Friday, May 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!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Favorite Summer Nail Colors!

Am I weirdo for not liking neons? I feel like summer colors are bright but not obnoxious, but also soft so that your nails can enhance the brighter clothing you tend to wear and not clash with it. Also neons are notoriously difficult to work with, I don't have the patience for a white coat so it just never turns out well for me. Today I've picked my three favorite colors for rocking in the summertime, also it was hard, but I tried to not pick all Essie in my collection so there can be a range of brands. I'm doing three finger swatches for each of these colors because one, the mess of painting five nails five times gives me anxiety just thinking about it, and two, you get the point whether it's three of five fingers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

3 Tips for Healthy Glowing Skin!

I'm not doing anything crazy here, I just want to emphasis three easy steps to achieve healthy glowing skin. A lot of you will be rolling your eyes and turning away thinking duh! these are so obvious, but I feel like it's still important to stress their importance.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What's in my Trash?! #6

Another month, another round of empties. It's been a successful month of project pan and go through a good amount of makeup that is surprising. I started using up some samples too so expect to see a lot of foil packets for awhile I finally realized how senseless it was to have packets of one time use stuff just sitting there taking up space.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mani Monday #19: Nails Inc

Another week, another nail polish. This week I dusted off this bottle of Nails Inc that I got at Sephora a long time ago. These retail for about $9 a bottle and I THINK you can still get them at Sephora, just look for it pushed to the side. Ever since they got rid of OPI and replaced it with Formula X (which I still need to try), everything else has been cast to the ends of the nail polish display so I really don't know what they actually still sell in stores now. This went on smoothly and dried with no air bubbles (!!) and minimal clean up needed. The brush is stiff and flattens out considerably but it makes for a very quick and controlled manicure. I was actually able to apply this nail polish decently. I'm still working on perfecting that curve without touching my cuticles but I think I'm getting there!

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 had to switch up the top coat since I ran out of the OPI one so from now on I'm using the same OPI base coat but the Elf 3 in 1 as a top coat. This week applied two coats of Nails Inc's Chelsea. There will be a full list and links to all previous Mani Mondays at the end of this post.

Friday, May 23, 2014

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

I'm the worst kind of shopper, I was having a bad day and totally purchased an year subscription of Beauty Box 5 on a whim. Still I'm excited to throw a third service into the ring and I've been itching to try a new one anyways. I got it on a deal so each box came out to be around $6 a month so why not! As previews go I can say I wasn't that excited for any of the three. Beauty Box 5 was giving an eyeliner (I have plenty of those), Ipsy had a lot of hair care and more drugstore makeup, and just nothing about Birchbox really caught my eye. So let's see how they all ended up doing! 

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.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: theBalm Almond Microdermabrasion Face Exfoliating Scrub

Someone needs to stage a face scrub intervention because I don't think my skin can take the abuse anymore! Just kidding, I limit my face scrub to only 2-3 times a week, but I've definitely amassed quite a collection to choose from. It's almost to the point where I can go 3 times a week for a whole month and never repeat a product. I am just addicted to the feeling that a good face scrub delivers and the end result! After testing theBalm's Almond Microdermabrasion Face Exfoliating Scrub for almost a month now I am finally ready to deliver my verdict on this product. This one was another casualty of my large haul in April so I picked it up for a reasonably discounted price. Typically it retails for $36.50 which I think is quite steep for only 2.36 oz of product. This is part of their Time Balm Skincare line and it is a white tea scrub infused with almond extracts that is suitable for all skin types. The scent is very light and pleasant, there's definitely a good whiff of tea with a very natural smelling note of sweet almond. It is designed to remove dead surface skin cells and leave your skin smooth. The directions specifically states to rub in circular upward motions for a minute to get all the benefits of the product.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Summer Music Festival Survival Must-Haves

After reading another blog post that highlighted some music festival beauty essentials I was inspired to compile a list of necessities for surviving the day overall! I've been to my share of music festivals throughout the years in many different locations. Desert? Check. Breezy island in the bay? Check. Park in the heart of LA? Check. I think at this point I can call myself a festival veteran and be able to share some wisdom to make your music festival experience the best that it can be!

The number one must-have for me are sunglasses! I would suggest picking up some cheap ones (Forever 21 has a bunch of different styles that hover between 5-10 dollars usually!) because you just never know what will happen. I've broken, lost and even got sunglasses stolen off my face countless times so the worst thing you could do is have something happen to your pricey babies. This is a duh moment for those day long festivals where you're fighting with the sun to see your favorite acts but at night I found it useful to wear sunglasses into lit buildings so you aren't blinded walking in and out of the restroom.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer & Cindy-Lou Manizer

