Friday, August 29, 2014

Luxury Lip Products Worth the Splurge

Lipstick is something I definitely believe in spending more money on. You usually get better pigmentation, staying power, and not to mention packaging. Here are a few that I definitely believe are worth spending more on. Sorry about the quality of pictures as I did not have time to take them on my camera (back on that busy school grind).

1. YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Nude in Private and Rose Infinite. First of all, the packaging is just absolutely gorgeous. I love these because they're creamy and build able. They smell yummy, have an awesome smell, and moisturize your lips. They're not the most pigmented but are certainly noticeable. They do only last about 3-4 hours so keep that in mind.
2. Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Rose. This tiny lippie packs a big punch. This is the best liquid lipstick I've tried. It lasts a really long time and isn't super drying (keep in mind that any liquid lipstick will be a little bit drying). I like to layer some lip gloss on top of this for added shine but this is a great my-lips-but-better shade.
3. Tom Ford Lip Color in Casablanca. If you're going to splurge on a lipstick, you might as well go big or go home. These are ridiculously expensive and probably not worth the hefty price tag, but I love it so much it's hard to resist. It's my favorite color, a dusky rose shade, and is incredibly pigmented, buttery, and long lasting. It's my only Tom Ford makeup item but just makes me want more.
4. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy. I forgot to take a picture/swatches of this because I'm dumb so see pictures on Fleur DeForce's blog here. I just got one of these babies and they're similar to the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine, except maybe a bit more sheer. I love the pinky sparkliness of this color and it's the only Chanel I can afford so I feel extra luxe whipping out the packaging.

L-R: YSL Nude in private, Hourglass Rose, YSL Rose, Tom Ford Casablanca

Do you have any lip products you feel were worth the splurge? Do share!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: Conversion

One of my least favorite parts about starting school is having less time to read. Instead of reading for pleasure, I'm now reading textbooks. However, I still aim to read at least two books a week (which if you know me is a pretty low amount). Everyone says syllabus week is their favorite because all the professor does is explain the class and while you're not actually learning anything, I find this part to be the most stressful. You're having to put all the exam dates in your planner, learning expectations, setting up things, and it's a whirlwind. I much prefer when things are on a regular basis. Anyways, onto the book review!

There was a period in middle school where I was obsessed with learning about the Salem Witch Trials (and it helped that I lived 45 min away). Needless to say, I enjoy reading books that are somehow related to them. Enter Conversion by Katherine Howe. The novel mainly focuses on a "mystery illness" occurring in girls at St. Joan's school in Danvers. What I really liked about the novel was that 1/3 of it focused on the perspective of a girl involved in the Salem Witch Trials. Her perspective was historically accurate but it didn't make you feel like you were reading historical fiction, and it tied in nicely with what was happening during present day.

Colleen is the main character of the novel and I rather liked her. Howe does a good job of not only focusing on the illness surrounding Colleen's peers, but also incorporating her daily life as she is applying to college and dating. I would call this a mystery novel because you don't know what is causing this mystery illness (and don't ever really find out). Howe seems to suggest that the girls might be faking, as they were in the Salem Witch Trials, but there is lots of ambiguity and room for interoperation on this. I always enjoy novels that take place in areas I've been in, so that was a bonus. Although there are over 400 pages, it's a face-paced read and I was always wanting to know what would happen next. I give it 4/5.

It's taken me an incredibly long time to get through the final season of How I Met Your Mother--mostly because I've been a lot busier but also because something about this season just doesn't quite do it for me. I have two episodes left and will most likely be done by today, but I don't feel very satisfied by it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Face of the Day

I just reviewed the Lorac Pro Palette and I'm in love. Here's how I've incorporated it into my daily look (I always feel awkward at taking my own picture so sorry for the weird faces).

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Corrector in Light (This does work really well I just hadn't really slept and have terrible dark circles)

Today is my first day of junior year, which means I'm more than halfway done with college. Crazy stuff. Let me know if you like these face of the day posts and want to see more!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lorac Pro Palette Review

I have been coveting this palette for so long that I finally took the plunge. The Lorac Pro Palette has been getting rave reviews but I tried to tell myself I don't need another eyeshadow palette. I'm glad I decided to get it though.

