Wednesday, April 30, 2014

UPDATE: Project Pan REMIX

Another month with some progress made on Project Pan REMIX! I'm still working out exactly how I want to run this show so we'll see if the format changes. The concept of Project Pan REMIX is that I will have five products (left side) that I am treating like a traditional Project Pan (full-time), using it until it's gone and reporting on the progress every month, and then five products (right side) that I will be using that are just forgotten products and I want to incorporate more into my daily routine (think of this as part time Project Pan). Then I will have one product (center) that I will swap in on a weekly basis as a rotating "use me more" type of thing and this month I'm going to work through my perfume samples!  The format of reporting progress will be a little different from what I've been doing, but I will explain more and it will be clear once I introduce the products, so let's begin!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

7 Under $7: Skincare


Random thought of the day: why doesn't dish washer safe makeup brushes exist? And if they do, where can I get my hands on them?! Is anyone else out there like me and just hate going through the process of cleaning brushes? It's too the point where I literally have a million duplicates just so I can use a clean brush for every application and not have to wash (or spot clean) a brush. Now you may be thinking, just lighten up and use a brush again, but no, I have HUGE pores that get clogged like crazy so better not risk the process more...and naturally I'm acne prone too. Anyhoo, back to the point of today's post which is all about skin care! This 7 Under $7 was really difficult for me to put together because I'm obsessed with skincare and have really tried almost everything under the sun. I could easily have made an entire one on facial cleansers alone, but then this series would just go on and on forever so I sat for a very long time and finally whittled it down to my top 7 picks.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mani Monday #16: Nailtini

I'm starting to get into the random nail polish brands. This week is Nailtini which is not even something I knew existed until Ipsy. It's kinda cool, it's a whole line of nail polish (and other makeup) that all have alcohol in the formula and all the nail polishes have cute drink names, one bottle retails for $13 and I've never seen them in stores, just on their site. Application was horrible. The polish was thick and the brush dragged like crazy. It was a huge task to get the coats even and most of my nails dried with massive bubbles. Not pleased.

Mani Monday is a weekly feature where I put a different brand of nail polish to a 7 day test. I chronicle my activities for each day with thoughts of things that could potentially attribute to chipping my polish. I use the same base and top coat each week, and this week applied two coats of Nailtini's Mai Tai. There will be a full list and links to all previous Mani Mondays at the end of this post.

Friday, April 25, 2014

UnBoxing Match! April 2014 Ipsy vs. Birchbox

Ipsy came at the perfect time, I was having a really rough day and the tracking information hadn't been updating (it still said it was sitting in SoCal) so it was a great surprise to find this in my mailbox that day! I got really excited watching the Birchbox sneak peek this month and I definitely had my fingers crossed for a product or two that I was hoping to get! As usual Birchbox took forever, but this time I was teased by getting tracking information very early but then a week later I got another email stating they sent me the wrong information and that my box was only just shipped...get it together Birchbox, the waiting drives me crazy!

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 4-6 different goodies ranging from sad little foil packets to full size products! 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.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Top 5 Blush Picks!

For the longest time I didn't understand the hype of blush. Naturally I get flushed cheeks from being cold, walking too fast, etc. etc. but after a friend convinced me to try out a blush in Sephora I was hooked. There's just something so feminine and classy about putting on that perfect shade of blush that just brings a certain sparkle and life into your face. So many blushes exist out there, a million different shades and finishes, personally I'm a huge fan of the shimmer blushes over the matte ones because I just love the sparkle when the sun hits my cheeks. You'll definitely see a trend when it comes to the blushes I go after, but here are my top 5 picks!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Movie Madness in 2014

Summer is drawing near and that means movie season is in full force! Normally I'm not a huge movie goer but that changed last year, and with the high conversion rate of my favorite books to movies lately (and an onslaught of sequels) I have quite a list of movies I'm looking forward to. Thought it would be a nice break from all things beauty to share some movies I am looking forward to as well as naming a couple that I have already seen. These are broken up into three categories: Must See in theaters, preferably on opening night; Either Way, movies I'm excited about but not necessarily NEED to see in theaters; and Wait For It, is more of the guilty pleasure or silly movies that I can wait until they come out on DVD (or streaming services) to see. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Trapped On A Deserted Island: Beauty Must Haves

I thought this would be fun to do, I'm looking at a whole lot of face makeup right now and contemplating what I just cannot survive without and deciding their rank of importance in my life. I'm taking my top ten "Must-Have" products and putting together a list. I'm going to start with the least important and then work my way down to my number one "can't be cut off from civilization without this" item, with little tidbits along the way as to why a certain product is where it is. I'm going for makeup that you can visibly see, so primers or setting powders, etc. will be excluded from the list. Let's start!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mani Monday #15: Sinful Colors

This was such a messy application. It was streaky and lumpy and just really difficult to get an even coat so even now there are still some streaks but I just gave up. Sinful Colors can be found in a lot of places for about $2. While application was horrible I can say that it dried super quick with no smudges.

