Friday, August 29, 2014

Project Pan Update!

I am so proud of the progress I made this month! I just really sat myself down and was like this is ridiculous these things have lasted forever it's time to just buckle down and focus...and it happened! Project Pan is really satisfying and I'm much more comfortable with the traditional style of doing it. Project Pan Remix was fun to start with but it was just disastrous to keep up with and I ended up just feeling really bad abut myself which is not the goal of makeup!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What's in my Trash?! #9

I was scared for a second that I wouldn't have enough products for a full on empties post this month and then suddenly I accumulated an overwhelming amount of stuff. It's exciting because I seem to be moving away from sample sized things (cop out!) and have more full sized products to share. There are definitely some amazing products that I've used up and sadly won't be able to repurchase so I'm excited to share all my trash from this month with you guys, let's get started!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Did I Survive the Spending Ban?

Clearly I did not (see theBalm Haul, Birchbox Haul, elf Haul...not even getting into my random day of splurge). I did break down a few times, but I would like to think as a whole this was a really positive experience for me and it stopped me from wandering into the drugstore during my lunch breaks and picking up random things. It also challenged me to work through my samples and others items I have accumulated and move out my comfort zone to discover some new things. Here are some things that this spending ban has taught me about myself and my habits:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: Birchbox Limited Edition CEW Boxes

I wait for these eagerly every year, because they are affordable limited edition boxes from Birchbox! Last year I made the mistake of only getting the Prestige box so this year I was sure to pick up both. To be honest I wasn't overly excited for either box but there was enough items in each box and for the price for me to be interested in them! These boxes are products from the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Insiders' Choice Beauty Awards, either finalists or winners, basically the Oscars of makeup! It's a mix of full size and deluxe sample sizes, and the to boxes are split but highend and drugstore items. Let's get right into the unboxing and review of these two limited edition boxes. I apologize ahead of time for the quality of pictures, I was struggling with that glare massively.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nails of the Week #10: Glitter French with Color Club Magic Attraction

This technique definitely needs some refining, seriously the second the top coat dried I kind of went duh, should have used a makeup wedge to clean up the ombre end of things so it's less of an abrupt stop of glitter. Oh well there's always next time and I just know that this will be one of my go to looks especially for winter. This week I took Color Club's Magic Attraction and did a gorgeous glitter french with it. It was the easiest manicure ever and it looks so chic and glam, I'm a little obsessed. This glitter is a very fine pixie dust of mostly silver mixed in with a rainbow of colors, the dominant one seeming to be some red. Clearly I've been on a whole glitter/rainbow holo kick lately, I'm just into the dazzling nails!

It was really easy to get this effect, a light coat on about half the nail with the glitter so that it's very sparse and then I just went to town dabbing at the tips to build up the glitter. You do need to be a little careful here so it doesn't build up into a mountain, but either way a glitter french is much easier to work with than any color so I was easily able to do both hands by myself. Follow up with a shiny top coat to smooth everything out and voila you have a beautiful manicure that looks like it was done professionally! This look is definitely better with longer nails so keep that in mind if you ever want to try it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

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

Wow Birchbox came fast this month, like pretty much the first of the month and Ipsy was the last one to arrive, how the tables have turned...Anyways I can't even wait until the end just to express how upset I am this month, I really hope this isn't a continuing trend because I really look forward to subscription boxes every month and lately they've been a huge let down.

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, August 21, 2014

How to Blog on a Budget

I'm not going to lie when I first started this blog not only was it an emotional outlet but it was also to justify all the extreme amount of spending that I do on makeup products. Trips to the drugstore became "I shouldn't buy these five blushes" to "It's okay to buy five, actually grab more because it's for the blog". Obviously with this mindset, "blogging" started to become very expensive for me and finally I realized I needed to make a change in my approach. For those that don't know, I really don't make any money off this blog at all. The few pennies I make from the ads I have on my site goes straight back into advertising (in the form of adwords) for the blog, so nothing ever goes towards the products. All of these products and items are purchased with my own money, so as you can imagine savings are hard to come by for me. 

