Thursday, July 31, 2014

Project Pan Update!

With the end of Project Pan Remix, this traditional approach is much more manageable for me. Things just started to get out of hand with too many products in rotation and my brief loss of interest in all things beauty, Project Pan Remix just started stressing me out and making me feel bad that I wasn't meeting goals. I'm a very goal and list oriented person so I take it really hard when I don't achieve things I've set out for myself. I can't say that I did super this month but I'm somewhat pleased with the progress I made this month. I'll be more organized for the next update with before and after pictures because this time around it's hard to picture any progress at all so you'll need to just take my word for it!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Acne Skincare Showdown!

This horrible experience lately (going on three months now...) of tween-esque acne problems has really got me reflecting (and digging out) some goodies from my past. Now that my skin is starting to show signs of calming down it's a good day as any to share some of my favorite products that I have used out throughout the years and break down categories on drugstore and more expensive options. I feel like I've paired up some pretty even match ups and it's definitely worth it to check out a few of these for your arsenal!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What's in my Trash?! #8

I have to say I think these empty posts are my all time favorite, they just never get old! It's like a mini review of a million products and gives me an incentive to get through all these samples. As much as I like to believe that I'm a world traveller and hoard my samples for my journeys, let's be real, I ain't got the time or money for that! I must say that I've used up a lot of my smaller samples at this point and with the ban on shopping I'm not collecting a ton more at the time so from here on out the amount of empties I have may start shrinking a little.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Nails of the Week #7: Color Club Sugarplum Fairy

This week is a glitter bomb. I was in Vegas this past weekend so it was a good time as any to rock a ridiculously in your face polish. I sure paid for it afterwards getting this stuff off, but it was such an awesome look that it was definitely worth it! I had quite a few glitters to choose from but in the end I selected this Color Club in Sugarplum Fairy which is a beautiful polish that is just all glitter. It's a clear base with a mix of silver and rainbow iridescent glitter that I just really packed on so my whole nail was just glitter. I used Essie Sand Tropez as a base since it's a nice nude that would just blend into my finger.

Honestly after two coats my nails were completely covered in glitter, it was super easy to work with the dab and spread method. However I decided the opportune time to take a shower was roughly 15 minutes after my last coat so naturally I had to pile on another two coats to even it all out. I went without the top coat this time around because I feel like glitters need that authentic rough texture to really make a statement. These nails were a huge hit over the weekend and the perfect selection because it was such a glitzy neutral color that it complimented every outfit I had. I'm definitely lagging on changing out the polish because I just know what it a nightmare it will be! It was really hard to capture the sparkle in pictures, I threw some out of focus pictures in there in an attempt to show off that rainbow, but seriously the photos don't do this polish justice at all!

Friday, July 25, 2014

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

I was a naughty peeker this month but I just couldn't wait! I can tell you I had mixed feelings about the goodies I was getting. Ipsy looked promising and Birchbox had a great variety of products but nothing I was super excited about. I was a little annoyed that the Beauty Box 5 preview was for a drugstore mascara but I'm discovering it's usually more of a miss for that anyways. If it weren't for that coupon code there is no way I would have picked up that subscription. I'm definitely canceling it after the year is up and it's still up in the air whether I will try another service.

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, July 24, 2014

Preemptive Birchbox Brags

Finally decided to cash in my points and here's what I got! I was so excited about all the things I decided to order that I couldn't wait for it to arrive so I'm doing a preemptive haul today! Again, I know, spending ban. I think it's pretty safe to say I failed at doing it, but my purchases have definitely been more calculated and thought out. I did achieve kicking the habit of buying things on a whim just because I'm having a bad day so some good came out of this right? Or at least that will be what I keep telling myself...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beauty Myths: Debunked #4

Did you think that I've forgotten about this series? Truth is yes...but never fear I'm back with another round of beauty myths to debunk! It's time to uncover some sad truths when it comes to beauty including some lies we've been told about cold spoons and acne.

Quick fix to puffy undereyes is placing some cold spoons over them. While it is true that the cold will reduce the swelling, you should actually never do this! The freezing cold has the potential to break capillaries in that sensitive area which will cause spider veins that will look much worse in the long run! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: theBalm's Spearmint Aloe Face Mask

Hair masks, face masks, hand masks...anything really I'm a total sucker for masks! One day I should do a post about all the face masks I have (it's up there in the double digits!) because I just love using different ones 1-2 times a week! It's just so relaxing to come home from a long day at work and just put on a face mask to wind down, and I can tell you that my skin is not complaining from that extra pampering! It's really no secret that theBalm is probably my favorite makeup brand, or at least a close tie with Benefit, and I've started dabbling into a lot of their skincare and finding a lot of hits and misses. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nails of the Week #6: Essie Sand Tropez