Mani Monday is a weekly feature where I put a different brand of nail polish to a 7 day test. I chronicle my activities for each day with thoughts of things that could potentially attribute to chipping my polish. I use the same base and top coat each week, and this week applied two coats of Sinful Colors' Easy Going. There will be a full list and links to all previous Mani Mondays at the end of this post.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What's in my Trash?! #5

These are turning into my favorite posts to write. I just love hoarding up finished products and it really is encouraging me to try different things in order to accumulate these items. This has definitely helped me rediscover some old favorites (Aveeno Clear Complexion Moisturizer!). Also if anyone was ever wondering I cap each monthly at 15 products so there are roll-overs. I do it this way because otherwise some months I'll have 30+ items (I always seem to finish everything at the same time..) and then other months would just have one or two. This month ended up being all skin and hair products and no makeup! Interesting. I guess I have been using a bunch of different things equally? Anyways, on with the show!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ins & Outs

Ins

  • I've been staring at my nail polish collection for quite some time and realized I have a serious purple addiction. Those lilacs and lavenders are just my most favorite shade ever to wear for any season. It's such a great color 
  • I don't know about everyone else, but I'm still thoroughly infatuated with Candy Crush. That game is so addicting and I will admit that it has lured me into paying for more lives a few times. Seriously even when I have played out all of the levels, I still love going back and replaying levels in order to get those three stars. May Candy Crush never lose the magic for me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Top 5 Bronzer Picks!

A year ago I didn't own a single bronzer and today I have a drawer that is overflowing with bronzing products. My first experience with bronzer was definitely due to the fact that I am horrible at picking out the right shade of foundation and even worse about holding onto receipts. My answer to that? Picking up some bronzer to warm up my face. After my first purchase I got hooked and it was game over from there. Since that first bronzer experience I have definitely dipped my toe into the world of contouring and I just love the result. It's like an instant face lift and really exemplifies the magic of makeup.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

7 Under $7: Nail Polish

I can't believe it's taken this long for me to throw together a 7 Under $7 for nail polish but here it is finally. Actually no, I'm a total Essie snob so I haven't really ventured much outside of that, but doing my weekly Mani Mondays has helped me discover some great (affordable) brands so finally I have 7 solid nail polishes to share! You can find a weekly run-down for most of these nail polishes so I'll just give a short and sweet highlights recap, if you're looking for more in-depth and with pictures, click the Mani Monday at the nav bar and scroll on through for the brand!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mani Monday #14: Wet n Wild Megalast

Completely dry to touch in two minutes flat for the price of $2?! I think I am totally sold on Wet n Wild Megalast and the week hasn't even begun! I'm rooting so hard for this one to work out! Even as I'm typing this I have a second tab open up exploring collections of this polish and picking out colors I want to try. Best part is there are always drugstore sales that are BOGO or at least buy one get one 50%.

Mani Monday is a weekly feature where I put a different brand of nail polish to a 7 day test. I chronicle my activities for each day with thoughts of things that could potentially attribute to chipping my polish. I use the same base and top coat each week, and this week applied one coat of Wet n Wild Megalast's Haze of Love. There will be a full list and links to all previous Mani Mondays at the end of this post.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Top 3 Favorite Makeup Removing Techniques!

The common problem when it comes to makeup is the issue of having to take it off at the end of the day. Does anyone else find it heartbreaking to wipe away that flawless face that you’re sure you won’t be able to recreate? I will definitely admit there were a few times I took some slightly shameful selfies in order to memorialize that perfect smokey eye or how dewy and fresh my skin looked. Through the years I have tried a number of different techniques at getting myself unready for the night and there have definitely been some hits and misses. From cold creams to coconut oil I've tried it all and I've settled with three favorite techniques to share.


First up is my absolute favorite method right now: cleansing oil! I won’t get too much into it, you can read my full review here on my favorite brand that goes really in depth about it all, but this stuff rocks! Super gentle and just strips off all my makeup, waterproof or not, while also leaving my skin soft and hydrated. Without a doubt I suggest everyone try a cleansing oil at some point in their life, it was a completely life changing experience for me and my skin just loves it.

