Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lazy Summer Activities

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It's summertime, the weather is hot and that in itself is an encouragement to do nothing. However as fun as laying in bed all day, I've come up with a list of activities that would be perfect for a lazy day that requires very little effort. Well at least most of them do. Either way these are great opportunities to get out there and enjoy the nice weather and take advantage of the extra hours of sunlight!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Nails of the Week #43: White Out

Let's start with a disclaimer that this is the first time I have ever kept a white manicure, and if you've ever tried to do this yourself you know how difficult white nail polishes are to work with! That being said I want to say this was a pretty decent effort, I can always improve in my technique but the polish itself was so great to work with I definitely see myself attempting it more! I've always loved white manicures, they just look so classy and beautiful and really emphasizes a tan, making it the perfect color for summer. In the past I've had really streaky and horrible whites and just a horrible time applying it so while I stared at other people's manicures I wasn't brave enough to try it myself.

Enter Essie in Private Weekend which is probably the easiest white I have ever worked with! Three quick drying coats to perfect opacity, I only screwed up on two nails that required additional coats to fix my mistake but I say I did pretty good! These pictures make it look a little awful since this is definitely a manicure to be enjoyed from afar but I'm a total fan and will definitely try this again! Next I really want to try a white matte!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Unboxing: Birchbox June 2015

It's a little sad how excited I used to be over Birchbox but I'll be honest I almost forget about these things now until I receive a shipping notification. Is it because the shipping is notoriously slow now? Or possibly because the samples just no longer excite me? I'm not sure but I'm definitely in some sort of beauty rut lately and I really need something to reignite that spark for it because this could mean the end of this blog as we know it. Seriously though Birchbox day used to be the most exciting day of the month! What I really think it is is how they advertise the items you're getting now, it's missing the excitement of the surprise for me which really just killed some of the magic.

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, June 25, 2015

Summer Friendly Makeup Tips!

I must say that ever since I graduated college and started working full time my sense of the seasons is quite off. Two weeks ago there was a heat wave to the point where I was getting cranky about how hot it was and that was a wake up call for me to realize that it was actually June that it was suppose to be hot! It seems bad timing that now is when I've rekindled my interest in makeup since a full face of makeup tends to melt off in under an hour in the heat but of course that inspired to whip up a quick post about some tips to help keep your makeup intact all day long! Now, none of these are miracle workers but they are all some good solid tips that will definitely help.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Refreshing Summer Drink Recipes

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I think it's high time I revive my Pinterest because I've been spending a lot of time on there lately browsing for inspiration but not actually pinning things. What? Yeah it's not making any sense at all to me either. I'm looking for everything, decoration, nail art, and more recently I stumbled across quite a few drink recipes that I'm now dying to try out. I don't really have a sweet tooth, I'm always craving salt and savory treats but I like to get my fix of sugar with a sweet drink. I know that's the one thing people say not to do but I tell myself it's okay since I'm not stuffing myself with cookies and chocolate regularly. Anyways, I wanted to just link a few different recipes I found that I'm definitely looking forward to testing out this summer as good way to archive it for myself and perhaps spread the joy to others!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Unboxing: Walmart Summer Beauty Box 2015

I almost forgot that I was even subscribed to this box until I got a really sketchy looking email with a broken tracking code. The Walmart Beauty Box is like the Target version of the same thing where it is a free quarterly box of beauty items, all you pay for is shipping. This box is $5 and it usually comes with at least one full size item, and typically more travel sized items than foil packets. This is the third box they have come out with, Fall being the first one, and I've noticed a decline in quality. More and more it seems to be a random assortment of items with no regards to what is actually being put into the boxes. I mean for a "free" box I can't really complain and I do end up using everything, since they are such handy travel sizes. Anyways, let's get into the unboxing!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Nails of the Week #42: Formula X Black Hole

I'll be honest I don't think I really like this nail polish at all! I'm finding that these textured polishes are tricky to work with because it kind of defeats the purpose of the texture with a top coat, however the texture tends to snag on things and chip like crazy! The nail polish chipped pretty much within minutes of it drying off so not pleased. I grabbed this nail polish from a Sephora sale once, and I clearly was not paying attention because I wasn't aware it was a texturized polish until it dried! It's a nice matte with some glitter. It's a dark space grey with some very subtle red glitter in it.