First, let's just talk about the palette itself. It's incredibly sleek with a huge mirror, so it's great for travel. It has a variety of warm and cool shades, shimmer and mattes, and they're all incredibly soft and buttery and pigmented. Each shadow is a decent size and for the price, each shadow would be about $4 (which is insane!). It also comes with a mini eyeshadow primer too, so bonus! For those of you who already have a nude eyeshadow palette (or 7), this one has the most shade depth I have seen. The top 4 shadows remind me of the Naked 3, while the other shades remind me more of Naked 1 and 2.

Top Row of Shadows

Bottom Row of Shadows

Overall, I'm extremely impressed with the quality of these shadows and would recommend this as either your first nude palette or just a handy add to your collection. I already want the Lorac Pro 2 Palette! 

I've taken these pictures on my new digital camera, which I'm experimenting with. I apologize about the quality of the swatch photos--those are still a work in progress on how to photograph. Look for a face of the day featuring this palette next week!

I just stumbled across this trailer on a whim and it looks fantastic. White Bird in a Blizzard stars Shailene Woodley and Christopher Meloni. It looks exactly like everything I want in a movie and hopefully will come to Vermont.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fall Beauty Launches to Get Excited For

Ahh fall. It's definitely my favorite season--I love the cooler temps, starting a new school year, and all Halloween centered things. Today is actually my last day at home as I head back to Burlington tomorrow and move into my house Thursday. It will be nice to be in one place for more than  few months. Oh and let's not forget about the new beauty launches! There are a lot of exciting products coming out soon, so I thought I would share the ones I'm most excited for.

1. Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 (check out Temptalia's review here). This actually launched online at Urban today, and should be launching at Sephora, Ulta, etc. soon. This is a cooler toned version of the original Naked Basics. I'm not normally a fan of matte eyeshadows but they do come in handy for smoky eyes and I'm loving the taupey shades.

2. MAC Marge Simpson Collection. I'm a huge sucker for all of the MAC limited edition collections, especially ones with cool packaging. This releases online August 28 and in stores September 4. I'm not a huge fan of all the bright colors, but do have my eye on a more natural looking peach blush in the collection.

3. Charlotte Tilbury Collection launches in the USA. No official dates have been said for the release of Charlotte Tilbury makeup in America, but rumor has it it's coming to Nordstrom (and maybe other department stores) sometime in September. I've mused on and on about how much I love the luxury line and am sad we can't get it in America without spending a fortune on shipping. I do own the Filmstar Killer Cheekbones kit--check out my review here.

4. Rimmel Wonder'Full Argan Oil Mascara (more info from Nouveau Cheap here). This is already available in the UK and rumored to launch here in Dec, although I'm hoping for earlier. I love anything with argan oil because it's so nourishing, and I always have great experiences with Rimmel mascara. 

5. Diorskin Star Foundation and Concealer (check out Really Ree's review). The last thing I need is another foundation but there are so many new ones launching on the market it's hard to say no! This light reflection technology seems really cool and I've never actually tried a Dior foundation, although I do love their BB cream. 

6. Benefit Majorette Blush (product information is already up on but releases September 2nd). The Benefit box powders are great, so I'm extremely excited that the brand is delving into a cream blush. There are some lucky beauty bloggers who have already received this to review and it looks divine. It seems right up my ally with its peachy, natural shade.

These are just a few of the many exciting new products that will be launching in the next couple of months! What new products are you looking forward to?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Beauty Blogger Tag

Since I'm at home and don't have my crazy ridiculous stash to blog about, I figured it's time for another tag! I love filling these out and hopefully you like getting to know more about me by reading them. Also, I just saw the movie What If with Daniel Radcliffe. It was absolutely adorable and I strongly recommend seeing it. I'm currently reading The Good Girl by Mary Kubica and I'm enthralled. It's another fast-paced mystery book but features an interesting look into the mind of a kidnapped girl. I'm feeling it. Anyways, onto the tag.

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
I got some crazy curls going on (not really crazy just more like sort of frizzy if I'm not careful). They're more wavy, loose-bodied curls and check out what products I use to keep it in check here

2. What is your natural hair colour?
Really dark brown.

3. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
I don't dye my hair at all. I did dye it black freshman year of high school to be "cool" but let's not talk about that.

4. How often do you wash your hair?
At least every other day, usually every day.

5. Do you wear the same style every day or change it?
I pretty much just let it air dry and do it's own thing every day. Sometimes I pin a bit back or wear it up if it's being fickle. 

6. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
I usually get my toes done every couple of months and my nails done every month. I'll paint them myself in between. 

7. How often to you change your nail polish?
Whenever I can't handle the chips.

8. Do you polish your toes in the winter, too or just in the summer?
Of course! I hate naked toes.

9. How long does it take to put on your makeup?
My everyday routine is about 20 minutes-- I can do a  5 minute face if I'm in a rush.

10. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
I start with primer/foundation/concealer, do my eyes, then finish with powder/blush/etc. So I guess I alternate.

11. Do you "collect" makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
Oh god I am definitely a collector. Although most of my products are bought on recommendation from other blogs or the occasional impulse buy.

12. How often do you wear false eyelashes?

13. Do you do a full face of makeup every day?
It depends on what I'm doing but pretty much yes. 

14. Do you wear makeup when you are home alone (or with family)?
If I'm going out in public, yes. If not, no.

15. Will you leave the house without makeup?
I can, but I prefer not to. I like to at least use some concealer and mascara. 

16. How many high end products do you have?
Way more than I should, but I believe that you do usually get better products with higher prices. Not to knock on drugstore products, because I do have things I love from there, but I don't mind shelling out for a great product.

17. How often do you wash your makeup brushes?
I try to at least wash my foundation brush every week. I'm not so good about this.

18. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you are getting dressed?
I like to plan something out in my head at least, but half the time it doesn't end up looking how I want it to so I'm frantically hating all my clothes and eventually deciding on something.

19. How often do you change your handbag?
Almost never- 95% of the time I'm using my beat up Tory Burch cross body which I love to death.

20. What time do you get up & go to sleep?
I usually go to sleep anywhere between 10-12. During the summer, I was waking up at 6:45 for work but now I can sleep in until 9:30 for the school year :)

21. How often & when do you workout?
NOT NEARLY AS MUCH AS I SHOULD! This needs to change.

22. Left-handed or Right-handed?

23. How tall are you?

24. Do you speak a foreign language?
Despite 5 years of spanish, a year of french, and a year of italian, I can barely get by in any of those languages.

25. How many pets do you have?
I currently have none, though I really want a corgi.

26. How often are you on Blogger?
I was fortunate enough to have the time to post every week day at work. I know I'll be busier during the school year but I'm hoping to try to post at least three times a week.

27. Do you read the comments posted blogs?
I do! And if you ask me a question I will respond.

28. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
Absolutely! Like I said above, this is where I often get inspiration for new products to buy.

29. How did you come up with your blog name?
The URL combined three things I love and would be blogging about the most. The actual name was named after a Beatles song and seemed to just apply.

30. What kind of camera do you use for photographs?
I just got a Samsung, don't know the exact name, and can't wait to start using it so I don't have crappy iPhone pictures anymore!

31. How often do you clean your house? (Daily, weekly, other)
I just have a room to deal with, but I try to clean as I go and keep it neat as much as possible.

32. What is your favourite colour?

33. What is your favorite beauty/fashion magazine?
I would have to go with Glamour or Cosmo. 

34. Do you swear?
Yes but I'm trying to be better.

35. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
I'm actually writing this the night before it's going up, but the plans for today (aka tomorrow) are to get a massage, watch How I Met Your Mother, and get dinner with my grandparents. Ah the excitement of being home.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Review: Don't Try To Find Me

There's one week left before classes start (or maybe two if you're lucky), which is plenty of time to read this new fast-paced novel! Don't Try To Find Me by Holly Brown combines two of my favorite things, mystery genre and duel perspective, so I knew I would love it.

The novel starts out with Rachel (great name) discovering a note from her 14 year old daughter Marley on the fridge saying "Don't try to find me". This seems out of character for Marley, and Rachel's storyline sets out on the premises that Marley wouldn't have just ran away for no reasons. She and her husband start a media campaign to Find Marley, but Rachel has a secret of her own that she's keeping. Her story alternates with Marley, who has boarded a bus to meet up with a boy she "loves" and met on Facebook. However, it's pretty obvious that he's hiding a lot of details about his life and isn't what he seems.

