Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Body Shop Haul

Recently The Body Shop was having a 40% Off Everything sale, and so I decided to take advantage and get a few items that have been on my shopping list for awhile. I'll be honest, I've used some of their products in the past and only found them to be so-so, but after reading some rave reviews of a few of these guys on some of my favorite blogs I decided to buy them and give them a go. I've only been testing these out the past few days, so I won't be able to give a full review until later on, but here are my first impressions after several days' use.

Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion - This is one of the products that I picked up in my shopping frenzy, what with the 40% off sale going on. I was fully expecting to return it after my spending craze had gone down, but after using this the past few nights I can already tell that I will be repurchasing this once I run out! This lotion contains tea tree oil, which is supposed to help heal acne blemishes and soothe the skin. The formula of the lotion dries down to a gel-like finish, which makes it perfect for people with more oily skin. That being said, I have drier skin and and found that this worked perfectly for me as well, so it's quite a versatile product. Not only have I been using this at night, but I also find that it works during the day. While my blemish scars have not completely disappeared, within a day of use the redness has substantially subsided enough that I can say I'm very impressed. The only possible negative I have to say about this product is that it is quite pungent, and I am not a fan of the smell. However, it disappears after a few minutes so nothing that I can't deal with. Overall this was one of the standout products of the bunch and I cannot rave enough about it.

Honey Bronze Bronzing Gel for Face - Again, this was a bit of a purchase I made on a whim. I've been on the look out for any products that could add just a bit of color to my face (which, because of my skincare routine, is always a few shades lighter than the rest of my body), and after reading about this on a few blogs I decided to try it out. At 40% off it was only like $8, so I couldn't not try it. My first thought when I squeezed a bit out of the bottle was how ridiculously dark it was - I was absolutely certain that it was going to turn my face orange. To play it safe, I ended up combing a drop of this with my facial moisturizer which turned out to be the perfect solution. I really think that alone this stuff is a bit too potent to look natural, but when it's cut down by some moisturizer it ends up drying down to the perfect color for me. I'll have to try this out for a bit longer to comment on any longer term effects, however for now I'm definitely enjoying this. One definite perk that sets it apart from other tanners I've used is there isn't too much of that awful tanning smell. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely a hint of it, but it dissipates before long luckily. 

Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil - This product is actually the original reason for my shopping, after reading some rave reviews about it from Kate over at Gh0st Parties. I'll admit that I've never used a cleansing oil before (gasp!) so I don't have much of anything to compare this to. That being said, my experience with this so far has been nothing short of amazing. Just a few drops of this oil completely breaks down any makeup you're wearing (even waterproof mascara, from my experience) and leaves your skin feeling smooth, hydrated and completely soothed from the lovely camomile ingredients. This product has been a total game changer for me, and I can say after only a few days of use that this has completely changed by skincare routine for the better. If you take anything from this post, I must recommend that you look into this product because it is just that good.

Aloe Vera Eye Defense - I'm always looking for a great eye cream because of my insanely dark circles, and this one stood out to me because it's supposed to be soothing for the delicate eye area. There are supposed to be some longer term effects with this one as well, which I obviously cannot comment on right now, but what I can say is this stuff definitely is nice and soothing to my eyes. It hydrates the area around my eyes and dries down quickly which makes it perfect for pre-makeup application. I've been wearing this both day and night and loving it so far, so I'm excited to see how it works out over the next few weeks!

Vitamin E Overnight Serum Oil -Out of all the products, this is the one I've experimented with the least. I think this is definitely one that I would need to try out for awhile, because I think it has more long term benefits than anything that would be noticed after just one night. The formula goes on very similarly to the Tarte Marajuca Oil, and from my experience it also had a lot of the same benefits. I woke up with lovely, baby soft skin that was perfectly hydrated after using this, which are some awesome effects. This product is definitely one I will try and do a more extensive review on in the future, when I have more to share about it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Books 1234

Since I was little I have always been a big reader. I always loved getting lost in the world of a book and would often fly through novels in a day if I liked it enough. While it's been harder to read as I've gotten older and my responsibilities have grown, with summer approaching I've been able to fit a few books into my schedule that I've absolutely loved. I decided to share a few of my recent favorites, in case anyone else wants some recommendations for great summer reads!