I guess I should actually tell you the name of the polish, this is a Sephora Formula X polish in Black Hole. I do believe it is discontinued now hence why it was on dirt cheap clearance and I totally see why because this stuff just won't last on your nails at all. I kept trying to make it work and I would fill in the chips, since it was a texturized polish this worked and it didn't look out of place, but really who has the time to fix your nail polish everyday? I sure don't.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Unboxing: Beauteque Mask Maven June 2015

Another month another mask maven! I really love this subscription for the wide variety of masks I get sent monthly and it helps me sample different brands so I can splurge on the ones I like. Sheet masks are firmly taking a spot into my daily nighttime skincare routine, as they are so easy to just pop on before behind and just go to bed afterwards. It makes me feel like I can get away with skipping the rest of my routine some nights as long as I do a sheet mask! The Beauteque Mask Maven is a monthly subscription that sends you 9 masks a month for $15 plus the cost of shipping. The majority of them are sheet masks but sometimes they have wash off packs and sleeping masks, as well as some more unique masks such as foot or hand masks. Let's take a look at what I got this month!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Skincare Haul!

Recently I picked up a couple of different skincare items and the only reason this haul is happening is because I have slowly run out of storage space for all my goodies! So as I was picking these things up I was just throwing them all into a paper bag and the other day I took a look inside and was surprised at the amount of stuff in there, so why not whip up a quick haul post! Some things I scored off a sale that derma e was having recently, I picked some things up from the new Skin Food store at the mall, and finally I put in a request when my dad was in China was business and he picked up some TonyMoly items for me. It's a small haul but I thought at least a few of you would still be interested!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Exfoliating Scrub

Seriously I'm kicking myself for not trying Sibu Beauty out sooner because right now they are two for two in my book! Awhile ago I picked up a few different Sibu Beauty products, I already reviewed the mask previously and got some amazing results, I was eager to try out more products! I finally got to the point where I could justify breaking open a new scrub to throw into my rotation so I immediately picked up my Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Exfoliating Scrub because I was expecting it to be just as amazing as the mask, and I wasn't disappointed. I guess let's talk details first.

Sibu Beauty is an all natural company that uses the sea buckthorn berry in many of their products. It is a powerful fruit little fruit that is high in vitamin c and other fats that are beneficial for your skin. This scrub in particular is suitable for all skin types but it is extra beneficial to those with rough or acne-prone skin. It works hard to remove all the oils and dirt that clog up your pores leaving you with clean skin.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What's in my Trash?! #19

I didn't realize how much full sized stuff I got through until I was typing up this post! I mean to be fair a lot of are sheet masks which I'm still counting as full size even though it is just one sheet. Anyways, I'm officially behind on Empties posts again. So this is going up today at the end of June but I'm typing it and ready for this to go on the last day of April! I just accumulate so many empty products and I don't want to bore anyone with an extra long post. Perhaps I will start doubling up on empties posts per month so I can catch up? But then again trash is trash so maybe this is fine. Anyways...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Nails of the Week #41: Soft Petals

I never thought I would actually own this polish but after I found an amazing deal I really couldn't pass it up! I saw swatches of this on several blogs and thought it was the most gorgeous topper ever. I was hesitant to buy it though because these cut out (for lack of a better name) finishes I just don't find much occassion for. I rarely put it on all my fingers so buying a polish just to use as an accent nail seemed silly and waste of space in my collection. However when I found it Beautyland for their amazing going out of business sale I snatched up the last bottle (as well as a whole bunch of other goodies you can check out here) and I'm so pleased I did!

So I actually used two polishes for this look, an extremely sheer pink as the base coat and then the gorgeous blossom themed top coat. The base color that you can't even tell is Essie in Worth The Wait. It is extremely sheer and all it did was kind of even out the color of the nail for me because I wasn't sure how much you could see under the top coat. Ended up being a non issue because the light pink and white specks and glitters are so dense that I could have gotten away with doing it on a naked nail. This beautiful top coat is OPI in Petal Soft and I must say it took quite a bit of patience to dig out the little flowers to make sure I had at least one on each nail. Time consuming, yes, worth it, absolutely! So now you can see why I hesitated to buy the polish at full price because the effort of using it would definitely deter me, so I'm happy I was able to snag it for just $4!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday 5 Faves

This is the biggest surprise ever, I do NOT have a new song favorite to share this month! I'm very much still obsessed with Cheerleader which I talked about last month so it felt silly to list the same song. I actually have quite a few TV show favorites but I decided to just pick one to share because otherwise that could go on for while. Maybe I'll do a separate post about TV shows sometime soon because I really love talking about the things I'm watching! I think I enjoy watching TV a little more than is healthy but it's nice to put a show on as background noise as I work or blog and it's also what I like to do to unwind at night and help me sleep so I fool myself into thinking that makes it okay! Anyways for F5F this month I have a TV show like I mentioned, some random things I'm loving, and then a very surprising one at the end, so check it out!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: theBalm Strawberry Nourishing Facial Serum

Today I have a tricky review to write but I'll try my best to get it all out. I am reviewing theBalm's Strawberry Nourishing Facial Serum which is something I've been wanting to review for awhile now but it just kept getting pushed back for other topics. The tricky part of it is that my opinion has changed during this time so the review I was originally imagining is no longer how I feel about it. So the question is, which review should I be discussing? I guess we can start with a basic overview of the product and just take it from there!