Although both stories can seem a bit predictable at time (wife having an affair, girl meeting an older boy on lie and abandoning her parents to meet him), the characters and fast pace are what compel this novel. I enjoyed Marley's point of view more than Rachel's--hers seemed a bit whiney at times whereas Marley was sympathetic and vulnerable. Rachel's husband, Paul, is a completely unsympathetic character and the entire marriage just seems miserable. Maybe the greatest question of the book is whether they are trying to find Marley to save her or themselves. 

This is one of the better suspense novels I've read this summer, although the main "twist" is given away early on when you find out where Marley really is. It's not a nail-biter but the writing is fairly good. I give it 4/5.

What books have you been loving lately? I'd love to check out a few more new reads before school starts!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Constant Repurchases

I like to try new products as much as possible, but there are some things that I use every day. I've constantly repurchased these products and I'm sure I'll be buying these for months to come (unless some awesome new innovative thing comes out).

1. Clean & Clear Night Relaxing Cleansing Wipes. I used to be a huge Neutrogena cleansing wipes fan, but then these came on the market and changed my mind. They're wet enough to take off everything in one swipe (although sometimes I use cleansing oil before), and smell amazing. The lavender aroma is what really sold me on these.
2. Lancome Enhancing Lash Base. I can't stop raving about this stuff--lash primer in general is such an over-looked product. It separates, defines, and lengthens your lashes all before you even apply mascara. I notice such a difference whenever I use this.
3. Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks. Q Tips are great for cleaning up eyeliner messes, but sometimes you just need a little more. These are Q Tips with built in make-up remover, and I always use these to touch-up my waterline eyeliner.
4. Skindinavia Makeup Setting Spray. I alternate between this and the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray, but they're made from the same company so it doesn't matter. I just use a couple of sprays on my entire face when I'm done, and it makes my makeup last so much longer it's crazy.
5. Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Setting Powder. This is my final step before I spray with setting spray, but I get a bit oily in my T Zone, so this controls it. It looks yellowy but applies translucent, and gives skin a smooth finish.

If you haven't watched How I Met Your Mother yet, binge-watch now. I've watched 6 seasons in one week (crazy), but it is hilarious. Today is my last day of work, and I'm really sad to be leaving the best job I've ever worked at. I move into my sorority house a week from today and time just seems to be moving so fast--how am I already a junior in college?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Best Products for Curly Hair

It's been a long road to get my hair looking like it does. There was the awful frizzy hair phase in middle school and the constant straightening in high school. Now, I just use these products right after a shower, wait the 10 or so hours it takes my ridiculously thick hair to air dry, and voila. There are certainly days when my hair still looks disgusting and frizzy, but this routine works well 99% of the time. I love when people ask if my hair is natural, because I certainly do not want to take the time to straighten then curl my hair (that's probably what it would take someone to achieve my curls). This may seem like a lot of products but my hair is never crunchy or looks like it's filled with products.

1. Use 2 conditioners. I hate shampoo. There, I said it. I haven't used it for about 3 years and have noticed such a difference. Shampoo is very stripping for curly hair, which is the driest type of hair. Instead, I use two different conditioners. I start with one formulated for curly hair (Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Conditioner is great), then follow with a moisturizing/reparative one (OGX Renewing Argan Oil Conditioner).
2. Anti-frizz serum (Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum). You can use any sort of smoothing/anti-frizz serum, but I've found this one doesn't make your hair greasy and really does help lock in frizz. Be cautious if you use this on dry hair because that does make things look a little gross.
3. Mousse (Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam). I'm not really sure how mousse works but it's a magical product. This not only defines curls but also helps combat frizz. I already have voluminous hair, but this would be great for those who want to add more bulk to their strands.
4. Curl Cream (Ms Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls). First of all, this stuff has such an awesome pillow-y texture, it's enough to reassure you it's working wonders on your hair. This fluffs out your curls and defines them without looking like Diana Ross, and works for the wavy haired to the tight coily curls.
5. Defining Spray (Bed Head Foxxy Curls). Most sprays make your hair crunchy looking, but not this one. It smells like skittles, defines your curls, and moisturizes. Nothing compares to this, I've been using it for years.
6. Seal everything in with a dry oil (L'Oreal Total Repair Dry Oil). I lightly mist some sort of hydrating/repair oil to lock in everything. These products add shine and can usually be used wet/dry. I'm not a huge fan of this one but am just trying to use it up--my current favorite is actually OGX Sea Mineral Moisture Spray.