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - The movie adaptation for this one has been advertised all of the place recently, and while it looks great I cannot imagine it being anywhere near as incredible as the book. I know this is a YA book (which I unfortunately must admit now makes me older than their target market) but the writing, story and message are all so unbelievably beautiful that I would recommend this for any age, gender, whathaveyou. The story follows a 16-year-old cancer patient named Hazel who is forced to attend a cancer-support group where she meets Augustus, a 17-year-old amputee in cancer remission. This love story made me laugh and cry perhaps more than any other book I've ever read. There's no words for me to describe it other than to say it's truly beautiful.
2. Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane - I really don't have a favorite genre as far as books are concerned, so my tastes are all over the place. This one is a mystery thriller that completely sucked me in and took me along for a ride. There are so many twists, turns and shocks in this that I've actually recently reread it to see if there was anything I had missed. The basic summary involves two private detectives searching for a 4-year-old girl who has apparently been abducted from her home. The book was made into a movie directed by Ben Affleck, and while the film is pretty decent it doesn't hold a candle to the novel. It's a definite page-turner that's hard to put down.
3. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp - Yet another book that was made into a movie adaptation (though, really, are there any books now that haven't been?), this is actually another novel that's made for the YA audience that I feel has a great story for any age or generation. The main character is Sutter Keeley, a fun-loving, charming, alcoholic senior in high school who is not looking to grow up any time soon. He ends up meeting and dating a shy loner named Amy, which is where the story begins. I absolutely adore this book, and this is one where I'd actually recommend the movie just as much because it's a fantastic adaptation (the fact that I have a huge crush on Miles Teller doesn't hurt either). It's a quick read, but a really fun and moving one that you wish would just keep going.
4. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper - This has been my most recent read, after being recommended some Jonathan Tropper books by several different people. The book (which is currently being made into a movie with Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Adam Driver - excellent, spot-on casting for their respective characters) is about the four Foxman children reuniting at their childhood home for a week of sitting Shiva after the death of their father. The book has the perfect mix of humor, drama and a great story which made it a fun read, and one that I'm pretty darn excited to see the movie adaptation of.

So anyone else out there have some recommendations for books I should be reading? Be sure to leave them in the comments below, I need some new books to add to my Kindle!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Summer Clothing Haul #1

Summer is my season. I'm a bit big dress fiend, so being able to bring out my sundresses, maxis and everything in between is makes this my favorite time of year. Even though I have a bit big collection already, I couldn't help picking up a few more items to freshen up my wardrobe. I recently got a pretty big haul from ASOS, one of my favorite shopping sites, as well as a few other goodies from several other places. So here are some hits and misses from my recent shopping adventures.


ASOS Dress in Large Gingham Print - I didn't originally notice this dress on ASOS, but after seeing Hello October wearing it on her Instagram I fell in love! I am head over heels for the gingham print, and its breathable fabric has made it perfect for these hot days. Its incredibly versatile so I've been able to style it several different ways depending on the weather. The other day I wore it with some combat boots on a rainy day and it looked just as cute as when I've worn it with sandals and a sun hat. Overall, this has been one of my favorite picks!
ASOS Midi Bandeau Sundress in Check Print - This one was actually a really happy surprise! I liked it when I saw it on the website, but I ended up loving it even more when I tried it on. I'm ridiculously short (5' 2" - and 3/4", I feel I should add) so I was kind of afraid about how a midi length dress would look, but I absolutely adore it! The sweetheart neckline is super cute, and it looks great with a nice sunhat and sandals. Now I just need to pick it up in different colors, because the style is perfect.
Merrydale Floral Dress - I will seriously give anything with a floral print a chance, and sometimes actually have to restrain myself from buying more floral clothing. However, this was one I just couldn't pass up. I saw it in the window of Francesca's and when I went in to ask about it the employee told me they had just put it on display that day and had already sold a few! The gorgeous embroidery is incredibly eye catching, and just makes for the perfect warm weather dress. I wore it at a BBQ this past weekend and got several compliments on the beautiful colors and pattern. It's different from anything I own, and I couldn't be happier.
Jun + Ivy Chambray Tank - Francesca's was having a BOGO 50% Off Sale on the entire store, so I kind of picked this up on a whim without trying it on or anything. I had really wanted a chambray tank, and the crocheted pocket was adorable so into the bag it went. I wasn't expecting to be thrilled by it, but I honestly cannot stop wearing it! I've paired it with a few different colored shorts, and plan on trying it out with a skirt as well - it's incredibly versatile and just different from any other shirt I own. Definitely a keeper.
Capuchina Maxi Dress - I have never found anything from Anthropologie that I didn't like, and the fact that it was a printed maxi dress just made it all the better. I adored the crossback straps and tie around the middle, and it looks just lovely on. I wore this to my graduation party, and am in love with the colors and comfort of the dress. All in all it has all the makings of a perfect dress, and I can't think of a bad thing to say about it.


ASOS Swing Dress in Polka Dot - I wanted to love this so badly, but I just couldn't make the shape and style work for me. This was actually the first dress I spotted on ASOS that immediately went into my shopping bag, because I was so sure it was going to be a winner. I've tried it on several times now, because I just want to love it so much, but unfortunately I think it's going to have to be returned. The shapeless style would probably work better on someone who is taller, with a less curvy figure than I have. It really is a darling dress, but the way it hangs on me is rather awkward, and for the price I just didn't find it to be worth it for me. So while this was a miss for me, it's definitely one I'd recommend for others to try if they have a different body type that might better suit the style.
Jun + Ivy Sweetheart Embroidered Dress - This is one that I would have loved if I could have found a better fit. I must be right in between a small and medium, because I tried both on and found the small way too tight, and the medium a bit too big. The style is one of my favorites, and if I could've gotten it to fit properly it would have been a definite yes. But sadly the sizing just didn't work for me, and unfortunately it was a miss.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Trouble With Planning Ahead

