My First Ever Haul!

Friday, November 30, 2012

So I've learned something about myself this week: I hate editing.  I mean I can't stand it.  In fact, I detest it so strongly that I've avoided doing it for three whole days!  So without further ado, here is my first ever haul video, featuring a few recent purchases, and some really nice stand outs.

What I'm wearing:
Eyes: Mac e/s in "Mystery" and "Grain"

Products Mentioned:

On a completely unrelated note, I can't believe that it's already basically December!  I mean I even did some Christmas shopping today, but I suppose that's a topic for another post..

Sick Day Pick Me Ups

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As you may have been able to glean from some of my previous posts, I've been sick.  Nothing too terrible, just a really bad cold that has had me inside for two days, bunking off work and watching old episodes of Dexter.  I very rarely get sick, so having this cold has been more of an annoyance than I'd like to admit, but I thought I'd share with you what I did to either speed up recovery, or make it look like I wasn't sick at all (almost).

As I'm sure your parents have told you in your childhood, or almost all movies in which the main character gets a cold, you know it's important to consume hot liquids when sick.  In my case, tea was the thing to drink.  Sleepytime tea is basically chamomile tea with mint, and it does just the trick to keep my throat soothed and send me off into a seriously restful sleep.  Adding honey to it, or just eating a spoon of it on its own will help quiet a nasty cough, if only for a short while.  And you can't forget the Ricola!

In terms of the condition of my skin during a cold, mine gets super dried out.  Gross, yes, but it's true.  For areas that need it more, I've been using Boots's Super Face Balm (review) to insert moisture right where it's needed (that sounded wrong).  My new Caudalie beauty elixir (well, it's new to me) has provided some serious aromatherapy benefits, not to mention it makes my skin look a bit more healthy and glowy.  Benefit's Moon Beam highlighter also comes in handy here, by giving the skin the sheen it's been missing.  A good concealer will also be your best friend when you're sick, if like me, no matter how much sleep you get you always seem to have dark circles.  My Bobbi Brown corrector in Peach and my new Aveda concealer have helped immensely if ever I needed to leave the house.

And last but not least, the lips!  If you find your nose stuffed up beyond any possibility of even breathing through it, you've probably been breathing solely through your mouth.  This can create quite a gross situation on the lips, as soon they may become dry and super chapped.  LUSH's Sweet Lips lip scrub has helped me to slough off the dead skin, and Blistex's Medicated chap stick has added the necessary moisture back into my pout.

Hopefully this post doesn't find you as sick as I am, but if it does, I hope that some of these tips help you to feel better, rest easier, and look healthier.  Whatever the case, thank you so much for reading and if you are sick, feel better!!

Holiday Gift Guide: The Funny Girl

Ah, the elusive funny girl.  She's the kind of friend that can make you laugh until your jaw aches and you very nearly pee yourself.  You probably have about seven inside jokes running at once, and it seems like each time you hang out, you gain a new one.  Funny girls are skilled at getting laughs out of you, so if you don't share the same skill set, the holiday season is the best time to pay her back in humor.

Whether she's chuckling every time she drinks her morning tea or coffee out of her very own Arrested Development novelty mug, or she laughs herself dizzy reading Helen Fielding's classic story of a somewhat unfortunate British woman, or if she even just appreciates the comedy in the fact that Jersey Shore actress "Snooki" has actually created her own lipstick (and that it costs more than a MAC one!), she'll appreciate the fact that you kept her sense of humor in mind when you chose her gift.

What are some of the gifts on your list for the funny girls in your life?

Caudalie's Supremely Beautiful Beauty Elixir

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Well, after a short break, I'm back!  And let me tell you, this weekend has taken a toll on me!  I got to visit with my family for the holiday, and we had a really nice, relaxing Thanksgiving, but it was right back to work for me on Friday.  If you're reading this from outside of the United States, you may not be familiar with the concept of Black Friday (which should basically be called "Black Weekend" at this point), so allow me to explain.

