Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Favorites

How is there less than a month left of summer? I feel like June goes by really slowly but July goes by in a second. I'm excited for fall though, it's my favorite season and has the best fashion/beauty launches. I fell in love with so many products this month that it was hard to choose so here's the best of July.

  1. A great drugstore foundation (Covergirl Whipped Creme Foundation in Natural Beige). I love the consistency of this... it really feels like whipped cream and applies so easily. This is definitely a lighter base, but that's what you usually get from a quality drugstore foundation. It's incredibly moisturizing and relatively long lasting.
  2. An incredible high-end foundation (YSL Touche Eclat Foundation in B30). The sleek glass bottle (which includes a pump thank god) screams luxury. Both Essiebutton and Viviannadoesmakeup raved about this so I figured it was worth a shot to check out. It's incredibly lightweight yet still offers incredible coverage. My skin literally glows (without looking greasy) and it even has SPF.
  3. The best concealer/highlighter duo (Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer in Natural and YSL Touche Eclat in No. 2). The struggle to find a non-creasing, full-coverage concealer for my dark circles has been real. However, this Hourglass one is probably one of the best on the market. The stick form is easy to apply and delivers great coverage. I pop the touch√© √©clat on top for highlighting to counteract the darkness.
  4. The Body Shop Tea Tree line (Skin Clearing Lotion shown). I don't have terrible skin by any means, but I do have some pesky bumps that show up from time to time. I love the affordability and quality of this line, but I don't use it every night because tea tree can be harsh on sensitive skin.
  5. Brown Eyeliner (Marc Jacobs RoCocoaUrban Decay RoachRimmel Kohl Kajal Sable). For the longest time, I thought brown eyeliner was boring. I would consistently wear black or purple but I've recently decided to change it up. Brown eyeliner with a hint of shimmer is just a softer way of defining and I've been loving these three.
  6. Perricone MD No Mascara Mascara. I love the No Blush Blush from this line but was skeptical about the mascara. For claiming to be a "no mascara", this delivers a more dramatic look than expected and is formulated without parabens.
TV Shows: If you read my other posts, you know I'm obsessed with American Horror Story. I also watched all of Weeds and loved that this month. 

Books: Abroad by Katie Crouch, I Like You Just the Way I Am by Jenny Mollen, and The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Mollen.

Music: Ahh Lake Street Dive why do you give me shivers every time I listen to you (check out their cover of This Magic Moment).

Also, I've noticed a few rudely opinionated comments from the same anonymous person lately. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I am not a fan of public bashing. At least put your name on the comment because hiding behind an anonymous handle shows you're afraid of something. If you have a personal issue with me, I would appreciate an email where we could discuss something privately.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones

I've always coveted the luxurious Charlotte Tilbury makeup collection... but sadly it is unavailable in the USA. You can only imagine my excitement when the Sculpt & Highlight set appeared on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. This item was a super splurge, but I had a gift card so I'm glad I took the plunge (it's now sold out). For Americans, this item is now virtually impossible to get unless you want to spend about $40 to get it shipped from Selfridges. The kit consisted of the actual palette as well as the Powder and Sculpt Brush. I could have done without the brush, especially since I have a similar cheaper one from Sigma, but they only came together. Anyways, onto the product!

It came housed in this beautiful red box, and the palette is housed in a swanky gold compact. There's a decent amount of product, which should be expected for what you pay. I don't highlight and contour every day, but they are two steps I like to add when I have the time/energy to really do a full face and add that extra glow. The bronzer works great for skin tone and has those grey undertones you need for contouring... this shade may not work for medium/deeper skin tones as it is on the lighter side. And oh that highlight. Both of these are so finely milled and I love the glow the highlight adds without emphasizing my pores.

If you want to make the splurge, or buy one item from Charlotte Tilbury (for those in the UK fortunate enough to be able to do so), I really recommend this item.

Also, I recently attempted to reorganize my makeup and give each item a specific drawer so there weren't concealers thrown everywhere. I'm thinking of doing a weekly Drawer Tour... one week you would see my mascara drawer, another week the eyeshadows, etc. Let me know if that's what you'd like to see!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Few New Clothing Items

I haven't bought a ton of clothes this summer, so I decided to take advantage of the amazing shopping in San Francisco. Everything I bought was really affordable and great for most seasons.
H&M Dress, $49.95, not online. I have wanted this dress for oh so long but never took the plunge. I finally got it after a few months of lusting and I love it so much. It fits perfectly and somehow the high neckline looks good, which never happens.
TJ Maxx Skater Dress, $14.99, not online. TJ Maxx is usually a crapshoot for me but this little number stood out. It was so affordable, has a cute little back cutout, and is in one of my favorite colors.

