxing: December 2014 POPSUGAR Must Have

Here's the story with this: I actually cancelled my subscription right after I received the November box, but with a 50% off coupon on Cyber Monday I decided to go ahead and gift myself one month because even if I end up hating the majority of the items in the box like I have been, then I was only out about 20 bucks which isn't bad. Why did I cancel though? I had it for exactly four months and even though I tried to make the best out of each box, when it came down to it I really wasn't loving what was going on in there. I cancelled it because I purchased a FabFitFun subscription off RueLaLa and the two boxes seemed similar, however FFF seemed to have the better stuff that was more high value. Nevertheless, I am here with you for one more month to see how Popsugar does and I'm hoping for some fun holiday themed goodies.

Popsugar is a monthly subscription box that is a great lifestyle box. It covers items in fashion, food, beauty, home and more and typically are high valued boxes. They run for $39.99 a month, definitely pricey but there are always coupons available and you save money by bundling months together. Let's see what came in this months box!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Nails of the Week #23: Snowman Nails!

I've been on a nail art kick lately and I'm wondering how long I can stretch out these winter themed ones because I just have so many I want to do! I must say I'm getting better and learning how to compensate with my shaky hands. This week I did an adorable snowman nail art that was inspired by the picture off Polishpedia. The only variation I have is that I placed on my snowman on my cuticle rather than the tip. I didn't actually watch the video I just looked at the picture and did my best to match it! I used pretty much the same polishes from last week to achieve this look and I absolutely love how it turned out.

I used butter London's Bobby Dazzler again as the silver base on all five nails. I tried using another silver chrome but this one just goes on so well and dries super quick. I used the same Color Club Nail Art Duo in White to draw on the snowmen and the dots of snow. The snowman is sitting in a bank of snow that is Essie's Peak of Chic and the details are draw on using dotting tool and Rimmel's Lasting Finish Pro in Black Satin and Pop Beauty in Cute Coral. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

UnBoxing Match! December 2014 Ipsy vs. Birchbox vs. Beauty Box 5

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these services, Ipsy and Birchbox are two custom beauty subscription boxes that come monthly. Both of these cost $10 a month and each arrive with 4-6 different goodies ranging from sad little foil packets to full size products! Beauty Box 5 costs a little more at $12 and delivers the same amount of goodies. I would say that typically Birchbox consistently delivers high-end skincare and hair care products with a sprinkling of makeup while Ipsy goes more for the mid-range items and is normally a lot of makeup items and Beauty Box 5 is mostly drugstore with an even mix of products.

Initial Reaction: Each spoiler just killed me a little more. I knew it wouldn't be a good month the second the first spoiler released and it was that everyone was guaranteed a drugstore item (NYX) and a mascara sample (heck no!). But I must say I do like this bag, it's a good size and shape, not made of weird smelling pool toys plastic, and I think the heart shaped zipper pull is adorable. A+ for bag design this month!
1. $4 NYX Butter Lip Balm in Parfait is a full sized product. So the lip balm, not even the lipstick. What I hate about tinted lip balms is that I forget they are tinted so I apply it mindlessly throughout the day and end up looking like Chuckie's twin sister. 
2. $10 tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara is a deluxe sample size. Normally I'm groaning about mascara samples, but today it's a little quieter. So many people have raved about this mascara for awhile now so I'm interested in trying it out. Packaging is adorable too.
3. $5? Nourish Organic Renewing Eye Cream is a sample size. I can't even price this accurately because this product isn't even available until January so the $5 is just a guess. I must say it's pretty cool that Ipsy subscribers are the first to try this out. I'm on the fence with this product, I hate the brand, but it's such a convenient travel size. I'll throw it into my overnight bag and I'll use it but I think I stand neutral on this one.
4. $15 CAILYN Just Mineral Eye Polish in Orchid is a full sized product. So overpriced. I hate these unknown makeup companies (CAILYN, Be A Bombshell, Mica Beauty just to name a few) that pump up their price but then always have drastic discounts to make themselves seem high end but in reality that discounted price is the suggested retail you're not just stop it. With that being said I probably won't ever use this and it's a pretty weird concept to me anyways.
5. $2 Bumble and bumble. Repair Blow Dry is a sample sized product. HAIR PRODUCTS GO AWAY!!!! I do appreciate that this is a nice brand, and someone will use it, but still no. I don't every blow dry my hair and even if I did I wouldn't put product in it.
Approximate Value: $31.00
Initial Reaction: What did I pick as my item again this month? It seemed so long ago..But look at the pretty limited edition box!
1. $13.50 Vasanti Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil in Rose Gold is a sample size. This is what I picked! I know it's an eye liner and I usually gripe about them, but the rose gold color got me! Also I love the Vasanti scrub and I didn't know they made makeup products too so I just had to have it.
2. $9.66 Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask is one out of a set of six. What luck! Last month I was struggling between picking this mask and the green apple peel and I'm so excited I got this this month! Caffeine masks are fantastic for brightening and tightening the skin, plus I love tea, so this will be great!
3. $1 Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré is a sample size. It's a moisturizer. I'm not too excited about it, but I've been blowing through my moisturizer stash so I'm no longer upset about getting more.
4. $0.25 Manna Kadar Lip Locked in Lucky. I believe this was also a sample choice? Either way it is the skinniest little lippie I have ever seen, this would get lost in my purse almost immediatly. I have more than enough lip products than I will ever use, luckily this is a very wearable color so it will be easy to pawn off on someone else.
5. $3 RUSK® Texture Spray is a sample size. Hair products, go away, seriously. I never have luck with texturizers, I hate how gritty and dirty my hair feels, but I'll still try it out since it's really hard to dump hair products with anyone for some reason.
Approximate Value: $27.41