Next up is makeup wipes. Before cleansing oil stepped into my life this was my preferred method of taking off my makeup. It was fast and easy, and it's still something that I return to after a late night out where I want to just wipe and collapse into bed. There's a whole bunch of brands out there and everyone has their favorites, personally I like the wetter towelettes without a lot of fragrance so the Pond's brand is my personal favorite. A recent discovery is the LA Fresh makeup remover wipes, the towelettes are extra soft and just as effective. Why I moved away from using wipes daily is all the harsh tugging that inevitably happens when a slightly damp cloth is your only means of cleaning away the day's gunk.

I'm not a huge fan of thick, creamy makeup removers as I feel like they always leave behind a film, nor do I enjoy the liquid ones because more often than not they irritate my contacts, so enter this solid waxy lump of travel friendly goodness: theBalm's Balms Away makeup remover. A lot of people claim this is no different than rubbing Vaseline on your eyes, however I find that it works and the more solid state of it makes it a great travel companion and virtually mess free. Just a small dab rubbed over your makeup and wiped away with a dry cloth and you're done.

What is your favorite way to take off makeup at the end of the day?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

theBalm Haul + First Impressions!

Spending fast begins now. But really, someone please help I have a serious addiction to makeup. I will say I was doing really great for awhile, no purchases except refill items...and then theBalm showed up on HauteLook. Those who aren't familiar with it, HauteLook is a flash sale site where everyday it's something new and products are slashed down 50% sometimes even 90% off! I will admit it's a pain, it takes a month to ship sometimes (I placed this particular order March 7th...) and I've definitely had issues where they send me the wrong product (thankfully they refund all my money but then I'm stuck with something I didn't want). However with those prices, I think it's worth the gamble once in awhile! With this particular purchase I saved over 50%!!

So ever since I accidentally destroyed my beloved Mary Lou Manizer when I was attempting to fix it (ironic right?) I've been torn on whether or not to pick up a replacement. Enter HauteLook telling me that it was going up on the site and I was sold. I'll admit I went a little overboard (hence the haul) but after I added everything I have been coveting in my cart I decided to just go for it and add in a couple more that looked intriguing for that free shipping, might as well just do it at this point right? Chatter aside, let's just get right into everything I picked up.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

7 Under $7: Blushes & Bronzers

It's been awhile since I've done one of these so I decided to tackle my favorite category of makeup, blushers and bronzers! Luckily some of my all time favorite products are drugstore that I absolutely swear by an use as a daily basis so I have some good suggestions today! It was hard to just limit it to 7 but I tried to choose a wide variety of brands.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Full Nighttime Routine! (Shower, Hair, Skin + Nails!)

I've been talking about this for weeks now and finally I had the time to sit down and just write it out set-by-set: my nighttime routine!! I know specifically I always talk about skin care but I thought it would be fun to share my complete routine of nightly rituals. This specific routine I'm sharing is the really excessive one with all the extra steps I only do twice a month or so, I'll indicate these "pamper" steps as I break down all my products below. Just for reference, I have oily skin, huge pores, and slightly acne prone skin. It is definitely not sensitive, flaky or dry in any way shape or form so generally I find that it is receptive to my experimenting and I'm lucky enough to be able to test a lot of things. However with that being said it can be very particular and after a few uses I can tell right away if it likes something or not. This care routine has been developed after much trial and error and I can say I am quite pleased with the results.

I must say that since I've started this routine I have noticed a HUGE improvement in my skin. Typically I would get some decent sized breakout patches on my cheeks and along my jawline maybe 2-3 times a month, as well as once a month one of those massive red zits that kind of just sit under the skin and never fully erupt that are just painful and an eyesore. I've been doing this new routine for about 3 months now and I'm proud to report that my acne is now reduced to a one or two small guys on my jawline maybe once a month and no more of those lurkers! Also I've noticed that my pores are cleaner and therefore look smaller (no more white bumps of severely clogged pores!), as well as a slight reduction in the oiliness on my cheeks and chin (no dramatic difference to my forehead yet), and an overall evening of the complexion with skin that feels soft and plump.

Interlude: Bloglovin!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Learn with me here. I just got Bloglovin so let's see how this works. Don't worry there's still a regularly scheduled post coming today (one that I've been really excited to put up!). Why not share my to-do list I had this for this blog?

