Monday, June 30, 2014

Top 5 MAC Lipsticks

I love MAC Lipsticks for many reasons. They're relatively affordable for the quality you get ($17), there are so many shades/finishes you're bound to find something you like, and they have a pretty good staying power. If you're looking to pick one up, here are my five favorites (ignore the weird hair tie indent).

Twig. Described as a "soft nude brownish-pink", this is your perfect nude lipstick. It's a satin finish, s it won't dry lips out or look extremely shiny. Definitely a perfect finish to complement a smoky eye.

Craving. This is a pinky-plum for those looking for something a little more bold, but still pretty close to your natural lip color. It's an amplified creme, so the color is amplified (like it says) but not in an extreme way. I can't really pull off super bright lip colors, so this is a nice alternative.

Dark Side. Fun fact, this was my first MAC lipstick. This deep burgundy is perfect for the fall/winter, and it's vampy without being toooo over the top.

Crosswires. My favorite coral from MAC. It has enough pink to keep it from looking too orange, and is a great spring/summer lipstick. Definitely a natural coral (if there's such a thing).

Plumful. Probably my all-time favorite of the bunch. It's slightly rosier than Craving, and a great color for any season. Plus, you know I'm going to love it since it' combines rose and plum, my two favorite color combos.

What are your favorite MAC lipsticks? Let me know!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Review: We Are Called To Rise

Sunday nights are probably my least favorite time of the week. I almost never do anything productive and although you may have enjoyed the day off of work/school, you can't stay up late and there's the looming week ahead. Anyways, enough of those depressing thoughts and on to the book review!

It actually took me three whole days to read a book, but that's because my sister was visiting. The aforementioned book is We Are Called To Rise, by Laura McBride. Not gonna lie, I started out not really feeling this book. I enjoyed the alternative perspectives but it just felt a bit dry in the beginning. Slowly but surely, it picked up and that's when I really started to delve in. The novel is told from four different points of view-- a middle aged housewife, a soldier, a social worker, and a young immigrant boy. Since I read the description, I knew there was some sort of event going to occur that would tie all of their stories together (obviously not gonna give that away though). My only problem was that this event didn't occur until halfway through the (rather long) novel, so I felt like I kept waiting for something to happen. Once that occurred, I grew to rather like this book.

The most touching perspective is probably that of Bakshim, an eight year old boy living in America from Albania. It's not easy to write from the perspective of a child, especially as an American woman like McBride who probably can't relate very well, but she is touching and honest and captures it well. I wasn't super thrilled with Avis, the housewife's perspective, unless it centered around her son. Another unique aspect of this book is its choice of setting--it takes place in Las Vegas, typically known for its casinos and nightlife, but exposes the everyday side non-natives wouldn't think about.

This is definitely not a light beach read, and ended up being way heavier than I expected, but it was overall pretty good and I would recommend it if you are looking for something to make you think, with characters you will really empathize with.

Rachel's Rating (a new thingy I'm gonna try to keep up): 4/5

Currently Watching: I just started Weeds, which has eight seasons (yessss). American Horror Story finished WAY too quickly, and since Weeds has the same writer as Orange Is The New Black, I'm hoping I'll enjoy it as much.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Throwback Friday

In lieu of doing another blog post today, I thought I would direct ya'll to some of my previous beauty blog posts on This is only slight self-promotion, but I've been writing for Her Campus UVM for the past year and a half. I'm going to be editor in chief next year and cannot wait. I didn't only write beauty posts last year, so I will link a few non-beauty related posts as well. Feel free to browse around our website and check out articles from other people as well! And like us on Facebook while you're at it :)

Makeup Ideas To Try This Spring (they can still work for summer!)
April Favorites
Which Concealer Is Right For You?
Drugstore Products Under $12
Dos and Donts of Living With Your Friends

Her Campus is not active during the summer (hence the daily blogging here), but we post lots of content during the school year so be sure to check us out there!

Currently Reading: Palo Alto by James Franco. I picked it up mostly because it's written by a god James Franco but I'm really not crazy about it. I like the short story idea but these are almost monotonous and lacking something, I'm not sure what.