Beauty Box 5
Initial Reaction: Never excited to see this box and I'm quietly counting down the months until this will be out of my life.
1. $18 Jaqua Rose Bouquet Facial Mist is a full sized product. There seems to be variation on this prouct this month but everyone got some type of Jaqua item and I'm so excited I got this one! I want to just rave about this bottle because it's a gorgeous frosted glass container that just looks so luxurious and pretty. Rose is definitely not my number 1 scent but my mom is obsessed with it. This stuff smells really nice so this is a great stocking stuffer for her that I know she will be thrilled about.
2. $3 Absolute! New York Nail Polish Remover Pads in Lavender is a full sized product. I actually already own these remover pads in another scent and I'm a huge fan! They aren't the best for dark colored polishes but light ones, they are super handy and travel friendly so I'm pleased with another one.
3. $10 Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer is a sample size. Juice Beauty seems to be everywhere lately and I'm not complaining! I have an overabundance of that Green Apple Peel so I'm excited to try out this moisturizer.
4. $4 Nanacoco Nail Polish in Beatbox is a full sized product. I've received this same brand before and wasn't impressed with it, but this is actually a great blue glitter that I don't have in my collection so I'm not mad at it. I'm very into sparkly accent nails right now and jelly sandwiches year round so this will definitely get used.
5. $1 Lucky Brand Lucky Number 6 Perfume is a sample size. This was the only miss for me, perfume samples are not my jam and this one is not appealing to me at all.
Approximate Value: $36.00

This month I was pleasantly surprised, I thought Birchbox was the shoo-in but Beauty Box 5 is actually the winner! Everything except that perfume was a hit! Again I was really annoyed with Ipsy but then I realized something interesting, there's a serious lack of available products, in fact there were only 13 different options this month. I think this is really strange and perhaps an indication that Ipsy is struggling. Either way, it gets until February and if it still hasn't wowed me it is getting cancelled along with BB5! On the plus side these posts will now turn into in depth Birchbox reviews!

What did you get this month in your subscription services?

**Post contains affiliate links**

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Unboxing: Memebox Special #77 My Lovely Boutique

Memebox has the Cute Wishlist series in which the first box was a smash hit and the boxes following that one have been disappointing, but of course they still decided they knew cute so they released this box shortly after the My Cute Wishlist #4 as another cute themed box. I must say it did a marginally better job than MCW but overall I still feel a little let down.
For those that don't know what I'm talking about Memebox is a Korean beauty non-subscription box that sells boxes of surprise products curated with different themes in mind straight from Korea! Like I mean your box is shipped to you FROM Korea! These are great deals because boxes typically run between $19 - $39 (there are more expensive ones) but the value of the boxes are usually double and often triple the price you pay! 

This one is the Memebox Special #77 My Lovely Boutique which is suppose to be another box about everything cute. Even though there are no guarantees for full sized products there ended up being a total of six products and five of them were full sized! This cost $23 plus shipping.
Memebox is our name and cute is our game. Warning. If you’re a sucker for cute and exquisite packaging (with the added bonus of super effectiveness!) and love the enchantment of discovering swoon-worthy Korean cosmetics, you’re in for a really, really big treat. The Memebox beauty junkies took extra time and care to make sure that this magical box explodes with all things cute and lovely – complexion confections, skin care sensations, dreamy delights, lust-worthy lovables and much, much more! With a killer combo of quality brands and formulas, innovative beauty solutions, and drool-worthy packaging, this box will literally get you weak at the knees with just one look! Treat yourself to a little indulgence with extreme cute overload!

This box shipped November 19th and landed on my doorstep December 1st.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Unboxing: Superbox #71 My Cute Wishlist #4

Now that Memeboxes require signatures for all speeds of delivery (kind of annoying) I was really scared this box would come while I was out of town and then there would have been that huge hassle of going to the post office but lucky for me it actually came in the day after I got home! That being said, it's been nearly three weeks since I received it before I put up this unboxing and there's a few reasons for that: huge backlog of blog posts, the fact that I got regular shipping so I wasn't in a rush to be relevant with the times to put it up, and being completely underwhelmed/slightly disturbed.

For those that don't know what I'm talking about Memebox is a Korean beauty non-subscription box that sells boxes of surprise products curated with different themes in mind straight from Korea! Like I mean your box is shipped to you FROM Korea! These are great deals because boxes typically run between $19 - $39 (there are more expensive ones) but the value of the boxes are usually double and often triple the price you pay! 

This one is the Superbox #71 My Cute Wishlist #4 which is a box dedicated to all things cute! The first box was adorable and I missed out on the next two (which turned out to be okay since they ended up being creepy not cute) so when the fourth one cropped up I immediately snatched it up. This cost $23 plus shipping.
We bring you, the latest edition of our Meme-fans’ most favorite series, My Cute Wishlist #4! For endless days and nights, we scoured through the entire country searching for the cutest, most lovable beauty products in the world! We went through a deluge of beauty product wonders and carefully selected only the best to bring you a box packed with whimsical – and effective- beauty products that will once again make the My Cute Wishlist series a Memebox fan favorite! Loaded with some seriously adorable and hard-to-find beauty loot—straight from the hotbed of cute beauty products - this My Cute Wishlist #4 will make you ridiculously giddy with excitement! Who else does cute like we do?