This serum is made with strawberry extract which has a ton of vitamin C (my favorite vitamin!) and is targeted towards normal to combination skin but reviews online rave that it is great for oily skin. The blend of ingredients can help prevent dark spots and freckling from sun exposure. Strawberry extract is chocked full of antioxidants that protect from free radicals. There is also a boost of alpha hydroxy acid in the serum that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Overall this seems like a great serum with a balanced set of benefits all contained in a cute little bottle with a hygienic pump top.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

5 Best Skincare Secrets!

My love of makeup has slowly turned into a love of skincare. It's been pretty clear with the progression of using less and less products and then splurging more on skincare hauls. Today I am here to formally announce that my love of skincare officially beats out my love of makeup. My makeup drawers are slowly getting taken over by skincare, in fact my drawer of palettes which previously had each palette spread out and on display, they are all stacked now at the back of the drawer to make room for all my sheet masks! The addiction is real. With that being said, my adventure into exploring skincare has yielded some favorite tools and items that I thought deserved a small shout out so here I am with my top 5 skincare "secrets" to achieve glowing, smooth, and clear skin!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review: Adovia Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub

My new thing lately has been body scrubs, I've mentioned it a few times but I've always suffered with slightly bumpy legs for some mysterious reason, and recently I've been trying to find a cure to that. Body scrubs and thick body lotion has been my answer to that so when I had the opportunity to test out Adovia Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub I immediately signed up for that! Here's what Amazon has to say about this scrub:

  • THE SEA SALT BODY SCRUB: Made with Real Dead Sea Salt - 100% Pure and Genuine for an infusion of 21 Minerals Essential to Proper Skin Function. Great Exfoliator and Moisturizer.
  • THE BENEFITS: Fine Grain Dead Sea Salts Exfoliate the Top Layer of Dead Skin Cells to Reveal a New Younger Looking Layer of Radiant Skin. Deeply Moisturizing Oils Infuse Skin With Luxurious Hydration that Lasts All Day
  • Works Great in The Shower or Bath - Also a Great Hand Exfoliator to use in the Sink or Foot Scrub
  • THE COMPANY: Adovia Mineral Skin Care has been producing skin care products for ten years with thousands of satisfied customers and a proven track record. Our formulation experts specialize in hair & skin care products made from Dead Sea Mud and Dead Sea Salt. Our products are 100% CRUELTY FREE and Never Tested on Animals.

I absolutely love how reasonably short the ingredient list is and happy that I recognize the large majority of the ingredients (Dead Sea Salt, Paraffinum Liquidum, Apricot (Prunus Armeniaca) Kernel Oil, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate, Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) Oil, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol & Aloe Vera Gel & Jojoba (Buxus Chinensis) Extract & Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Extract & Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis) Extract & Papaya (Carica Papaya) Extract, Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Algae Extract, BHT, Sesame (Sesamum Indicum) Oil.) I was especially excited to see all the oils in the list because that tells me that this scrub will not only exfoliate but also deeply moisturize my skin.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Nails of the Week #40: Peach & Metallic

Hooray my nails are no longer naked! This has been the longest time I've had naked nails, 3 weeks, so I'm happy they are finally strong enough to use polish on them. I wanted to go for something simple yet fun and a little summery since despite the chilly weather lately I'm definitely thinking towards brighter days. As usual this is not the cleanest, there really has to be a trick to nail tape that I'm just clearly missing out on. I always manage to get some polish that sneaks under the tape, and I'm starting to think I could do a cleaner job just free-handing it! Maybe that's something I need to experiment with.

So this nice peach is China Glaze in Peachy Keen. Not the best polish ever, it was hard to get an even coat and if you look closely it actually looks quite awful. Thankfully the top coat took out the worst of it but still not my best work. The silver stripes is my trusty butter London in Bobby Dazzler. Seriously the best silver polish ever and it's one I will keep using time and time again. I love this manicure, it's simple yet chic with the fun accent nail that isn't too busy. I'd love to try this again using different colors sometime so I can work on my nail tape skills!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fitness Friday!

Another month another fitness Friday! How am I about sticking to fitness? Horrible, and now I will be able to document it all on a monthly basis! So the plank challenge I attempted last month came to an abrupt halt about half way through the month. A combination of weekend trips and other obligations caused me to skip a few days which eventually just turned into just forget about it. To be fair I have very weak upper arm strength and the challenge I was following escalated the lengths too rapidly to the point where I was really struggling. I didn't feel like it was a slow enough build up for me and I honestly just couldn't handle it.

