Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Time Wasters: Phone Games

This seems like a strange post to have on my blog after I proclaimed a New Years Goal this year being unplugging more but there are just those times whether it's commuting or waiting somewhere where playing some games on your phone is the only logical thing to do. Gone are the days of Minesweeper and that one where you bounce a ball to hit all the bricks, there are some pretty sophisticated games out there. I have an entire folder dedicated to games on my phone (with two pages) so I would say I'm pretty qualified to give some suggestions here! I've narrowed it down to my all-time favorite 5 games otherwise this could go on for awhile. These games are all free to download off the App Store and probably off the Google Play Store too so I'm sure at least one will interest you!

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Lipstick Diaries #1

Here it is finally!! Awhile back I had my Journey to Minimalism post about lipstick (read it here!) where I hinted at a new lipstick centered project but only just now am I getting around to launching it. My crusty lips (ew) still are a slight problem but at this point I've decided I need to just learn to live with it and hope that they return to their original state of normalcy. The theme to my makeup collection and year in general is just loving what I have. Besides my great Asian Beauty Haul (coming this month is reviews on a ton of those products I picked up, so stay tuned!) I really haven't gone crazy buying more stuff. I've been slowly working through my collection (skincare drawers are really getting out of hand!) and enjoying the samples that I get from my Birchbox. I've gone on quite a tangent here, but today I am pleased to announce The Lipstick Diaries! As with all of my projects this will run for a few months until I either run out of products or the repetitiveness starts to wear on me but for now it will be a fun more intimate peek into my makeup collection!

Friday, March 27, 2015

What's in my Trash?! #16

We are almost caught up now! This is just about a month and a half behind in empties now. I swear at this point I'm just eating products, or I'm just really determined to finish stuff up. So usually one empties post features 15 items, this one has 24! Really playing catch up here but there are a bunch of great products in here and definitely some ones I will repurchase eventually!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Movies in 2015!

I can't believe it's taken me until the end of March to get this post together! Movie season is fast approaching, for those who are scratching their heads right now, yes there is a movie season! The beginning of summer so starting late May is when all the big blockbusters are released, with another burst in fall. Why is it like this...no clue. But it's another great movie year with quite a few releases that I am really looking forward to, so let's list some of them off!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Unboxing: Walmart Spring 2015 Beauty Box

Honestly I forgot that I even had this box coming in the mail! I've been really out of the blogosphere for a few months now, sadly I haven't had the time to read many blogs so I saw no spoilers or unboxings and was pleasantly surprised when it turned up at my door! The Walmart Beauty Box is a quarterly subscription that sends you a box of beauty goodies (plus coupons!) four times a year for free! All you pay for is $5 shipping! This is a great deal because it gives you a chance to try out some products from Walmart that maybe you wouldn't normally pick up and usually there is at least one full size makeup product in there so it makes the $5 price completely worth it.
These are definitely not themed by the season, it just seems like they stick in a collection of random samples. I knew when they first started out there was an "older" (34+) and "younger" (<34) box going. Like I mentioned I'm really out of the loop when it comes to these things so I'm not sure if that is something that has continued, but if it did I would have received one of the younger boxes. Judging by the contents though it seems like very general stuff this time so I suspect these tiers have been eliminated. Let's get into the goods for this quarter!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Surprise Unboxing! Beauty Box 5 March 2015

Surprise! I thought my subscription was over but maybe I got two bonus months?! Apparently I have this until April so here is a quick unboxing of my Beauty Box 5. I'm not providing much information because I think this is a horrible service with bad products but I still thought people might be interested to see what came in my box this month.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Nails of the Week #34: Green, Green, Pink?

St. Patrick's Day is over so naturally I decide it's time for a green manicure. Yeah I don't get how I my mind works either. But actually I took off my glitter nails and for some reason the green nail polish was just begging to be used when I was deciding on a color. The weather is getting warming so this is my last chance for these dark, moody colors so why not. The glitter on my pointer fingers was actually not planned, I just messed up on my right hand and ended up with a lot of air bubbles so I "fixed" it with the glitter. I mean I feel like it worked out to balance my manicure since the accent color I picked wasn't so different and therefore it just made it look like I failed at alternating colors.