This box shipped November 18th and landed on my doorstep December 1st.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Blues: Blogging Isn't Easy!

WARNING: This isn't a very positive post. I'm a definite Grinch but it was a needed and refreshing thing to do!

I had every intention of making a cutesy holiday post for today but with the risk of sounding like a Scrooge, I just didn't feel like it! Instead I would really like to come on and just kind of speak my mind about something that has been bothering: blogging isn't easy! A lot of you are probably thinking duh, but I just really wanted to highlight some aspects about it.

I started blogging as an outlet with no expectation that anyone would ever read my blog. Heck I didn't even tell my mom about it and refused to share the link with anyone. Since then it really has grown into my baby, I've joined blogger groups and become more open about my blog. It doesn't happen often, but every once in awhile I will get a little frustrated with the blog and it turns more into a obligation than a real passion. Lately it's really been hitting me hard and nothing has been motivating me to really work on my blog so I thought it would help to let some steam out about it.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nails of the Week #22: Snowflake Nails!

Here comes some nail art attempts! So I must say it's not horrible, it's still pretty recognizable as snowflakes, but it's definitely messy and not as crisp as it can be. Despite zero snow in the area I live, these very wintery nails still seemed appropriate to me. I did two accent snowflake nails and then the other three just got this nice glitter from Essie's holiday collection last year. Speaking of collections, I haven't done a full collection review in so long since nothing has been impressing me, if anyone was wondering why.

Let's start with the snowflake nails. I used Essie's Parka Perfect as the blue background. It's definitely a more grey blue and my favorite shade for winter nails. This was in the 2013 winter collection, I believe it was called Toggle to the Top. For the actual design I have this really nifty 2 in 1 nail art pen that I got from a Birchbox mystery pack. This was my first time using it and it was so easy to use I think I'm going to pick up a few more colors! This is the Color Club Art Duo Pens in white. For the accent nails I used butter London in Bobby Dazzler as the base coat. This color is actually gorgeous and so easy to apply I might need to wear it just by itself! It's a really soft metallic silver that glides on so evenly that it's a definite one coater. On top I have Essie in On A Silver Platter to add some festive glitter. It's a nice top coat that has larger royal blue and dark silver glitters as well as very fine gold and green glitter throughout. It definitely took three coats to get the larger glitters evenly distributed but the effect is very nice. So there we have it. It's been quite awhile since I've done nail art but hopefully I can be inspired to do more soon since it's so darn cute!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mini Indie Haul! Aromaleigh and Notoriously Morbid!

Bloggers will be the death of me. Or the death of my wallet at least! Remember awhile back when I did a Wednesday Wants post I mentioned how I was interested in trying out some indie cosmetics due to the horrible influence over at Beauty on a Beer Budget and Evolution of a Foodie? Well it happened. After some extensive research I originally chose three different companies that I wanted to order from. I wanted some eye shadows from Aromaleigh mainly because I was interested in shades from the fandom collection; I wanted to try coffin kissers from Notoriously Morbid; and finally I wanted bubbling scrubs and pumpkin butters from Haus of Gloi. Finally only two made the cut because Haus of Gloi's shipping kind of scared me so I decided to save that for another day. I ordered both of these well over a month ago and while I received my Aromaleigh order within a week, my Notoriously Morbid one only arrived a few days ago. That's okay though, both sites stated a longer turnover time due to the holidays so I fully expected them to take awhile to get here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Konjac Sponge and the Facial Brush

Can someone tell me if you can use a Clarisonic in the shower?? The idea of bringing anything electronic into the shower slightly disturbs me but I've always been curious to try them out. Anyways, there's a reason for my rambling that totally relates to today's post. Due to my skepticism and fear of bringing a Clarisonic in the shower plus the alarming price tag, I started doing research on a cheaper option that would bring a similar level of deep cleaning and exfoliation to my nighttime skin routine. I love the scrubs I've found but I feel like I've hit a plateau in the level of cleaning they can deliver with me just massaging it in, I wanted a tool that could really get things done. After looking at multiple options, I finally settled on two products to test out and today I'm bringing you a comparison between the konjac sponge and the facial brush! Here's what they look like.

I purchased both of these off Amazon (funny story about a week later I got a facial sponge in a Memebox! Wish I knew that was coming...) the specific ones I got was the My Konjac Sponge All Natural Fiber Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sponge and the Dr's K Facial Cleanser Exfoliate Brush-Facial Skin Care Beauty Ultrasoft Pore Cleansing Spa Wash Massage Exfoliation Brush. Oh yes, those names were direct copies from the Amazon site. I used both of these by itself for a month each to really get a sense of how my skin responded to them. Just for reference I have oily acne prone skin and larges pores. I'm always on the hunt for exfoliating magic to help smooth out my skin and flush out those pores.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Unboxing: Memebox Special #65 Apple Mojito

I bundled this box with the Blackout! box in order to get express shipping. I wasn't overly excited about the box but I like apples and I like mojitos, but it promised to be a skincare box so I was down for that aspect. I'm seriously addicted to Korean skincare, it's not even the products themselves but more of exposure to all these new steps and realizing what it is that my skin wants. I'm always up for a good skincare box!