Brandy Melville Crop Top, $18. Even though this is a crop top, it's very boxy and loose fitting, so it can easily be worn on a relaxed day. I love the fit of this and it's more colorful than a plain white shirt.
Nordstrom Tank Top, $26. The flowy fit of this is super flattering, and I love the embroidered detail that dresses up this tank top. It's very soft and can be dressed up or down.
Buckle Long Sleeve Tee, $29.95, not online. Besides the fact that this is my favorite color, the crochet on the sleeves reminded me of a Free People shirt (for half the price!). 

Also, here's your latest America Horror Story: Freak Show update because I'm obsessed. They've finally released a cast list for most main characters.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I Left My Heart (and a Chunk of Change) In San Francisco

In case you don't know me, I'm obsessed with San Francisco. It's my absolute favorite city in the world and I just feel so happy there. I was fortunate enough to make my third trip there this year and had a great time. I stay with my mom's best friend when I'm there, and it's like being around my second family. Here are a few pictures from the trip...
View from Lombard St.

Stinson Beach

View of the city from Tiburon

It wouldn't be a complete vacation without some makeup shopping, so here's an overall view of what I got. Some in-depth reviews of products will be up at some point. Which ones would you like to see the most?

Marc Jacobs Eyeliner in Obey-Ge and Ro(Cocoa)
YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Rose Infinite
YSL Touche Eclat Foundation in B30 (So excited about this)
Clarins Lip Balm Crayon in Tender Coral
MAC Paints in Stillife
MAC Lipstick in Sweetie

Now I realize that there were a lot of ridiculous splurge items but I did return about $300 worth of items to Sephora, so that's the only reason I went crazy with a few things. I also ordered a few things online that arrived home when I was away...
Nars Blush in Unlawful

I also bought a few clothing items but didn't want to make this post any longer than it already is, so those will be up tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Get To Know Me Tag: Liebster Award

I've actually had my first blogger "Tag" from Cindi's Musings  and I figured, why not answer them? So without further ado, here are the questions/answers...

1. What are your aspirations?
For the past few years, I've been wanting to move to San Francisco after graduation. There are so many opportunities out here to work in the fashion/beauty industry, and I aspire to work for the corporate offices somewhere in the marketing department.

2. Are there any food that you won't touch with a 10ft pole?
Well I'm a vegetarian, so meat is a no-no. But I also despise ketchup, olives (won't touch anything they've touched), and mayonnaise.

3. What is your aim in life?
I don't need to be super famous or revered, but I want to make sure I've done something important and people can remember me.

4. Ever experienced the 'blogger's block' and how did you overcome it?
Since I aim to post every weekday during the summer, coming up with content can be hard. I'm often inspired by other bloggers, plus I have so much makeup that if I did a product feature on one product every day, I'd have content forever.

5. What is your favourite non-living object?
This might be cliche, but it's a tie between my computer/ipad mini/car.

6. Name the actor you are a fan of and why.
Oooh this is a toughie... I am a huge fan of Mindy Kaling. She was great as Kelly on The Office but really came into her own on The Mindy Project... I love that show.

7. What is your favourite make up brand?
For high end, Dior delivers gorgeous results that are splurge-worthy. For mid-range prices that lean on the more affordable side, Tarte takes the case (check out my brand focus here). I'm extremely jealous of all the high-quality drugstore makeup available in the UK that isn't available in the USA, so Rimmel is probably my favorite US-avaliable drugstore makeup.

8. Finish this sentence: To me, blogging is __________.
To me, blogging is a chance to share my passions. Most of the time when I do a post, it's about something or someone (makeup, music, books, maybe people?) that I love. I figure if I love it so much, other people would too and I want to share it!

9. Would you be disheartened and unhappy if you didn't become 'big' like other popular bloggers out there?
To an extent I would. I started this because I read so many other "big bloggers". They get loads of promotional stuff and some have even made a career out of blogging. I don't expect anything like that to happen (although it would be nice), but just to have people find my blog from places that aren't my Facebook is a great accomplishment.

10. Would you ever consider 'vlogging'?
I have in the past, since so many you tubers also "vlog", but the main reason I don't is that I am super technologically challenged and would never be able to figure out how to edit them. Writing just comes naturally for me, plus I would feel super awkward talking to a camera in public.