I want to first start off this post by apologizing for my lack of posts this week. I usually try and have a post up at least every other day, and not having a new post up in almost a week feels very strange. The reason for the lack of posts is that I had something happen this week that kind of felt like the end of the world. I say this knowing full well it was not the end of the world, because it doesn't involve anything extraordinarily life changing like a baby, or anyone being sick or something of that caliber of things. Basically, something happened that was a bit of a "glitch" in my life plan, and because of it a lot of my thoughts and plans for what I should be doing right now have been thrown off kilter.
In all honesty it's really nothing that's a big deal, nor something that cannot be changed, however I've been pretty down in the dumps about it all week (hence the lack of posts).
The whole thing got me thinking though. When I was little, I "planned out" where I wanted to go with my life. I wanted to be married at 24, a baby by 25, live in a nice little house with a couple of kids and a golden retriever (granted at that age I also wanted to be a fairytale princess so perhaps I shouldn't have taken myself too seriously). As I grew up my plans constantly changed, but I still always stayed with the idea that in my early 20s I'd have everything figured out, with a full-time career, money and a mature disposition. Well I'm proud to say I've accomplished exactly 0 of those goals, and I'm closing in on 23 years.
The point is, I always plan to be somewhere, or something at certain ages, and always end up being disappointed when I'm not. I let myself get incredibly down and depressed about anything I consider to be straying from the path of my original plan, when really I should just be reminding myself that that's the way of life. For everything I  feel discouraged about, there's something out there that I consider myself completely blessed for.
Yesterday, my family came up to my boyfriend's house and our families threw me a graduation party. It was full of laughs and fun, and as I looked around at my wonderful family and friends I truly realized how blessed a life I lead. And what's funny is a lot of those blessings came from little "bumps" along the way. I transferred to Marist after being unhappy my freshman year at Syracuse University. I felt like an utter failure when I transferred, because I looked around at how much my friends loved college and just didn't feel that way. But if I hadn't chosen to transfer I would never have met Jake among the new transfer students, and in turn never would have met his wonderful, caring family who I love so dearly and consider a second family to me.
At this point I'm kind of rambling on, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've learned to be careful about planning too much. I know that it seems like little things can be the end of the world, but they're really not. There's always some way to fix or solve small problems and honestly some times the best things come out of them. I'm still feeling a bit sad, but I can truly say I'm feeling better trying to focus on how many positive things I have going on in my life that outweigh the negatives. My life is far from perfect, but there are so many genuinely wonderful moments and parts of it that make me so very happy. Instead of measuring myself to my plan, or to where my friends are in their lives, I'm trying to just be happy with everything going on in my own, and just enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Lazy Girl's Work Out Promise

I'm just going to be blunt - I need to get in shape. I don't say that in the "I've gained five pounds and need to lose it" way, but rather in the "I haven't been to the gym once in the past year and I need to change that" way. Growing up, I was blessed with a ridiculously fast metabolism which meant I could indulge my sweet tooth and eat as unhealthily as I liked without gaining an ounce of weight. After high school, that all changed. My metabolism slowed drastically, and my calorie and sugar filled diet is no longer cutting it for me.
I'm terrified to post this, and put it out on the big bad Internet for all to see, but I'm just going to come right out and say it. In the past year and a half I've gained about 30 pounds. Now, some of this weight was truly welcomed, because in all honesty my previous 105 pound body truly could stand to gain a few pounds for health purposes. However, for me it's not so much about the weight even as it is about feeling in shape and healthy. I could definitely stand to lose a solid 15-20 pounds, but more than that I just want to feel stronger and healthier. I don't say this because I want a "bikini bod" or to strive for some unattainable image, but because I want to live my life feeling healthy and strong.
That brings me to the point of writing all of this. The real reason for posting this is because I want to be able to look back and hold myself accountable in the future. My biggest struggle with working out is not pushing myself to go to the gym when I have free extra time, or not doing a few crunches while I'm watching Netflix. I want to be able to look back at this and see a promise I made to myself to try a little harder.
So where am I going to start? Well, in the past I tried doing the 30 Day Squat Challenge (because I need a little structure) and couldn't believe the fantastic results from doing this for ten minutes each day. I'm going to try and start that up, as well as trying to force myself to jog a little every other day (this is going to be a hard one - my body hates me when I run). I'm also excited to try out the Fitness Blender YouTube Channel, which I heard about over on Vivianna Does Makeup. They have tons of great videos which make it easy to get in some short workouts from your own home, which is perfect for me.

Anyone else out there have some suggestions on ways to get in shape? I'm about the laziest person alive when it comes to working out, so any and all suggestions would be more than welcome!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Makeup Brushes of the Moment

While I have been known to spend a little lot too much money on makeup, the same cannot be said about my makeup brushes. I fully admit that I should care more about the brushes I am using every day, but unfortunately I tend to spend more time (and money) on picking out new foundations/concealers/etc. I know, I know, bad Morgan. Up until recently I swore by my Beauty Blender, and couldn't imagine using anything else, but with some recent foundation editions I've found that nothing works better than a good ol' makeup brush for application.
Anyways, that being said, there are several brushes that I truly love and swear by. Some are blogger cult favorites (such as my Real Techniques brush) and others are inexpensive options that I personally adore. These brushes get the job done, and I reach for them on a daily basis.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush - This guy is an affordable option used by tons of beauty bloggers, and for good reason. While I had been a strict Beauty Blender user, this product brought me back into the magical world of brushes (I have an image in my head of a Candy Land-type world with brushes as trees--ignore me, I'm strange). I started out using this brush for foundation, but recently I've been loving using it for concealer actually! I'll put one single drop of concealer on the brush, and there's enough to perfectly cover up both of my undereye circles! Not only have I been using FAR less concealer, but I find it goes on more naturally and covers more than when I used the BB for my concealer. Usually I'll apply it with the brush and then lightly pat my finger underneath my eyes to help it blend further into the skin. This brush is a little bit of an all-rounder, while I love it for my concealer I've also used it for some of my foundations, and found it works great with my bareSkin foundation as well as my lovely Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