I'm going to let you all in on a secret: I preschedule my posts! *gasp* Okay that may not come as a huge shock to most of you since you've probably all figured it out at this point seeing as posts are published everyday at 11am and all. So why am I randomly talking about this now? It's because I'm here to say that months ago I had pre-determined that I wanted to review these two products on May 6th, but obviously that didn't happen. This happens a lot for some posts they get shuffled around as I'm suddenly struck by inspiration, or I decide to do a special post that is time sensitive (read: current events and holidays), so long rambling short: this one has gotten pushed back no less than five times. What I'm trying to say is that at this point I really just want to push this particular post out instead of rescheduling so this is going to be a short, sweet and to the point review.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mani Monday #18: Nail Rock

I have no clue if this is a stand alone brand or not but I received this in a Birchbox as part of a manicure "kit". Basically it was the polish plus a tub of glitter. Together this kit sold for $10. Also the color claims that it is red, in pictures it does look more bright cherry red but I can tell you in person it is a more orange red. I feel like this would be a great polish for some jelly sandwiches which is something I will need to experiment on in the future! Otherwise it applied really nicely one coat to achieve this fully opaque color! The brush was a little wide so one swipe basically covered my whole nail and when I was going in for the sides it was hard to not get it all over my finger.

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 had to switch up the top coat since I ran out of the OPI one so from now on I'm using the same OPI base coat but the Elf 3 in 1 as a top coat. This week applied one coats of Nail Rock's Red. There will be a full list and links to all previous Mani Mondays at the end of this post.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Dirt on Pantone Color of the Year

Since 2000 Pantone has made it a point to announce a color of the year which afterwards you see a mad rush of everyone snatching up everything and anything matching that color in hopes to stay fashionable. I don't know about anyone else but I always wonder about this color of the year business, so I thought it would be interesting to do some digging and figure out how this color is chosen every year and look into what it all really means and how it affects fashion and beauty.

First of all fashion tends to come out a season or two to almost a year ahead of time. Meaning right now despite just the beginning promise of summer is happening, the fashion world is already debuting its Winter 2014 line! That being said when choosing the color of the year it is easy to "look ahead" so to speak, to see the colors that will be used for a full calendar year before that year even happens! The process begins every year as a search that takes place in January. This is an international affair that incorporates taste-makers from all industries including fashion, technology, music, travel and even ones that seem out of place like weather to search for emerging color trends around the world. It's not even just to stalk beauty gurus and runways for color but the color of the year really has to resonate and be embraced globally. After these colors have been collected a secret two-day meeting is hosted by Pantone where in the end a color is agreed upon.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Feeding the Addiction: Summer TV Premieres!

I'll admit it, I watch a ridiculous amount of TV to the point where it's a little unhealthy. I promise you I go outside once in awhile too...Summer is coming meaning all the summer TV is starting up again! This means the return of competition shows as well as a few guilty pleasures. I want to share a few shows that I'm just extra excited to start watching again.

Typically I don't like watching The Bachelorette because watching guys fight over a girl and all their drama is kind of annoying, but I just fell in love with Andi last season and I just want more of her! I'll confess I definitely fast forward through boring dates and the majority of the rose ceremony because the two hours just kills me but I'm still completely invested in the outcome of her experience.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review: theBalm Blueberry Face Treatment Mask

After extensive testing of products I am finally ready to start reviewing everything I scored in my theBalm haul that I picked up last month off HauteLook. First up is this Blueberry Face Treatment Mask! Typically this retails at $22 for 2.36 fluid ounces, but if you catch it on HauteLook like I did it is only $10.  It comes in a nice heavy jar, I"m not sure if it's glass or just really nice plastic but either way it feels sturdy like it won't break on you. On the website it states that it is a mask suited for normal to dry skin (I disagree, get into this more later) that works to tighten and renew your skin while drawing out impurities and gently exfoliating away dead skin cells. With a combination of botanical extracts known to clarify your complexion and combat visible signs of environmental stress while leaving your skin fully hydrated and smooth. This can be used up to two times a week and is a paraben-free, synthetic dye-free, phthalate-free, and cruelty-free!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review: HauteLook Exclusive Lip Beauty Bag

This was definitely a leading factor in enacting my spending ban but this deal was just too exciting for me to pass up! Every once in awhile HauteLook comes up with a set of full sized products that they sell at a ridiculously low price. I missed out on the $10 makeup goody bag so I snatched up this lip bag as soon as it hit the site at 8am. This set came with six lippies and then five lip accessories/tools. The total value of the entire bag (lippies and goodies included) is $160 and I picked it up for $20 (plus shipping, tax, and a month long wait time..). So did I think it was worth it? The answer is a resounding yes. The Laura Geller marble lipstick made this bag for me, it is perfect and the best everyday nude that I have in my collection. I could have done without a few of these tools but I will just take them as bonuses. The majority of these products are some fiery reds so it's definitely not a dream bag for everyone.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mani Monday #17: Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro

Sorry guys I should have checked online and realized that Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro is discontinued. I must say when Rimmel redid everything a few years ago they definitely got rid of some goodies like my all time favorite Lycra Extension Mascara! That was a horrible heartbreak. I think the Lasting Finish was replaced by the 60 Second nail polish, anyways we will continue on with this weeks Mani Monday anyways! The formula was nice and very quick drying however it is bubble mania on my nails but I blame that on my top coat. My Opi Top Coat is definitely reaching the end of its life, it's getting really thick and goopy so I had to glob it on to achieve a single coat. For the last few Mani Mondays (just 3 more for now!) I think I need to switch the top coat because this just isn't usable anymore.