Black Friday is a day during which many retailers hold steep sales on their merchandise, which makes people who are already thinking about Christmas presents go a bit apeshit.  People line up outside stores like Macy's and Target on Thursday night with Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing still fresh in their bellies, just to make sure that they get the best deals on the best products before they sell out.  Some people choose not to brave the crowds, but me?  I was stuck ringing up all those sales at the cash register.  

See, I work at Aveda, and even though we didn't really have any Black Friday deals going, we still got an inordinate amount of sales this past Friday.  Which is great, really, but I was working 8-hour days all weekend, and wound up with a terrible cold that has left me without a voice.  ANYWAY, long story short, I'm sick, so that's why I haven't been blogging.

But onto the product review before I have to get ready to go back into work again!  I finally bought the Caudalie Beauty Elixir from Sephora on Friday after having heard about it for months on Youtube and beauty blogs.  I had a very vague idea about what it was supposed to do, and even after using it for several days, and loving the effects, it's still hard to put into words exactly what it does.

It promises a smooth, glowing complexion on the bottle, and Caudalie's website even claims that the elixir can help tighten pores and add radiance.  As you may have been warned by the beauty gurus of youtube, the smell will not be for everyone.  Its natural list of ingredients include grape, rose and mint, however when all is said and done, the product will not appeal to everyone.  I highly recommend sniffing before buying.

That being said, the beauty elixir offers the user quite a luxurious experience.  I spray it on before my moisturizer day and night, as directed, and have definitely noticed a difference in my skin.  I don't really understand how the product does what it does, and I wouldn't want to even try and guess.  All I can say is that I will definitely be saving up for the 100mL size because my face feels amazing.  My skin feels balanced, definitely smoother, less oily, but not too dry, and very very soft.  You couldn't even tell I was sick by looking at my skin!  I don't know how Mathilde Thomas did it, but she created a wonder product, and another Caudalie convert.

Have you tried the beauty elixir yet?  What are your impressions?  Any other miracle face products you've discovered that you feel like sharing?

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Friend

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's starting to feel a lot more like the holidays now that I've given it a few days to really sink in, and I'm beginning to really enjoy the feeling.  The second installment of my Holiday Gift Guide series brings you gift ideas for your best friend.  I hope this guide comes in useful for some of you; it's at least helping me to organize my ideas!

Happy shopping,

Holiday Gift Guide: Flora

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am honestly having trouble coming to grips with the fact that it's almost Christmas again, but I thought that creating a series of gift guides would help it sink in a bit more for me.

This gift guide features everything floral, for those special people in your life who just can't get enough flower power!

1. Korres lip butter trio (Jasmine, Pomegranate and Wild Rose) $25

Stay tuned, as this may be the first of many guides to come!

A Very Daring Lip Trio! Featuring MAC Cosmetics

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Earlier this summer, I was battling a harsh bout of poison ivy, not to mention a crippling case of nerves, so I figured I could use some well-deserved retail therapy.  I've always liked the color orange, as it makes me think of warmth and happiness, plus I didn't own any orange lip colors, so for me that was as good an excuse as any to run out and purchase a lip liner, lipstick and lipgloss combo that turn the word bright into an understatement!

After a few minutes of testing various lip shades, the very enthusiastic and helpful makeup artist at MAC came up with this great lip trio for me.  Included are a lip pencil in "Entertain Me!", MAC;s infamous lipstick in "Morange" and limited edition lipglass in "Riviera Life" from MAC's Hey Sailor collection (you may still be able to find it here).  The lipglass is super pigmented, and can even be worn on its own.  In true MAC style, the colors are vibrant, long lasting, and utterly fab!

In the end, I probably should have listened to my friend who was with me, when she asked if I thought I should skip on the lip liner.  As it turns out, it doesn't really do much of anything, but I still wear it under the lipstick just to avoid any potential bleeding and to make the orange stay in place.

This trio turned out to do just the trick, and made me happier just looking at it!  I don't find many occasions to wear bright orange lips out, but when I think I can get away with it, you can bet I'll be wearing this trio.  I'll tell you something else, it makes quite a splash on nights out!

