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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

E.L.F. Haul

Sorry for being a day late, but here I am finally.

So I've been wanting to do a crazy cool Halloween makeup (oh it's coming, don't you worry) and finally I decided to buy the makeup. I went on the E.L.F. Cosmetics site. Then, of course, I got sucked in by the website and bought all sorts of fun stuff. So here's what I got!

Essentials Natural Lash Kit
I'm not normally a false lash person. I mean the glasses just get in the way and I have pretty long lashes on my own so I don't dabble often. But for this look I'm doing I thought they'd be fun. Unfortunately these didn't stick very well so I think I would spend more than a $1 next time.

Studio Matte Lip Color - Wine
This is actually a pretty berry color that's matte but not super dry looking. I haven't worn it for long but it seemed to wear well and had great payoff.

Studio Acne Fighting Foundation - Ivory
I have been on the search for a new foundation that does all the things I want it to do. And so far the high end brands haven't come through, so I thought I'd try the drugstore version. This was a good color match for me but unfortunately it doesn't last very long on my skin. Maybe for a short period this would be good. Also, don't apply this with a brush, I used the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and got much better results.

Studio Eyeliner - Black
For a girl who wore black eyeliner daily for around 10 years, I haven't owned a black eyeliner in months (good it be a year?). So it was about time I bought one. I haven't tried this yet, but I'll report back if it's great.

Essential Flawless Eyeshadow - Smoky
This is not a usual color for me but it's for the Halloween makeup. For being $2, these eyeshadows are really great. The payoff is awesome and the shimmer isn't overtly glittery but just really nicely glowly. I definitely will have to pick up some more shades.

Essential Brightening Eye Color - Luxe and Drama
Just because I can and it's a $1 I bought a second gray eye palette and a reddish fall colored one. I only tested drama, but compared to the smoky palette though, these do not have near the payoff. They are much more of a sheer wash of color. They can be built up but it gets patchy.

Studio Moisturizing Lipstick - Velvet Rope
Another product purely for Halloween, this a true and bright red. It's more sheer than the matte lip color but it's buildable. And I tried layering the 2 together, and they looked pretty awesome :)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Style Trials: Banana Republic Sweater

Style Trials: Banana Republic Sweater

First published on

Well it's been a while since I've done a Style Trial, but fall is coming (FYI I'm so excited!) and I've bought this new blush/pink sweater and thought I'd think of some different ways to wear it. Pink is not a color I gravitate to often so I needed some inspiration :)

Outfit 1 - This outfit was work inspired, because I've definitely been in a rut when it comes to work clothes recently. But fall is the perfect time to switch it up because layers!!! Oh how I love them. 

For this look I wanted some nice ankle pants to make it work appropriate. Then these sneaker-loafer hybrid shoes are some I've been obsessed with recently... like I need these in my life! And finally the jean jacket for some added warmth in the office and it add a little more color. 

Outfit 2 - Another fashion issue I've been facing is figuring out how to wear my clothes for a night out, dinner, or just outside of work without looking professional, I hope that makes sense. I just want a way to make my clothes do double-duty I guess.

I figure what says fun and nighttime more than a leather (or pleather) jacket! A more tough biker jacket would add warmth for those fall nights and spice to the pink sweater a bit. Then dark skinny jeans and black ankle boots keep the outfit sleek and a bit sexy.

Jewelry, of course, is important to add personality, sparkle, and fun to an outfit. I really liked how this triangle necklace works with the neckline and the weave of the sweater. I also love how it can multi-task for either outfit, day or night!

As always when I do these posts, I think I've created a shopping list for myself as much as ideas for you all! But I am excited for the fall season with changing colors, cooler days, warm drinks, boots, football, and the start of the holidays. I get excited just thinking about it. But now at least I have a plan more or less for my fall uniform and I'm ready to go!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Covering Those Dark Circles

Just like many of you, I suffer from dark circles. Big angry purple ones... it's a legit problem. So of course I've had to devise a way to cover them from the public eye. Here is the routine I use to turn my dark angry eyes into bright-eyed beauties!

Ok here is my naked face in 3...2...1...

First I apply my foundation (more on that new routine later) then I use a peach colored concealer directly on the under-eye area. I'm using the NYX Dark Circle Concealer right now and it works well; it covers and lasts. It does crease a bit after I powder but if you wipe them off quickly it won't crease again.