-Redesign and overhaul. I love the sunflower but time for something more minimalistic and clean.
-Time to upgrade the camera and photo staging situation.
-Graphics in general, I want to start doing more on photoshop and give my images an overall cleaner and unified look.
-Fresh new series, I see this turning into a purely review blog, time to spice it up.
-Get on Bloglovin!
-Time for some giveaways!
-Start writing more lifestyle pieces

So there's the roadmap of where I plan to take LoLiO (kind of want to start pushing that name too thoughts?). I'm excited to take this journey and hope that all of you are too. xo

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mani Monday #13: Seche

I still haven't tried the Seche Vite top coat but it's definitely on my list once I finish my OPI one. After so many rave reviews about that I had high expectations when it came to drying time with these Seche lacquers and I wasn't disappointed. It went on completely opaque in one coat and dried super quick. I picked this bottle up at Ulta for $7.50 and besides the base and top coats I haven't seen any of the colored Seche nail polishes anywhere else.

Mani Monday is a weekly feature where I put a different brand of nail polish to a 7 day test. I chronicle my activities for each day with thoughts of things that could potentially attribute to chipping my polish. I use the same base and top coat each week, and this week applied one coat of Seche's Irreplaceable. There will be a full list and links to all previous Mani Mondays at the end of this post.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Review: Michael Todd Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant Scrub

You know how most fruit scented products always end smelling very chemically crafted or overly perfumed to the point where you feel like you're cleansing with a handful of candy? I can truthfully say that the Michael Todd Tropical Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant Scrub is not one of those products! Instead it has more of a light citrus smell that reminds me of a cross between an orange creamsicle and orange soda, and for someone who typically is not an orange fan, I am still completely in love with this product. I am always on the hunt for a gentle exfoliant that I feel comfortable with using multiple times a week without feeling like I'm doing irreparable damage to my skin so I have tried many different products from high-end to drug store. I would say this sits snugly in the mid-range when it comes to price, $18 for 3.4 fluid oz (100 ml), and by far has been the most effective within my skincare regime.
Michael Todd has formulated this naturally refreshing skin treatment (made with 96% organic ingredients and gluten free!) that harnesses the power of fruit enzymes, papaya and pineapple if we want to get in to the specifics, to deliver a mild non-irritating exfoliant that effectively removes impurities, dead skin, and toxins without the need of scrubbing. This is most effective when used after a basic cleansing and you take just a small amount and smooth it onto your skin in small circular motions. Let it sit for a couple of minutes (prime time to brush your teeth, or go in for a full body scrub if you're doing this in the shower) to let those enzymes get to work grabbing onto all that gunk before rinsing off with warm water. This fruit scrub has a very creamy texture to it and you can feel the tiny enzyme beads in it. After you rinse off your skin just drinks up any kind of moisturizer or toner you apply to it, giving you a perfect blank canvas to hydrate your skin.
I am very impressed with Michael Todd products in general (save for the Jojoba Charcoal Scrub, not a fan of the smell) but this really has to be my favorite product by far. Within a week of adding this scrub into the mix my pores are visibly cleaner, there was a reduction in acne caused by clogged pores, and my skin felt softer and more plump with moisture. This stuff is gentle enough to use on a daily basis, but I tend to reach for it just 3-4 times a week.

Have you tried out this scrub? What are some of your favorite Michael Todd products?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag?

As you are reading this (right this very instant) I am actually in Iceland! Or I might be a plane back, time differences and a what-not really confuse me. Someone asked me how long of a flight it was there and I couldn't even answer that (much less where Iceland is exactly). Since I am venturing out I thought it would be fun to share what I brought along makeup wise with me! I didn't bring too much, just enough to put together basic looks and I went for flatter, more travel friendly products. I must say the most difficult thing to pack was brushes as well as picking out a setting powder (which I actually have no intention of using but just in case...). I'm bringing all my products in this cute sparkly makeup bag that was a free gift with purchase (one of those that come stuffed with samples) that is very compact but surprisingly roomy and sturdy. I'm also bringing a separate green zip bag to store my brushes for those wondering.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

March 2014 UNfavorites & Face Wash Challenge Check-In!

I got lucky. I've bought a lot of things lately and I'm pleased all my researching has paid off! I must say that the only unfavorites I've found are things that have been sitting in my collection that I just forgot about but with Project Pan, March Madness and my need to obliterate my Chapstick/lip balm collection I've picked out a few items that just ruined my life this month. Also I went into writing this and did NOT forget about my face wash challenge, so a much better (and thought out) update will follow my unfavorites!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March 2014 Favorites

Happy April Fools Day! I've never been a fan of this holiday, I can be quite gullible so I'm stepping out now to assure you that you will receive no pranks or trickery from me. A break from Mani Monday (are we getting bored of them yet?) to bring you my favorites from March!

When it came to makeup I didn't really try anything new this month. I have some new products hoarded up but allergies really hit me hard this month so I opted out testing out new things in case anything aggravated it even more. However I did change up my skin care routine pretty dramatically so I want to highlight some of those favorites!