All three colors I used were Essie. Not much of a surprise it is my favorite brand. For the accent on my thumb and ring finger I used Mind Your Mittens which is a dark teal green. It took two coats to achieve this beautiful opacity and is actually a great toe color year round. I forgot I had this color so I'm happy it caught my eye. The other nails features my favorite emerald green which is Going Incognito. This is the color I picked up a few years back when emerald was the color of the year and it's also one that I hadn't used in awhile. The pink glitter is A Cut Above a great glitter with big and small circles that is super easy to spread.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Birchbox Unboxing! March 2015

Welcome to my first ever solo Birchbox unboxing post!! I'm not quite done with other subscription boxes yet, you'll see next week, but this Birchbox marks my 2 year anniversary of getting Birchbox so it was very appropriate to start the solo reviews now!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Birchbox it is one of those monthly beauty sample boxes where they send you a box of 5-6 (sometimes even 7 with bonus extras) samples and deluxe samples. Occasionally there will be full size products too! The brands they send are all fairly high-end and they have a point system and customer service staff that just can't be beat. For $10 a month you are able to select a sample from a select group of choices and have more surprises delivered to you based on your beauty profile! Have I convinced you to sign up yet? If so I would love it if you would do it through my referral link here! Feel free to also go to www.birchbox.com if you want to look around without any strings attached to me.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Currently Obsessed With: Summertime

I don't know about the rest of the world but the weather is definitely heating up in California. I'm loving waking up in the morning and not having to squigee my windows to drive to work, and the transition to dresses and shorts is inevitable. I mean I should be concerned that it is only March and global warming and all, but I can't help but welcome this warm weather. Today I wanted to just come on here and list some things that I love about summertime (or actually warm weather) and things that are just really putting me into the mood of it all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Current Netflix Picks

I've had Netflix for years now, since the time where streaming and renting physical disks were still one service! Sometimes I think it's a waste to continue my subscription because I will go months without watching anything on it, but then there are other times where it becomes a nightly ritual to watch a few episodes of some show or half of a movie before bedtime. Right now it is one of those times, and I know that nothing is more annoying than trying to find something decent to watch amongst all the noise of everything else on there. You can find some really weird stuff on Netflix and a lot of clear rip-offs of popular movies. Anyways here are some of my picks of what's on Netflix if you're looking to kill an hour or ten.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Favorite Brow Products!

Aside from possibly lipsticks, doing my brows is probably the newest member in my beauty regime. This is something I've done for about 3 years now, but only recently have I deemed my technique perfected. A well groomed pair of brows really does pull together even the most "torn up" face and if there is one thing I can't live without doing first before leaving the house it is doing my brows. I've even come to the point where I don't need mascara on my lashes, but my lashes need to perfectly set and filled in before I will walk out the door. Today I want to share my five favorite brow products from tools to makeup!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nails of the Week #33: Vegas Round 293758 Nails!

This week I'm featuring an ill conceived manicure idea that was born from the notion to merge two different designs that I've done previously. I took the paint dripping effect that I did for my NYE manicure and slapped a glitter ombre on top of it. Sometimes I look at it and I like it, other times I'm like what was I thinking. Overall it was a very Vegas appropriate look and I matched the colors to match the two dresses I ended up wearing for the nights out. Will I do this again? Probably not because as I'm looking at it now I'm thinking this was a horrible idea, but you be the judge.

For the stripes I used Zoya Anais and Essie Shearling Darling. The Zoya is a dark dark grey, basically a black with a subtle shimmer to it. I actually want to try this color as a stand alone because when I first got it I just thought it was a black but after looking at it that's when I realized there was so much more to it. Shearling Darling is one of my many burgundy wine polishes and it was selected because it was the closet match for my dress. The glitter ombre was done with Color Club Sugarplum Fairy which is actually a really awesome opaque glitter. I have another glitter from Color Club but I definitely want to look into picking up more because it's really awesome and can easily cover an entire nail in glitter with just two coats.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday 5 Faves

I'm doing well so far on my monthly Friday 5 Faves. The timing of it is quite erratic but I think it's the whimsy of it that makes it so fun. Lately I've found a new song to obsess over, a few beauty products and quite possibly the best app ever in existence to share with you guys.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tips to Unplug #NYG