Even though I'm supposed to tag 11 specific small bloggers, I tag everyone who looks at this page! I'd love anyone with a blog to do this tag on their page and leave a link in the comments :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Paintbrushes For Your Face

That's probably a weird way of putting it, but I really think of makeup brushes as paintbrushes for your face. Your face is like a canvas and makeup is a way of creating art. I didn't realize the importance of good makeup brushes until about a year ago-- let's just say my foundation looked pretty terrible before I knew how to apply it. I have a few brushes from MAC, Sephora, and Real Techniques, but the brand I've found that performs the best across the board is Sigma.

They're all in the mid-point range for price, but with the exception of the wondrously cheap and well performing Real Techniques brushes, you get what you pay for. These brushes clean well, don't shed, and have sturdy handles. I use the F80 Kabuki everyday for my foundation, both powder and liquid, and it applies beautifully. Another standout favorite are the eyeshadow brushes and the F35 Tapered Highlighter. My only complaint is I feel like they are lacking in a good concealer brush--my go to is the Sephora Pro #57.

Just Read: Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkaf. I've loved this author for a long time--her style is similar to that of Jodi Picoult, but maybe slightly less intense. The stories are ripped from the headlines and are quick moving and captivating. This one alternates between the story of a social worker mother who accidentally leaves her baby for too long in a hot car and a runaway 10 year old. I'm not a parent or a young girl but I was easily able to sympathize and relate with both perspectives. It's a surprisingly quick read for a heavy subject matter. Rate: 4/5.

I'm heading off to San Francisco early Sunday morning through Friday night and can't wait!! I'll try to post once or twice when I'm out there, but there won't be daily uploads next week. I'll definitely do a big trip highlight post (and the inevitable haul that comes with traveling) when I return. Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Shoes I've Been Wearing All Summer

I have weird feet. One is slightly bigger than the other and I have ridiculously narrow heels with a normal width front that makes buying shoes impossible. I had been coveting these sandals all last summer but they were too expensive to make the jump. In October, Nordstrom had a 25% off sale on Tory Burch so even though it wasn't sandal season I knew I had to pick these up.

They do run a bit small, so keep that in mind if you're interested (I'm normally an 8-8.5 but got a size 9). They're leather, so expect them to stretch a bit, but they were comfortable right from the get go. I wore them all day walking around Disney last year and had no issue. I think my favorite thing about them is the versatility-- I can wear them with a nice outfit to work or just as easily pair them with shorts and a t shirt. They're great quality and the signature Tory Burch logo adds that little punch to make them more than just your basic sandal. There are still a couple of months of warm weather left, so if you have the money, go ahead and splurge now. Trust me, they're worth it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

An Underrated Makeup Step

There's so much hype about the best foundations out there, but I feel like the product that helps them work their magic is often overlooked. I'm talking about face primers. I didn't start using primer until about a year ago and it makes a world of a difference. It's my first step of my makeup routine and helps my foundation stay on a lot longer. Here are my six favorites.

  1. The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser. This is my newest addition, picked up on recommendation from Essiebutton (of course), but I'm feelin it so far. I love the Tea Tree line and this keeps my skin shine-free and does slightly minimize pores.
  2. Boots No7 Instand Radiance Beauty Balm. Although it's called a beauty balm, this is most certainly a primer. It's a dupe for the Clarins Flash Beauty Balm and I've heard works even better. It's incredibly moisturizing, and creates a dewy look on my face for days when I have tired skin. Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Primer works among the same ideas, but is slightly thicker and I think I like it a tad more.
  3. Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Transformer. I'm on the fence about the Maybelline Baby Skin primer in the USA--it does create a good canvas but also gives my skin a slippery feel. This is currently only available in Asia but refines pores and gives skin an "awake" glow (not really pink) that actually counteracts redness.
  4. NYX Honey Dew Me Up Primer. In case you can't tell, my main goal in a primer is extra moisture and dewy skin, since I'm on the dryer side. This is an interesting idea and the gold flecks are what drew me in. It's not as great as holding on to the makeup but is definitely the most moisturizing.
  5. Kiehl's Microblur Skin Perfector. This is everything I wish Maybelline Baby Skin was. It creates an even canvas, smooths pores and redness, and doesn't give a slippery silicone feel. Kiehl's is probably one of the best skincare brands out there because everything is dermatologist tested so I know it's great for my skin.