Most days, you know work days, this is the end of my coverage and I do think it works pretty well. But on full makeup days I like to add a little lightness under the eyes.

I take the concealer in a triangle shape with a few swipes under the eyes almost down the length of my nose. I've been using the Flower Lighten Up! Brightening Concealer Click Pen and it works well at highlighting although I find it's not the best at blending.

The best way to blend this area I've found is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. Just wet it, dry it off in a towel, and then dab away until everything's blended.

See bright and beautiful! And then here's me with all my makeup, whew I needed some color back in my face.

Overall, I think the tricks are the peach colored concealer as it really does neutralize the dark blue/purple dark circles color. Then a color 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone in a triangle shape under your eyes to really brighten it all up. 

There are some other techniques I'd like to try using yellow concealer and/or yellow powder which is supposed to further brighten. I'll have to give it a shot and let you all know. And if you have any great tips for concealing your dark circles please comment with them down below, I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Updating my Vanity

As you probably know, I've moved recently (twice!) and because of this some of my furniture was damaged. Luckily my good/antique furniture is fine, but some of my cheaper (aka almost wood) pieces got pretty scratched up. So I thought it was time to try out some DIY.

I had this idea to use contact paper to revitalize my desk-turned-vanity with a marble finish. I wasn't quite sure how to go about it, where to find the paper, or really my plan. But, one day while strolling through Big Lots I found a blue marble contact paper for about $3... so yea I had to get me some o' that!

So I got my stuff together and just went for it! Take a look below at my process and the really cool results :)

Here is the vanity before hand
And the crazy scratches from the moves, they're all over!
Got my supplies together, oh and some tape to help keep things still.
I laid the contact paper out
And hung it over the edges about a 1/2 an inch
Once everything was lined up I started sticking
This is the awkward way I unrolled and laid it down while smoothing lumps
Then I trimmed the edges with a utility knife
Yay! Awkward hand pictures!
And it's done!
And the final product, I love it :)
Overall for around $3 the turned out great, I love it and it just adds something extra to the room and the table. I hope you all get some inspiration because as DIYs go this one was easy!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday Thoughts: My Momma Said

My mom dabbled with makeup here and there but is a natural beauty and never really wore a lot of makeup . Thus she didn't really teach me too much about makeup and skincare as that's not something she had time for raising my brother and I on her own.

But she did pass down 2 golden nuggets of advice that I use to this day; they have helped form how I think of beauty and my approach to makeup.

Momma Said #1
"The best way to put on makeup, is so it looks like you're not wearing any at all"

I benefited from this advice more so as a teenager than now - so I learned to put on foundation without the awful line, eyenliner without raccoon eyes, etc...

I do still think about this but maybe not as much. Overall I like makeup to look like it's me just enhanced. I don't want to contour the Amber right off of my face if you know what I mean. Now that doesn't mean that at times I don't go crazy, cuz we know that I do. But usually on the day-to-day I like to keep it natural(ish) and pretty. So the way I do this is:
  • Foundation should look like skin - it should match your neck and blend, blend, blend
  • Contour should add a shadow - but not look muddy or too stark
  • Eyeshadows in neutral colors - blended in to create beautifulness 
  • No crazy eyeliner on the lower lash line or too much up top - just enough to define
You'll notice that mascara, I don't include in this. In my mind the bigger the better when it comes to lashes (sorry mom!). Really what she meant was just to accept you and try to enhance what you like more than hide what you don't (oh no, my nose... fail). But overall I think this is something to think about when you're just learning or just going all out... does this makeup still look like me?

Momma Said #1
"Don't forget your neck and chest, it's where you'll show your age first"

This is one of those that I don't really know if it's working because I don't have wrinkles yet (knock on a big 'ol pile of wood!) but I continue to do anyway.

You can see that this is true though in general, even on celebrities. They're faces are beautiful and luminous (and tight, in some cases) but their necks and chests might have age spots, wrinkles, sagging, etc... Now really that's all inevitable, but while you're anti-aging your face it only makes sense to continue down a bit so you'll match.