After I realized what was happening to my bank account that's when I decided to enact that spending ban. More on how that turned out for me, but I can say at the beginning I did find some creative ways to blog on a limited budget and thought it would be helpful to share these tips today!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I Ate Today

Personally I love looking at pictures of food all the time and if I had a choice between Bravo and the Food Network for a week straight, you know which one would win. My Instagram is constantly flooded with pictures of food so I thought why not share everything that I've eaten in a day! I really don't follow any specific diet I kind of just reach for what I want to eat, I just believe in smaller portions of my favorite foods to regulate my diet. What I haven't pictured is all the water throughout the day, I drink roughly half a gallon of water a day which helps me stay full and reduce the risk of snacking; once in awhile I will treat myself to a small glass of apple juice when I am craving something sweet. Disclaimer now I am not the world's healthiest eater but I try! There's nothing more that I hate than going to the gym so I compensate by trying to eat better in order to maintain a bikini ready body.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

Today I'm back with another one of those products that I had passed over a a gimmick but eventually found myself coming back to and needing to try for myself. Before we start I need to make it clear that I'm aware that there is no magic potion that will make pores disappear, however with that being said, it is possible to shrink the size slightly by finding products that will truly deep clean your pores. What I have here today is Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner which retails for $18 for a 6.4oz bottle. This is a really generous size and very budget friendly. This toner is a lightly hydrating formula that claims to restore skins' balance and minimize pores with the added bonus of helping to control oily and combination skin. This potent combination of antioxidants, anti-irritants, and cell-communication ingredients helps to restore normal function to your skin with the ability to balance oil and reduce redness by soothing dry and flaky areas. It also helps to remove the last traces of makeup and it is alcohol, fragrance and colorant free!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nails of the Week #9: China Glaze BFF

This nail polish is a one coat dream! I just love it so much, so smooth and easy to get the perfect cuticle shape with it. And the color! Don't even get me started. This is China Glaze BFF which is the most gorgeous pink holographic sparkle. It's just so beautiful with the rainbow iridescence! I was OBSESSED back in January with this polish when I first got it and I think I wore it for a solid two months straight on my toes, this is actually the first time this color has gone on my nails! The one drawback to this polish is that it chips pretty easily since a top coat kind of ruins the beautiful effect of the color. At least it is easy to touch up because the holographic effect really covers up any unevenness or lines.

I took a ton of pictures from all sorts of angles and different lightings to really capture all the dimensions of this polish but the pictures seriously don't do it justice. In person the color is less rainbow and more of a shimmery nudey pink but whenever it moves and catches the light you get flashes of color. This is definitely a really special polish and one I will have to rock on my nails more often. Sadly this came out in a limited edition collection and it's really hard to get your hands on them now but I'm seriously obsessed and it's become my life mission to hunt ever single polish in this collection down!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday 5 Faves

This week has been crazy busy! It both went by really slowly and flew by at the same time that I can't believe it's already Friday! I'll admit I've been doing pretty poorly at the whole prescheduled post deal so I've started taking things one day at the time. I am just bursting with ideas for blog posts that the easy stuff to preschedule (reviews, DIYs, etc.) are getting pushed out of the way as my real time thoughts are just pouring out. Lately I'm really into these sit down and chat types of posts which I'm more than happy to do because these will be the fun ones to reflect back on years down the line. I still can't believe it's been nearly 10 months of posting 5 times a week and I'm amazed that I haven't run out of things to say again. This blog really is my baby and I'm so happy with what it has turned into and what it has done for me in return. Anyways today I'd really like to highlight five favorites from this week in no particular order!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Good (for your skin) Food

Ever hear the phrase "You are what you eat?" Personally I'm more acquainted with the idea you are what you drink as a fun theme party from college, but I digress. While I'm not 100% convinced that certain foods are the answer to flawless skin I do believe in the benefits that some nutrients can deliver. Your body does a much better job absorbing vitamins and nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables versus taking vitamin capsules. After some thorough research I've put together a list of some good for your skin foods to share today!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

UnBoxing: Influenster Vitality VoxBox!

I was lucky enough to be selected for the Vitality VoxBox and can I tell you it came so fast! This is my second Influenster box, the first one took over a month to arrive but this one was a matter of days! Last Monday I was notified that I prequalified, on Sunday I got the email saying I was in, and then Tuesday (yesterday!) I was sent the tracking link and I came home from work yesterday with this huge box on my doorstep!

For those of you unfamiliar with Influenster it is a community that will send out specially curated boxes (for free!) to qualified members full of items for them to test and review. Each box has a theme and this particular one was all about living life to the fullest which I think is very appropriate for my blog! Full disclosure all of these products have been provided to me free from Influenster for my thoughts and opinions, I am not getting paid at all by Influenster or any of these individual brands to endorse them! So let's just get right into the details of what came in this box!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ins & Outs

I think I need to stop trying to do "Day in the Life" posts because everytime I try it just fails miserably. Over the weekend I went to Outside Lands which is a music festival in San Francisco and every since I bought the ticket (months ago) I was planning a full on photo diaryish post of everything. Clearly that didn't happen. I got may three photos in total, obviously not enough for a post so instead I'm going for a nice Ins & Outs type post. A lot has been going on in my life (life update is still coming I promise) but this post will be a nice little sneak peek into some of the things that have been happening. If anyone remembers how my summer started you will be pleased to know that it has completely turned around and I really couldn't be happier about where I ended up now. Actually 2014 in general did not start out great for me and everyday I'm still amazed at how things turned out. Anyways, enough with the vague rambling, let's just get right into the meat of today's post!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Nails of the Week #8: Essie sssssexy

