Friday, January 30, 2015

Face of the Day #3

I'm so happy with all the positivity on my latest post, Why It's OK To Not Be OK. I've had the most views of any post so far and have reached over 7000 views since starting my blog in June! I haven't done a Face of the Day in a while, so I'm sharing my simple look that I wear to class during the week. I used some everyday staples as well as some products I don't use as often as I should.

If you're looking for a good show to binge-watch in a couple of days, check out The Fall on Netflix. There are only 11 episodes, so you don't have to get that addicted. It's an Irish psychological drama about a serial killer and it is so so good, especially if you like shows like The Killing.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Why It's Ok To Not Be OK

It's time for a more personal post. I love writing this blog so much--it's great to share things I love, communicate with other bloggers, and gain new ideas. But sometimes it's just so hard to get motivated. Do you ever feel like you have too much time yet not enough time? I'm not drowning in work this semester (at least yet), but each of my classes is definitely not a cake-walk.

Excuse me as I look like a total weirdo.

I'm also the editor-in-chief of an online magazine and recently got a semester-long internship learning new social media strategies and running pages for an organization on campus. Plus I work at the front desk of dorm and I'm in a sorority. Did I mention I have friends to spend time with, shows to watch, and beauty products to try?

So with all of that going on, you would assume I barely have time to think. And that's where you're wrong. Despite all of my commitments, I am fortunately still able to find some downtime to myself where I can watch Netflix and read beauty blogs. But it's hard. No matter what I am doing at the time, I always feel like I could be doing something else. I would love to be able to post on here every day, and I'm sure I probably could, but then the posts would seem rushed, sloppy, and not meaningful.

And here's where my main point comes in--it's okay to be stressed. It's okay to feel like you have no friends and no one wants to hang out with you, because I promise you they do. It's okay to feel like you will not genuinely be okay until you find a summer job (any takers? I'm still looking!). Because through all this stress and negative emotions comes the good stuff. I remember my freshman year (two whole years ago!), when I didn't have many meaningful friendships but I did have loads of downtime and almost no hobbies. And with all that free time, I felt incredibly sad and low. My life didn't really have a purpose (I didn't get into beauty until about a year and a half ago).

So when you don't feel okay because you're stressed, depressed, or just simply having a down day, know that things have to get better. There has to have been some moment during the week that made you smile. Busy lives can be hard but I promise you they are so much better than doing nothing at all. I know everything I'm doing is important for later on in life, and it makes me treasure those free and happy moments so much more. We don't have to be happy 100% of the time, because then it wouldn't feel as special. Accept the icky feelings and spend the night alone with a good book, because when it comes down to it, tomorrow is a new day (god that's cheesy but it's really so true).

I hope you enjoy this type of stream-of-conciousness, rambling post. And even if you don't, please only comment with good vibes :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Few New Hair Care Items

As much as I love trying/buying/playing with makeup, hair care is one thing I usually don't stray from. It took a long time to figure out what products work with my crazy curly hair, so I don't like to change things up too much. A few months ago, I dyed my hair from dark brown to black (not that much of a noticeable difference), but I've been taking extra care to make sure my hair is nourished and soft. Plus, it helps the color stay longer. These are the few I've picked up and been trying in the past month or month and a half-ish.

1. Alterna Caviar CC Cream for Hair. I thought CC Creams used to be only for faces (and some of you may not even know what a CC Cream is), but now they make them for hair! I sometimes use this in place of a curl cream when I want to really make my hair soft and healthy, but it can also be used lightly on dry hair. I love this line in general because it doesn't weigh my hair down and as long as you stay away from the roots, it won't make you look greasy either.
2. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1. It's funny that the majority of hair products are marketed at "styling" i.e. people who religiously curl or straighten their hair, but I just use them to achieve my natural curls. Again, I could use this instead of a curl cream but this is one I prefer for dry hair. It also makes second day hair look amazing, when you just wet and scrunch your curls with it, hair feels protected and healthy.
3. Dove Oxygen Moisture Leave-in Foam. My main advice about hair care is don't always believe the marketing claims. Most hair products that claim to only do one thing can work on a variety of hair types. This line is marketed at thin, fine hair but I've used a few products from the (very affordable!) range and they give me that extra boost I sometimes need when my hair falls flat.
4. Alterna Caviar Rapid Repair Spray. I always finish my wet hair care routine with a spray to lock everything in, and this one is great because it doesn't try to a crunchy finish. It doubles as a heat protectant spray when I actually do feel like styling my hair, or can be used as a dry hair pick-me-up.

Curly/wavy haired girls--what products do you love to use?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Make Up Forever Desire Me Cheek Set

Confession time: I've never read Fifty Shades of Grey. It's not that I'm embarrassed to read it, it just doesn't really appeal to me. Maybe I'll see the movie when it comes out, but the book has inspired a Make Up Forever limited edition collection. I spotted this on a whim in Sephora the other day and figured I would give it a try.

The Desire Me Cheek Set is a great value at $49, compared to the $112 it claims to cost. It comes housed in this gorgeous velvet bag. Not sure what I'll use it for, as I normally toss these things, but this one is so cute I've decided to keep it. You next get three blush shades, a highlight shade, pinky blush shade, and coraly glow shade.

I think what drew me the most to this was the color variety--they seem super pigmented in the pan, but blend out naturally on the cheeks. You can combine all three, use one, or two for a variety of looks. They're a bit shimmery but not so much that they highlight pores. I would be a bit careful with the highlight shade as that does have the most shimmer.

