Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Videos

Out of all the holidays in the year Halloween is probably my least favorite. I guess I just don't get it. I like being scared as much as the next person, but the idea of costumes has never been my favorite so yes, I'm currently one of those people who keep the lights off and pretend no one is home while in reality I'm snuggled in bed with a good movie marathon. Nevertheless I tried to get in the spirit of things here and I've compiled a list of some Halloween videos from YouTube. Most of them are from some of my favorite channels, a few are ones I stumbled across while just clicking around. So check them out! Maybe you need a last minute costume idea or maybe just a laugh. Happy Halloween and enjoy!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sometimes You Just Need a Break

Today was just one of those days and when I'm saying today I actually mean yesterday, this is confusing. I had every intention of putting together a review for a toner today however when I sat down to do it, it just couldn't make it happen. I wasted at least an hour just trying to string together some words and finally I just had to call it quits. Now I couldn't just put nothing up, so it struck me to just vent out how I'm feeling. Don't let the title scare you, I'm not taking a break on this blog at all, but I just wanted to talk about how things don't always go as planned and that's okay. I'm perfectly entitled to taking a "break".

I push myself really hard, when it comes to this blog, my job, relationships, and just life in general and it's not healthy. Every once in awhile I just reach that breaking point and I just need to slam on the brakes. I can't ever seem to find the happy balance of activities for me as my way of coping is just to keep moving and keep doing things. I'll admit the last few days have been rough for me, almost everything in my life has been challenging my delicate mental balance and today (yesterday) I just had to stop. I couldn't bring myself to write about something lighthearted and basic so it's helpful to be doing this now.

Even as I'm typing this all out, really nothing of significance at all, I just feel a heavy burden lifting. Writing is so great in that it is such a release. It feels good to admit that life is defeating me at the moment and it just gives me such clarity to just keep pushing forward.

This is why there isn't a review about toners today, but instead I got to partake in the therapy that this blog originated as. That is what I love the most about starting this blog, it is purely me, snapshots of my life and thoughts archived in one place for me to visit for years to come. I'm real here, everything put on this blog is lovingly curated and developed and it's the one real piece of joy I have when things are falling apart. I may have few readers, maybe even none at all, but I'm grateful for anyone who even just passes through who take the time to care even a little bit..

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's in my Trash?! #23

Another round of trash to share with you guys! I tell you it's such a relief to be caught up. I feel like less of a fraud because I really am just sharing the empties that I have finished through the month of October. I'm really working on going through a lot of the samples I have and I've been fairly successful at refraining from buying new products until I get rid of some stuff. This month I also finished some full sized items I've had for awhile as well as a few favorites, so let's just get right into it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: Nivea In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion

I'm always on the hunt for some silky soft legs so whenever a new product rolls out that will promise that I'm pretty much the first to try them out. I suffer from a lot of odd bumps and ingrown hairs which is unusual since I exfoliate on a schedule and never shave my legs. Mysteries of life.

This isn't really a new product, but I had such an experience with it I just had to share. Originally I got the variation for dry skin with shea butter which I loved so I wanted to try this version since I'm a fan of almond oil and you'd never say no to extra moisture. I don't have to much to say here, this will be a fairly quick and short review so let's just dive into it.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Nails of the Week #56: Candy Corn Nails

 Semi return of nail art. I'm just so uninspired. Even looking at my inspiration post I compiled awhile ago all the colors and designs just don't scream fall to me. I decided to just Google easy Halloween nails and I started just scrolling through pages looking for inspirations. For awhile I thought I would be doing black nails with little white eyes but then I stumbled across a candy corn design and then it just struck me. This was not easy to do since I chose to do it all free hand and the white was being a little difficult to work with but overall I'm pretty pleased with the finish product.