Today also marked 500 views on the blog so thank you to everyone who's been reading and have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What's In My Work Makeup Bag?

As I mentioned yesterday, I love keeping everything in this Vera Bradley Medium Cosmetic Bag. These are my touch-up items that I keep with me at work, as I do apply my makeup at home before coming.

Benefit Play Stick (Tea Party)
Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush (Peach Satin and Plum Wine)
Soap and Glory Love At First Blush (sadly not available in the USA)

Buxom Lip Polish (Mudslide)
Bobbi Brown Art Stick (Cassis and Dusty Pink)
NYX Butter Gloss (Apple Strudle)
Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer  (Nova and Comet)
Marc Jacobs Lip Vinyl (Shooting Star, limited edition)

Is it bad that I watched 10 episodes of American Horror Story in two days? Almost done with season one oops. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How I Organize My Makeup

I don't yet have an Ikea Alex (the organizer of choice for all beauty gurus), but I do have a $10 shelf thing from Target so I'm on the road. It's great because not only was it so cheap but it also holds everything and is the perfect height for me to sit down and go about my routine using a cosmetic mirror. At some point on here I will probably get into what is in each drawer but for now I'm just covering the basic organization.

These small acrylic drawers can seriously hold so much, plus they offer storage on top. They are loosely organized into eye/face/lip sections, but in all honestly I've just kind of thrown in whatever fits. On top, I keep my trusty Almay eye makeup remover sticks, makeup wipes, and my favorite everyday foundations. I love this New York City mug from Starbucks because it does a great job of holding all of my brushes. Next to it, I keep a clear cotton ball holder that can hold about ten different lip products. Normally I keep my cosmetic mirror in front of the drawers but took it away for the sake of pictures.

In the next section, I keep one more plastic drawer. It's really hard to see but next to it is a makeup bag where I keep my collection of MAC lipsticks. I keep primers out and viewable for easy access since I use them every day, and sometimes random products find their way there.

The middle section houses all of my palettes. I attempted to organize them in this letter holder but have just shoved them to the side.

Lastly, I have some Q Tips because they are an everyday essential. I've also thrown a bunch of stuff into this Vera Bradley Cosmetic Bag. These are my absolute favorite makeup bags--I keep one in my car and work bag as well. This large size can hold so so much and they have a lining to keep things waterproof.

This is all a temporary arrangement for the house I'm subletting over the summer and will most likely change when I move into my sorority house in August, but I like the way it's working for now.

I finished Desperate Housewives yesterday and now don't know what to do with my life (only a slight exaggeration). After I finish the very brief two seasons of American Horror Story I have left (why are there so few episodes??), I'm thinking of starting Mad Men.

Do you have any tips for organizing your makeup you'd like to share? Or a suggestion for a show for me to start next? Let me know, I'd love to have some comments coming in!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Musings

Another Monday, another four days of wondering if it's Friday yet. I can't believe it's almost July, I guess time really does move faster when you're older.

Currently Watching: I took a break from Desperate Housewives this weekend to watch American Horror Story. I had heard good things about the show but I had no idea just how good it was. Each season is its own story, so I watched all of season two in two days. Oops. However, there are only thirteen episodes and it feels like one long psychological thriller, so you know I'm going to be watching until it's concluded. I should probably go back and finish the last ten episodes of Desperate Housewives before delving into the rest of AHS... otherwise I may never return. Plus Evan Peters (as Kit Walker) with a Boston accent is positively adorable.

Currently Listening To: One of the worst feelings is knowing the general tune of a song but not knowing any real identifiable lyrics/who sings it. This song came on my Pandora a few weeks ago and I had forgotten to "like" it, but I was able to identify enough lyrics to finally reveal its identity--Cold December by Matt Costa. I've also fallen back in love with Crooked Teeth, my favorite song by them.

Currently Reading: I started The Vacationers by Emma Straub on Friday and haven't picked it up since. It's not that it was terrible, I was just sidetracked by American Horror Story and hope to finish it today.