For those that don't know what I'm talking about Memebox is a Korean beauty non-subscription box that sells boxes of surprise products curated with different themes in mind straight from Korea! Like I mean your box is shipped to you FROM Korea! These are great deals because boxes typically run between $19 - $39 (there are more expensive ones) but the value of the boxes are usually double and often triple the price you pay! 

This one is the Memebox Special #65 Apple Mojito which is a skincare box that despite being called apple mojito is just a mix of fruity products. This cost $19 plus shipping.
Recipe for beautiful:
1. Apple Mojito Box
2. Willingness to discover K-Beauty

And you’ve got a fatal attraction. Let loose and grab this Apple Mojito Box! There’s no alcohol necessary to turn you into an addict, because this box is packed with a healthy crush of high-energy refreshing fruit mixes that levels up your beauty! Bursting with skin and body healthy mixes, this box contains all things all of the best beauty wonders to pamper your skin and body! You’ll surely be asking for the second rounds!

This box shipped December 2nd and landed on my doorstep December 3rd! Express shipping really spoils me and that is why I buy value sets sometimes even if it's only one that I really want. If it's inexpensive enough I will go for it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Unboxing: Memebox Special #67 Blackout!

I'll be honest. When I first saw this box I just saw the picture I was just thinking charcoal masks and that's what prompted me to order this box. However I read the description after the fact and got a little skeptical that there would just be a lot of black makeup products in this box. Let's see how this turns out..

For those that don't know what I'm talking about Memebox is a Korean beauty non-subscription box that sells boxes of surprise products curated with different themes in mind straight from Korea! Like I mean your box is shipped to you FROM Korea! These are great deals because boxes typically run between $19 - $39 (there are more expensive ones) but the value of the boxes are usually double and often triple the price you pay! 

This one is the Memebox Special #67 Blackout! which is a box full of everything black. Pretty vague. This is a special box so it isn't guaranteed that all of the products would be full sized but they were! This cost $19 plus shipping.
If intensity is your game, take the challenge with this Blackout! Box. Say bye-bye to Miss Plain Jane and turn up the drama in your beauty routine with this Black Box! Packed with all things beauty in the color black that you can imagine, you’ll be surprised at how much intensity this awesome box brings! 

This box shipped December 2nd and landed on my doorstep December 3rd! Fun fact: my box traveled from Korea to Alaska and then California! I don't know why I got such a kick out of that.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Nails of the Week #21: Models Own in Red Sea

I was perusing some blogs recently and saw some pictures of this combination and fell in love. Months ago I received the Models Own in Red Sea nail polish from Ipsy and just kind of stuck it on the shelf and forgot about it. It was a glitter topper of what looked like red flakes, but it's anything but just that! Who knew that such a basic looking nail polish could have such a dynamite effect! Basically when you layer it over black nail polish you get this gorgeous iridescent rainbow glitter effect and I'm obsessed. If you're curious I'm using the Rimmel Lasting Pro in Black Satin as my black base, but any black nail polish will achieve this for you. There are four more shades in this collection and now I'm mildly obsessed with hunting down the other ones so I can have a whole collection of gorgeous jewel toned glitters!

The formula is a little thick but the flakes are pretty densely packed in there so about two coats will give you full coverage on your nails. I did some googling and stumbled over this blog post that showed a bunch of swatches of all the colors, plus over different base coats. Go check it out, it's soo gorgeous and I just need them all!! Especially the pink and purple one!

Friday, December 5, 2014

What I Ate in Vegas

When most people think of Vegas they think of clubbing and drinking in excess, however I think food! Last week I was in Vegas for Thanksgiving visiting my sister and naturally we ate a lot. Today I'm bringing you the most delicious post ever on my blog of all the things I (or someone else) ate while I was there!

I must say that this trip was a lot shorter because I ended up having to fly in Wednesday night (basically missing a full day of eating...) and then Thursday was completely dominated by Thanksgiving. There were only a small handful of meals but I must say we did it big when we ate, so there will be plenty of delicious food to look at!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Unboxing: Memebox Princess Edition #4 The Little Mermaid

My Memeboxes have been slowing down. Lately the website hasn't been putting out many boxes and the ones they do I'm not interested in. I have just five more Memeboxes coming in the mail but I think that will be the end in awhile. I have more than enough skincare to last for awhile so there's no point in hoarding more. I was extra excited for this one because Ariel is my favorite Disney princess, plus it is a purely skincare box so I snapped it up right away!

For those that don't know what I'm talking about Memebox is a Korean beauty non-subscription box that sells boxes of surprise products curated with different themes in mind straight from Korea! Like I mean your box is shipped to you FROM Korea! These are great deals because boxes typically run between $19 - $39 (there are more expensive ones) but the value of the boxes are usually double and often triple the price you pay! 
This one is the Memebox Princess Edition #4 The Little Mermaid which is a special box all dedicated to skincare with an Earth and Sea theme! This ended up being all full size which I'm thrilled about since that wasn't guaranteed! This cost $29 + $6.99 shipping for a total cost of $35.99.
From the website:

The Little Mermaid is by far one of our most favorite princesses. This beautiful red head is a daring, free-spirited princess with passion for adventure (just like you!) going from the ocean to land to try beautifying goodies that are fun and exciting! We’re taking the cue from this fab mermaid to bring you the best of skin care from both land and sea! Give your skin a beauty boost by cleaning out jammed pores, extracting dirt and other impurities to the root with deep cleansing and deeply penetrating skincare miracles! I mean, who looks as good as this girl in both water and on land? Use this collection of skincare staples made with the best ingredients from both land and sea, to get the clearest, brightest skin ever!

