Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 in Recap & 2016

I know this is a day early but hey, the schedule right? It's never too early to reflect and plan, so just go with it. This has been quite a year. There have been ups and downs but somehow I made it through. Honestly every year is like this, but I'm thankful for this one to be over. There have been some good times. I got to go on my first family vacation in years. Probably not since I was in high school, there hasn't been a time where all four us were able to travel somewhere together. We went to Taiwan during Chinese New Years to celebrate and also to visit family. I was able to go to Las Vegas a few times to meet up with old friends as well as see my sister. I took a trip to Seattle in order to attend a wedding for people I've never met which was surprisingly fun. I've met a great group of people from work and if anything I'm coming out of a job with some great friendships. I've watched more movies then I ever want to admit and experienced my first county fair ever. I got to see fireworks on the 4th and celebrated turning a quarter of a century. These good moments really far outweigh the bad I experienced this year and those are the things I want to remember.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Nails of the Week #64: Sephora Formula X in Alchemy 2

Was I the only one that didn't know that Sephora was coming out with an Alchemy 2 this year? I've raved about the first one, you can check out a ton of pictures from my week 17 NotW of that beauty. But we aren't here today to talk about the first one, we want to talk about the second edition that came out! It was by pure luck that while I was shopping around for something to keep my VIB status that I clicked into the nail polish section. I've been buying quite a few polishes lately so I had no business in that section but good thing I did because then I saw!

The easiest way to describe Alchemy 2 is to compare it to the first one. They are very similar in that they are a metallic littered with soft multi-color shimmer. The first one was more of a platinum base making it appear like a soft rose gold while this one is a distinct gold base so it really glows. It's absolutely beautiful to dress up your nails with and more of a statement then the original. Did I really need two polishes that were so similar? Probably not, but I'm still happy that I do!

Friday, December 25, 2015

What I Did For Christmas

End of the year, all the holidays are bunched together it's crazy! This is probably one of the first years where I did something Christmassy that started about a week ago so I felt like it would be fun to share it all plus some pictures! A few highlights before I just dive into the pictures is that I'll be featuring things from my visit to Christmas Tree Lane (a street in my hometown where all the houses agree to go all out with some tasteful lights and decor, quite a fun trip to make), the Christmas Eve Eve dinner, our Feast of the 7 Fishes we decided to do this year, and some candids of the tree and pup in her Christmas attire. Christmas was a bit different this year which I've found is actually normal for many people which is celebrating it in Christmas Eve. Unfortunately I had to work both Christmas and Christmas Eve this year so instead of our usual traditional of opening presents Christmas morning, everything was done Christmas Eve this year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What's in my Trash?! #26

Today the trash is very light, also coming earlier than usual. The first struggle of this new posting schedule is battling the time sensitive posts. Everything I have scheduled for the rest of the month is very holiday related so somehow this got pushed back earlier than usual. Is that the reason why I don't have that much to share? Actually I just started using some new products after finishing stuff off last month so that's the real reason why. Nonetheless, let's look at my small offerings of empties I have this month to share. There's some good stuff in there that doesn't quite warrant a full review but still needs some sort of mention so each item is getting it's own paragraph this time around!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Nails of the Week #63: Nails on Fire

It's really been awhile since I went wild and bought nail polish but recently I've been picking up bottles here and there and the manicure this week features one of them. My nails look awful right now though, they were peeling, yellow and brittle at the tips so I cut them really short to combat splitting and in the end really wasn't able to shape them. Oh well.

The base color is Essie's In The Lobby which is described as a cinnamon plum color. It's seriously gorgeous, and a good purchase! This color is from the Fall 2015 collection which I'll admit I haven't really been on top of the collections that came out this year. I loved how it looked however since I had to cut my nails really short I felt like it made my fingers look really stubby and not right. What started as a just an accent nail ended up because such a gorgeous effect that I layered on Essie's Shine of the Times which is a beautiful holo flake glitter top coat. It shifts from gold to red to green depending on where the light is and it's a really great topper for almost any color.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Unboxing: Birchbox December 2015

I think I'm reaching the end of my Birchbox love affair. I need to figure out when my yearly subscription is over and I think I'm done. I just have more samples then I could use and seriously if they don't stop sending me hair items, I'm going to lose it. You've got a few months to redeem yourself here Birchbox!

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.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Unboxing: FabFitFun VIP Winter 2015

Remember that first underwhelming experience with FabFitFun and how I swore I would never resubscribe? I must say I'm glad I became a victim to marketing and submitted to the one year subscription. This box was one of the best ones yet and I'm low key obsessed with everything that came in it. My one gripes is that they don't seem to do a snack anymore and I must say I do like sampling a snack. But I guess that's a small battle.