With the exception of the dry oil, I've been using all of these products for over a year and am constantly repurchasing. However, I'm always down to try something new. Curly haired people--what do you use? I'd love to see pictures!

Also, for those of you heading back to school soon (like me, less than two weeks!), here's a great post from The Sunday Girl on budget-friendly products great for back to school. Some of these are only available in the UK but can be found on ebay. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Musings #2

Another Monday, but not just any Monday. This is my last Monday of my summer job, which is slightly bittersweet, but I definitely won't miss waking up at 6:45 every morning. School is supposed to be when you wake up early and summer is when you sleep in, but my classes are all at 11:30 next semester so I will be sleeping in :)

1. I finally got a digital camera for the blog. I chose this one because it was cheap, got good reviews, and was purple. So look forward to some much better quality pictures starting around next week (assuming I can figure out technology).

2. I hate packing. This has been the summer of packing... I packed up my dorm in May and had to bring stuff to storage/home/my friend's house. I was home for a month then unpacked at my sublet this summer, and am starting to pack again to move into my sorority house. I am sick of all the move in stuff--I just would love to be settled in one place for more than 9 months. I also always have much more stuff than I think I do and seem to always lose my favorite shirt in the moving process.

3. The book I read this weekend was California by Eden Lepucki. I did not like this book. It's about a post-apocalyptic America, where people retreat into the wilderness and the extremely wealthy get to live in their own secluded communities, and centers around a married couple Freida and Cal. What bothered me the most is that Lepucki doesn't go into extreme detail about the transition between things going into decline and how the cities go into decay. It tried really hard to be sophisticated and wasn't easy to push through.

4. How I Met Your Mother. Wow this show is great. I'm always late to the bandwagon, but I'm glad I discovered this show right after it ended so I don't have to wait in anticipation for each episode. I love all the characters and while some antics are crazy, it's not one of those incredibly out-there comedies. I'm on season 4 and started Thursday... oops.

5. I've loved being able to have the time to update this blog so frequently over the summer, but am expecting some changes in content uploads during the school year. I don't want to let this blog fall by the wayside, but I am much busier. I am going to aim for about 3 blog posts a week, as I will also be writing/being editor-in-chief for Her Campus UVM.

6. Lastly, check out this article that shows how much a perspective can have on weight loss photos. I can't believe that these photos are taken within minutes of each other. Mind. Blown.

Friday, August 8, 2014

40 Beauty Questions Tag

My awkward attempt at a questioning face

-How many times do you wash your face daily? I wash my face twice a day, morning and night.
-What skin type do you have? (dry, oily, combo) I have combo skin, with occasional dry patches and a semi-oily T zone
-What is your current facial wash? I use Orgins GinZing Refreshing Scrub in the morning and First Aid Beauty Red Clay Cleanser at night.
-Do you exfoliate? I do an exfoliating mask a few times a week.
-What brand do you use? Most of my products are from The Body Shop but I also use a few things from Kiehl's, L'Oreal, First Aid Beauty, and Clinique. 
-What moisturizer do you use? In the morning, I use The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet and at night I use Origins Drink Up Intensive
-Do you have freckles? There are some prominent ones on my nose and some less noticeable ones on my cheeks. 
-Do you use eye cream? I do to counteract my dark circles and puffiness. I use Kiehl's Creamy Under Eye Treatment and Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel at night.
-Do you or did you have acne prone skin? I've never had terrible acne but do get red bumps occasionally.
-Did you ever have to use Pro-activ? No.