So for these candy corn inspired nails I used Essie in Private Weekend, POP Beauty in Cute Coral, and Butter London in Cheeky Chops. It's exactly what it looks like, just layers of striped colors on the tips and then a shiny clear coat on top. They're fun and festive and not too over the top, just perfect. I can imagine recreating this look with different colors and also a glitter top coat for something fun, that would be very appropriate for New Years so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Unboxing: Birchbox October 2015

This was the month of mascaras. Normally I wouldn't be too crazy about that but my mascara stash was depleting and it gave me the chance to try out a mascara that I've been curious about so I would say this was a win all around. Now for the rest of the box...you'll just have to wait and see.

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, October 22, 2015

My Clarisonic Story

I fully intended on making this a Clarisonic review but then the more I wrote the post the more it just turned into sharing my experience with it. Now I'm sure someone will still find the review worth of this post but in the end I had to circle back to write this little note at the beginning. Roughly a month ago I purchased a Clarisonic Mia 2 and this is my one month story/experience with it. I'm going to outline dates as I noticed changes and give my final thoughts on the product at the end so stay tuned!

A little background story about my skin. Sprinkled throughout this blog you've gotten samples of what my skin is like. The overall condition of it is that it's combination leaning a little more towards oily, acne prone, and I have some seriously large and clogged pores. I always seem to have a constant sprinkle of acne, usually they are small but numerous, so you don't see them but you feel them. I wouldn't ever say my skin is smooth, there may be small patches here and there but it is stricken with blemishes and scarring.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Unboxing: Golden Tote October 2015

I threw away the box much too quickly but VD? or VC? I can't remember the second initial of my stylist but...you get me! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Golden Tote it's a grab bag experience where you can pick 1-2 items and then you will be sent an additional 1-4 surprise items according to a style profile you fill out. There's the small tote which is $49 and you get a total of 2-3 items and then there is the large tote which is $149 and you get a total of 5-6 items. I purchased a large tote this time because I had my eye on two sweaters and this month it was a huge hit for me!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Unboxing: Naturebox September 2015

I wish there was a way to pause this subscription because I have more snacks than I know what to do with right now but the only option I see is cancel subscription. Someone please tell me whether or not it will empty my pantry if I click that button! I still have two months worth of snacks I want to try so I would like to not lose those goodies! Anyways, this is my latest bunch of snacks from Naturebox. This time it actually went in order and I got the first five items in my pantry, that definitely didn't happen last time. They did change the site now and they tell you what snacks you will be getting each month which I kind of don't like, I loved being surprised, but oh well.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Nails of the Week #55: Virgin Snow

I'm so busy lately it's hard to find some time to sit down and do my nails. It's a real tragedy. I have a few matte polishes that I'm just dying to try out but I lost my matte top coat and it's not like I can slap my Seche Vite on those nails and just ruin the finish. Nevertheless I'm finding some time to work through my latest nail polish purchases and dreaming of the day when I will have time for some nail art! For now you'll have to endure the boring monotone of my nails.

This week I tried out Essie in Virgin Snow which is part of their new winter collection this year. It's a very pale lavender that surprisingly goes on like a dream. Usually my experience with light colors is that they are streaky so it takes a lot of coats and it just ends up being a hot and thick mess which I end up taking off my nails. This one was perfectly opaque in just two coats! I still need to work on the cleaner cuticles for these light colored polishes so in some areas it isn't too smooth and some of the edges are a little ragged.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday 5 Faves!

I feel like these posts should just replace my monthly favorites. I've been so focused on finishing up products and trying to clean out my hoard that I'm finding less favorites to share. Now that we are moving towards winter though I'm hoping to start wearing makeup again. My face was beyond oily this summer and it was just no good for makeup wearing at all. I do love sharing these random favorites and musings I have so for now these will remain separate. Or maybe this is a sign that I should do more of "life favorites" instead of limiting myself to just beauty and skincare products. Hmm ideas.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review: OZ Naturals 2.5% Retinol Serum

Skincare. I think you guys all get it now, I just love it! I've always had oily and acne prone skin, and add on some huge pores that are easily clogged, it really is a pain to find products that work. The good news is that my skin isn't overly sensitive so I can try a range of products and not get any crazy side effects such as redness or irritation from constantly swapping things out. My skin is also very clear about whether or not it likes a product which is also nice because within a week or two I will know whether something works for me and it either works amazingly or not at all. This is convenient for me because it makes it very easy to review a range of products, and is also why skincare products are usually what I talk about the most, and I'm lucky enough to get many opportunities from such brands!

