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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Nume Curl Jam Review

I splurged and got myself a birthday present this year, but hey, you gotta treat yourself sometimes! I bought myself a Nume Curl Jam - which is a kit with a straightener and a curling wand with 3 barrels.

Currently I use a straightener to curl my hair, and it works well, however, as you may know I'm thinking of cutting my hair shorter (see here). I find that straightener just don't work as well for curls on short hair. I have heard such great things about Nume from various vloggers and I've been wanting to get my hands on one to put to the test. So I did!

I got mine on sale during Memorial Day Weekend and I would definitely suggest waiting for a promotion (they have them all the time). This retails for $199.00, but I got and $89.00 promotions; definitely worth the wait!

Now for the curls!

For this look I used the medium sized barrel to get more wavy curls. I curled the hair in 1 inch sections alternating toward and away from my face.  I finished with hairspray and waited for everything to cool down. 

Then I ran my fingers through it and kind of picked apart the curls to make sure they weren't too structured. 

And holy shit! These curls last forever, and I love it! My first test was curling my hair at night after I'd washed it. I slept on the curls that night and woke up with them looking lovely and then slept on them again and still had beautiful waves on my second-day hair!

I didn't really believe all the hype I'd heard - it's the skeptic in me - but these tools have really lived up to it. I'm so happy with my purchase and can't wait to try more styles.

Pictures by Zanib Flynn || Facebook Instagram

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @amberbutbetter!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Foundation Review: Born This Way & Anastasia Concealer

This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through affiliate links helps to support this blog.

Does anyone else get completely intimidated by foundation? You rely on it to cover pores, spots, discoloration, perfect, conceal, and act as a great base for makeup. That's a lot of pressure on one product.... and I have yet to find one that does these things without looking like a cakey mask or an oil slick.

As you may remember, a few weeks ago I went to Sephora to get some foundation samples (see post here). I wanted to see if I could find a foundation that would work for me... I can be a bit picky in this area and haven't found any product that I love yet.

Here was my criteria:
  • Cruelty-free (of course)
  • Medium to Full Coverage
  • Demi-matte to natural finish (even though I have oily skin, I do not like the matte look)
  • Long-wearing
In store, I had a great employee point me to Anastasia Concealer, to be used as a foundation. He said the coverage was great because it was meant to conceal, and that I would be able to sheer it out with a damp Beauty Blender. Then, I've been wanting to try the Too Faced Born this Way Foundation, so I got a sample of that too. 

The Anastasia Concealer is on the Left and Born This Way Foundation is on the Right

For the past few weeks I've been using both products so I'd be able to give you my opinion and full review on these products. Here's what I think!

Concealer (in 1.0)

This product is a little harder to work with than normal foundation as it's so thick. I ended up dabbing a bit around my face (use sparingly, it's best to build in layers) then blend it in with the Beauty Blender. It takes a while and is not a quick product. However once you get it on, the coverage is nice, and it does last throughout the day well. But honestly, no one's got time for all the blending (at least I don't). TBH though, I'd rather use it as an under-eye concealer. It work amazingly for that! Just bake a little and it stays put for hours without budging! So yes as a concealer, and maybe on fancy nights as a foundation.

Too Faced
Born This Way Foundation (in Porcelain)

I really like how easily this foundation blends in, it's just a dream to apply. It gives medium coverage, though you can build it up a little (my cheeks def need this!). I love the finish of this one, it's really light and natural looking. Not too matte and not too dewy... you know, the Goldilocks finish.  This product doesn't last as long as the concealer though, especially on my nose. What is it about noses that reject coverage? I don't know, but I do love this foundation, I really thought it looked nice on the skin. Too bad the lasting capabilities concern me. I would definitely consider purchasing this though, as it does last a decent amount of time (especially since I'm oily).

Overall it looks like I haven't found my Holy Grail foundation yet. The hunt continues!

I did just pick up a drugstore foundation, and although it's only the 2nd day I've worn it, I might be in love. I will update you all soon.

Have a wonderful week and remember to be kind and love one another, we're all in this world together!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Get the Look: Summer Love

Get the Look: Summer Love

Summer has definitely arrived here in Denver! It's been hot and beautiful out and is inspiring me to update my wardrobe.

The warm weather is making me think of sandals and flowy tops, embroidery and silver jewelry, and fun lip colors (not usually on the menu for me!); and mojitos of course!

This top from Asos kills 2 birds with 1 stone (or as a student of mine said "picks 2 flowers with 1 hand) as it's both flowy and embroidered. I really love the tassel detail too!