For this month instead of doing a daily challenge since it's already a week into the month and I've just completely forgotten to do start one. Instead I'm making it a goal to just getting moving more. Baby steps but I'm increasing my daily step goal to 5,500. I know it's not too much more but I have a job where I'm pretty much stuck to my desk all day with limited chances for breaks so I'll admit I have struggled with getting to even 5,000 steps some days. I'm also going to try going for more walks and hikes during the weekends because I find myself to be fairly inactive on the weekends for some reason.

As for my eating habits, I've focused on smaller portions of everything because I'm one of those people who will continue eating despite feeling full just to keep tasting the food. I know it sounds like a sick disease and it probably is, but I love the taste of food! I've used smaller plates in order to achieve that because it helps fool myself into thinking I'm eating the same amount since the plate still looks full.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Beautyland Haul!

I'm not sure if this is a blessing or a curse but here is how this story goes. I went to the mall the other day to get some grilled cheese and as I was driving out I noticed that the dream houses were up for display. The mall I was at every year has an event where some very nice people and companies come together to create these amazing dream houses for children, like miniature mansions basically, and they are on display and then auctioned off for charity. So I parked my car and decided to walk around the mall and look at these playhouses. As I was strolling around the mall I got close to the beauty store there and that's when I remembered that they were actually going out of business so naturally I decided to pop in for a look and ended up walking out with quite a few goodies. Now this store mostly sells hair products, but I still found some things I'm excited to try out so I'm going to do a little haul here. Everything was 50% off and hair care was buy five get one free! There were some amazing deals and brands that I just couldn't pass up!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Current Favorite YouTube Channels

Every once in awhile I like to pop on a do one of these YouTube rambles. Honestly if it weren't for YouTube this blog may have never happened! I started watching YouTube videos the summer I moved home from college and I became obsessed. I didn't have the time or camera-ness to start a channel of my own so it made sense to create a blog for myself. To this day I still love watching YouTube and watch just as much, if not more, than regular TV. So here are some channels I've been loving lately that I highly recommend everyone checks out!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

#NYG Check-In!

The year is at the half-way point so how am I doing! Raise your hand if you even remember what my goals are because I'll admit I definitely forgot about a few of them. I want to say that overall I've been sticking to my goals though even the ones I've forgotten about so I'm happy to say that these lifestyle changes have actually been effective! Well let's go into the more detailed breakdown of what's been going on with my New Years Goals.
  • Walk 5000 steps a day. I've actually been hitting this fairly consistently which is a huge accomplishment for me! I hit it every weekday and usually at least one day on the weekends if not both of them. Sometimes I just want that lazy day though and I'll opt to spend an entire day with Netflix instead of moving.
  • Cut down on the amount of subscription boxes. This I have done brilliantly at and I actually have just two subscription boxes each month! My Birchbox and Mask Maven were just two I couldn't do without and by not reading blogs daily anymore I've cut out the temptation of subscribing to other boxes.
  • Finalize the perfect morning and night skincare routine. It's funny that I forgot that this was one of my goals since I just put it on my summer bucket list! Well here's to hoping to finalizing it. This one is pretty tough since I'm trying to use up my hoard of products so it's hard to have and stick to a routine just yet.
  • Spend at least three hours a day without a cell phone. You can thank my new job for this because it definitely keeps me off my phone for the whole day! So yes I am doing great at this one.
  • Get and maintain a blog planner. It's June and I've used my planner every single month to plan out an editorial calendar. It's great just sitting down one day and writing out all my posts for a month. It's helped me to reduce my blogging to a designated day each week so it's easy to maintain this blog even when I get busy.
  • Start embracing more minimalist tendencies. This clearly went out the window and probably the only thing I've been doing poorly at. This was a good reminder that this was a goal so at least I can step up my game for the second half of the year!
  • Develop a personal sense of style. Is basic a sense of style? If so I have that down pat. I'm planning on doing a great closet clean out and I'm going to try and fit a few trips to the mall soon. I'm getting a definite idea of things I like to wear and what works well with my body so I think I can count this one as successful progress at this check point.
  • Drink more water. Some days I kill at this and other days I don't. It really depends on how busy I get at work, but I am making it a point to grab multiple water bottles out of the fridge so I can just keep reaching for and drinking them throughout the day. The problem is when I run out of water but I'm too busy to get more. This is a case where if there were bottles there I would drink but since there aren't it just completely slips my mind.

Monday, June 1, 2015

May 2015 Favorites + Unfavorites!

Surprise surprise this month I have an all skincare favorites! My makeup game is way off lately I've gotten down to just using two products per day which is a brow pencil and some mascara. I think it's time for the return of the BB cream at the very least. I've just had a crazy work schedule lately so I've opted out of makeup for an extra ten minutes of sleep each day, and I can tell you it's still not enough! Frankly it's a miracle I even get clothes onto the right body parts before I'm out the door. Also this month there is happily no unfavorites!