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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cruelty-Free at the Drugstore - Walgreens

Cruelty-Free at the Drugstore - Walgreens

||Originally Published for Denver Style Magazine Blog||

I have been using only cruelty-free beauty products for four years now. And the first question I get asked is, "How hard is it to find products?" And the answer is, it's easy! You can find cruelty-free brands almost anywhere that sells makeup; both high-end and drugstore. To show you just how easy it is (and buy new makeup, let's be honest) I've showcased makeup from Walgreens below.

Walgreen's has a wide variety of cruelty-free makeup products, my favorites are:
Milani Wet n Wild Burt's Bees Jordana
They also have a newer brand, Circa which is also cruelty-free though I have yet to try it.

For my face I created this summery look with lots of glow! This new Milani foundation is great, it covers and lasts. I do have to tone down the glow sometimes by mixing in another foundation, but it looks beautiful on it's own - especially for you all with dryer skin. Also, one of my holy grail products is the Milani baked blush, it does double-duty as a blush and a highlight.
The eyes are all by Wet n Wild, with this nice trio palette I found. Love these colors for summer, they are fresh and easy to use.

Finally, I finished off the look with a spritz of the Wet n Wild setting spray and some pink gloss from Jordana. This gloss is awesome! It lasts a decent amount of time, tastes like watermelon, and provides just enough color.

Photos by Zanib Flynn || Facebook Instagram

Below are the products I used: 
*products not from Walgreens

Milani Conceal + Perfect - 01 Creamy Vanilla 
*NYX HD Concealer - Fair 
*NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette 
Milani Baked Blush - 05 Luminoso 

*Ulta Super Stretch Fiber Mascara - Black Brown 
*NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Because I Love a Good Fantasy

A fantasy book that is! And if you love books, see my Because I Love a Good Romance post.

I don't know about you all, but fantasy has got to be my favorite genre to read. I love that they whisk you away from this world we live in and deposit you in a time and place where anything is possible and everything is magical.

To me, there's nothing better than being drawn into a story that has  it's own different and fascinating world. So I've decided to gather my faves together for you. If you love fantasy, I hope to introduce you to a new series, and if you don't, I hope to pique your interest.

Let's take a look at the wonderful world of fantasy novels!

Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling

Link to buy here
Series: 7 Books

Let's start with the obvious... Harry Potter! If you haven't read it, (where have you been?) you should. 

It's the story of a young boy who finds out he's a wizard. He leaves his muggle (non-magical) home and goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he makes friends, learns about magic, grows, and finds a sense of belonging he never had. As the series progresses the writing matures along with Harry. There are dark paths with evil creatures, there are happy loving moments, and there is usually a good Quidditch match too. J.K Rowling creates a whole world in this series which is fascinating to explore! 

Percy Jackson & The Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus - Rick Riordan

Link to buy here and here
Series: Percy Jackson 5 Books, Heroes 5 Books

These are other series that are meant for a younger (young adult) audience, but are broad in their appeal. In Percy Jackson & The Olympians we follow Percy as he learns that his dyslexia and penchant for finding trouble are because he's the son of a Greek god; he's a demi-god. The series takes Percy to Camp Half-Blood where he makes friends, learns to be a hero, and goes on a quest (or multiple) to fight monsters and gods alike. Any fan of Greek mythology will enjoy the world that co-inhabits our own so seamlessly. 

The Heroes of Olympus is a series that follows Percy's adventures and starts to include Roman gods and demi-gods. And much like in history these two groups battle and disagree as the gods start to suffer from an identity crisis between their two personas. This series is also more mature (as the characters have aged) in it's writing and includes epic battle scenes, a bevy of demi-gods; both Roman and Greek in a fight to save the world.

Riordan is a great author as he inserts humor and whimsy into books that can be serious, mysterious, frightening and awe-inspiring at times. These are books I reach for again and again.