This box shipped November 11th and landed on my door step November 21st.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask

I'm going to preface this with I have a slight prejudice when it comes to Neutrogena products (that's a story for another day) and I also have fairly high expectations when it comes to hair masks. I've used everything from cheap $5 drugstore options to masks that are $50+ before and have found hits and misses at all price ranges. Today we are talking about the Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask which retails for about $7 for a 6oz container. The packaging is your average plastic jar with a screw top and it is said to soften and moisturize extra dry and over-processed hair with the help of olive oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and sweet almond oil.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Project Second Chance Results & New Round

It's a new month, so how did Project Second Chance go?? This was an interesting project I must say that was actually a lot of fun! Unlike Project Pan where the only mentality is eliminate product as fast as you can, this one required more creative problem solving to adapt these unfavorites to my needs. Let me first lead you through the four products I played with this month and then I will wrap it up introducing the four products I will be working with in December!

Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation: I think it's safe to say this is the success story of this month. Moving into cooler months my skin is returning more to its combo state so this foundation worked out a lot better for me! Finally what worked is to use a really tacky silicone primer fairly thickly all over my face, using very gentle blending motions with a sponge and then pressing a matte powder on top. I must say I'm happy I finally found a way for this to work for me, but the process is much too labor intensive for an everyday thing. Also I'm still not too pleased with how much this product oxidizes so my face starts looking real dark 20 minutes later.

Monday, December 1, 2014

November 2014 Favorites + Unfavorites!

Guess who FINALLY has more makeup favorites than skincare favorites this month?! I know I could hardly believe it either! I'm so ecstatic that my skin has finally calmed down so I'm comfortable enough to wear makeup again! I'm still not doing full faces of foundation everyday but I'm comfortable with a light BB cream and then slapping all the fun stuff on it. I also have a small handful of unfavorites this month, I actually didn't think I would but then somethings just really offended me near the end of the month and made the list. Anyways let's jump right into this.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Whats in my Trash?! #12

Welcome to a less cracked out version of What's in my Trash?! This month we returned to the normal 15 products and I'm pleased to have worked through more of my stash and also to have found some great products! This month I worked through some staples and mourned the end of a favorite foreign product that will be difficult to get my hands on again. Let's get into the trash!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

10 Beauty Things I'm Grateful For

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Today is the day to count your blessings and be grateful with loved ones so I thought it would be fun to put a spin on things and list a few beauty items I am grateful for! If you've been following me for awhile now you will know that I have had a recent struggle with my skin so the number one thing is I am so grateful for the fact that it finally cleared up and is stable. This will be almost like a mini all time favorites list and possibly a sneak peek for my 2014 MVPs!! Anyways let's get into the 10 things, in no particular order, I am grateful for in my beauty regime!

  1. Toners. Why did I go so long without using these things?? That's redundant, I know the answer to that, it's because I didn't realize that non-astringent formulas existed! Toners with alcohol really dry out my skin and would have a funny reaction with the rest of my skincare so it was always a step I skipped. Then I discovered some great toners from Suki and Paula's Choice and I am amazed by how much gunk it still picks up after I've washed my face! Never again will I go without toner.
  2. Kiwi Facial Scrub. Not everything on this list will get a particular item shout out but this truly is the holy grail of all face scrubs so it deserves a moment in the limelight. This scrub from theBalm is THE best scrub out there that really deep cleans but is gentle enough to use daily if you wanted to. How can I make such a claim? My nose pores get pretty gunky, so that weekly pore strip is always regarded with much disgust and fascination, however after my FIRST week of using this stuff the amount of gunk yanked out was reduced dramatically and better yet my nose felt smoother and looked cleaner even before the strip! I'm in love with you facial scrub, never leave my life.
  3. Sheet Masks. This is a very recent but very profound love of mine. Right after toner and right before the serum step in my nighttime routine, slapping on a sheet mask to deliver an extra dose of nutrients and goodness is just amazing and the perfect way to wind down at the end of the day. I need mooooore!
  4. They're Real! Mascara. This mascara. Amazeballs. I've been a long time drugstore fanatic when it comes to mascara even scoffing at people who shell out the money for expensive designer brands, but then I met this guy and it was game over. Nothing compares to this one wand does all wonder and it will hurt, but I will keep forking over the cash for this one.
  5. Cleansing Oil. Nothing breaks down makeup as gently yet effectively as a cleansing oil does! Before this I was a fan of the makeup wipes but now even extreme laziness won't get me to swap out my oil!
  6. Hand Creams. Being a nail polish addict you would think I took better care of my hands...WRONG! I think only about three months ago when my sample stash of hand cream reached an alarming tower did I start using hand creams regularly and now I'm addicted to how silky soft my hands and cuticles can be and I find myself constantly slathering it on every second.
  7. Lorac Pro Palettes. I have slowly hoarded a small empire of eyeshadow palettes but nothing beats the Lorac Pro Palettes! The colors and finishes are perfect, the shadows themselves are lusciously buttery. And the packaging is slim and very travel friendly, I just love everything about them!
  8. BB Creams. I never realized how much I appreciated BB creams until I couldn't use them! When my skin was going wild over the summer BB creams were much too low coverage to the point where it kind of accentuated my acne so I was better off without it. Now that that is done I've picked up a few BB creams from my collection and have fallen in love with how they merely blur imperfections rather than cover them up completely. Now that's natural skin to me!
  9. Brow Pencils. I look back on pictures of myself and cringe, why did I never do anything with my brows?? Now it is the number one thing I MUST do before leaving the house! I can go bare face but I need to have my brows done. I think it's the one thing that just makes you look pulled together without exerting a lot of effort.
  10. Clarifying Shampoos. Whoever invented these things are godly. I've reduced my hair washing to just two times a week and my hair is loving it, however my scalp has other ideas. A nice tea tree oil clarifying shampoo is enough to appease my scalp, I am obsessed.
What are some things you're grateful for?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