Icing Long Kabuki Brush -When I tell people I've bought some of my favorite makeup brushes from Icing, I always get looks like I'm insane. While I admit I am pretty nuts, there only thing crazy about these brushes is how great they work (yeah, I kind of hate myself for typing this sentence). Anyways, the Long Kabuki Brush was my first purchase from Icing, and lately I've been using it to apply my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, as I find this wonderful brush applies it smoothly, quickly and without using too much product! The brush is incredibly soft and versatile, and really did get me hooked on makeup brushes from this store. I keep waiting for there to be some catch because of how inexpensive they are, but several months after purchase I still have no regrets.

Icing Expert Large Powder Brush -Another Icing purchase, this is a huge, soft, lovely brush that I have been loving for applying any translucent powder or bronzer. Because of how large it is, I find that it applies powders well without applying too much in any one place. It's not an overtly exciting brush, but it certainly gets the job done with no complaints!

Bare Minerals barerSkin Perfecting Face Brush - I spoke briefly of this brush in my bareSkin tutorial (which if you haven't watched already, you can check out here), and was actually somewhat critical of it because I felt that it wasn't the best way for applying the bareSkin foundation. While I still prefer to use other brushes for applying that, I have found some use for this brush in applying other foundations, especially around the eye or nose areas. The small size is great for applying foundation to smaller parts of your face that might be harder to do with a larger foundation brush. Specifically, if I want to do a layer of foundation around my eyes, and around the sides of my nose, I use this guy to buff it in, creating a natural look. I still would argue that this brush is slightly over hyped, however since I decided to keep it I needed to find some uses for it, and I'm not minding it thus far! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua: A Review

For anyone that's been reading my blog since the beginning (or even for the past few days..) I'm sure it seems like I change up my foundation routine every other day. It seems that way because it is true, I'm a bit of a foundation freak, I'll fully admit it. Because of this, it might be hard to take me seriously when I say I've found my Holy Grail foundation. No, seriously, hear me out. I have always been one for lighter bases, and because of that I've always considered BB/CC creams and tinted moisturizers to be my only options in attaining a sheer, yet correcting and natural looking base. I found my HG tinted moisturizer in my NARS TM, but I've never been able to find a foundation that meets my ridiculously nitpicky expectations. I certainly thought I had come close with my bareSkin foundation, but after having some recent problems with it (which I'll detail further in a post soon) I began the search for a lighter option that would hold up well in this summer humidity.
Enter the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (quite a mouthful). I had heard a lot about this base over the years in some rave reviews from beauty bloggers. I had always wanted to try it, but for some reason never got around to it. However, I finally decided to take the plunge after seeing it demoed in one of Vivianna Does Makeup's videos, and it has exceeded my expectations. This ultra-light water based foundation goes on as a sheer layer - so sheer, in fact, that when I first applied it I literally wasn't sure I had put anything on. A minute after applying this though, something magical happens, and there's just a lovely, light layer of makeup that looks like your skin but better. The finish to this is glowing, almost satin like, and truly looks like you have no makeup on.
Because the foundation has such sheer coverage, I defintiely need to cover up blemishes and dark circles with concealer, but I have decent enough skin that I don't mind having to do this. I will say that, while this foundation can be built up a bit, I definitely would not recommend it for anyone that prefers full, or even medium coverage bases. To layer it up you'd need quite a bit of product, and at a rather expensive price I would say that it might be better to just invest in a naturally medium/full coverage base instead. Another warning with this guy is that it is quite fragrant, and while I personally love the perfume-y smell it could definitely be problematic for someone with very sensitive skin. 
Overall, this foundation just works for me. It truly melts into my skin, and I can even pass the sunglasses test with it (you know, the test where you see if your foundation transfers to your sunglasses? That's a thing, right?) which makes it perfect for summer. I know this guy won't be for everyone, but (for the current moment) this lovely product and I are a match made in heaven and I couldn't be happier.