Up until maybe a week ago I was not into the ripped knee look at all. Then I decided to try it out with a pair of jeans I've been experimenting with distressing. Now I'm sold! It just looks cool, and keeps you cool too... lol I guess I'm on the bandwagon now :)

So you may have noticed that I've been obsessed over getting a cross-body bag for months now, and I still haven't done it. My main issue is that I've got a bit of a stomach and a strap across the boobs that highlights that area is not super flattering. Anyway I still am on the hunt (one day!) and I really liked this tan bag for summer.

Oh shoes, how I love them! I really like these cage heels with a block heel that's not too high. Sophisticated and fun. Perfect for a bright colored pedicure.

I don't know what it is about summer, but it makes me want to wear more silver in place of the gold I usually wear. I love this bangle with a bit a turquoise, adorable! And a plus is that you can squeeze it to fit us with the tiny wrists.

You may know my issues with lipstick (read more here), to make a long story short, I;m not a fan. But I've been trying to experiment with lipgloss for that wash of color. And I think an outfit like this needs a pop of color! This coral from NYX looks gorgeous!

This is the outfit I'd like to live in this summer! How about you what are your summer fashion staples?

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more pics and fun! (@amberbutbetter) 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

31 Goals for 31

Yesterday I turned 31, eeek!

Last year turning 30 was kind of crazy, I was newly single, newly moved, newly a lot of things. Over the last year things have settled and I've become more comfortable in my life.

I am now a year older and hopefully a year wiser. I thought to commemorate a new year in my life, I'd do a fun list... oh yes! I love a good list blog spot.

Below are the 31 goals I'm setting for myself for this year. I have big goals and small ones, and am not actually holding myself to completion dates and all that jazz. These are just what I've been thinking would be nice to accomplish.

Ok, here we go!
  1. Register for another 5K walk with my cousin and aunt.
  2. Purchase a townhome or condo, Colorado is an expensive place to live and a mortgage seems more doable than rent. Although the market isn't great for buyers, it's worth a shot!
  3. Learn how to live with someone else (my brother will be moving in and it will be a bit of a challenge).
  4. Buy a leather (or faux) jacket... it needs to be in my wardrobe!
  5. Visit Aspen, I've never been and I wanna.
  6. Try out a new dog park with Sage... exploring is fun with a canine companion.
  7. Reach out to old friends, and be better at staying connected (not my strong suit).
  8. Practice my photography skills, this blog is in need. Any tips or camera suggestions?
  9. Attend a blogger/local event, gotta step out of my comfort zone.
  10. Go on a hike or 5! I live 20 mins from the mountains, no excuses!
  11. Make new friends... I have an app for that! I'll be reporting about my experience soon.
  12. Buy a swimsuit (shudders...)
  13. Use that swimsuit to go swimming.
  14. Find new job working with college students (advisor, student life, etc), this is where my passion is and I feel less-than-great being out of this area right now.
  15. Create homemade Christmas gifts. I already have something in mind!
  16. Farmer's Markets, yes please!
  17. Try to eat fewer carbs and less dairy and more protein!
  18. Finish reading the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan and then buy all the books!
  19. Invest in nice, classic clothes that I feel great in.
  20. Find a natural deodorant that works and use it! One area in my life that's lacking a good cruelty-free option.
  21. Visit downtown Denver more, explore!
  22. See doctor about options for my Dry Eye Syndrome, follow through! 
  23. Blow dry my hair less, go au naturale! Gotta love those curls... or at least try.
  24. Keep a positive and grateful attitude. I can sometimes get rundown by thoughts of what I don't have... I need to remember all the wonderful aspects of my life!
  25. Blog more. Find inspiration and write about it, or just document what's going on in my life. (any suggestions for posts?)
  26. Get out of my house more. Some days I just want to stay in and not talk to anyone and chill, but I have to keep myself open to going out and doing stuff.
  27. Buy a bed frame. Right now I sleep on the mattress and box spring on the floor. I'd like to be a bit higher up.
  28. Focus on me and building a life I love and discovering the person I am!
  29. Save for a vacation! I have wanted to go somewhere to relax and recharge and get away for a while now, but haven't been able to afford it. Need to start saving.
  30. Stay in the here and now. Keep my focus on the present and not always the past or future. Life is right here and right now and I'll never get that time back.
  31. Don't let fear rule. Sometimes the doubt and fear is more debilitating than anything, it can keep me from even trying.
I feel this year is going to be great! I have been enjoying life and look forward to continuing to do so. I hope you all have a wonderful year as well and get to reach all your goals!

Join the Conversation

What are some of your goals for this year?
Any great vacation ideas? Where is an awesome place to go?

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