-What foundation do you use? Foundation is a product I've been experimenting with lately, and believe it's possible to have many favorites. Currently, I've been loving YSL Touche Eclat Foundation in B30 and Makeup Forever HD Foundation in 120.
-How about concealer? Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer in Natural has been a lifesaver for me the past month.
-Do you know your undertone colour? I'm pretty neutral/beige, with slightly more yellow than pink.
-What do you think of false eyelashes? I love the look they give, but I've never really been able to master them.
-Did you know that you are suppose to change your mascara every 3 months? I do know that, but also adding eye drops to a dried out mascara can pro-long their life.
-What brand of mascara do you use? Maybelline and L'Oreal offer great drugstore options, and I also love Benefit They're Real
-Sephora or MAC? Overall, I would have to pick Sephora, simply because of the extensive selection of different brands. I am a huge fan of the MAC Limited Edition collections and their lipsticks.
-Do you have a MAC Pro-card? No.
-What makeup tools do you use in makeup application? Almost all of my brushes are from Sigma, but I have a few Sephora Pro Brushes too. Q Tips are also an essential for cleaning up eyeliner.
-Do you use makeup base/primer for the eyes? Always! I didn't start doing this until a couple of years ago and I don't know how I lived without it. Colors last way longer and don't crease. I use either Too Faced Candlelight Primer or Nars Smudge Proof Primer.
-For the face? I like using different primers depending on my skin's needs--sometimes I want to moisturize, sometimes I want to counteract redness, or sometimes I want to help my "acne'". However, my holy grail primer is Smashbox Photo Finish
-What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)? I'm all about the shimmer, and I love either a gorgeous champagne or light purple.
-Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner? I use liquid eyeliner on the top and pencil eyeliner on the bottom.
-How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil? Almost never, although I'm still working on mastering the perfect cat eye. 
-What do you think of pigment eyeshadows? I like the idea of them, I've just never gotten around to using them.
-Do you use mineral makeup? I like the Mac Mineralize Skinfinishes, as well as the mineralize blushes. 
-What is your favorite lipstick? Such a tough question! Either Tom Ford Casablanca or YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Rose Infinite
-How about lipgloss? The Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors are great.
-What is your favorite blush to use? I don't think I have one favorite blush, but I like ones with a hint of shimmer that add a natural glow.
-Do you buy your makeup on ebay? I've bought makeup from international sellers that isn't available in the USA, like all of my Soap & Glory makeup.
-Do you like drugstore makeup? I have a love/hate relationship--there are certain things that are definitely a good bargain, but other ones that aren't worth wasting money on.
-Do you go to CCO's? (cosmetic company outlets) No.
-Did you ever consider taking makeup classes? I never have, but would be open to the idea!
-Are you clumsy in putting on makeup? Occasionally I'll poke myself putting on mascara, and like I said above, I'm still working on mastering the cat eye.
-Name a makeup crime that you hate? I hate the foundation line when it's not completely blended in around the jaw.
-Do you like colourful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones? I'd like to think I fall somewhere in between--I like subtle shades of pink/purple/red, so you can usually tell I'm wearing makeup, but it's not too much.
-Which celebrity always has great makeup? I think Emmy Rossum always looks gorgeous and natural.
-If you could leave the house using just ONE makeup item, what would you use? Definitely concealer-- my dark circles are always crazy.
-Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on? Obviously I COULD and I have before but I like to do a 5 product face if I'm pressed for time (tinted moisturizer, concealer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara). 
-Do you think you look good even without any makeup on? I'm not one of those people who looks drastically different, because I do more natural looks, but I prefer myself with makeup. 
-In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line? Dior delivers great quality products with a pricy tag. L'Oreal has lots of great products for the drugstore.
-What do you think of Makeup?? Obviously I love it. I think it's a form of art that you can use to enhance your natural features. I'm not saying you can't feel confident without makeup, because plenty of people do, but I think it works to help you show off what you already have.

I now tag all of you to do this! Leave a comment linking to your blog if you fill out this tag :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Brown Eyeliner Edit

As I mentioned in my July Favorites, I've been a recent convert to the brown eyeliner bandwagon. I've found that ones with a little bit of sparkle and shimmer adds a little something extra. Here are the six I've been loving recently.

1. Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon, Ro(Cocoa) and Brown-Out. These are my favorite of the bunch. They have built-in sharpeners, which is always a plus in my book, and one has more shimmer than the other. It stays on forever and is easy to blend.
2. Urban Decay Roach. This was the first brown eyeliner I picked up, because Urban Decay has the most impressive color selection and pretty good staying power. This is the lightest of the bunch and great for a bronzy look.
3. Rimmel Scandaleyes in Bronze. For a drugstore eyeliner, this one is bomb. It's almost as creamy as the Marc Jacobs one, plus isn't a flat color (I've found that can happen with drugstore eyeliners). If you're looking to ease into brown eyeliner, this one works without breaking the bank.
4. Too Faced Bulletproof 24 Hour Eyeliner in Dirtbag. The thicker point of this makes it great for lining the top of your eye and even winging it out. The little sponge on the bottom makes this one super unique because you can blend it out and even use it as an eyeshadow.