4 Quick Black Friday Tips!

Before we fall into heavy food comas tomorrow, I am here today for some quick tips on how to have your best Black Friday ever! Hint, a lot of it has to do with forgoing the crowds and hitting up online shopping! Here are my favorite tips, sites and resources to really make the most out of kickstarting your holiday shopping!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sephora VIB/Rouge Sale Haul!

I went back and forth for the longest time but after obsessively reviewing my bank account and calculating my next paycheck I decided to go ahead and just treat myself with some goodies from Sephora! I also really wanted the adorable tote bag and for the first time (in awhile) cashed in some points for a 500 perk! I didn't get a lot of stuff but I'm really excited about the things that I did get!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nails of the Week #20: Spa Ritual in It's Raining Men

It's been awhile since a nail polish has captured my heart and I really wasn't expecting to find love on a clearance site. But you know what they say, love comes to those who aren't looking for it. Okay I might have made that up a little and tweaked the saying but that is what happened here! Last week I featured some dark red fall appropriate nails but the stains they left behind also put a stain on my heart for these colors. I had the full intention of doing this synthetic grape juice purple on my nails until I spotted this guy who came to me with free two day shipping and it was just meant to be! A few apologies first, I did a horrible clean up job on my nails (since this was such a light and sheer color) so you do see traces of it. I'm still having Photoshop issues (someone HELP!) so again these are uploaded directly and I can't really tell these details off my phone. Also my right hand thumb had some serious issues with my hair hence why it looks a little wonky, so just ignore that one and focus on all my other prettily shaped nails!

/rambling over. This nail polish is Spa Ritual in It's Raining Men. This is my first Spa Ritual polish and I'm really impressed with it! The formulation was a dream, even though this was a sheer polish three quick drying coats later and here it is in all its lustrous glory. It's a very pale silvery blue with a mother of pearl sheen that throws soft shades of pink, gold and lilac. This color is so soft and beautiful it's the perfect muted shade in my opinion. Best of all this color will definitely not stain my nails!

Friday, November 21, 2014

UnBoxing Match! November 2014 Ipsy vs. Birchbox vs. Beauty Box 5

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these services, Ipsy and Birchbox are two custom beauty subscription boxes that come monthly. Both of these cost $10 a month and each arrive with 4-6 different goodies ranging from sad little foil packets to full size products! Beauty Box 5 costs a little more at $12 and delivers the same amount of goodies. I would say that typically Birchbox consistently delivers high-end skincare and hair care products with a sprinkling of makeup while Ipsy goes more for the mid-range items and is normally a lot of makeup items and Beauty Box 5 is mostly drugstore with an even mix of products.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Unboxing Memebox Collaboration Box #4 CutiePieMarzia 2

Normally I like to go for the surprise boxes but this collaboration box had a certain item in it that I was dying to get my hands on so I purchased it. In hindsight I could have just bought the one item for a lot cheaper by itself since this box is kind of makeup heavy (boo!) but oh well. I plead momentary insanity and getting swayed by the cute custom box!

For those that don't know what I'm talking about Memebox is a Korean beauty non-subscription box that sells boxes of surprise products curated with different themes in mind straight from Korea! Like I mean your box is shipped to you FROM Korea! These are great deals because boxes typically run between $19 - $39 (there are more expensive ones) but the value of the boxes are usually double and often triple the price you pay! 

This one is the Memebox Collaboration Box #4 CutiePieMarzia 2 which is a special Superbox (so all full sized products) that was curated by some YouTube star that I have never heard of. This cost $23 + $6.99 shipping for a total cost of $29.99.
From the website:

CutiePieMarzia fans rejoice! Memebox is thrilled to bring you the 2nd collaboration with the fabulous CutiePieMarzia. With over 4 million subscribers on YouTube, CutiePieMarzia's beauty channel is filled with darling moments and we're sure you'll fall in love with her 2nd box right away! 
Marzia's 2nd box is packed with some of the loveliest items we've ever laid eyes on, so if you missed out your chance to grab her 1st box, don't miss out this time! CutiePieMarzia fans know she won't disappoint, and this box is packed with the best of K-beauty we know you're going to love!

