Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy 1 Year!

Today marks the one year blog-o-versary of this blog! Whoohoo! I can't believe I have been blogging for a full year now and that I've managed to stick to my crazy schedule of posts five days a week! I'm really proud with the improvements and achievements I have made over this year and this is truly a project I am proud of. I'm going to do just a quick run down of what some highlights from this year! They may seem small but I'm really proud of all of them:
  • I reached 60 Bloglovin' followers! I would say probably for the first six months or so I was pushing out content and I didn't tell anyone, not even friends and family. Then one day I had a friend tell me that she stumbled across my blog and shared it with her coworkers and ever since then I've grown more confident in my abilities to write and less shy about letting people know I was out there. To know that at least 60 people were interested enough to start following my blog is a really exciting moment for me!
  • Joined an amazing Birchbloggers community. Along with starting to share my blog a little I joined the Birchbloggers group and from there I also found other great blogs that serve as inspiration and aspirations for what I wanted to do with my blog. 
  • Hit over 13000 page views. Never did I imagine I could create something that people would want to read but it happened. This started out as a project just for myself, I didn't care if no one ever saw it, I just wanted to write about something I loved so I feel so humbled and blessed to have created a following and I appreciate all the love and support I have received.
  • Redesigned my blog layout to perfection. It had been on my to-do list to redesign this blog, I started it with just a basic template and a roughly edited photo as a banner. I am in love with this minimalist look I have achieved and while it's not anything fancy, it is completely me and does its job of highlighting the content above all else.
  • Learned so much about beauty and makeup. The girl who used to fill in her brows with a sponge tip applicator and sparkly black eyeshadow has come so far. It's almost embarrassing to admit but I'm so excited that I have become a resource for friends and family when it comes to all things beauty and makeup.
  • Name change! This was a really subtle change but when I first started this blog was titled "Love Life, Outloud" until I realized how silly (and misspelled) it was so I condensed and lovelifeoutloud was born.
Now that we've gone through the journey of the past year, I'm sharing a sneak peek of what's coming in October (and beyond!)

Memebox Oh My Honey box! (Possibly my all time favorite Memebox!)
Review of theBalm's Kiwi Facial Scrub
POPSUGAR Must Have October Unboxing (and what sacrifices I'm making to keep this subscription around!)
Updated nighttime skincare routine (all 13 steps detailed out!)
Follow me as I reorganize my makeup from five separate areas into one makeup storage unit!
Wardrobe and shoe purging posts
The return of book reviews
Revamped recipe posts (chicken shrimp scampi pasta anyone?)
My obsession with the Pumpkin Pecan Waffle candles
That Iceland vlog that I have taken months to edit....
...and my first ever giveaway!

One year ago my very first blog post was a quick introductory blurb about what I wanted to do with this blog followed by product reviews and favorite posts that had badly staged images. While I'm still not completely satisfied with the quality of my pictures I can definitely see the improvements in it all. I'm so excited and grateful for all my loyal readers and for myself pushing through the tough times to stick to the schedule. It's been a great year and I can't wait to see what the years to come will bring!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nail of the Week #14: Color Club in Bundle of Joy

I am so behind (in real time) on my NotW next week you'll be seeing birthday nails...for my birthday that was last week...I just had a week where I changed my polish three times and then ended up getting ahead in this series. So I guess I'm not really behind, but I am in keeping it current? Okay I'm just confusing myself at this point. Anyways onto the nail color of the week (that I was actually wearing two weeks ago...)!  I can't decide if Color Club in Bundle of Joy reminds me of mint chocolate chip or Tiffany's more. It's this beautiful mint green that has black and clear glitter throughout it. This definitely requires multiple coats to achieve full opacity so the glitters will layer onto each other for a really beautiful effect. I must say I was slightly wary picking this up because in my experience the more pastel the color, they harder it is to work with, so I was pleasantly surprised with this polish. This is definitely my final nod to summer colors before I revert back to jewel tones and muted colors for the colder months.