P.S. Just in case anyone was curious, I wear the shade B30. My absolute, perfect shade for my current skin is B20, but I know I will be getting tanner, and since there wasn't a dramatic difference between B20 and B30 I decided upon the darker shade.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Kaya Scodelario Inspired

While I live in the US, my mom's entire side of the family comes from the UK, so I've grown up watching many British television shows. My love of some of these shows has only grown since they became available on Hulu and Netflix, which was truly amazing. Anyways, one of the first shows I really got hooked on was Skins during my late high school years. Since I was a bit of a shy homebody during high school, the constant partying and drug use on the show was far from my everyday life but the series was certainly a guilty pleasure nonetheless. I'll admit to having grown out of the show a bit towards the end (plus, lets be honest, the third generation was just not nearly as interesting), but have recently been watching the latest "season 7" on Netflix which appeals far more to my age group.
I'm currently on Effy's episodes, and have just been blown away by how stunning Kaya Scodelario looks. This girl has always been drop dead gorgeous, but I absolutely love her simple, sparse makeup look in this most recent series, and was inspired by it for my look of the day.
I achieved this look using very minimal makeup, as that's what I loved most about how Kaya looks. I used my Icing Long Kabuki Brush to apply a very sheer layer of my bareSkin foundation, only using two drops to cover my entire face. After that, I applied the lovely duo of my Clarins Instant Concealers in shades 02 and 01 around my eyes. I start with shade 02 as it works wonderfully as a corrector of sorts, and perfectly complements shade 01 which works to brighten up the area a bit. After I applied my concealer, I finished off my eyes with a very, very light lining of my upper lid using my Bare Minerals eyeshadow in shade Guru and used a bit of my NYX Doll Eye Mascara on my upper lashes only.
I topped off the look with some Clinique Cheek Pop in Peach Pop, and my Bare Minerals Moxie Lipgloss in Party Starter. As for my hair, it ended up being a happy coincidence that I also had my lazy day, wavy hair today as it's somewhat similar to Effy's look in the season.
While I wish I actually looked like Kaya Scodelario (unfortunately, I do not in the least) I've always been so inspired by her look, and ended up loving this easy, simple makeup for everyday wear.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

About Me Refresher

When I first started this blog, I did a small little post introducing myself with a few "interesting" (up for interpretation) facts about me. I know I only started writing a few months ago, but already in those few months so many things have changed! Because of this I was interested in doing a bit of an about me "refresher" to introduce myself more personally to anyone who has started reading my blog recently. I'd also like to give the opportunity to open up the comments section for any questions anyone might have, whether it be about any makeup products I use or simply about my life! I've only been blogging a short amount of time, but in that time I've been blessed in meeting so many wonderful, kind people and met with such lovely comments and feedback. I cannot tell you all just how much this has meant to me, because I cannot even accurately put my gratitude into words.

Anyways, I'm going to try and stop rambling on and get on with this. So here are a few little tidbits about me:
1) I'm 22 years old (23 in June, eek!) and will be graduating from college in a week with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, and a Minor in Business. Oh, and I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life. No big deal. While I have my degree in Fashion, I'm really torn about whether I want to go into the fashion or the beauty field, as I'm so passionate about both. I've been applying for jobs in both industries, so cross your fingers that I'll hear back from someone soon!
2) I'm a Netflix fanatic. I'm a bit of a homebody to begin with, so I've always been someone that prefers to stay in on a Friday night with friends and watch a movie with some wine. However, after subscribing to Netflix I brought my television obsession to a whole 'nother level. I could seriously marathon a show in no time flat, and (in my most embarrassing example) I even finished the whole first season of Orange is the New Black in two days. I promise, I do have a life. Sort of.
3) I might be one of the most impatient people ever. But no, seriously. I get so excited about giving people Christmas gifts, I sometimes give it to them early. When I'm marathoning a television show, I sometimes (self-loathingly) spoil myself through Wikipedia. It's far from an attractive quality of mine, and drives Jake more than a little nuts, but unfortunately it's part of who I am.
4) While it seems a little crazy to think about now, I used to be a bit of a tomboy. My best friend can attest to the fact that I used to refuse to brush my hair, and the ideas of makeup and dresses repelled me. I have no idea why I was like this, and now 90% of my wardrobe consists of dresses and I'm (clearly) more than a little obsessed with makeup. A far cry from my 9-year-old self who was forced to get a manicure for a birthday party, and chose the colors green and brown because "they were like grass and dirt" (seriously, where did I come from?!). Anyways, I suppose being the only girl in a family of three boys made me rebel a bit from being a feminine child, but nowadays I can say that I am the complete opposite.

I can't really think of much else, but I think through these little trivia bits I've pretty much cemented the very real fact that I'm a certified weirdo!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Study Break Ramblings

Later today I have two finals, which will (fingers crossed) be the last two finals of my undergraduate college career. I'm trying to just focus on doing my best on these two tests but, guys, I'm so scared! I have NO idea what I'm going to be doing after college, and graduation is approaching so much faster than anticipated! Ahhh!!
Anyways, I needed to take a break from my anxious thoughts (and write about them on here, obviously) so decided to just do a quick post on here. Because I have a very real shopping addiction, I calmed my nervous anxiety about finding a job by going shopping. This is truly a vicious cycle that I need to stop, but that aside, I ended up buying a base product I've been eye-ing for awhile now, the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup (not a mouthful of a name at all). Since I'm a confessed sheer/lightweight base addict, when I read about this guy on Vivianna Does Makeup I just knew I had to have it. Needless to say, I'm absolutely in love! I'm wearing it in the picture above, and will have a more complete review up hopefully sometime this week.
As you know, I've been on a bit of a base-spree these past few weeks, so from now on I'm going to try and focus my buying energy a little more on skincare products, which are some that I'm definitely lacking a bit in. I've been quite stressed lately with school, work and the looming uncertainty of the future, and because of that my skin has been less than stellar recently. I have some very red, angry blemishes that have been showing up on my forehead and chin that I would really appreciate leaving ASAP. I've been looking into some skincare from Origins, namely their Make a Difference + Lotion which I've heard is fantastic for toning dry skin. I've also heard tons about their Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask which I'll definitely be looking into. If anyone has any suggestions about possible skincare products I should be using, please let me know! I'd appreciate any and all input!
Anyways, clearly there wasn't too much of a point to this post, other than to selfishly alleviate a bit of stress by taking my mind off of school. I must keep remembering that within seven hours I'll be done! Wait, no that's even scarier, ahh!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"No Makeup" Makeup