Always on top of her beauty game- grab this box and you'll see what we mean!

This box shipped October 23rd and landed on my door step November 11th. For some reason I felt like this one took forever to get here but in reality it was just about two weeks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: theBalm Coconut Milk Cleansing Face Cream

This has got to be one of the strangest products I have ever used. It's a combination face wash and moisturizer where rinsing is optional! Originally I purchased this as a possible cleanser to use with my konjac sponge or a facial brush but this is definitely more suited for a hot cloth method. Anyways here are my thoughts and review using this item as a traditional face wash as well as simply wiping it off. So the product in question today is theBalm's Coconut Milk Cleansing Face Cream which retails for $26! As with all of my theBalm skincare, I got this off HauteLook at a heavily discounted price. There's been highs and lows for me in theBalm's skincare department but the prices can't be beat on HauteLook and I'm always suckered into picking up a few items to try out.

From the website:
"This hydrating, lightweight milk cleanser gently removes dirt and makeup trapped in pores. Lactic Acid works to polish the dull outer layers of the skin. Hydrate and refresh your skin while cleansing."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Unboxing: POPSUGAR Must Have November 2014

Popsugar I don't know how to feel about you! I mean I'm glad they got their act together this month and the box shipped on time. Mine came in last week but scheduling conflicts so this is why I didn't get it up sooner. This is the end of my three month subscription and for now I've cancelled it but I honestly don't know if I will do another three month like I was previously planning. I think I will wait until the spoiler comes out to decide.

Popsugar costs about $40 a month and is a lifestyle box so there's a mix of beauty, fashion, food, and home items! There is great value in the box normally well over $100 and it is sent monthly with a theme curated to the season. This month was a disaster with their new updates and this box just showed up at my door one day with no warning or shipping email sent.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nails of the Week #19: Essie in Bordeaux and Toggle to the Top

Wow sorry how horrible that picture came out. I'm having this issue with Photoshop and cropping so I've been having to use my phone to crop pictures upload them directly into Blogger but clearly what I thought was perfectly crisp picture was half blurry. I'll sit down and sort out my Photoshop issue soon so we don't have a repeat of this! I've definitely been getting lazy with my nails. They are hanging in this limbo where they are kind of healthy but not so I haven't been wanting to spend a lot of time doing nail art only to have my nails start peeling off. That being said I've stepped up my nail care game and hopefully I can return to fun designs soon! Side note, I've been shaping my nails lately and I'm really pleased with how they are looking! It's a slow process especially when it comes to doing my right hand since one slip of the nail clippers really messes it up, but at this point it's just a matter of refining my thumb and pointer finger so I'm pleased!

So into the nail polish I'm wearing. I wanted to do a deep red but this sparkle caught my eye. It was my favorite shade from Essie's winter collection last year so I chose that as accent nails and then picked a plain deep red that was similar in color for the other nails. Essie in Toggle to the Top is this beautiful red sparkle set in a matte oxblood background. It's definitely a really unique color because due to the base being matte, it causes the glitter to really softly shimmer on your nails. As the complimenting color I chose Essie in Bordeaux which probably wasn't the best option. The color could stand to be a shade darker to match the glitter and the formula in general isn't the best. I did three coats for both polishes but you can clearly see uneven balding that still resulted with Bordeaux. I didn't want to use more coats for an even color since extra coats make the nails more susceptible to chipping.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Review: clariSEA Deep Pore Detox Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Mask

Surprise! I couldn't stop myself from buying another face mask so I'm justifying it by writing a review for it. It's okay if it's for the blog right? Today I have for you the clariSEA Deep Pore Detox Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Mask that I bought from the Birchbox store! For $18 you get this 4oz jar. This product intrigued me because it seemed like a great mask with only four ingredients: Kaolin clay, charcoal, salt, and calendula! Four simple ingredients that work together to draw out impurities from deep within pores, clear blackheads, and soak up excess oil. It claims to regular use breakouts will be reduced, existing pimples will heal faster, all with the added bonus that there isn't that dry, tight-all-over feeling that can come from similar treatments.

From the website:
How it Works

Paraben-free and fragrance-free, this mask is suitable for normal to oily complexions. French kaolin clay and activated charcoal go straight to work, detoxing pores and leaving behind a matte, shine-free finish, while seaweed extract tones skin and promotes healing. Meanwhile, a blend of macadamia and sunflower seed oils hydrates and soothes inflamed skin.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Adventures in Organizing!

I'm kicking myself for getting overexcited so I forgot to take a set of before before pictures. Basically my makeup and products were originally stored in about four overflowing plastic bins and I decided enough was enough. I'm not even going to get into the disaster that is my bathroom storage because it's just a hot mess and I don't even know where to begin with that! What happened is it got to the point where all my products were so spread out and disorganized I was using the same things everyday. I wanted a new organized system where I would have access to everything easily and be able to give my beloved makeup the love and attention they deserve! Obvious answer: Alex 9 drawer! After a lot of moving around furniture and many curse words at Ikea, I finally managed to fit one of these guys into my life and we couldn't be happier! There is definitely room to grow in some drawers but I'm trying to using up products instead of hoarding them so hopefully this doesn't work against me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Unboxing: Superbox #63 Blackheads No More

It's hard to maintain an even mix of unboxings and other content on this blog just so each day it doesn't become a boring repetition. The amount of Memeboxes I have coming for me will slowly dwindle down and we can return to other things besides unboxings soon! November is pretty much packed with unboxings and I can imagine December and possibly the beginning of January will be too (wow did this year really go by that fast??).