Sorry, only 1 book because I lent the rest to my Mom!

His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass) - Philip Pullman

Link to buy here
Series: 3 Books and 1 Companion Novella

In a world/dimension very similar to our own lives Lyra, a young girl being raised without parents in a college. A quest to find her missing friend leads Lyra to discovers the Dust phenomenon and those trying to harness and abuse it's power. Along with her always is her Daemon (an animal companion) who is an extension of her soul in corporeal form. 

In the following two books Lyra meets a boy from our world who knows nothing of Dust or Daemons; together they journey and discover the worlds are more connected than they seem. And that they are a part of much larger destiny than either of them ever realized. The themes and characters in this book are fascinating and different than any others I've known before. 

Pullman's books encourage you to think about your soul, soulmates, religion, determination, courage, and sacrifice; all in 3 relatively short books.


The Inheritance Cycle (Eragon) - Christopher Paolini

Link to buy here
Series: 4 Books

This is an epic tale of Eragon a young farm boy from a small town who thought he was pretty unexceptional. Until he happened upon a dragon egg that is. Paolini creates an entire world in these books including elves, dwarves, dragons, humans, and more. Although none of these ideas is new, his writing about them and in depth descriptions of their beliefs and customs is. Eragon and his dragon become connected and they must escape the evil king who is hunting them. While they escape Eragon learns what it is to be a Dragon Rider and use magic words. 

After the destruction of their village Eragon and his cousin Roran take separate paths to learn strength, leadership, and heroism and come together to fight in a war for the freedom of the world and hope for future Dragon Riders. 

I most enjoy how descriptive these books are for all of the characters, cities, and races. It is reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, though the races are described differently so they are elves and dwarves but they're unique to this series. 

The dragons (yes you'll see more than one) are a great addition with their confident (almost arrogant) and predatory personalities. I feel Paolini hit on the head the essence of each race and each character in thought and action.

These are long books, but they have to be with all the action, description, and characters you get to read about and know. It truly is a world of its own.

Whew that's a lot of books! These truly are the fantasy books I really enjoy reading over and over. They all are great at pulling you into the story and getting you to care about the characters. As you can see they're a little worse for wear due to my re-reading habit. 

I hope you enjoy my descriptions and recommendations for fantasy books. 

Mulan and Merida Bookmarks from Esty (TheStickerAlley)

Join the Discussion

  • What's your favorite fantasy book? Any recommendations?
  • What do you think of these books?
  • What's your preferred book genre?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

In Love with Too Faced Love Palette

While I was out shopping at Nordstrom Rack, as you do, I came along this Too Faced Love Palette in the beauty section. And it was only $16 so you better believe I snatched it up.

 Last year I saw a few mentions of it in blogs and vlogs, but I didn't think much about it. I mean I already enough palettes, right?     Wrong!

I am SO glad I made this impulse buy,  this palette is beautiful! All but one of the shades are shimmery - to varying degrees. And there is one nice matte for blending. It's just a sexy palette!

Who doesn't want to feel like a glittery fairy of sex appeal? Right?!?

If you're like me and get overwhelmed by palettes sometimes - What do you do with all those colors? - you'll especially love this. It is sorted into three mini palettes of complimentary colors and includes day and night example cards for each of sections. Fool proof!

Or you can say screw that and do what you want! Whatever you want. The colors are just so fun and beautiful, you'll want to play with them all. I know I do.

Below are swatches of each section:

Pure Love

Beautiful warm toned gold, brown, and bronze colors - I really want to try that last color foiled all over the lid. I think it would make my blue eyes pop!

True Love 

This is a great purple-brown section that is completely wearable. And the pinks are adorable.

Forbidden Love

This one is the scariest of them all, but with that gorgeous green (first) I'm going to have to try! It's just too pretty
I'm absolutely obsessed with this palette and can't wait to continue to use it for day and night time looks. Have you tried this palette? What's your favorite color?

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