 Today was the first unbearably humid, sticky day of the season. When the weather gets like this, I have no desire to wear a ton of makeup because it's just going to sweat off within a few hours anyways, not to mention there's nothing more embarrassing than your makeup transferring to your clothing, or worse, to the clothing of someone else (my poor boyfriend has gone into a hug one too many times and come out of it with stray foundation on his shirt). So anyways, long story short (which is a joke, I can never make a story short) I went for one of those famous "no makeup makeup" looks.
As all girls are well aware, there is a stark difference between actually wearing no makeup and wearing enough makeup that you look natural, but any spots are covered up and perfected. Personally, when I got for the no makeup look, I prefer to focus on giving my skin a glow and popping some color on my cheeks so my skin looks healthy, yet still somewhat natural. Because, lets be honest, if I wore no makeup at all I just look tired and my skin looks dull.
So I started off my look with my much loved Bare Minerals bareSkin serum foundation. I've had this thing about a week now and I've already raved about it like I've been using it for years, so I apologize if anyone's tired of hearing me talk about it! This stuff just manages to look so natural when applied, and the skin-loving ingredients sink into your skin throughout the day so I find that it actually looks even better and more natural as the day wears on! Next up, I conceal and highlight my undereyes with my current favorite duo of Origins Quick, Hide! Concealer and by Terry's Touche Veloutee (in shade 3). These two gems work to brighten up, and even hydrate, under my eyes without looking cake-y in the least. I finished up my eyes by applying my new favorite mascara, Bare Mineral's Lash Domination Mascara. I cannot think of anything but praise for this wonderful mascara, and it makes my lashes look long, separated, and overall just lovely.
I finished off my look with some Tarte Cheek Stain in Tipsy on my cheeks, adding a lovely coral coral to freshen them up, and finally used my new Clarins Instant Lip Perfector in shade 5 on my lips. I just purchased the Clarins Lip Perfector in a travel size to try it out, and upon one use I already know I'll be picking up the full size once I run out. This stuff is amazing, and manages to hydrate and add a lovely color to your lips! Soon enough I imagine I'll have brought home all the shades offered...
Anyways, that concludes my attempt at a "no makeup" makeup look. There are many variations on this particular look, but this is how I do mine when I want to look simple, natural and glowing.

What do you guys wear when you're trying to achieve the no makeup look? Let me know in the comments below!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Touche Veloutee: A Review

 The Touche Veloutee from by Terry has been talked about all over the blogosphere. Created by Terry de Gunzberg, the creator of the famous Touche Eclat, created her own line, and the Touche Veloutee is basically a bigger, better version of the cult favorite. As someone with super dark circles, I had heard all about this little gem, which has been raved about by just about every blogger out there. I was held back by the crazy expensive price tag ($58 for a concealer is definitely pricey), but finally bit the bullet after getting it off of BeautyBar for 15% off with free shipping. What can I say, couldn't resist!
There are only three shades in this guy, which is a major disappointment. All three are fairly light, which really is a bummer for darker skinned girls who would want to try this. There's Porcelain (a very light, pink-toned color), Cream (this one is a very light, yellow-toned color) and finally Beige (for lack of a better term, this is a light, beige color). I was very indecisive on whether to choose Cream or Beige, but ended up going with Beige because Cream looked a little too light for under my eyes, and I'd rather look a little more natural than have reverse-raccoon eyes.
While I was apprehensive, upon trying out Beige I'm glad it's the one I chose! It provides natural looking coverage while still highlighting. Because of its yellow-tone I feel that Cream would be better for highlighting around the face (for me at least) and Beige has more of a salmon-pink undertone which helps cancel out the darkness underneath my eyes.
Anyways, I am seriously loving this stuff! For the price, I knew it would have to be luxurious, but the formula truly is unlike anything I have ever tried. It's a wonderful light consistency that packs a punch with some serious coverage. Unlike the sheer coverage of most concealers, I would consider this a definite medium coverage concealer/highlighter. It's hydrating, light, and does not sink into fine lines int eh least. It dries down to a wonderful luminously matte finish, and is the first highlighter I've used that not only doesn't dry out my undereye area, but actually hydrates it! Right now I have some seriously bad dark circles, so I layer this over my Origins Quick, Hide! Concealer (in Light/Medium) but the coverage on this is good enough that I feel I could even get away with wearing it alone on days where I don't need much coverage. I'm also glad I went with the Beige color because I think it'll be perfect for summer days where I'm a little tanner and want to brighten underneath my eyes without looking crazy.
Overall, other than the horrible color range and hefty price tag, I have nothing but praise for this beauty. It's the best concealer/highlighter hybrid I've ever tried, providing coverage and luminosity without even having sparkles! While the price is quite scary, I'm glad I took the plunge, especially since at 0.22 oz (versus 0.1 oz for YSL Touche Eclat) I think it'll be lasting me a long time.