There's some serious leveling issues with this polish but due to the nature of it, the layer of glitter, it's actually not noticeable. Initially I used three coats but then the next day I was noticing some funky bald spots so I added one more coat and it was perfect. I just love this color, it's so pretty and the formula is easy to work with. This would be a really fun color on the toes too! It was a little difficult getting the black glitter on my nails because there were less of them throughout the polish but it made for a more whimsical effect in the end so I'm not mad about it.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Project Pan Update!

This is out of the ordinary, coming to you on a Saturday, but September has just been jam packed of so many things to write about that somehow my Project Pan update got lost in the shuffle. So for a Saturday special today I will be laying out my progress on the project! September was a great month for me. I was busy working at some good stuff, received so many packages it was like Christmas came early, and with my skin stabilizing back to its combination state that I've been able to wear makeup more often without fear of it sliding off my face! That being said, I really knocked it out of the park with Project Pan this month and I'm very pleased with my progress!

Friday, September 26, 2014

What's in my Trash?! #10

Project Pan has been a success for me lately and I definitely blew through some products. This month I also finished some favorites of mine! I almost went over my usual 15 items per month but I decided to go ahead and just save it for next month.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Unboxing: Julep Jewel Heist Mystery Box!

I apologize now for the yellow lighting in these pictures I was having a lot of issues and even Photoshop wasn't helping me out too much when I went to edit this photos! By the time I realized how poor the quality was I had already thrown away most of the original packaging so this is just what we have to work with!

Every once in awhile Julep decides it's time to clean house and they will release these mystery boxes full of products they are discontinuing or just want to get rid of. There's normally some sort of gimmick that promises some random winners that pulls people into picking up these boxes. I'm not a Julep subscriber but when I heard about this box, paired with a $10 off coupon, I decided to pick one up. I haven't always been the biggest Julep fan but some recent polishes I picked up I've liked so I was interested in trying some more colors. This box cost $24.99 and since I had a coupon I decided to do a small add-on that cost $9.99. I received 9 full sized products and I'm pretty darn pleased with everything I got!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

24 on 24 (on the 24th)

Today is my golden birthday! I'm turning 24 on the 24th! Normally I dread birthdays, I can say that my past six or so have always ended in tears (and not the I'm so drunk kind) so usually I just kind of try to close my eyes through the day and hope that it will pass by an unremarkable event. This year really isn't that different, today I'm hoping for no surprises and just a quiet dinner out with family, but that hasn't stopped me with reflecting over this past year. The journey from 23 to 24 was particularly rough with only one year that could possibly compete with it being the worst. 24 years isn't a lot of life experience, but in comparison to what has happened so far, this year has been pretty bad. But the bumps didn't come without lessons so today on my 24th birthday I am here to break down this past year in both achievements and silly facts about me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Unboxing: Blue Velveteen September 2014

Double Unboxing Day Special! I have been flooded with subscription boxes lately and in order to get them all out in a timely fashion I have to double up (and even do some weekend posts)! September was a spend like crazy month so I promise it will calm down and there will be the return of reviews and random musings that everyone knows and love soon.

Today I am coming to you with a box I totally purchased on a whim after reading about it on another blog, Beeju Boxes, which is Blue Velveteen! This site looks horribly made and really doesn't have much to it but I decided to give it a shot anyways. Also at this point I have no clue if I bought a monthly subscription at all since at the time there was just the option to purchase one box but since then I've noticed there's just the option for an every month purchase. I mean I could do some investigation into this but I've decided it would be more fun just to see if I receive a nice surprise next month! Note: Sane people would not be doing this and as always do as I say not as I do!

For $10 a month Blue Velveteen sends out a makeup box full of full sized and deluxe products! They are an up and coming company and this September box was their first offering. This will be just a quick unboxing that omits the values but I will be back at the end with my final thoughts on the service!

Unboxing: Memebox Special #41 Jackpot 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! There are two main kinds of boxes:

Memebox: The original box comes with a mix of 4-8 full sized products and deluxe samples.
Special: Like the original box it comes with 4-8 full sized products and deluxe samples but each of these boxes has its own theme for special occasions or events.
Superbox: Comes with their own theme and contains only full sized products.