L-R: Brown Out, Dirt Bag, Ro(Cocoa), Bronze, Roach

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Seven Shows To Binge-Watch

Summer might be almost over, but that doesn't mean you can't start a new show to binge-watch. It obviously takes me longer to watch an entire series during the school year but I'm still a pretty good binge watcher. I'll watch a show when I'm getting ready, in the background of homework, before I go to sleep.. yeah. Here are six of my favorite shows that are great for watching back to back in short amounts of time (aka binge watching). All of these shows, with the exception of the last one, are available with a Netflix subscription. If you don't have one, there are plenty of websites online where you can find the links for free.

1. Lost (6 Seasons). If you're going to commit to binge-watching a show, this is it. I watched all 6 seasons in 3 weeks last summer, because it is just that good. There's no show like it--kind of sic fi mystery, drama with the characters, comedic relief... you name it. The character development is fabulous and I love this show so much that one of the characters, Charlie, partially inspired my tattoo.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (7 Seasons). I would watch Buffy occasionally when it was on air, but I was too young to ever really get into it. During freshman year, I spent the better part of second semester watching this. The writing is great, and the show is about so much more than an actual vampire slayer. There's also a spinoff, Angel, which I didn't like as much but still watched.

3. Parks and Recreation (7 Seasons). When this show first came on the air, something about it rubbed me the wrong way and I couldn't get in to it. Fast forward to last winter break and suddenly I got hooked--each episode is only 22 minutes so it's easy to keep on watching. There are so many quirky characters (Ron Swanson is a common household name now), and it does take a season or two to come into its own. But power through--it's certainly worth it. Plus, this show is still on the air so you have something to look forward to in the fall.

4. Weeds (8 Seasons). Once again, this show took me a while to get into but once I started watching, I couldn't stop (I think I finished in a little more than two weeks?). It's Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan's first project, so fans of that will love this. It's the same type of dark humor and even features guest stars like Pornstache and Mr. Healey. I want to compare it to a more comedic Breaking Bad, with more sass and girl power. Nancy Botwin is such a cool mom, I hope I can be like her when I'm older (minus the drug dealing business).

5. Desperate Housewives (8 Seasons). The best way to describe this show is a guilty pleasure. It's incredibly ridiculous with the amount of lovers and murders on Wisteria Lane, but something about the show is captivating. It's like Gossip Girl with housewives, but you get more involved. My favorite character is probably Gabrielle Solis because she is just straight up ridiculous and the way she handles her life is so crazy you can't help but laugh.

6. Gilmore Girls (8 Seasons). I must have missed the boat because somehow I didn't watch this show in middle school. I watched it all for the first time last year and could not stop. It probably has some of the best writing I've ever seen, for such a simple small-town storyline, and the characters are amazing. The dynamic between Lorelai and Rory just cannot be beat, and the addition of quirky people like Kurt makes the show stand out (plus the gorgeous Jess and Dean don't hurt). Even though I didn't actually watch it in middle school, it brings me back to the early 2000s with a good sense of nostalgia.

7. Arrested Development (4 Seasons). This is arguably the funniest show ever. It is just so so clever and has so many recurring jokes that you can't help but laugh. The fourth season was released 10 years later as a Netflix original and lacks the vivacity of the first 3 seasons, but is still worth a watch. There are bumper stickers on my car that reference this show... that's how much I love it.

I'm in search of a new show, so I'd love to know what you've been watching and recommend!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Five Affordable Drugstore Mascaras

I'm a huge fan of drugstore mascaras--although I like a few certain high end ones, mascaras do expire quickly so it's better to buy something affordable. L'Oreal and Maybelline are the two brands that consistently deliver so here are my top five. I've mentioned most of them in previous blog posts so will link those as well.

  1. L'Oreal Butterfly Mascara (mentioned here). This is one of the most unique mascaras with its butterfly shaped wand. I like to use this for a second coat mascara.
  2. L'Oreal Voluminous Excess Mascara. My favorite thing about this mascara is its lack of clumps, probably due in part to the huge brush. It's incredibly black and voluminizing.
  3. Maybelline Rocket Mascara (mentioned here). A great mascara for volumizing and lengthening. This one has mixed reviews but I'm definitely a fan.
  4. Maybelline Illegal Lengths Fiber Extending Mascara. What a mouthful of a name! Don't be scared by the "fiber" lengths--you can't notice anything but this mascara is crazy lengthening and feels like a high-end mascara.
  5. L'Oreal Paris Shocking Extensions Mascara (mentioned here). This is similar to the Maybelline one above but is maybe not quite as dramatic, yet still offers great results.
None of these are waterproof, but I find using a primer (my favorite is this Lancome one) before application and finishing everything with a setting spray ensures that my mascara doesn't flake or come off.