I've never tried Make Up Forever blushes, but this blush brush is so incredibly soft. The mini size makes it great for traveling and it applies colors like a dream. The set is worth it almost for just the brush alone, considering their brushes are pretty pricy.

Friday, January 16, 2015

How To Get That Kylie Jenner Pout

If there's one beauty trend to remember from 2014, it's Kylie Jenner's gorgeous, natural, lip pout. I've always been a fan of nude lips and the pinky-brown shades suit everyone. Here are some of the products you can use to achieve her full pout. Some of them, like the MAC products, she actually uses and some are ones that I have discovered on my own.

MAC Lip Pencil in Soar, Whirl, and Dervish. I never was a lip liner fan until I found out Kylie uses them, and since then I've been hooked. These are rumored to be her three favorites, and they're all different enough that it's worth justifying buying them all. They're long lasting, creamy, and add a nice touch alone or under lipstick.
Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Addict. A cheaper alternative to the MAC versions, these are also great lip liners that are self-sharpening and are just as creamy.
Urban Decay Naked Lip Pencil. This is a hybrid lipgloss/lip pencil and kind of even lip liner. It's super creamy and shiny, but not super glossy. You can blot it to achieve a more matte look, and it doesn't settle into lip lines.
Aerin Rose Balm Lipstick in Perfect Nude. I've recently discovered the brand Aerin (owned by Estee Lauder's daughter) the past month and have been loving it. These lippies are an absolute dream, delivering pigmentation, a lovely smell, and a super creamy color. It's moisturizing and really is the perfect nude.
MAC Velvet Teddy. This is Kylie's favorite MAC lippie. It's matte, but not too drying that you can see the lines in your lips (a lip liner does work well underneath though). It's the perfect MLBB color that really enhances lips.
Dior Smoothing Lip Polish. If you want to add a little more shine to your looks, this light pink lip gloss enhances lip color and makes lips look fuller. Try dabbing just a little middle in the center of your lips for a nice highlighted effect.
YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Rose Infinite. For those who prefer a bit of a darker color, this one is still a MLBB that adds a bit more. It's not so sheer that there's no color, but it can be easily built and the packaging screams luxury.

L-R: Dervish, Whirl, Soar, Addict, Naked, Perfect Nude, Rose Infinite, Dior Lipgloss

If you're looking for a good mystery novel to read, I highly recommend The Girl on the Train. It has everything I love--unreliable narrators, duel perspectives, and a twist ending. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

These Are A Few of My Favorite Blogs

Without reading others' blogs, mine wouldn't be here today. I love reading other blogs for inspiration and it's where I get the majority of my product recommendations. If you like reading mine, I definitely recommend checking out these ones.

Vivianna Does Makeup. Anna is probably my all-time favorite blogger. She does great in-depth product reviews, round-ups, fitness tips, recipes, and more.

The Beauty Department. If you're looking for ways to improve your beauty routine, they have awesome tips that you wouldn't normally think of.

Temptalia. Beauty products are thoroughly reviewed with a grade, complete with many swatches. There are comparisons to other products and honest reviews.

The Sunday Girl. There are multiple blog posts per day, with lots of product round-ups and looks at new products.

Nouveau Cheap. The perfect blog for bargain hunters. There are new drugstore sightings posted, as well as deals on more expensive products. Also, reviews of great drugstore buys are great if you prefer spending less on makeup.

The Beauty Look Book. High-end product lovers, this is for you. Lots of great pictures give realistic representations, as well as swatches of similar products.

Essie Button. Estee is so amazing that she has her own hashtag, #theessiebuttoneffect, on twitter because her recommendations are that good. She's so down to earth and I feel like we're best friends just by reading her blog and watching her videos.

Play it forward and post a comment to your blog or another one that you love!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Winter Body and Skin Saviors

Happy first post of 2015! I go back to Vermont next week and as excited as I am to reunite with friends, I do not look forward to the freezing cold temperatures. My skin tends to get super dry and dehydrated, so here are some of the products I will be turning to to make sure my body and face are as soft as possible.

1. Glam Glow Thirsty Mud Hydrating Treatment.  I mentioned this in my December Favorites but it's already one of my favorite dry skin treatments. I leave it on every other night and wake up with the softest skin. I think I'll also start using this as a removable mask at mornings, since I love smelling it as much as possible (that pina colada coconut smell works wonders for me).
2. St. Tropez Gradual Tan for Body. Tanning beds and spray tans are not for me--I'm not super duper pale but in the winter I definitley lose some color. In addition to being another wonderful coconut smelling moisturizing product, this gives you a gradual hint of color that won't make you look orange. It can be built up over multiple day applications, but make sure you apply it really well because it can get streaky.
3. La Roche Posay Rosaliac Serum. I've recently started exploring brands like La Roche Posay and Vichy that are easily available at Target and CVS, and I'm really impressed. Redness is always the biggest concern of mine, but it can be especially prevelant in the winter since my face gets all chapped. I apply this serum before moisturizing and seem to be getting pretty good results so far.
4. Garnier Makeup Remover Lotion. Makeup wipes are great to remove excess makeup, but using a good cleansing lotion really takes everything off. You apply this dry, work it into your skin, and it lathers up to remove makeup. It's formulated for sensitive skin, so any skin type can use it.
5. Rituals Hammam Body Mud. Body scrubs are important all year round, but this one has super soft exfoliating mud (notice how much I love the mud craze?). It's almost like a body mask, since you leave it on for a few minutes, let the clay and eucalyptus soak in, and reap the benefits.

I'm in Disney this week for a class, so this may be the only post of the week. If I get lots of good pictures there might be a recap blog post. What products do you love for the winter?