I'm pretty sure the only reason I still watch Pretty Little Liar's is to read the Betches Love This recaps. Sarcastic humor at its finest.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Playlist

This blog is called so I thought it was time to do a post about music. I don't really listen to Top 40 music, so while these songs are not really new or summer related, they're what have been on repeat these past couple of months. I also listen to The Kooks Pandora all the time, and they're one of my favorite bands. I'm seeing them in concert in a couple of weeks so expect a blog post on that. I've listed links to all of the songs below. What songs have you been loving this summer? Let me know!
  1. Crooked Teeth--Death Cab for Cutie
  2. We Intertwined--The Hush Sound
  3. Rich Girl--Lake Street Dive
  4. Henrietta--The Fratellis
  5. Time of the Season--The Zombies
  6. Have I Been A Fool--Jack Penate
  7. I Want You Back--Lake Street Dive
  8. Another Saturday Night--Sam Cooke
  9. Eddie's Gun--The Kooks
  10. Let's Dance to Joy Division--The Wombats
  11. For the Girl--The Fratellis
  12. I Saw Her Standing There--The Beatles
  13. Rude--Magic (I had to throw in one Top 40s hit)
Also you have to take 22 seconds out of your life to watch the teaser trailer for American Horror Story: Freakshow. I don't know what freaks me out more--this or the fact that I'm going to have to wait every week for a new episode instead of binge-watching it in two days.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Weekend in Montreal

Well it was actually just Saturday and Sunday but a weekend sounds better than "slightly more than 24 hours", am I right? I love the "city" of Burlington but it does feel kind of small at times, especially since I grew up in Boston. Montreal is actually just about 1.5 hours away but I've never been there in the two years I've lived in Vermont. My dad and my sister came up with me and we had a great time. Here are a few highlights from the trip...

Montreal Botanical Garden
Unfortunately, we went here on an overcast/rainy day but it was still gorgeous nonetheless. They have different garden exhibitions and it was lovely to walk around in.

For dinner, we ate at a delicious restaurant called Mangia Foco in the Old Port. It's actually owned by the guitarist of the band Simple Plan, and even though the food took quite a while to come, it was one of the best things I've ever eaten. The crust was a perfect mix of chewy and crispy, and the ricotta, egg, potato, zucchini, and creme sauce worked wonderfully together.

Ahh the best part. Besides exploring all the big-name stores on St. Catherine Street, there is a HUGE underground shopping mall. I obviously hit up Sephora but was excited to find The Face Shop, a Korean beauty store with products that aren't sold in the USA. And on the way back I couldn't not stop at a Canadian Target--it's great enough to go to Target since there are none in Vermont but they also had a few things not available in the USA. I went a bit crazy at The Body Shop but I'm probably the most excited about the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation. I also love the Hourglass Concealer because I've heard it's a dupe for the very expensive and infamous Cle de Peau one and I'm impressed so far. I've also heard great things about the L'Oreal Micellar Cleansing Solution to remove makeup (a lot of my Canadian bloggers love it).

Overall it was a fun time and a great precusor to my big vacation coming up (I'm going to my favorite city in the world, San Francisco, on Sunday). Hopefully I'll be making more trips to Montreal during the school year now that I know how beautiful/yummy/filled with great shopping it is.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Haul: Bobbi Brown, Nars, Trish McEvoy

As I mentioned in a picture on Facebook yesterday, the ladies of Mirror Mirror in Burlington VT, were kind enough to give me a ton of goodies to play with. I'm in love with everything, but there are a few pieces in particular I'm excited to add to my collection.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Raspberry. I'm a sucker for cream blushes and I've never tried the Bobbi Brown ones. I've applied it once and it was a great, raspberry-pink color that could be easily sheered out. I've been eyeing one in Rose as well.
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Beige. I have a Soap & Glory dupe of this but could never bring myself to splurge on the actual item. The concealer is a bit thicker than what I'm used to but works to cover up my dark circles, and I like the idea of putting the powder on top to seal it in and brighten slightly.
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Extra Light Bisque. When I first saw this, I thought it was way too pink and wouldn't work for me. However, it's supposed to be used before the concealer and the pink works to cancel out the dark undertones.
Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation in Sand, Warm Sand, and Beige. I found that sand works best for my skin tone, but if I combine the latter two colors they also work well together (one is slightly too light and one slightly too dark). Each foundation sample is .5 oz and a normal bottle is 1 oz, so it's like I got 1.5 full bottles!
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square. I have a satin lip pencil in Rikugien that I just adore, so I was so pumped to get this color. The reddish orange reminds me of Mac Lady Danger which sealed the deal for me.
Trish McEvoy Even Skin Foundation in Shade 3. When I saw the packaging, I immediately thought of the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation and once I squirted it out, the formula was almost exactly the same. It's light to medium coverage, and I liked what I saw from one application. Plus it's a perfect match for my skin tone.