A big one for this year was to start unplugging from my cellphone. At this point it has more or less become a permanent fixture on my hand to the point where I will just casually glance at it multiple times in a hour for no reason at all. Whether it is to check the time or scroll through the same Instagram photos over and over, it's really gotten to the point where it just needs to end. This year one of my New Years Goals was to leave my phone alone for three hours a day. When I first started I didn't specify if it would be continuous or just accumulative throughout the day but it has turned more into a challenge to do a consecutive three hours. I have some tips on what has worked for me so far to share!
  • Out of sight out of mind. This is probably the easiest one, shove that sucker into a drawer and slam it shut. This seriously works everytime for me and more than once I have left the house, work, etc. without my phone because I just forgot that it was sitting there.
  • Appoint an "electronic warden". Back in college this is the trick that would get me to study for hours during finals week. This definitely requires a second person who is trustworthy and is immune to your tears, begging, and threats. The idea of this one is to allow someone else to change the passkey on your phone so that you are unable to access it. I would say this is the equivalent of quitting cold turkey, so use this only for the most desperate times and when everything else has failed.
  • Do it the app way. A few years back there was that program that rewarded you for not touching your phone but giving water to third world children...or something like that. Basically the idea was the longer you didn't pick up your phone or use it, the more water was being donated. Whether it was a hoax or not, it was real effective at getting people to put down that device. I'm not sure if this still exists and believe me if I remembered the name of it there would be a link, but I know there are self control apps out there that reward people for leaving their phones alone. So if you need a little more of a tangible incentive to unplug, this is a good route to go. I found one called Pocket Points that awards students with points that they can exchange for free food!
  • Set goals/rewards for yourself. Before the drawer trick worked for me this was the best solution for me. I'm a very self-motivated person who works well with incentives. I can tell myself that I cannot check my phone until I get x amount of work done and 9/10 times this works. So set yourself little goals such as doing a certain amount of work at home, or reading a certain amount of pages in a textbook before rewarding yourself with a few minutes on your phone. Slowly you can make the tasks longer and soon you won't even been looking at your phone.
  • Leave it at home. This works with people who don't urgently need to be reached on their phone, or there is another means of contacting them in case of an emergency. Basically if there isn't a life or death situation just leave the dang phone at home!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Current YouTube Obsessions

While reading blogs is an obsession that comes and goes for me, I definitely get make it through the day without watching all my favorite YouTube channels. Lately I'm digging the daily vlogging even more than TV network shows because they are like mini shows in themselves. There is just so fascinating about getting a glimpse into someone's personal life and the reason why vlogging is the only thing I ever post on my YouTube channel. Today I want to share some of my favorite channels that I've been crazy over lately, so here they are!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Review: Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub

Wow it's been awhile since there's been a review on this blog! And if we aren't counting sponsored posts, it's been even longer! I'm not even sure I quite remember how to go about these, but one of my goals for this year was the return of more reviews, favorites, and general beauty posts so three months into the year let's get this rolling!

Today I'm coming at you with a face scrub that I picked up a really long time ago, the Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub. Awhile back I had a fairly large Mario Badescu haul off HauteLook that I was too embarrassed to ever post but it's taken awhile for me to actually get into some of this stuff. I started using this about a month ago and I've formed an opinion that I would like to share today!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Nails of the Week #32: Sparkle & Nude

This will come as a shocker but I did NOT do a matte nail this week. I know I know. I actually did clear the opposite but I did a glitter top coat! It was time to mix things up and I'm slightly regretting this decision because I'm remembering how hard it is to get glitter off my nails, but that's a battle for another day. Anyways....

This week I am using Zoya in Charlotte which is a nice sandy nude. It took 2-3 coats (two on some, three on others) for full opacity. I did have some problems with streaking so that's why some nails needed the third coat. It was obvious though two coats showed the true color so that's why I didn't need to do the same number of coats for each nail for color purposes. Over top is one of my favorite glitters Essie's A Cut Above which is this pretty pink sparkle. I love this glitter top coat because it's the perfect size of glitter and really easy to disperse it evenly over the nail.

Friday, March 6, 2015

What's Been Going On!