This week I went with an old classic. I've had a lot of bright and deep nail colors lately and I had every intention of doing a fun summer neon, but when the day came where I had some time to do my nails I was in kind of a weird mood and opted for a muted neutral. It was just one of those days I didn't want to stand out which worked because even though I've had this color for quite awhile now, I had never used it! I think I tried once but didn't have the patience to wait for the coats to dry in between and I just ended up making a mess. I know some people prefer the more sheer look but since my nails are still slightly stained I piled on three coats to get this opaque look. There is a tiny bit of streaking on one or two nails but since this color is so neutral it wasn't that noticeable and I decided to not go for the fourth coat. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

This Week in Links

I spend a lot of time reading through other blogs but rarely do I leave any comments (really need to start doing that!). So in the spirit of all things nice and friendly I thought it would be a great day to highlight some posts that I've been loving from my reading this week! I think this is something I might want to start doing more often because it was a lot of fun picking up the pieces that really spoke to me and it's also a great way to help some people discover some new blogs.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DIY: Skin Icing Facial

Raise your hand if you're suffering through hot weather right now. I don't know about anywhere else, but this week we've been hit with some horrible humidity. It's overcast all day but the heat is just hot and sticky, I need some thunderstorms to break this up stat! Whether your fighting muggy weather like me, or suffering through bright direct sunlight, I have a cool tip for everyone: give skin icing facials a try! Skin icing is exactly what it sounds like: ice cubes on the face. Don't worry it's not as barbaric as it sounds, but before we get into the how it works, let's first explore some reasons of why to do it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wanderlusting

I'm still in that beauty rut. I can tell you my daily beauty routine has been reduced to mascara and filling in my brows. My skin is still going absolutely crazy right now so I'm avoiding putting anything on it really and it's turning into a vicious cycle of feeling not very pretty because of it but not being able to do anything. I'm starting to suspect that adding toner into my daily skin routine also has something to do with it (and not just changing my diet and change in medication), so I'm trying to see it as a positive that my skin is pushing out all the bad stuff from deep down and in a few weeks my skin will return to a flawless state. Anyways, enough ramblings, veering away from beauty I thought it would be fun to try something new and talk about traveling instead! I promise that Iceland picture/video/everything is still to come, I know I know, I went on this trip in April but a lot has happened and I haven't had time to sit down and just do it yet. But while we are still waiting for that, why not throw together the list of places I am just itching to visit.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fun in the Sun

I must apologize, I'm trying to branch away from the beauty articles and try some new stuff on this blog. Following the frustration with my skin which equals me using less products, and with my (semi successful) spending ban, I'm trying out some other possible avenues to spice up this blog. Ultimately this blog is about me, even though it has been primarily about beauty since I began it, it's time to start shedding some light on the other aspects of my life. This is something I want to be able to look back on years down the line and be able to understand the person I was at the time. Today I feel like throwing out some ideas of summer activities! I'll admit I'm a Netflix and bed kind of girl, but in an effort to have a more social (and active) life I've started filling my weekends with plans and found some new things to replace my Desperate Housewives marathons!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nails of the Week #5: Red, White, and Blue Manicure

Wow I'm so much more backed up on my NotW than I thought. This is actually what I did almost a week and a half ago for 4th of July. Currently my nails are actually naked because I'm giving them a break from all the acetone and nail polish. If they weren't so grossly stained red I would take a picture of them, but it disturbs even me to look at them and it's not something I need out on the internet forever. Anyways! So for this (last) week I decided to go patriotic and take my dotting tools out for a spin. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Unboxing: July Beauteque Beauty Bag

They got me with the promise of a free Essie nail polish...does this count as breaking my spending ban too? Probably, oops...Anyways! After reading about this beauty bag on Rachel's blog Harlot Beauty (go check her out!) I was intrigued and decided to order one for myself! Despite going to China fairly often (used to be once a year, now about once every 2-3 years) I have NEVER picked up any kind of Asian beauty products! I guess the real reason for this is that I didn't really get into makeup and beauty until about two years ago and my last trip was a full year before that. That being said, after reading and watching countless reviews and hauls about Asian beauty products I really wanted to try some of this stuff out for myself.

This particular site, Beauteque, specializes in Korean beauty products, but they are headquartered in New Jersey so no need for crazy shipping fees! So their BB Bag (Beauteque Beauty Bag) is their new subscription service that is $22 a month (or $60 for three months) which includes shipping within the States! This is a great deal because it comes with a cute makeup bag (really though, how cute is it?!) and this month came with 7 items which are ALL self customized! I'm not sure if all bags will be like this, but I loved being able to pick exactly what was going into my bag! I don't plan on continuing this service, this was just a one time for fun type of thing!So let's get into the goodies I picked out!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Songs of Summer

In my opinion, nothing beats driving with the windows down blasting music on a warm summer day. It's the one time I'm willing to risk my hair going crazy because the act of doing it is so inevitably summer. As usual each summer I carefully hunt down and curate the perfect soundtrack for these drives and I think this year I've really put together a winner. I'm not going to share the full list because that has something like 100 songs on it, instead I have put together a quick list of my top 10 that I have just been loving and putting on repeat. Sorry if my "explanations" all sound the same, I have a hard time with it, you can't really explain music you need to just listen to it and see if it speaks to you. I literally have a playlist for every situation because nothing gets me through the good and the bad times quite like music can. I'm not going to claim that these are all fun and happy songs but I think it's always interesting to take a look into someone's music choice because it definitely gives you a hint of things they are going through, so if you can learn something about me! Note: these songs are in no particular order!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Breaking the Ban With a Haul