Here's a picture of everything they gave me, featuring even more from Nars, Bobbi Brown, Murad, Trish McEvoy & more. Everything is awesome except unfortunately the Trish McEvoy BB Cream is too dark for me, so check out to see how you can win it here.

*Although these items were given to me free of charge, this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Trish McEvoy Giveaway

I just got back from Mirror Mirror, one of my favorite makeup stores in Burlington, and the lovely ladies there were so generous to provide me with a lot of complimentary goodies! Almost everything works for my skin tone, but for those ladies who may be slightly darker than me, then you will love this Trish McEvoy BB Cream! It's a wonderful product and you will be lucky to win it :)

There are four ways to enter and let me know that you've done it so I can verify (one entry per each method), and I will ship this to you! It's valued at $85! This giveaway will end Sunday June 13.
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Note: This is the darker shade, Shade 2, and it would probably work best for medium-darker skin tones (or those who are more tan than me right now).

The Best Eyeshadow Palettes

I have a soft spot for a good eyeshadow palette. I'm in love with my Marc Jacobs Lolita Palette and Urban Decay Naked 3, but no brand has consistently wowed me with their eyeshadow palettes like Too Faced. Each palette is priced decently for what you get and they come in tins that are great for traveling. Plus, with the exception of the Chocolate Bar Palette, each palette has three easy looks already laid out for you so you don't even have to do any guesswork.

The Natural Eye Palette and Boudoir Eyes are relatively similar, but just different enough to justify buying both. Natural Eyes has more neutral/brown shades, while Boudoir eyes is still neutral but focuses more on purple/taupey shades.

I wouldn't normally purchase the Cat Eyes one on my own, but got it for free accidentally. I had ordered the Country Palette but was accidentally sent the Cat Eyes one. Fortunately, Too Faced let me keep the Cat Eyes one free of charge and sent me the right one! The Cat Eyes one has deeper, sultrier colors, which I don't normally wear, but might be great for adventurous nights. And the Country One is absolutely gorgeous. It's so unique with it's pastels, which don't swatch as garishly as they may seem, and it's so girly and pink and perfect for me.

Lastly, we have the best palette. The Chocolate Bar Palette is amazing not only because it smells like chocolate, but all of the shades are buttery and soft and blend gorgeously. With the exception of a dark green shade, I love all the colors and they work well together. It's a great value and pretty compact as well.

Just Read: I finished Friendship by Emily Gould yesterday. It's the story of two girls in NYC who are best friends, and are having a late coming-of-age as they reevaluate their lives and start to face "real adulthood. It was slightly predictable at times, and one of the characters Amy could be annoying in certain moments. It's not the best book I've ever read but was overall good--the narration saved it, not so much the predictable plot. Rate: 3/5

Listening To: A friend introduced me to Lake Street Dive, a band from my hometown of Boston. The lead singer has such an amazing voice it gives me chills--I can't stop listening to their cover of Rich Girl

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Five Favorite Summer Dresses

Dresses are my favorite item of clothing. You just throw it on and have an instant outfit. They're super comfortable and although these five are my favorite for summer, they also work great in winter (minus the white polka dot one) because you can just throw on boots, leggings, and a cardigan to keep warm.

  1. Sunflower Print Dress from Urban Outfitters (sunflower print sold out, same style here). Even though this is black, which isn't the most summery color, but the yellow sunflowers give it that sunny pop. The elbow length sleeves make this dress great for slightly cooler days, and I get to many compliments on this.
  2. Free People Floral Dress (no longer available). I picked this up a couple of years ago on the sale rack and adore everything about it. The eggplant color combined with the floral and bird pattern is so me, it's actually a relatively long length that makes it appropriate for anything, and it's a super soft silky material.
  3. Cami Sundress from Express, similar hereI own this dress in three colors (a black and light blue not pictured) because it is just that flattering. In case you can't tell, my favorite dress style is fit-and-flare but this is the best one I own. The button detailing adds a nice touch plus it has pockets!
  4. Modcloth Polka Dot Dress, different color hereThis dress is the epitome of summer to me. The green polka dots dress down this white dress, and this is another flattering find. The solid waistband highlights an hourglass figure and it flares out just enough for me to twirl around and make the skirt spin. 
  5. Floral Dress from Urban Outfitters (no longer available). It's a cute dress on its own, but the best part is the back cutout! I can still wear a normal bra, which is always a plus with back cutouts, and this really highlights my hourglass figure.