Quick update time. I'm going to admit, I almost didn't have a post for today but after faithfully blogging Monday through Friday for over a year now I couldn't let that happen.

Two weeks ago I was out of the country for the week and in that time I furiously prescheduled posts to ensure I wouldn't miss out. Immediately coming back I started a new job after having a month off (a completely different story in itself, maybe one day I will get into that), so working with different hours and the act of being mentally stimulated again really through my schedule off. There was an attack of delayed jet lag too so I've been really struggling with getting back in a schedule and fitting everything I need to do into a day.

I'll admit what I had pre-planned for March hasn't been very inspiring to me so I've been having a hard time forcing myself to sit down and write, but unfortunately I don't have the time to re-work my editorial calendar. I apologize profusely for the lackluster posts lately and for at least the next two weeks I have a hard time seeing it turning around just due to my crazy schedule.

I hope everyone can be a little patient, I will try my hardest to push out posts on my normal schedule but please don't get mad if I miss a day! I'm already looking forward to April when I know things will settle down a bit and perhaps I will get back my passion for blogging.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Asian Beauty Haul!

Two weeks ago I came back from a trip in Taiwan and the number one thing on my list was to buy Asian beauty products! I think I definitely delivered on that, going especially wild in an Etude House store that I hunted down. My schedule has been insane since I came back, I spend very little time at home and when I am home it's usually because I'm asleep in my bed. So sadly I haven't gotten the chance to try anything out yet! There are a few things in here that I have used before and I just went for extras so at least I can share my thoughts on those. The total I spent for everything is roughly $150. Without further ado, let's get to the pictures and products of everything I picked up!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What To Do With Extra Makeup

I think all beauty bloggers and vloggers can agree on one thing: there is one point in which you just have too much makeup. Whether it is brand new items or things that have been merely swatched, there's a point where you realize that all the makeup you have wouldn't get the proper love and attention before an expiration date rolls around. Sure you can give away as much as possible to friends and family but even that has its limits. Today I am bringing you a handy list of various organizations you can actually donate new and lightly used makeup to!

  • Polished Girlz. This is a great one for nail polish! This organization brings nail art parties to special needs children to teach them the importance of hand washing while giving them a fun manicure! This is a great place to donate all your nail polish and nail care supplies and tools. Contact that directly if you wish to donate supplies!
  • Dress For Success. This is another that will accept makeup to give to disadvantaged women in order to help them prepare for job interviews and their future careers. This is also a great place to donate gently used clothing for women looking for a new start.
  • MADRE. A women's international rights organization accepts beauty and hygienic products for women in need in communities stricken by disaster, war, poverty, etc.
  • Beauty Bus. A great foundation that visits homes and hospitals to give mini makeovers to the terminally ill as well as their caregivers! They also put together goodie bags of products to leave with patient's.
  • Check with your local women's shelters too, often these places are happy to take makeup and hygienic products to make kits for women in need.
As with any case where you are passing on products, make sure to check expiration dates before donating. If it is an instance where they will accept lightly used products, be sure to thoroughly disinfect everything!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

February 2015 Favorites + Unfavorites

February ended up being the longest short month ever for me. The end result was, the month was over and I realized I didn't get a chance to try out very many new products! The result of this all is that I have a very small favorites list, and completely don't have anything in the unfavorites category! I will try and go more in-depth about each product to make up for the small list, so let's just get right into it!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Nails of the Week #31: Matte Lavendar

This is unusual, I know, it's the first Monday of the month and usually I would skip NotW and do a favorites post. Never fear, the favorites are coming tomorrow instead, and there will be a better explanation of the unusual schedule coming soon. Anyways, to continue the matte trend, this time I slapped that stuff over one of my all time favorite nail polishes and called it a day! I'm totally loving this chalkboard effect of matte nails but I must say that my nails tend to chip a lot quicker than they would with just a normal glossy top coat. Is this a common theme when it comes to matte nails or is just the top coat I use?

So two coats of Essie's Warm & Toasty Turtleneck and my OPI Matte Top Coat achieved this look. I'm going to mix it up with some glossy nails soon, or perhaps return to accent nails or even nail art. I'm sitting in a nail polish rut right now, but at the same time I can't stand to have naked nails.