What's your favorite drugstore mascara?

Also, check out this really cool video of men trying women's makeup on half of their face. It's interesting to think about how beauty is so stereotypically gendered and the transformative power of makeup.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Shoe Wardrobe

Summer is definitely my lazy footwear time. It's so easy to throw on a pair of shoes, not worry about socks, and show off your brightly colored toes. I definitely wear the Toms and Rainbows more often than any of these, but here are all my spring/summer/early early fall shoes (because flip flops in September can be acceptable).

Tory Burch Miller Logo Thong. These are my fancy flip flops, and I've actually dedicated a whole post to them here.
Tahari Wedges, similar. Unfortunately I don't think these are available since I purchased them a couple of years ago. The neutral color allows these to match anything and make an outfit slightly more casual, and the bands are made of a stretchy material that is super comfortable. They make my legs look miles long.
Sam Edelman Felicia Flat. Black ballet flats are a staple in my wardrobe. I'm not really a heels girl, being already pretty tall and clumsy, so these are my automatic "nice" shoes when it's not sandal weather. They come in a million colors and I have my eye on the nude ones.
Softt Wedges. These may be the most comfortable pair of platform shoes I've ever put on. They only have a couple of inches of height, and the footbed is so squishy and padded it's like walking on a cloud.

Birkenstock Gizeh. I used to think Birkenstocks were ugly, until I came to UVM. I'm still not a fan of them in black/brown but I like the griller cream color of these. They're incredibly supportive and comfortable and worth an investment for good quality.
Merona Flats. Like I said, I love flats and it's fun to have a pair in a non-neutral color to jazz up an outfit and make your feet the center of attention.
Toms Classic Slip-Ons. If you don't already own a pair of these, go out and buy one right now. They take a little bit to break in but once they do, you'll never want to take them off. You can wear them on a really hot day or also a chilly winter day and they work with any type of outfit.

Converse Low Sneaker. I've had these for almost five years but just can't seem to part with them. I think the more beat-up they are, the better they look and they're the closest thing to a sneaker you'll find me in without being in the gym.
Splendid Madrid Sandal. Yet another pair of "classy" flip-flops, these leather ones are an edge up above classic rubber styles while maintaining a casual feel.
Rainbow Narrow Strap Sandal. These are the flip-flops to splurge on. They become molded to your feet after you break them in and offer great arch support. They're spongy and surfer-cool, plus they're less likely to break than their rubber counterparts.

What shoes have you been living in all summer?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Book Review: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

Do you ever instantly love a movie or book just a little more because it takes place somewhere you're familiar with? I've always loved thing set in Boston because I'm able to relate to it just a little more, but it's a lot rarer to find a book set in Burlington, VT. Chris Bojalian's latest novel Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands takes place largely in the very "city" (I think of it more as a town) I've been living in and that makes it hit a lot closer to home.

This book really blew me away. It's a work of fiction, telling the story of a 16 year old named Emily who lives a charmed life in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. All that changes when a nuclear plant blows up, causing the whole kingdom to evacuate, but her parents are responsible and she is left alone. She becomes a runaway and lives on her own in Burlington, until she befriends a small child. The story is told slightly out of order but not in a way to confuse you. Bojalian really details Burlington so well you can imagine it even if you don't live there. The specific mention of many locations really allowed me to further empathize with the story.

Emily's voice is very compelling and although her story is tragic, she never gives up hope. Although a nuclear power plant exploding in Vermont is entirely fictional, it makes you think what might happen if you were left completely alone in the world with no one to turn to. I kept wanting to read until her story was resolved and I was never bored throughout the novel. I'm always a fan of first-person narration because it really helps me connect to the character and get inside their mind, and it works perfectly for Emily. Ultimately, this is a story of survival and while the end wasn't quite what I expected, it doesn't end in tragedy and offers hope for the young heroine.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone in Burlington because you'll love it simply for the identification of our city, but even if you're from somewhere else, it's a great read that enthralls and captures you. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.