I do this by trying to include my neck and chest in my moisturizing, exfoliating, and treating with SPF. I'm sure there's more I could do with this, but no one says you need to go crazy. Sometimes little steps will go a long way.
FYI... I was singing this song the whole time I typed this post!
So those are the bits of knowledge my mom dropped on me in my adolescence that I swear by today. What's your favorite (or not so favorite) piece of advice your mom gave you? Do you follow it?

Let me know and have a great Thursday! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

August Petit Vour Box

Another month, another Petit Vour Box... and they just keep getting better. I swear! I really enjoy opening this box because it's just like Christmas. It's all these cool products that I may or may not have heard of and just fun things to try. Ok so I'll stop gushing, but I do look forward to this every month and I think it's awesome.

Below are the products I received in my box, and what I think so far!

MyChelle Dermaceuticals
Fruit Enzyme Scrub
This month the most surprising thing was a full-size MyChelle scrub. I used to use and love MyChelle but then just moved onto other things. I really like the brand though and their local in Boulder! I've never used this particular product but I'm really excited to try it. As I've been all over the scrubs both chemical and physical lately (you know prepping my skin for winter!)

As you may have seen in my August Monthly Favorites I've been loving hair oils recently. My hair is for sure in need of the love. So this shine hair serum is right up my alley! And also while it's still warm I'll probably spend a few more days with my natural curly hair. So we'll see if the cream can tame the beast.

Another thing I've been doing recently is trying to use up some of my sample skincare. And I never thought I'd be a serum person but I think my skin likes them. Obviously samples are too small to know for sure, but it's fun to give them a try. And I've heard great things about using the spice turmeric for your skin. 

Modern Minerals
Finishing Glow - Sunrise
At first I couldn't figure this out... is it a powder or a highlight? The card that comes in the box to explain the product says to use it as a finishing powder all over the face. In the tub it looks like there are sparkles in it, which as an oily-skinned gal I am not down with. So I swatched some on my hand and it is more glowy than shimmery. I did try a very light dusting across my face and didn't notice too much difference. But I'll keep playing with this and see what's up.

Another good box with some products I'm excited to try and some I need to experiment with. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August Favorites 2015

Wow! August has been a whirlwind month for me; I got settled into my new apartment, worked with Sage on the whole barking situation, planned and attended a Sweet 16, and experienced my busiest month at work. I can't believe it's over! And more importantly I can't believe I managed to accumulate some favorites :)

Let's dive in!

Real Techniques
Expert Face Brush
I thought I'd given up using brushes for my foundation in favor of the Real Techniques sponge. But after seeing them use this brush on Pixiwoo constantly, I finally found it in Ulta. And OMG it has completely changed my mind. It applies makeup in such a natural way that still provides coverage. It just smooths the foundation or CC cream over your skin so silky smooth! It has also helped me use less product which I love!

High Definition Powder
Another game changer for me! I have given up primers for my oily skin and have just been using this powder (I think I'll do a tutorial on this technique). It's a translucent powder so it doesn't change the color of you foundation at all but it also doesn't really provide any coverage. It does provide that blurring affect we all love and helps your makeup stay longer. Also it's a super fine almost silky powder so it doesn't give you that undesirable cakey look.

Glow Oil Treatment
I had this sitting in my collection of trial-size stuff from Ipsy and decided to give it a go (this is not a cruelty-free product) and I'm glad I did. It has been way too humid here for my hair, which never happens in Colorado! But my hair has been frizzy and out of control. So back to the product; this oil has helped my hair so much! It's softer, shinier and when I wear it curly it's so much more defined. I might have to get the full size when this is done.

Batiste Dry Shampoo
Dark & Deep Brown
I love a great dry shampoo as my hair gets crazy oily on day 2. It soaks up the oils and since it's brown there's no awkward white residue to rub in, and it gives great volume. Love this stuff!

100% Pure
Fruit Pigmented Mascara - Black Tea
Ahh... the quest for the perfect mascara. This has to be one of my favorite makeup items to test out. Gotta love them lashes! And this mascara is really great natural or no! It provides great volume and definition, the brush is great at coating all your lashes, and the color is deep black... yes, yes, and yes! The only problem I find is that due to the issues I've been having with my eyes I'm in need of waterproof mascaras and this is not waterproof. But I've just been swiping a bit of some waterproof mascara on and call it good!

I hope you all had a wonderful August, and here's to September!

Update: I had previously stated that Batiste products were not cruelty-free, that is incorrect. They are cruelty-free products.