I'm always on the hunt for a good fit-and-flare dress that will suit my hourglass figure and long legs, so let me know if there are any you've been loving that I should check out!

Completely random, but Gilmore Girls is probably one of my all-time favorite shows, so whenever I see anything relating to it I'm so there it's square (new phrase? maybe? probably not). Here is 19 Signs You're Just Like Rory Gilmore-- I know I can relate.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Morning Skin Care Routine

Although I change up my makeup products on a daily basis, skincare products are something I will stick with until they are completely finished. I have combination skin, on the drier side, and get a few bumps/redness but nothing major. Here are the ones I've been using lately to keep my skin in tip top shape.

  1. Origins Ginzing Refreshing Gel Cleanser (with Clarisonic Mia). This is a great morning cleanser. The refreshing smell wakes you up, and it's a gentle enough exfoliator for daily use. I love the Origins skincare line because it's all natural and never breaks me out. I use my Clarisonic every day and night to really get deep down into my skin.
  2. L'Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum. I use this day and night as a pre-moisturizer treatment to get even softer skin and reduce the appearance of my pores. I'm a firm believer in using anti aging stuff on the earlier side, never too early to prevent wrinkles!
  3. Philosophy Take a Deep Breath Moisturizer. I've been using this moisturizer for almost two years (not the same bottle) and really like it for my skin. However, I don't think it's so amazing for the price point, and once I'm out of this will probably be picking up a cheaper one.
  4. Lush Tea Tree Toner. A great toner. This huge bottle lasts a year, and it doesn't make your skin feel too dry. Tea tree oil is great for breakouts/acne prone skin.
  5. Clinique All About Eyes Serum. The metal applicator helps de puff my tired eyes while distributing a light serum. I follow this with Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment to really lock in the moisturizing and de puffing.
  6. Mario Badescu Drying Cream. I dab this on my cheeks and forehead, where I get these little bumps, and it works to make sure nothing else pops out. Even though it's called a "drying cream", I don't find my face getting too dry at all.
  7. The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost. Lastly, this smooths out my face for a great makeup canvas, as well as brightening and softening. It can also be used as a primer in a pinch.
This may seem like a lot of products to use daily, but I never feel like my skin is too "product-y" and I've found they all work well together. What skin products are you loving? I'm especially looking for good, cheaper, drugstore products!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Brand Focus: Tarte Cosmetics

It's very rare for me to find a brand where I love absolutely everything, but Tarte Cosmetics has proven me wrong. This brand is outstanding, and I'll highlight some of the products I have so you can check out one (or all) of them.

Airblush Maracuja Blush (Shimmering Poppy and Shimmering Peach). I just discovered the wonders of cream blush a few months ago, and these are some of my favorite formulas. They are decently pigmented, while providing a slight shimmer/highlight and do last a long time. Plus the spongy texture is fun to work onto your brushes.
Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush (Exposed, Blushing Bride, and Captivating). My first introduction to these blushes through a 500-point perk at Sephora (that's where my baby Exposed came from), and these may just be my overall favorite blushes. There's a great color selection, they're all so finely milled, and apply like a dream.
Amazonian Clay Waterproof Concealer. I like to apply this when I'm going to the beach or it's really hot out because it is pretty waterproof, and it doesn't crease. The stick formula is easy to apply and I like it so much I just ordered the Maracuja Creaseless Concealer and it should arrive soon.
Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation. I did a post last week praising this foundation so check it out for an in-depth review but I love love love it.
Glamazon Pure Performance 12 Hour Lipstick (Playful). This lipstick is a purpley rose, and it's such a unique color that it's unlike anything else in my collection. It's creamy without settling into lip lines and the color is fairly long lasting. This is actually the only lip product I've tried from Tarte, so I'll have to try more!
The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer. What a cool product. It's basically bronzer/contour in a stick--apply it on your cheekbones and nose where you would normally contour and simply buff it in with your fingers and brush.
Bamboo Foundation Brush. I got this because it's supposed to work really well with Tarte foundations and indeed it does. Sometimes I use this to dab my finishing powder all over my face and it's oh so soft.
Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer. This is almost a lighter version of my much-loved 12 hour foundation. Perfect for days when you need less coverage and want to let your natural skin shine through, this also has SPF to protect your face. I would say it's more of a tinted moisturizer than BB cream in terms of coverage.
Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Powder Foundation. I almost always put powder on top of liquid foundation in order to seal everything in and prevent shine, and this is probably the best one out there. It's more than just a setting powder--it really locks in your foundation and looks weightless, yet still is amazing at covering up redness. 