Anyone else tried this guy out? Let me know in the comments!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Makeup Haul: Bare Minerals

I've been speaking endlessly about my love for the new bareSkin Serum Foundation from Bare Minerals, so I figured it was about time to start talking about some of the other goodies I picked up on my latest trip to Bare Minerals. I started using Bare Minerals several years ago and loved it. However, since their formulas were mostly powder based, I avoided the brand for a few years simply because the products weren't necessarily what my skin needed. While I've used several of their products sporadically (specifically their amazing Well Rested Undereye Brightener), their new bareSkin foundation gave me a renewed interest in their products as a whole. So below I'll give some brief reviews on the products that I picked up on my latest shopping trip. 

Lash Dominance Mascara - As someone with longer lashes, I usually can get away with wearing any drugstore mascara and getting some decent results. After using a sample version of BM's Lash Dominance Mascara, that might all have to change. This amazing mascara has a wand that is spiraled 180 degrees, so that every single lash is lengthened, volumized and covered (with no clumps in sight!) It's promoted as a 10-in-1 mascara, that thickens, lengthens, volumizes, separates, lifts, and yada yada yada (sorry, there are litereally too many benefits for me to want to type). Seriously, believe me when I say this is possibly the best mascara I've ever used. Ever.
READY Color Boost in The Beach is Waiting - I bought this as part of a kit that was on sale, called The First Resort. The kit came with this, a lip gloss, and a lovely fan brush. Pretty darn awesome, if I do say so myself. This little compact comes in a gorgeous gold case with a nice size mirror, and has three separate colors that allow you to have a bronzer and luminous finish all in one. There's one matte bronzer, one more golden, luminous bronzer, and a lighter bronzer with a bit of glitter. They work great all together, or can be used separately! The kit also came with a wonderful Light Stroke Fan Brush which is great for applying just the right amount of color to your cheekbones, forehead, or wherever else you'd like a bronze glow.
Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Party Starter - I'm not gonna lie, this little lip gloss is what sold me on The First Resort kit. I mean, I really did want a new bronzer to add some color to my face in this awkward in-between seasons time. However, it was the lovely coral color of this full-size lip gloss that came in the kit that really made me willing to drop a bit more cash. I wouldn't have expected as amazing a lip gloss to come from Bare Minerals, but they really surprised me with this one. Not only is the color gorgeous, but the lip gloss manages to be moisturizing and shiny without getting too sticky. Granted, there's no lip gloss on this earth that isn't a little sticky, but this stuff comes pretty darn close. I'd compare their gloss to the wonderful Stila Lip Glaze, which is another favorite of mine.
The Enlightenment Duo 2.0 in The Enlightenment - I received this eyeshadow duo as a gift with purchase, in the two shades Guru and Namaste. Guru is described as a "silk stone" shade (what the hell does that even mean?) and Namaste as a "sandy brown" (which is a bit more self-explanatory). I haven't really had a chance to try out the shade Guru as much, but I'm loving Namaste, as I love lining my eyes with a bit of brown eyeshadow. Bare Minerals excels in their powder-based formulas, and this eyeshadow is no exception.
Well Rested Brightener - This was another part of my gift with purchase, and it's the liquid form of the Well Rested Undereye Brightener that I already owned in powder form. I'm going to have to play around with this a little bit more and experiment, but so far I'm not loving this nearly as much as its powder counterpart. Whereas I find the powder version to be amazingly brightening and even provides some coverage with just a tiny dab, I really don't feel I get much brightening or any coverage at all with this one. In fact, I really dislike using it under my eyes, because I find it makes me concealer a little flakey which is a weird side effect. I have been enjoying it as a bit of a highlighter, by swiping a bit on my cheekbones and nose. Overall this was the only meh product I received (which isn't too bad considering it was free) and even it's not something I'd consider a great failure. I'll keep playing around and see if I can find a good use for it!

Have you guys tried any Bare Minerals products that you love? I know some people swear by this company, and if anyone has some products they can't live without I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

bareSkin: Demonstration + Review

So I'm taking an absolute leap of faith here, and trying my hand at YouTube videos. I'm absolutely terrified of doing this, just because I know YouTube videos can get met with a lot of nasty comments, which I'm fairly scared of. However, it's something I've wanted to do for awhile, and I decided to not let the fear of it stop me from just going for it.
I did a video with a review and demonstration of the new Bare Minerals bareSkin foundation, as I know there are a lot of people wondering how it looks on. I'll warn in advance that I still need to learn a lot about video editing, but I will hopefully get better with time and practice! So anyways, without further ado, I hope you enjoy my very first YouTube review/demo!