New Favorite Perfume: A random visit into The Body Shop last week found a new discovery, and fast favorite. I've always loved the smell of roses, and the Atlas Rose collection smells so so good. It's super affordable... I got the perfume for only $25 and fragrance mist for $14. Plus, if you go during one of their frequent sales it's even cheaper. It has great staying power and I love catching a whiff of it during the day. This scent is a great dupe for Roses de Chloe, which I also love but is suuuuuper expensive (I'm glad I chose to get the slightly less pricy See by Chloe instead, even before I knew of this dupe).

Saturday, June 21, 2014

An Ode to Trader Joe's

I've always been a huge Trader Joe's fan. Lots of cheap, good food, which is a college girl's dream. It's especially helpful since the abundant prepared/frozen food is great since I'm not the best cook. Everyone and their mother is absolutely obsessed now since Burlington finally got one (whereas I'm just excited because it's like my best friend came back from abroad). The even more dangerous part is I work literally 50 feet from the Burlington location, so I find myself going about 3 times a week. I'm going to share a few of my favorite items/the ones I'm always going back for, and let me know yours!

Organic Strawberry Lemonade. This stuff pretty much got me to stop drinking soda. It is so so good I've gone through about four bottles since I moved in three weeks ago, and the price for a large bottle is about what you would pay for one drink at a restaurant/

Scallion Pancakes. I discovered these a couple of weeks ago and I was literally screaming in the store. Scallion pancakes are one of my favorite foods when I get Chinese but they can be difficult to come by if you're not eating out. These come in a bag of four in the frozen aisle and you literally just put them in the oven for seven minutes and get authentic yummy goodness.

Chopped Onions. This may seem kind of stupid, for only $2 you get a big tub of pre-chopped onions. This is amazingly handy for the very rare time I do cook, because it makes my life that much easier and you're not paying that much of a premium for convenience.

Italian Country Salad. The prepared section is my go-to place for a quick and easy lunch during my break. I keep coming back to this salad because it is eclectic with parmesan and white beans, vegetarian, and only $4. Most salads contain meat so it's nice to find a filling one for us veggies.

Pudding. Pudding is a great dessert because it's relatively low in calories while still filling. I've tried their rice pudding, tapioca pudding, and belgium chocolate pudding and have loved each one. The belgium chocolate one tastes exactly like chocolate mousse.

My only complaint about Trader Joe's is I'm always seeing new things and tricking myself into thinking everything is so affordable that before I know it, I've filled up my cart and end up spending $20 (which can add up if you go three times a week!). Also, watch out for the sweets they strategically place by the check out line. I'm on to you with your impulse buy marketing strategy but I'll be damned if I didn't pick up some delicious Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cups the other day and enjoy every one.

Friday, June 20, 2014

If You Read Only One Book This Summer...

While I probably read about 4-5 books a week, that may be a lofty number for someone to achieve even in a summer. As mentioned in yesterday's post, I had started, and now finished, finished reading This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Topper and I loved every minute of it.

Publisher's Weekly calls it "An excellent balance between the family history and its present-day fallout, [with an] ability to create touchingly human characters and a deliciously page-turning story." Although the story is built around the premises of four siblings coming together to mourn the death of their father, it's more of a closer look into the lives of each sibling, told from middle brother Judd's point of view. His wife has been having an affair with his boss, and the novel focuses mainly on his desire to figure out what he truly wants and what his life has led to so far. Each sibling is certainly a class act; there's Paul, the oldest who can never get over an accident that ruined his college baseball career. Wendy, who will be played by Tina Fey in the movie, struggles with her affection for her high school sweetheart and balancing a family, and the youngest Paul, the classic sex-driven screwup. I never found myself bored and was definitely sad when it ended. This is a "belated coming-of-age" novel, since Judd truly doesn't develop his identity and sense of self until his father passes away, causing him to reevaluate everything in his life. I laughed and I felt sad and empathetic (I never actually cry when reading). As Judd so poignantly notes to encompass the entire theme of the book, “love in real life: It's messy and corrupt and completely unreliable. He never sugarcoats anything, and it's so easy to picture yourself right there along with the Foxman clan.