OZ Naturals is slowly, but surely, becoming one of my favorite brands to work with. I've tried a number of their serums out already so when I was presented with the opportunity to try another one I immediately jumped on it. This particular serum is the OZ Naturals 2.5% Retinol Serum. In general people tend to shy away from Retinol products but I must say don't be afraid of it! When it comes to skincare you can get bad side effects if you misuse just about anything so Retinol is not something to be afraid of. Retinol is most commonly used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles but there's also the benefits of improving texture and tone as well as a good ingredient to combat clogged pores and acne too!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fads to Try

Fad diets, fads in general, you hear about them all the time. Every year there is a cycle of them that run through promising to be easy and have amazing results but obviously that's not true. However as I've heard about them there are a few that stand out to me that I would like to try so I thought it would be fun to throw them all into a list and perhaps reflect on this at some point to see if anything has ever happened. Don't worry, this isn't limited to just the diets, in fact most of these fads I want to try don't even consist of dieting!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review: Sephora Favorites Brow Raising

So let me tell you a story. Once upon a time when I first started doing my brows, yes there was a dark time in my life where I just left them alone, I researched products and stumbled across the Anastasia Brow Wiz. Everyone raved that it was the best product out there so naturally have some failed experiments with drugstore products I decided to drop the $21 for my own. It was amazing though, everything from the color to the small tip for the natural feathery look was perfection.

However after using it for awhile I was noticing that my brows were thinning out, and after doing some more research I learned that this was a common problem reported by people who used this stuff. The twist up part of the pencil was very loose so as you were filling in your brows it would twist and yank hairs out. After I finished up that pencil I didn't buy another one because my brows were already thin. Fast forward a few years, I have since found more affordable alternatives that are drama free, however I really wanted to try it again. I went into Sephora and grabbed it but then this Sephora Favorites Brow Raising value set caught my eye and I realized for just $20 more I could get a whole bunch of other products, and so that is the story how this came home with me.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Nails of the Week #54: Pretty and Pink

I'm in such a nail polish slump lately. I've been just doing the naked nails because I'll put on some polish but then wait much to long to take it off so it starts chipping and peeling my nails off. And then the result of that is that my nail isn't smooth so the polish doesn't go on smoothly. It's a whole problem. I picked up some more nail polish recently help get me excited again.

So this lovely color is Essie in Haute Tub. This is part of the winter collection this year and it's gorgeous! It's a dark purple with purple shimmer in it and it is beautifully glossy and opaque with just two coats. I see this being a winter favorite this year and it will look great on toes too!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Pink October

Did you know that in 2015 alone it is predicted that 292,130 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer? And from that it is believed that 40,290 of those women will die? Currently Breast Cancer is the second deadliest cause of death for women around the world. Everyday people are fighting for their lives and at the same time others are fighting to find a cure for this. The goal right now is to eradicate deaths by breast cancer by 2050 and this amazing company is doing what they can to make this a reality. What company is this that I'm talking about? Let me tell you.

This month I have the honor of partnering with Glamulet to bring you this post about Pink October and raise awareness on breast cancer. October is the official month for breast cancer awareness and I hope by contributing with this post I can help even one person realize the severity of this disease. The scary thing about breast cancer is that while genetics may play a role, it is literally random and anyone can get it. This is why getting regular mammograms as well as performing self checks at home are so important. Your odds of survival are increased the earlier you catch it.

This campaign that Glamulet is currently running for the month of October benefits breast cancer research and awareness. They have Pink Limited Edition charms on their site for sale and with every sale, 50% of the sales will go to a charity fund for breast cancer. Check out all the beautiful charms they have available here and know that by supporting them you are helping fight against breast cancer.

We are all affected by this disease so I urge you to do whatever you can to help find a cure. If we all cared just a little bit, a lot can be done!