What are some of your favorite, more daring lip colors?  I'd love to hear about them!

The Double Drugstore Dupe!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Burt's Bees Caramel (top), Wet N Wild's Nutmeg (bottom)

That's right!  I found a drugstore dupe for a drugstore product!  *Screams of applause* Oh, thank you, you're too kind, really!  I have to credit my friend Holly who introduced me to this product, so thanks Holly!  Also, let's all try and ignore the fact that the title of this post sounds like the name for a new Nancy Drew novel.

On the serious side tho, I think I may have found the answer to my prayers in Wet N Wild's Natural Blend lip shimmer.  I have always liked the Burt's Bees lip shimmers, and the one I have pictured here is in the shade Caramel, but I always hated having to spend more than $5 on a drugstore lip balm.

It appears that Wet N Wild understood my pain by having created a $2 lip balm that is almost equivalent to its Burt's Bees counterpart!  The swatches on my hand show you what Burt's Bees lip shimmer in Caramel (top) and Wet N Wild's lips shimmer in 103 Nutmeg (bottom) look like when applied.  

I don't believe these shades are exact dupes for each other, but they do look like they've come from the same line of products.  The formulas are almost identical, both being very minty and shimmery.  There is a touch more shimmer in the Wet N Wild tube, but nothing too noticeable.  And as if this couldn't get any better, Wet N Wild give you more product (0.6 g more, to be exact)!

I love these kinds of products because you can just chuck them in your handbag and not think twice about it, but I'm always happy to find a cheaper alternative for a product that I like so that now I can chuck even more into my bag and really not think twice about it!

Hope you found this helpful!

Have you discovered any drugstore dupes lately?

Holiday Party Lips! MAC Cockney

Saturday, November 17, 2012

MAC's Cockney lipstick holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first ever MAC lipstick I purchased.  I've had it in my collection for a little over two years now, and it manages to slip through the cracks every once in a while when I fall in love with a newer lipstick purchase, but I always seem to dig it out just in time for holiday party season because it is quite honestly the perfect Christmas lipstick.

It is a lustre finish so it has high shine and gloss.  MAC describes it as a yellow red, but the best part about it is the glitter (a bit hard to see in the picture, apologies)!  I don't know about you, but a shiny red lip with gold flecks just screams Christmas party, no?  The longevity is not as great as some other MAC lipsticks, but when I'm at holiday parties, I'm usually too busy stuffing my face and drinking a ton of cider to be worried about my fading lip color anyway!

Oooh, I almost forgot to mention the best part: No lip liner required!  I apply this straight onto the lips without any problems with bleeding or what have you.  Quite a plus, especially for touch ups on the go!

I neglected to take a picture of the tube itself, but quite honestly, if you've seen one MAC lipstick tube, you've seen them all (barring the special collections).  Cockney is a part of MAC's permanent range and is a really great choice for a wearable statement lip, especially now that it's party season!  It retails at $15 USD and can be found here.

Do you have any favorite holiday lip colors?

My Current Cleanser Wardrobe!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I've been a fan of Anna's from ViviannaDoesMakeup for a bit of a time now, and after watching some of her earlier videos through her most recent, I've learned the importance of a solid skin care routine and of having several options in the form of a skin care wardrobe.  I believe this term comes from blogger Caroline Hirons, who explains the concept as a functional collection of products that you switch out just as you would your clothes for seasonal changes or unexpected bad skin days.  Because of my newfound regard for a well-oiled routine, I felt it important to have a few options at the ready so as to deal with whatever the day throws my face's way!  So what's a girl to do with three different cleansers!?  Allow me to enlighten you!