Well this polish was a utter fail for me. This week I did Essie's sssssexy which is apart of their effects line. It's one of those magnetic nail polishes that has iron in the formula so when you run a magnet over the top of it a cool design is suppose to appear. In this cause it was suppose to be a snakeskin pattern, nope definitely didn't work for me. I followed the directions to a T and I didn't even get the slightest hint of a pattern! I'm realizing I've done a lot of Essie lately but if you've checked out my nail polish collection posts here and here you'll realize the brand domination. Moving forward I'll try to pick some different brands but I just love Essie so much!

Despite being disappointed by the lack of design, this is a beautiful color by itself. It's a nice red wine (or sanguine) color that has a slight silver metallic sheen. I'm assuming that sheen is due to the iron, but either way it gives the color a really nice vampy look to it. The application was a dream, this could have been a one coater but I ended up with two because the directions suggested putting down one coat, and then doing a second coat before running the magnet. This is definitely a color I will rock again and I think it will also be a great one for the toes during winter, so despite the magnet not working out so well for me I still love the color! And yes I shook this baby like crazy to mix up the iron, I think I might have just gotten a faulty bottle of it sadly.

Friday, August 8, 2014

This Week in Videos

You may have remembered when I did a similar post with links but instead I wanted to try it with some videos instead this week! Here's a collection of some YouTube videos that I've been really loving this week for various reasons. I seriously watch an unhealthy amount of YouTube, it basically is my substitute for TV (who am I kidding I follow a ridiculous amount of TV series too...), either way here is just some fun stuff I've found from this week!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Haul: elf Cosmetics Eyeshadows, Blushes and More!

Spending ban? What spending ban...I caved a ordered some goodies from elf. I must say that I've been wanting one specific baked eyeshadow for awhile now and I finally decided to just go for it and pick up a few other things. I do love elf, it's very hit or miss when it comes to their products so definitely do a lot of research before picking anything up. While it's tempting to stock up your collection with their dollar goodies, some things are just really poor quality and not even worth the dollar. It's a funny coincidence that everything I picked up cost $3! Let's skip the rambling and just get right into the goods.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: theBalm's Vanilla Oil-Absorbing Face Moisturizer

I was skeptical at first, but I think this may be one gimmick that actually works! Typically I tend to stay away from cream moisturizers in the morning because I have oily skin and I find that most tend to add to the oil throughout the day. I go with a lighter gel formula that is fast absorbing, but I'm finding that gel moisturizers aren't moisturizing enough! Enter theBalm's Vanilla Oil-Absorbing Face Moisturizer. This guy retails for $20 on theBalm's website and is a nice frosted glass bottle with a pump that comes with 45 ml of product! The site states that it is a lightweight, oil-free formula infused with special oil absorbing “micro-sponges” that will help control shine for hours on end, without drying your skin. It is also Paraben-free, Synthetic Dye-free, Phthalate-free, Cruelty-free & Made in the USA!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Best Online Beauty Resources

Did you know there's a site out there that can help you pick out a foundation shade???! Seriously wish I knew about this so much earlier but I'm not someone who saves their receipt and this could have saved me a lot of money and headaches of trial and error when it came to foundation. Besides that, today I want to share a few of my favorite sites for beauty resources. There are a million spots to hit on the internet but here are must trusted sites that I go to religiously before making purchases!

Monday, August 4, 2014

July 2014 UNfavorites

I'm starting to think I should start combining these unfavorites posts with something else, maybe start doing some first impressions? I just feel like the consistency of having unfavorites isn't there and also an entire day dedicated to a fairly negative post? Throw some ideas at me because I'm not sure what to do here! Anyways, this month I scraped up a few items that I could have done without in my life as well as one that I'm just on the fence about, I'll get more into that at the end, so let's just get started with these things.

Friday, August 1, 2014

July 2014 Favorites

Hello favorites this month! I must say that it's only a handful this month but I'm really REALLY obsessed with the things I've discovered. Most of them are skincare and random products but there's one or two makeup things in there! I think I'm starting to get out of this funk and getting back in the groove of things. My skin is slowly starting to calm down so I'm going to feel confident playing around with more makeup soon. There are just a few stubborn patches along my jawline as well as a small eruption near my hairline that just gotta go but otherwise my skin is feeling stable and somewhat normal again, hooray!