For those that don't know what I'm talking about Memebox is a Korean beauty non-subscription box that sells boxes of surprise products curated with different themes in mind straight from Korea! Like I mean your box is shipped to you FROM Korea! These are great deals because boxes typically run between $19 - $39 (there are more expensive ones) but the value of the boxes are usually double and often triple the price you pay! 

This one is the Superbox #63 Blackheads No More which is a box packed with all things blackhead purging! After the great success of the Free From Oil and Troubles box I was really excited to get my hands on this one and it had everything I thought was missing from the other box so they complimented each other perfectly! I bought this with the Very Berry box so I split the shipping. This box was pricey at $39 + $3.45 shipping for a total cost of $42.45.
From the website:

Blackheads. Just the word itself gets people riled up!
If you’re one of the many people that suffer from blackheads, it’s likely that you’ve been fighting a losing battle. There’s a hoard of products out there that claim to clear blackheads, but are they really effective? Right now, you may think that the best way to remove blackheads is to squeeze them with your fingers, but that’s really not a great idea.
With the help of this Blackheads No More Box, a mix of blackhead clearing, blackhead preventing, and pore minimizing essentials, you’ll pull out all pore-cloggers straight and clean and shrink oversized pores for the best skin you’ve ever had!
This box shipped October 21st and arrived on my doorstep October 22nd. Love the overnight shipping that is express service! I had high hopes for this box and it didn't disappoint! The good thing about getting these unboxings up late though is that I've actually had the chance to use a few things so I can also give a short first impression!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: Old Factory Candle Gift Set

I got a little excited and ripped through the gift wrapping the second I got this so the shoddy wrap job I promise is not how it comes wrapped, but I used the same paper and bow. Next time I will exercise more restraint and take the pictures pre-violent unwrapping!

I was kindly contacted by Old Factory for a chance to review this Candle Gift Set and I immediately jumped on the opportunity. The set I chose to review was the "Coffee Shop" collection which contained three candles in the scents Coffee Bean, Hazelnut, and Chai Tea. These candle gift sets are all curated from a specific theme and contains 3 different scented candles. They can burn for up to 20 hours and they are hand-poured in the USE with a natural soy wax, that means no horrible puff of smoke once you blow them out! These sets are sold exclusively through Amazon and I've listed all of them below!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nails of the Week #18: Ciate in Pillow Fight

My nails went naked for almost a full week, it was a strange experience but to combat my acne issue that I had over the summer I was using some severely drying products and medication that resulted in fairly brittle nails and my over exuberance with glitter polish really didn't help with the peeling. My nails still aren't 100% but I couldn't resist the siren call of my nail polish any longer so here we are. This week I am bringing a simple manicure in one of my go to shades. This is the first time I've used this polish that I received in my September Blue Velveteen box and it is Ciate in Pillow Fight.

This color is a delicate shade of grey with a hint of lilac to it. The formula was super creamy and took two quick drying coats to apply! I think this is a beautiful shade for fall as it's a muted neutral that is incredibly glossy on the nails. I took pictures in all sorts of lights and it appears almost blue in natural light which is interesting. In person there is no doubt it is a more of purple grey though. This color reminds me of one of my favorite Essie colors Chinchilly. I haven't had the best of luck with Ciate polishes in the past in durability so fingers crossed this will hold up! I love the cute mini bottle too and it makes me believe I can actually finish this up!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Unboxing: Memebox Special #44 Very Berry

Meme addiction is getting bad. I'm losing storage space rapidly so my usual morning routine of just four steps (toner, moisturizer, eye roller, and spot treatment) has started taking on some additional products in order to work my way through all these amazing skincare goodies! I think I'm putting a hold on Memeboxes for now seeing as I still have about eight coming towards me!

For those that don't know what I'm talking about Memebox is a Korean beauty non-subscription box that sells boxes of surprise products curated with different themes in mind straight from Korea! Like I mean your box is shipped to you FROM Korea! These are great deals because boxes typically run between $19 - $39 (there are more expensive ones) but the value of the boxes are usually double and often triple the price you pay! 

This one is the Special #44 Very Berry which is a box packed with all things berry! I was expecting all skincare so I was surprised to find a makeup item included! I purchased this box in a value set so I got to pay one shipping for two boxes PLUS a free upgrade to express shipping! So the box was $29 + $3.45 for shipping for a total cost of $32.45.
From the website:

Berries, berries, berries! The beauty benefits that berries offer are endless! 
This Very Berry box is jam-packed with all sorts of scrumptious berry infused beauty goodies that not only offer health benefits, but also extend their benefits to the skin and body! Bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, plus collagen inducing compounds, these yummy fruits neutralize free radicals that lead to skin cell damage, and increase the collagen and elastin levels in skin and body for the look of healthier, more vibrant skin!
This sensational Very Berry Box is a dream come true for all you berry-holics! Plus, the delish scent is an added bonus! 
This box shipped October 21st and arrived on my doorstep October 22nd. Seriously I'm spoiled by express shipping! I love these value sets because there's that free upgrade to express and shipping is literally overnight FROM Korea!!