LUSH Dark Angel's Cleanser: My heavy duty cleanser.  I get my best use out of this one at night when it's time to scrub away the day's makeup.  It's one of those that you mix with water as you use it to make a paste.  It is sort of a combo cleanser and manual exfoliator in one, but it is super soft and gentle and doesn't scratch my face at all.  Dark Angels gets off a ton of my foundation and excess facial oils, yet doesn't make my face feel stripped.  The avocado oils in it make it that much more soothing and moisturizing, and while it can be messy to use (it may take a bit of some extra effort to wash the residue down the sink!) I find it strikes the perfect happy medium between scrubbiness and moisture balancing properties, making it ideal for people with combination/slightly oily skin.  I only just got it about a month ago, will definitely be buying more of this when I run out.  I just hope it comes back in stock soon on the Lush website!!

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: The gentlest cleanser I own. This one does not contain sulphates so don't expect suds.  And although this product claims to be fragrance free, there is definitely a discernible scent, albeit a subtle one, that reflects the cucumber extract and rosewater on the ingredients list.  Apparently the soy in it is supposed to promote elasticity and firmness, but I haven't noticed those kinds of results as of yet.  I like to use this directly following Dark Angels in the evening to get off any extra traces of makeup that remain.  It is super gentle, and I find it ideal for morning cleansing as well if my face isn't feeling super oily or gross.

Origins Checks and Balances Cleanser: When nothing else fits the bill.  They don't call it a frothy face wash for nothing!  This cleanser means business, and creates suds like you wouldn't believe.  I use Checks and Balances when my face has become inexplicably oily, and whether I use it in the morning or the evening, this cleanser works hard to remove excess facial oils and leaves my skin super soft and super clean.  I don't use this every day because I'm not always in the mood for a super sudsy face, but  if I'm feeling a bit oilier than usual, I know I can rely on Checks and Balances to take care of it!

I think I have a few other random cleansers lying about, but these are the main three that I get the most use out of.  None of these really removes my eye makeup, but they all take my face makeup off in a snap.  Next up to try: Cleansing Balms!

I'd love to hear any of your cleanser recommendations?  Do you have a few trusty favorites as well?

My Hair Hero! Miracle Oil Hair Moisturizer

Monday, November 12, 2012

Me on a good hair day...finally!
OK, so I'm sure everyone reading this has had at least one bad hair day in their life, right?  You know the feeling.  No matter what products you put in your hair, no matter how long you fuss with it, it just won't lie the way you want it.  Maybe your hair starts off promising at the start of the day, but by lunchtime it's frizzy and there are random bits sticking out every which way so you end up just saying 'to hell with it all', and throwing all of it up on top of your head in a messy bun.  Well, imagine having a whole string of bad hair days just like that, one after another, after another.

This was my life for the past few months or so.  It seemed that no matter what I did, my hair just never felt like cooperating.  So I knew I had to do something drastic, and for me that meant treading into the world of hair oils.  I have always shied away from oils for fear that they'll wear my hair down, and because I have very fine hair to begin with, I really can't risk losing any volume up there.

So I walked into a local hair care supply store looking for a hair oil to suit my needs.  I had heard about this Miracle Oil line on a youtube commercial of all places, so I thought I might give it a whirl.  I found it with no problems, but as I was looking through all of the products offered, I discovered this oil moisturizer.  I wasn't sure exactly what that meant the product would do, but after reading the back of the bottle (apply to wet or dry hair, the usual spiel), I thought it might be exactly what I was looking for.

When I had gotten back to the car, I squirted just a little bit into my hands and worked it through my hair, which was still damp from my morning shower.  Within minutes I could see the product working its magic in the form of softer hair, tighter curls and MUCH less frizz.  It was love, I tell you.

Since then I have been using this product religiously when I wash my hair, and the beauty of it is, you can use it on dry hair as well.  I can say with certainty that this is the first product I have ever found that works on my curly hair when it's dry, which means I can finally wear my second day hair down!  

But that's not even the best part.  This product will only cost you about $6 to $8 USD depending on where you buy!  I'd recommend this for people with tightish curls all the way up through kinky textures.

What are some of your hair heroes?