In addition to all of these products, one thing Tarte does really well is creating palettes that are wonderful for traveling--in addition to beautiful packaging, they have a great eyeshadow selection and usually a blush/highlight and sometimes bronzer. Check out this new Rainforest Palette.
All of these products were purchased by me and all opinions are my own.

Is it bad that I watched 5 seasons of Weeds in one week? Then again, each season has only 13 25-minute episodes so it's not thaaaat bad right?

While I Have Your Attention...

I'm extremely happy with the blog so far as I started a little over two weeks ago! I'm at almost 1000 views and have started to get viewers not just from my shameless social media promotion (which means only people I actually know read it). I would love if you all would tell your friends/family/anyone you want to about the site :)
Make sure you're following me on all social media platforms for the latest updates.
Facebook: Rachel Polansky

What kind of content would you like to see on the blog? Let me know!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Nars Fairy Kiss Palette & A Hilarious Read

I was browsing around Vivianna's blog last week and stumbled upon a mention of the Nars Fairy's Kiss Eyeshadow Palette. It's a mix of purpley grey matte and shimmers (some of my favorite colors) so I knew I had to have it. My only complaint is it's kind of small for the price point but the shadows are gorgeous and the small size makes it great for traveling. Mine just arrived today and I can't wait to play with it. It reminds me of the Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette, which I also own and seems like it offers more bang for your buck. Look how gorgeous it is.

Yesterday I read I Like You Just the Way I Am by Jenny Mollen. It's written by Jason Bigg's (American Pie dude) wife and she is hilarious. It reminded me of books written by Chelsea Handler and is a compilation of short stories about her life as a struggling actor in LA. It breezed by too quickly, and I actually laughed out loud a few times. It's a great pick-me-up book when you're looking for something light and humorous to read. I'm also following her on twitter where she posts funny updates erryday. I give it 5/5 stars!

In addition to reading that book yesterday, I was lucky enough to celebrate the fourth with a few of my sorority sisters who visited. They just graduated but I missed them dearly and was so happy to spend some time with them. We took an obligatory selfie which I have included to prove that I do in fact have friends.

One last thing, I just found out that one of my favorite books Before I Sleep is becoming a movie! I read this two years ago and it's an amazing thriller. It's very Memento-esque, which is my all-time favorite movie, and you can check out the trailer here

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July Goals

There's always so many things I want to accomplish in a month but never actually do. I figured, if I post them on the internet where everyone can see them, then I'm more accountable for actually doing them (well let's hope). So here are some of my goals for July.

  1. Go on a hike. I live in Vermont, which has some of the most beautiful mountains and trails in America. Tons of people go on weekend hikes like it's their job, whereas I sleep in like it's my job. The only hike I've ever been on was in fourth grade and I proceeded to twist my ankle about ten minutes into it, so I would like to actually complete a whole one (and return unscathed).
  2. Use more bright colors. My favorite types of blushes tend to be more natural, but since it's summer, I want to try using more fun and bright colors! I've picked up the cult-favorite Nars Deep Throat, a peach with shimmer. It's a more natural bright (if that makes sense) so is great for those days when I feel like going in between. I've also picked up two amazing products from my new favorite makeup store, Mirror Mirror, and these are perfect for summer. Bobbi Brown Apricot Blush looks super scary in the pan, but actually provides a warm pink glow that doesn't make you look like a clown. Lipstick Queen Stoked is a perfect coral that sheers out on your lips while still delivering great color payoff. 
  3. Clear out my kindle. I have so so many books on my kindle and even though I read a ton, I feel like they never go away. Goal for July is to have less than 20 books on it (and review some along the way). Yes this is my kindle currently.
  4. Eat at home more. I'm definitely not the best cook out there, plus I'm lazy when it comes to food (if it takes more than ten minutes I'm out). But I want to try to eat out less and potentially cook more or just eat more cheaper prepared things. Or convince others to cook for me :)
  5. Buy less makeup. Lol.  
This is my thirteenth post, which is also my favorite number, which means this has to be lucky, which means I'll do all of these things right?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Foundation Showdown: Tarte vs. Nars