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 is in the winter box!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Nails of the Week #62: Nails With No Name

I'm just grabbing colors right now with no rhyme or reason. Actually I did these nails so late I don't even remember doing them and some of them turned out real crazy around the cuticles. Let's just say that this manicure didn't last too long past when I first did it, but here we are today talking about it anyways. Awhile back I got that little quad of Formula X "The Match" that is suppose to be colors curated based on skintone, but I got the ones for light skin since I just liked the colors better. I mean I feel like it still compliments my skintone anyways!

I used the baby blue Formula X in Unmistakable as the main color with Formula X in Invincible as the accent nail. Fun fact, I was trying to do my pointer finger as the accent nail but I seriously blacked out and forgot as I was painting my nails so that's how the ring finger ended up being the one. After I did it I felt like it kind of looked a little random and plain so my trusty Color Club Nail Art Duo in White came to the rescue and I put little white dots to kind of bring the whole look together. Not my most interesting manicure, but it works.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday 5 Faves

December is going by fast. Actually I think it also just feels this way with my reduced posting schedule it's just flying by. I'm already having a hard time with the schedule, as in I want to post more than I'm allowing myself to! This is why it took so long for me to back off my aggressive editorial schedule but I must say the reduced number of posts has brought a better balance to my life so that's been good. Anyways, so for this month here are five things that I'm currently loving.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Ulta Cyber Monday Haul!

Technically this order hasn't come yet since I'm writing this up Tuesday night and it's set to arrive Wednesday, but I really couldn't wait any longer to share! I really didn't do much Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping this year but I did place one HUGE order at Ulta! Ever since my Clarisonic, my skin is a lot oilier and hasn't been responding as well to my skincare routine so I wanted to try some new stuff out. It also helped that there were some great deals such as 20% off all Mario Badescu, 3 for $33 The Body Shop items, and other deals, I decided to take advantage of some deals and pick up a whole bunch of skincare to try as well as some items I've just had my eye on for awhile. So let's dive into this haul of items I got, I'll even break it down into categories this time around.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Nails of the Week #61: Metallic Finishes

So typical me. I see a beautiful manicure on Instagram and when I attempt to recreate it...just no. The problem was I was being lazy so instead of using two pieces of nail tape I just did one and believed that I would be able to freehand it. No. The lines ended up being WAY thicker than I wanted but it kind of words, it's abstract right? I also thought it would be fun to have two different metallic colors, again nope. What really would have been great is if I had nail stripers in the right colors, then I wouldn't have needed tape at all. Oh well, you live and you learn.

The purple base is Julep in Sylvia which is actually quite beautiful. It was also a really nice formula to work with which is such a contrast to all the disasters I've had with Julep. I used Butter London in Bobby Dazzler for the silver of course and then Orly in Rage for the rose gold stripes. I mean it's not bad from afar, except for that left pinky finger, something crazy happened there and I'm quite sure what.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Fitness Friday!

Just as I suspected, movement did not happen for the month of November, but that's okay since I expected it. I feel like the same will go for December too but I still want to make some goals for myself to hit. This month I want to track steps taken! Instead of having a daily goal though I will be making it a weekly goal to give me cushioning on days where it just doesn't happen or the days when my Fitbit runs out of battery half way through the day or I just forget to charge it.

So the goal for this month is 35,000 steps a week or roughly 5,000 steps a day. I know that's low, but I have a very fixed job where I'm more or less chained to a desk for most of my day and once I'm done at work I just sort of collapse at home. It doesn't give me many opportunities to move around that I would like so here's the goal I'm going to just have to go with! Check back next month to get a daily break down of what happened for me in December.

I've completely fallen off the train with healthy eating. Ever since I moved offices the food choices are limited so I've really not been paying attention to what I eat. Also I'm lucky to get a chance to eat and at that point I'm just shoving whatever food I could possibly reach into my mouth as fast as I can. I'm making a commitment to drinking more water again and I'm going back to my bottle cap system to track how many bottles of water I consume throughout the day. The conservative goal for now is 4 bottles but I hope to be back to my 6-8 bottle routine that I was at earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

November 2015 Favorites!

November passed by in a flash. In fact all of 2015 seems to be over. Clearly, it's already December at this point! Lately my skin has still been very oily. The Clarisonic isn't doing good things for it. I mean it is, acne wise but it has gotten very oily. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect chemistry of lotions and potions so for now I'm still staying off of most of the makeup unfortunately. I still have a handful of products I was loving this month, so here we go!