This Is Where I Leave You is the perfect mix of light humorous beach read and deep thought provoking novel. Make sure you finish it by September in time for the movie to come out (Did I mention how excited I am?). I loved this one so much that I bought Topper's most recently published book, One Last Day Before I Go.

Although there are like twenty books waiting for me to read on my iPad, I'm always down for new book recommendations. What books have you been loving lately? Any ones that you're looking forward to?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Everyday Eye Makeup Must Haves

A bonus beauty post for you all! I've already gotten a great response since launching a few hours ago and wanted to share my eye makeup essentials.

Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes (Too Faced Boudoir Eyes and Too Faced Natural Eyes). What's not to love about eyeshadow palettes? They're more affordable than single eyeshadows, great for traveling, and save you the guesswork of figuring out what shades work together. I've been loving these two from Too Faced recently, but I have my eye on a new nude palette from Maybelline that retails at only $10!

Black eyeliner (Marc Jacobs Gel Eye Crayon). I remember my middle school days where I used to pile on the black eyeliner and it would smudge horribly, making me look like a raccoon. I've since realized that a good, non-smudging eyeliner is splurge worthy. Marc Jacobs has these in a bajillion colors (though I only own black for now), and they do not smudge at all while delivering great color. Sometimes I like to change it up using a purple or nude liner on my waterline, but I feel most comfortable in black.

Black liquid liner (Marc Jacobs Waterproof Eyeliner). Learning to do winged liner is still a work in progress. It's definitely made easier when you apply it using a pen, and this stuff really does last through almost anything.

Mascara primer (Lancome Mascara Base). Mascara primer is definitely an underrated item. But applying this white or clear base under your normal mascara helps everything look better and really maximizes the effects of your normal mascara

Mascara Well this is just a given. There are so many different mascaras out there it can be hard to navigate which one is right for you. My all time favorite higher end one is Benefit They're Real, and two cheaper drugstore ones are L'Oreal Butterfly and L'Oreal Shocking Extensions.

Not pictured but I also use Too Faced Candlelight Primer before I apply eyeshadow to make the color more vibrant and longer lasting. I also love Sigma Brushes to apply my eyeshadow (much better than any included little sponges), and obviously Q Tips are a must-have to clean up my winged liner attempts.

Here's a picture of me attempting to be cute/showing off my everyday makeup. I apologize for it being kind of dark as I am lacking in a professional camera. An everyday face makeup must-haves post will be coming soon!

What are your eye makeup must haves?


I've read beauty blogs for so long it's only fitting I start one of my own. But seriously, with the amount of makeup I buy/music I listen to/books I read why wouldn't I want to share some of my favorites with the world? Yes I do have a full time (summer) job but I'm almost done with Desperate Housewives so I need something else to fill my time.

Anyways, I hope to create a forum where I review the makeup I like, perhaps throwing in some books and music and who doesn't love good ol fashion hauls? Plus there's also the random daily thoughts that are always fun to hear.

Musings: What if no one reads this? Or just thinks I'm stupid for even wanting to start a hybrid beauty review/ramblings blog? And why do Thursdays always feel like Fridays? Should I buy that Clinique Chubby Stick I really don't need but really want?

Currently Reading: I've just started This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. It's coming out soon in theaters with an amazing cast, and the trailer intrigued me, so I picked it up and am enjoying it so far. A review will follow shortly (let's be real I'll be done by tomorrow, if not this afternoon). But seriously how amazing does the movie look? With a cast including Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, and Adam from Girls I am super duper excited.

Current Makeup Obsession: I'm in love with my Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Peach Mosaic, recommended by Miss Glamorazzi (Ingrid) on Youtube. It was pricy but the even more dangerous part was that it opened me up to Mirror Mirror on Main Street, the only high-end makeup store in Vermont. Discovering a place that sells Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, and more does not bode well for my paycheck.

Well there ya have it. My first blog post. Woo.