This one is the Memebox Special #41 Jackpot Box which is a little different from the other boxes. There are a limited number of boxes and once it is sold it, they are gone. Each box is guaranteed a minimum value of $155 with one lucky winner getting $1000 worth of products! This cost $32 + $6.99 shipping for a total of $38.99.

From the website:

Jackpot! Everyone's a winner at Memebox! You can either win big and take home $1000 worth of awesome stuff, or play for a guaranteed minimum of $155! 

Literally stuffed with all-time Memebox must-haves, each box is bursting with buzz-worthy K-Beauty skincare staples, makeup must

haves, hair and body essentials, and other K-beauty breakthroughs! 

Get in on this chance where everyone is a Memebox winner! Pssst! The 1st place winner will be announced September 2nd, so stay tuned!

These Jackpot boxes sell out fast and unlike the other boxes are non-returnable or refundable. This box shipped September 2nd and arrived on my doorstep September 19th. This one has taken the longest to get to me and it really worried me because the tracking page kept not updating, so it was a nice surprise to get a knock on the door and have this heavy pink box handed to me!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nails of the Week #13: Julep in Kai & Sephora Formula X in Firecracker

A quick pitstop into Marshalls after work yielded an unplanned nail polish haul. When a girl walks in and finds Julep, Sephora Formula X, and Ciate polishes that are brand new AND sealed for a steeply discounted price, of course I'm going to pick up everything I can hold in my hands. Long story short, this week features two polishes I picked up from that day. First the blue is Julep Kai. I haven't had the best luck with Julep in the past but decided to give it another shot when a bottle cost a mere $4. This is a gorgeous sky blue that I surprisingly did not have in my collection yet with a sea salt finish...aka textured sand finish. This polish surprised me by being surprisingly easy to work with for a blue of this brightness, past experiences were that bright blues have always been a nightmare and never lasted more than ten minutes on my nails. This dried very quickly and the formula was easy to control, I could have gotten away with one coat but I did two coats to fill in some patches on the sides that I missed on my first past. The textured finish has lasted longer than my experience with OPI which quickly wears away to smooth within a day or two. I love the matte textured finish of this polish and definitely will be wearing it more.

I had a slight accident where I left some nail marks on one of the nails (how did it happen...your guess is as good as mine) so my answer to that was to pull out another new find which is Sephora Formula X in Firecracker for some accent nails. This is a matte orange glitter, speckles?, I'm really not sure how I'm suppose to describe it but this comes from their effects line. There are larger hexagonal shapes as well as smaller dots. The shapes (I guess that's a better word than glitter) were very densely packed in the clear base so it was easy to get an even distribution of them over the nails. These shapes do stick up and will snag on things so a top coat is needed to smooth everything out. The effect is a very fun contrasting design and I will definitely enjoy using more of these top coat effects in the future. It's also tempting me to pick up some more Formula X polishes but I think I will just continue to prey on Marshalls and snatch more of these guys up as I see them! I apologize one of the close ups is a little blurry and I flooded my cuticles like crazy this time, I promise to do better next time.

Friday, September 19, 2014

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

Since when do Ipsy points expire??? Last month I finally saved up to over 1000 points and I've been waiting for something I wanted to cycle through but I logged on the other day and found that my total had dropped to 900. I mean I know about Birchbox points expiring but where was it ever mentioned that Ipsy points do? Anyways, mini rant/freak out over, I was again not impressed by the sneak peeks this month, but I was pleased that my Birchbox situation finally got sorted out and I was able to pick my own sample! Also tacking on a Birchbox Plus I was interested in, Birchbox was already winning in my book, but let's see how the rest of the samples might have changed my mind. Also Beauty Box 5 really dragged their feet this month and it took FOREVER to get to me.