I know I know. Spending ban fail. I really have no excuses except that a lot went wrong for me in May, but as it started to turn up I decided to give myself a pick me up with a blush I've been wanting and that somehow turned into picking up six items in total. I am just a sucker when it comes to theBalm and it's turned into my life mission to own everything from them! As usual HauteLook hooked me in and it turned into well if I'm already paying the shipping I might as well just go for it, and things escalated quickly. Just real fast, HauteLook is a flash sale site that is always good to keep an eye on because often they have a lot of high end makeup brands like Too Faced and Urban Decay for ridiculous discounted prices. The only thing about this site I don't like is that the shipping takes forever, sometimes over a month! And the shipping is also quite high so it always tricks me into spending way too much money just to get the free shipping. However I do like how you are able to return things to Nordstrom Rack now so that's always a plus, and they also have great customer service. So onto my mini haul!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mini Life Update!

I had every intention of putting together a "Day in the Life" type of photo diary post today for 4th of July, but besides my morning routine of makeup and skincare, I completely failed at taking any pictures at all. I ended up running late to everything and there were just not opportune moments for pictures. I'm sad this was a fail because I was really excited to do this and start documenting some things, but we will try again the next time I have a fun day planned! So I'll admit I am at a lost as to what to do so I'm going to give a semi life update. I'm not getting into huge details but I kind of want to explain a few things that are going on. Feel free to skip this if you're not interested in some random ramblings from me.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Nails of the Week #4: Essie Bordeaux

My nails of the week is definitely throw off now from last week having to do project pan on a Monday, so don't be surprised when you see patriotic nails next week! Anyways for this week I picked out this beautiful red from Essie called Bordeaux. Excuse my slightly sloppy paint job, it wasn't until after I took all the pictures I noticed the little bald spots on the side, I'm not perfect! This was a beautiful oxblood that required two coats for opacity. Some of the nails were a little streaky so I ended up doing three coats for some. I must admit that this color looks quite similar to a number of reds that I own such as Essie's own Shearling Darling and Wicked as well as OPI's Got the Blues for the Red. This isn't that special of a dark red so there's no need to run out and buy it, but it was a nice change from the pinks and pastel designs that I've been rocking of late. You'll notice a huge different in the shade under natural lighting, it will be quite obvious in the detail pictures below where I took them, but I think that's the true beauty of these deep reds. Under artificial lighting they appear almost black and outside it's a nice ruby glow.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Favorite 4th of July Activities!

Despite being informed that 4th of July is cancelled due to the untimely elimination of USA from the World Cup...I am here to wish everyone the happiest of Independence Day and share some of my personal favorite activities to indulge in on this day! This will be a quick post as I will admit I'm pretty basic when it comes to celebrating these "holidays". I'll confess normally I am the worst at doing anything for these particular days, a good day to me is some french fries in bed with Netflix, but in my attempt to assimilate into the real world as a functioning human being I'm scraping together some must-do's and attempting a social lifestyle!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: elf Mineral Face Cleanser

Have I been living under a rock or something because this concept for a face washing powder is totally foreign to me! I hauled this months ago and for some reason it never occurred to me to review it so here we are sharing some thoughts! After a quick spin around the internet, this is apparently not a new thing at all, this particular product came out two years ago but for some reason I just never really heard much about these types of cleansers! I'm hunting through the elf website and I'm really not seeing them sell this cleanser on it's own anymore, but you can score it for cheap through sets that they've put together so if after you get through my ramblings and you're interested, go take a look!

Face washing powders are popular in Asia while US lacks the options for this strange form of cleansing. The whole concept is a bottle of powder akin to laundry detergent where you add a little water and then it lathers up into a wash. The elf cleanser comes in a small plastic bottle with a shaker lid. It claims to be paraben-free and made up of 100% natural minerals that contains Green Tea, Aloe, Jojoba, and Vitamin E that are all skin nourishing ingredients.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June 2014 UNfavorites + Face Wash Update!

I'll admit I didn't have many unfavorites this month and the ones I did come up with are things I've never really liked by every month they somehow get left out of my unfavorites. Like I mentioned in the past few days it's been a weird month for me and beauty really has taken a backseat to life. Anyways, let's just get into the few items I've distinguished as worst of June 2014.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 2014 Favorites!

This was the month of rediscovery and many repeats. Going into this second month of spending ban I'm really shopping my stash and finding some gems. Also my skin has gone from borderline normal to puberty level oil field, not fun. That life update I promised you...that will come and this whole skin situation will make so much more sense. Enough with the cryptic rambling, let's get into the products!