Fashionably Late October Favorites!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

As you may be able to tell, this part of the country is still recovering from hurricane damage, so I was a bit delayed in making my October Beauty Favorites video, but I did it!

Without further ado, I present my fashionably late October beauty faves!

FOTD Professionally Natural

So, I love my new job.  I spent the majority of my day at work getting my hair done and being a demonstration model for hair products in the window of the store; it was TOO LUXE!!  My co-workers are some of the sweetest and funniest people I've ever worked with, and the time just flies!

My hair initially had a lot more curl to it, but they had kind of fallen out by the time I got home.  I had to take a cheeky little picture though, just to document it!  My makeup has to look pretty natural for work, hence the minimal look.

Eyes: MAC Woodwinked e/s all over lid and crease and Mystery e/s as liner and through the brows | Clinique High Impact mascara in Black


And I'm Back! With Rimmel's Wake Me Up Foundation

Friday, November 9, 2012

And we're baaaack!

Apologies for the blip in posting, but as I explained before, we had a hurricane followed swiftly by a snowstorm that knocked our power and heat out for just over a week.  But we're back up, and I have been itching to post for a while, so here goes!

It's time for me to jump on the bandwagon.  A few months back, you couldn't help but hear people talking about Rimmel's Wake Me Up foundation all over Youtube and beauty blogs alike.  I gave in to the hype and purchased my own, but it was way too light when it arrived (I got mine in Soft Beige).  My skin has since lost most of its summer glow, so I've been getting to test it more and more recently.

The foundation promises an anti-fatigue effect and a radiant glow, and it really does deliver!  It's still a touch too light for me, so I've been applying it down the center of my face as a sort of highlight, and wearing a darker foundation around the edges.  There are almost imperceptible little glittery specks in the foundation, which help to deliver on Rimmel's promise of a radiant glow, and the coverage is moderate to full on me, which somehow really does make me look more awake!  Plus, the foundation is long wearing and stayed on throughout and following a seven hour shift at work yesterday!

I love that you don't need a lot of it either.  It comes with a snazzy little pump, and one full squeeze is about all I use.  I find that the best brush to apply it with is a buffing brush, as it makes the finish even more flawless.  My brush of choice is the Expert Face brush by Real Techniques.

I need to pace myself with this product because it's really hard to get in the States, but I just love wearing it!  I got mine from Feel Unique where it retails for $14.00 USD.

The only thing I can even think to complain about is the shade selection, as there are very few, but other than that, it's a perfect product!  Definitely my new favorite foundation.

Let me know what you think of this if you try it out?  What is your favorite foundation?


Hurricane Sandy Was a Bitch

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Just a quick update!  

I am home in New Jersey now, and if you've heard anything about the hurricane that hit the northeast United States earlier this week, then you might have heard that almost 2 million people are without power in my state alone!  My house in particular has no power, no hot water, and NO HEAT.  We're getting pretty nippy over here, but thankfully we've found some friends who luckily have not lost any power whatsoever.  Our power is expected to come back on on November 9th, another week from now!

I thought I might include some Before and After pictures, just for comparison, but the way things look now is kind of depressing.  There is limited amounts of gasoline so there are 10 gallon limits at all gas pumps (and the lines at each pump are at least a mile long!), trees older than my grandparents are lying straight across roads, traffic lights are out, and whole towns are in the dark.  The only good to come out of this is that we are getting to spend tons of time with friends and loved ones, and I for one will never complain about that!

I thought I'd leave you with some positive images from my town before it went to shit.  I just felt like there were enough pictures of destruction circulating, and I didn't want the only pictures of New Jersey that people see to be sad and depressing!  Btw, I am from up north in New Jersey, and thankfully nowhere near the Jersey Shore (which got decimated).

So here is the positive note I am ending on.  I had originally taken these photos because I wanted to make a post about how much I love Autumn, but now I think these pictures just serve as a happy reminder of how our town was pre-Sandy.  

I hope you understand that it might be a little more difficult for me to blog this week, but I will definitely try, because it is my new favorite hobby!

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