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, September 18, 2014

The Who's Who of Makeup

Do you ever find yourself walking into the drugstore these days and noticing so many similar products. I'm not even going to get started with the lippies that seem to dupe each other, but foundations and BB creams...the list goes on. From similar packaging to similar claims, you would think they are doing it to compete with each other but with some research I am actually discovering that there are six big guys that claim monopoly on the big name makeup brands, both drugstore and luxury! I tried to get complete lists but I'm sure I'm missing a few, here's a quick break down of who owns who:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Easy Quinoa Lunch Recipe

I am no master chef and I don't claim to be, half the time I struggle to even make toast without setting the kitchen on fire. I am also not a health food freak, green things are not my friend and I would pick deep fried anything over a grilled chicken breast. That all aside, today I want to share a really simple, delicious and healthy meal that just about anyone can make in about 30 minutes! The main ingredients for this recipe is quinoa (an amazing superfood that everyone should know about!), vegetables, and a protein. It's light and filling and somedays I find myself craving this meal over my usual cheeseburger lusting!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Collective Haul!

I have accumulated a bunch of stuff over the past month and a half or so and I thought it would be appropriate to share a haul. With the changing season I have been updating both my skincare and hair routine and I've definitely collected some goodies. I've tested out a few of these things and with those items I can provide a mini review. The main places I picked up things were from Birchbox, HauteLook, Bed Bath and Beyond, Marshalls, Ipsy, Walmart, and my mom picked me up a few things from Shopper's Drug Mart when they went to Canada last month.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Nails of the Week #12: Color Club The Uptown

Holy purple jelly and rainbows! This stuff is fun! This is Color Club in The Uptown and it's been a color I always seen in the store and just never picked up. I'm glad I finally did. It took three coats to get to this level of opacity in the jelly base but each coat dried very quickly and the final effect is beautiful. I do think next time this will be a toes or accent nail only color because having it on all ten fingers is a little overwhelming. I tried to get different angles to really capture the essence of the holographic flake glitter but it was hard to do. If you've seen Essie's Shine of the Times luxe effect topper, it's the same type and color of glitter but over a deep royal purple base. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Unboxing: POPSUGAR Must Have September 2014

Are we sick of unboxings yet? Slowly this blog is turning into a subscription box blog since I like to unbox the second I receive the boxes and I have a lot...a LOT....coming for me. POPSUGAR Must Have has been a box that I have wanted for a really long time but the steep price tag ($40 a month!) has stopped me everytime. After I saw the sneak peek for this month though paired with finding a $10 off coupon I decided to treat myself to a three month subscription!

POPSUGAR Must Have is a monthly subscription box curated by POPSUGAR and is a box full of beauty, lifestyle, fashion, and snack goodies. These boxes promise to be high value and specially curated for each month. This was my first month and I'm slightly obsessed and I can see this box extending past the three months for me!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's funny how Life works out

This is going to be a long one. Remember that life update I promised you? Well here it is. I've sat down multiple times and tried to write it all out but it just never felt like the right time. These last few months have been a crazy whirlwind that have been filled with some of my highest highs and lowest lows. It has been months that have been riddled with excuses, some horrible binge shopping, dark sleepless nights, but ultimately I found myself in a happy place that for once in my life I established on my own instead of relying on others. To really get the full picture of things we will need to rewind and and walk through my life starting with August 2013. There is some backstory that needs to be laid down to really understand how much this summer has meant to me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall TV Show Schedule!

If you've been following my blog at all you know I have a serious TV addiction. I definitely follow more shows than it is healthy but the truth is I really like to have some background noise on as I do things. Even as I am typing this I have a marathon of Desperate Housewives running in the background. It's another show season so time for another round up of shows I'm looking forward to starting (and starting up) again!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Unboxing: Superbox #48 Daily Dose of Beauty

Another week another pink box to dive into. I'm a little over obsessed with my boxes to the point where they are marked on my calendar the dates they are suppose to ship! Recently I've read so many horror stories about Memeboxes getting lost or stuck in customs so my fingers are crossed that my boxes never do that! I'm trying to unbox these as soon as I get them in case anyone else is interested in the contents and want to order one themselves. These things sell out fast but they restock them often! I apologize for the pictures in advance, the lighting was bad but I only had a small window of time to get it done.