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 Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro's Black Satin. There will be a full list and links to all previous Mani Mondays at the end of this post.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Review: Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

It's taken me so long to get this up, I've had it for awhile just siting in a drawer before I finally remembered about it. The Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette retails for $49 and it came out December 2013 as a Sephora exclusive for the holiday season. Since then you can find them in other places, I picked mine up through a deal on HSN. I got the palette plus a full size of the shadow insurance for $29 with free shipping! This palette smells decadent, like chocolate, similar to their chocolate soleil bronzer (which I adore). The colors are 14 shades of browns, pinks and plums with two larger highlighter shades in a soft cream and pink. There's a range of finishes from creamy mattes to frosty shimmers and is a beautiful palette over all. This is my first experience with Too Faced besides the Chocolate Soleil and Shadow Insurance but reading a few reviews online I found people complaining that most of these colors are recycled from previous palettes. Personally it is all brand new to me so first impressions I see this as a great neutral palette that has the potential to delivery the darker looks.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

4 or More..Products I REALLY Love

As I was reorganizing my makeup (yes I'm a little obsessive) I noticed a few products where I just seemed to have gotten one of every color so I thought it would be fun to share these items where I own four or more of. Definitely a lot of lip products and nail polishes which I seem to have a tendency to hoard different colors of.
I went through a Maybelline Color Tattoo phase where I wanted every single color there was. After I discovered the inconsistency in the quality that tapered off. My favorite will always be Bad to the Bronze and I hope to start using these more especially now that it's getting warmer and I want more budge proof makeup!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Time For a Financial Fast

Once the Christmas season was over with all their sales and tempting value sets I thought I would be done with my impulsive shopping for awhile. Oh how wrong that is. Maybe it's because I've been so stressed. Maybe it's because I reorganized my makeup and now there's more sense. I'm not exactly sure what it is but today I'm ready to climb on stage and state that I have a serious addiction to buying makeup.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review: Benefit's Bigger Than BB The Big Easy

I am not a foundation girl. I'm lucky that I have fairly even skin with no crazy redness or dark spots with minimal scarring. Also I'm horrible at matching the color to my skin and even worse about keeping receipts so I tend to stay away from that mess (I have a whole box of foundations that are just a shade or two off that I have no clue what to do with). I also have very oily skin and large pores making it difficult to find any type of foundation that will stay put and not accentuate those pores. My skin is also finicky and prone to break-outs so I really avoid putting anything all over it during the day. However after hearing all the claims that the Benefit's Bigger than BB, The Big Easy makes as well as reading mixed reviews I decided to pick it up myself to test out. I'm a huge fan of Benefit, especially their boxed blushes. I think have enough products to do a full face Benefit at this point. The biggest selling points for me to try this out is the fact that it is liquid-to-powder finish (only thing I've found that would stay put!), self adjusting (goodbye color match woes), and SPF 35 (gotta get in the SPF habit for summer)!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Nails of the Week #1: Essie Fashion Playground & Hide and Go Chic

We're going to switch it up, eventually I plan on doing alternating Mani Mondays and Nails of the Week right now it's going to be kind of crazy. Originally the Mani Monday that I had been testing this week just went really badly. Total user error and the results just wouldn't have been real if I followed through, so I'm introducing NotW a little earlier than expected! I really miss doing nail art and colorful manicures so I'm going to start featuring my nails and thoughts on the nail polishes I use with close up swatches, opinions, tips, and dupes!

Friday, May 2, 2014

April 2014 UNfavorites & Face Wash Challenge Check-In!

This month some cute travel sized products as well as lip products fell victim to my wrath. I took a trip earlier this month and decided to take advantage of using up some sample sized items. Bad mistake. They made me break out like crazy, and one was just awful, I used it twice and was so offended by it I couldn't go on. I've been cycling through a lot of lip products this month, I'm wearing less and less makeup (I walk out of the house with brows done and two swipes of mascara now) so I've been getting into the habit of throwing on a lip.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April 2014 Favorites

I promise, I will start wearing makeup again so I can actually have some makeup favorites. I've fallen into a rut, I'm not adventurous at all, I always turn to my usual favorites or my Project Pan items so there's a serious lack of new favorites. As usual I have a bunch of skincare/beauty favorites to share. I picked up a huge stash of theBalm goodies from HauteLook and definitely fell in love with a few of them. I've also continued my Michael Todd love affair, I definitely found a few products that I will be purchasing full sized ones, as well as a few more products from the matching line that I want to try out (Honey Mask!).