It's so hard to find a good foundation. With every brand having at least three different kinds, promising wonders for each type, it can be difficult to navigate. I recently picked up these two foundations and thought I would let you know what I think, so you can see if one may be right for you. I use the Sigma F80 brush to apply all my foundations.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 (phewph that's a mouthful). I've heard so many good things about this foundation that I had to see what the hype was about. My shade is fair-light honey, which is for fair to light skin with peach undertones. This foundation promised 12 hour wear and a "weightless texture". Even though it may look heavy when you squeeze it out, it doesn't apply cakey at all and does a great job of covering your skin without looking like you piled it on. I always use a powder on top of my foundations to seal it in, but I don't think this truly lasted 12 hours (more like 8). I'd say it's main forte was really evening out my skin tone while keeping it from looking too foundation-y. Overall a really good foundation and I love wearing it for those days my skin is more problematic.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. This claims to be "a glowing, satin-finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage". My shade is Santa Fe, for medium skin with peachy undertones (it's surprisingly light for a "medium" shade, because I'm almost always in the "light category"). This really does deliver a "glow", and part of that is because of it's sheerness--it offers more coverage than a tinted moisturizer but does let your skin shine through. It also does a good job of covering up my redness, but isn't as long lasting as the Tarte foundation. This one may be a tad more moisturizing, but that may just be due to the sheerness. My big complaint is it's price--it's already $45 and I strongly recommend buying the $5 pump so you don't have to dump it out of the bottle. But for a foundation this expensive it seems ridiculous that it's not already included.

Overall, I really like both of these foundations and totally justify purchasing both since they're good for different reasons. It just depends if you're looking for more full coverage or a sheerer, dewier finish.

What foundations should I try out next? Any ones you've been loving? Let me know!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Favorites

I'm so excited to be bringing these posts back! I started them up on the Beauty Closet blog on Her Campus but have found a new home for them on this blog. Besides beauty, I can talk about other lifestyle favorites as well!


Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Peach Mosaic. This was the first makeup product ever featured this on the blog (in this post), but I've been loving this for a great summer highlight that looks amazing with coral or bronzed cheeks.
Dior Addict Gloss in 576 Bed of Roses. This is one expensive lip gloss but it is so worth it. It's non sticky, has a beautiful color pay off, and the shimmer is barely-there to give you a great pout.
First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy. More than just an eye cream, the tinted formula actually works as a light concealer to cover up under eye circles and the cool metal tip instantly de-puffs as you apply it.
Marc Jacobs Waterproof Eyeliner Pen. I actually bought this when I was home in May, but I've been using it everyday since then. I feel lost without wearing top eyeliner and this one was good enough to de-throne my holy grail Stila eyeliner.
Maybelline Rocket Mascara. My favorite Youtuber Essiebutton recommended this as her favorite mascara of 2013, so I knew I had to check it out. It's incredibly affordable and does a great job of making lashes pop.
Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial. Holy splurge item. Once again enabled by Youtubers Estee and Amelia Liana, I use this oil every other night as the final step to my skincare regime. I really do wake up with more awake and dewy looking skin--it's totally worth the hefty price tag.
The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Eau de Toilette. I mentioned this in a post last week but wanted to give it another mention for smelling so so good.
Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede Cologne. I didn't think it was possible to love two perfumes in one month but never say never. This scent is very different from my usual sweet and girly preferences (see above), but somehow it works. The floral of the peony works so well with the musky suede undertones and combines for one sexy scent.

TV & Movies

American Horror Story. Oh my god. I don't know why I was so late to jump on the bandwagon but I watched all 37 episodes in about one week (that's all three seasons). Season 2, Asylum, was probably my favorite, simply because it was the creepiest/weirdest and ahhh when is Season 4 coming out.

22 Jump Street was absolutely hilarious--I didn't think anything could be as funny as the original but this was equally laugh-out-loud. Well done boys.


I did a post a couple of weeks ago on This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Topper. Check out the review (it's been my most-read post to date) if you haven't already, and pick up the book for this summer because it's one of the best I've read in a while.

Well it's already July. Which means summer is halfway over. Which is too crazy to think about. I'm loving the fact that this is only a four day work week though, and counting down the days until my trip to San Francisco at the end of July.