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! There are two main kinds of boxes:

Memebox: The original box comes with a mix of 4-8 full sized products and deluxe samples.
Special: Like the original box it comes with 4-8 full sized products and deluxe samples but each of these boxes has its own theme for special occasions or events.
Superbox: Comes with their own theme and contains only full sized products.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nails of the Week #11: OPI Casino Royale

The most beautiful plummy purple, I'm definitely in the fall mood as I'm finding myself reaching for more of the darker jewel tones and I'm really itching to bring the navy and black into my life.  This week we went with an old favorite which is OPI's Casino Royale. This was one of their limited edition polishes that they released in their Bond Collection and I'm so glad I picked this up. Typically I love this on my toes but I tried it on my fingers this week and I'm just in love. It looks beautiful with just one coat but I really wanted a deep purple so I did two coats.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Liebster Award!

I've been nominated! The Liebster Award isn't really an award per-say but rather a badge of recognition for new blogs and helping to spread the word about us little folks out there. This has actually taken me quite awhile to write out this post but I've been nominated by Jessica Elizabeth over at Sherbert Lemons and Lipsticks as well as Asja at Beauty Ignited! I am so grateful and excited to be noticed and I'm so thankful for all of my readers out there and just wanted to let each and everyone of you know how special you are and how much I love you! I'm tweaking the rules a little since at this point there aren't many blogs that haven't already been nominated so I will have less than 11 blogs to nominate, and instead of answering two sets of questions I'm going to randomly mix together the two sets of questions and that will be it!

1. Post 11 Random Facts About Yourself
2. Answer 11 questions that the person who nominated you posts
3. Choose 11 new blogs under 200 followers for their Liebster Award, notify them that they have   been nominated and, and think of 11 questions for them to answer

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Palette Palooza

I'm loving the series that Asja over at Beauty Ignited is doing of weekly makeup collections so I thought it would be fun to borrow the idea to share a bit of mine! I've been lusting after some palettes lately (LORAC Pro 2, Coastal Scents Revealed 2, theBalm Meet Matte Nude and Stila Eyes Are The Window just to name a few!) so I thought it would be a good opportunity to do a count your blessings type of post and introduce my palette stash! I really don't wear eye shadow as much as I should, I completely blame it on melting in summer heat, so I thought a good way to prevent myself from splurging on a palette where 90% of the colors I already own, I should remind myself of the ones I already own and what it is about them that I love.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Unboxing: Superbox #43 2014 F/W Colors

I went a little Memebox crazy lately, little being a gross understatement, and I can directly blame Rachel over at Harlot Beauty for this because she posted so many unboxings that it got me hooked on the idea of getting my own. I got a lot of them so expect to see many more unboxings in the months to come as they trickle in!

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! There are three main kinds of boxes:

Memebox: The original box comes with a mix of 4-8 full sized products and deluxe samples.
Special: Like the original box it comes with 4-8 full sized products and deluxe samples but each of these boxes has its own theme for special occasions or events.
Superbox: Comes with their own theme and contains only full sized products.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August 2014 UNfavorites

I really need to start pairing this particular post with something else because unfavorites are pretty hard to come by now. Anyone have any ideas? I was thinking maybe a monthly Lifestyle Favorites so I could throw in things like snacks, teas, songs, etc. that I've been really into in the past month. I'm just starting to see a hard time having a dedicated monthly unfavorites post as a stand alone entry now. This month I only found three, and one I swear is a repeat but after pulling it out again for Project Pan, it just really reminded me how much I dislike this product.

Monday, September 1, 2014

August 2014 Favorites

August was a horrible month where my spending got REALLY out of control (what spending ban?) but the equals to I have a TON of new products that I've been testing out and waiting in the wings. I found some holy grails to share with you guys this month and I have a feeling the coming months will have novels for favorite posts because I have so many goodies to try and (potentially) fall in love with! Most people love summer and I do too in small doses, but I'm looking forward to the nippy weather where I don't feel so hot and sleepy all the time. Anyways, mini ramble over, let's get into the products!