**Powered by BrandBacker. Items sent to me free for consideration, all thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ulta Haul!

It's been a really long time since I've purchased anything from Ulta however after trying and failing multiple times to buy a certain brow pencil I decided to just go ahead and place an order on Ulta. Of course I went a little crazy and I also took advantage of their 21 days of beauty to pick up some brush heads for my Clarisonic so naturally this has turned into a haul of things I got. There is just one item missing which is a leave in hair treatment that was purchased for someone else but I figure that doesn't matter too much, so on with the haul!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Unboxing: Walmart Beauty Box Fall 2015

This is just the week of unboxings. All my quarterly boxes arrived at the same time so it just made sense to put up all these posts back to back. I'm such a fan of quarterly boxes, often enough to delight me but not so much that it clutters me with junk. The Walmart Beauty Box is a great deal that puts together samples, coupons, and even full sized items into a box shipped out 4 times a year. It costs $5 which is a steal for the amount of items provided and it's also a great way to find out what is new in stores. This is probably one of the best boxes yet, so let's see what's inside!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Unboxing: FabFItFun VIP Fall 2015

Another season and still no snack! Are snacks just not a thing anymore? Slightly disappointed in that but also relieved since I do have my Nature Box now. I'm loving this box though, being a quarterly one is perfect so I'm not overwhelmed with stuff and it gives them the change to really make it seasonal. Since I have an early subscription I have the opportunity to select some items in my box, or at least the colors, which is nice. I would like to be surprised but at the same time it's nice to guarantee that I will love what comes in the box.

FabFitFun VIP is a quarterly women's subscription box, that provides a box curated for each season full of lifestyle and beauty products! It costs $49.99 per box and it is stuffed full of products (worth at least $100) selected by Giuliana Rancic and the FabFitFun team. Let's take a look at what I got in my fall box!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nails of the Week #53: Yespadrilles

You're getting a little sneak peek of what came in my Ulta order recently, full haul will be going up on Thursday so stay tuned for that! I was bad and picked up a few nail polishes and when it came to changing my polish for the week I just couldn't resist using one of these new ones I just got! Also with the seasons changing this was one of my last chances for a few months to appropriately wear such a light color so it just had to happen. So from my fantastic nails of last week to less than impressive this week, oh well I have confidence that my brilliant nail skills will return to me.

This week I have Essie in Yespadrilles. This is part of the Cashmere Matte line, which just means that they are matte nail polishes. I did not do the cleanest job here I was in a huge rush but it's gorgeous. It's a very nice matte Tiffany's blue which actually almost perfectly matches my iPad case, happy coincidence. This is such a nice color and I'll be sad to put it away for winter months but at least it will be there waiting for come spring!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fitness Friday!

So how did September go? A lot better than the other months but in the end I still didn't finish out my challenge. This time it was the last week where I just fell off the wagon and failed so I'm getting a lot closer here! There were also days this month where I missed a day but I would just double up on the next day and catch up so I count that as a win since I was a lot more motivated to do the challenges. My thoughts on Blogilates though, wow her voice is annoying. Between her shrill screams, grunts, and commentary I wanted to rip my hair out over them. However I did like they were all short workouts that I really felt afterwards so they were easy to fit into my schedule, as well as they didn't require equipment which was nice.

I'm finding this make your own schedule thing is my best bet, I'm more likely to complete something that I create myself with my own life in mind. I'm going to keep making these up until I successfully complete one of these! This month we are going to try out Amanda Russell who seems to have a lot of shorter videos so things I'm able to manage. This time around I'm giving myself two days off each week so let's see how I do! Here's the schedule to follow along if you would like, I actually had yesterday be a rest day so you can follow me from the start.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September 2015 Favorites

This month passed by in a blur. I worked a lot on going through my makeup stash this month so I was trying out a lot of samples and random items. Nothing really struck me as amazing so this time around I have a really small handle of favorites to share. Mostly I've been experimenting with new things for my skincare routine which I'm still in the process of finalizing but I think I found some strong contenders!