Monday, May 5, 2014

BareSkin: A First Impression

I'm going to come right out and say it: I'm addicted to base products. Between foundations, tinted moisturizers, concealers, etc., I have a serious stash. One product that I've tried and loved is the cult favorite Original Foundation from Bare Minerals. This stuff is incredible, with an ability to even out skintone, hide perfections and overall create a flawless base -- all while looking completely natural! Unfortunately, with my dry skin I find that powder foundations aren't always the best choice. They require a ton of moisturizer and prep beforehand, and even then I sometimes find they cling to my dry patches. Loving the Original Foundation as much as I do, you can imagine my excitement when I heard several months ago that Bare Minerals was coming out with a new liquid foundation, the bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation.
Before I get into my thoughts on this product, let me give a little background. This serum is formulated with no oils, parabens, silicone or fragrance, and it boasts the qualities of being hypoallergenic as well as non-comedogenic. The formula contains SPF 20, as well as being formulated with coconut-derived base with Jojoba-coated mineral pigments and Vitamin C. In short, this serum is basically makeup with some great skincare properties.
The serum comes out in a thin, water-y texture. You need to shake the bottle before each application, as the ingredients do separate and need to be mixed together before each use. The company recommends you buy their bareSkin brush, which is a lovely soft brush that contains a divet in the top, where you're supposed to drop 1-2 drops of the serum per application. Once you place the drops on the brush, you buff it into your skin and voila!
So onto my own experience. As someone who prefers a low to medium coverage base, I usually tend to stray towards tinted moisturizers and BB/CC creams. Anything that uses the term "foundation" is something I tend to stay far, far away from. However, I knew that Bare Minerals products usually create a healthy, natural complexion, so I figured it was worth a shot. And boy, am I ever glad I did! I feel like this base was made just for me; it creates a luminous, dewy complexion (my favorite!) that looks natural. It also has buildable coverage, which you can lessen or build up by the number of drops you drop into the brush. I personally only use one drop per buff, and I only have to buff two to three times for my entire face. That's three drops per face, which means this guy will be lasting me awhile at 30mL per bottle!
While I find that this looks pretty natural by just buffing the product in, I do go over with my Beauty Blender when I'm done to just make sure the product sinks into my skin. It leaves a wonderful dewy finish, which I personally love; that being said, if one wants a more matte finish you can always use translucent powder on top to tone down the shine.
Perhaps one of the best parts of this product is the extensive shade selection! With 20 different shades, there's something for everyone, which is something I think more brands need to take note of. Having said that, I would very much recommend getting shade matched before picking a shade. I got matched with shade 03 Bare Linen, which is just a tad darker then my skin now (though once buffed in it's hardly noticeable) because I know I'll be getting a little tanner soon. When I first looked online, this is definitely not the shade I would have thought I'd wear, so I'm certainly glad I went into my local Bare Minerals to get matched. 
All in all, even if I haven't had this product for too long, I think it's definitely going to be one I use often this summer. If anyone else has tried this out, I'd love to hear any opinions in the comments below! 


Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Art of Feeling Pretty

The other day I was hanging out with a girlfriend of mine, catching up over some drinks. The conversation eventually turned to the topic of insecurities, which is unfortunately something I feel comes up all too often in female conversation. She began talking about how she felt her nose was too big, her eyes were too small, her hips were too wide, all qualities that she felt unsatisfied with. Now, as she was listing off her supposed "flaws", I just looked back at her with a crazed expression. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, because I love my friend and think she's one of the most beautiful people in the world. But then I thought about how many times I had stared at myself in the mirror, hating my teeth, my crooked nose, my too-large eyes, my legs...the list goes on and on. As girls, we grow up hearing about society's ideal female image, which is 100% unattainable and yet something we constantly strive for even knowing it's impossible to achieve.
Awhile back, Dove released an advertisement that I found powerful and moving. The ad featured a group of women who would describe to a sketch artist (who was unable to see them) how they perceived themselves. The drawings looked nothing like these women, as they dramatically accentuated features that the women were self-conscious about. Next, the women described each other to a sketch artist after briefly meeting. These drawings not only came out far more life-like, but also emphasized the beautiful features that each and every one of these women had. It was both wonderful and sad to see how a total stranger could see the beauty in someone that they couldn't even see in themselves.
I'm a beauty blogger, so obviously I love makeup. I love being able to use it to reflect my personality, or how I'm feeling on a given day. I love it for being able to "play dress up" and have fun with it. And yes, I love it for being able to cover up any blemishes or "flaws". But I think my favorite part of makeup is being able to accentuate features I like, and (hell, I'll just say it) feeling a bit more pretty. Don't get me wrong, I truly believe that beauty comes from within, and having the most "aesthetically pleasing" features doesn't mean a thing if you're an ass to the people around you. That being said, I know personally that makeup can make me feel a little more special, which in turn can help me feel a little more pretty.
As I write this, I feel massively uncomfortable calling myself "pretty". Society kind of trains girls to feel guilty for saying they're pretty, because than you get labeled as self-absorbed. But honestly, I think more girls could benefit from just saying they're pretty. Instead of looking in the mirror and picking out every flaw, look at yourself and say you look beautiful today. It sounds incredibly cheesy, but I think every girl is beautiful in their own way and they should embrace that. And just so I'm not a total hypocrite, I'm going to try and take a little of my own advice and start feeling a little more pretty as well.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Golden Duo

I've spoken before of my love for the Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint, so when I read about the Matte version, I was curious to try it out. I prefer more dewy, glowing finishes from my bases, so I usually wouldn't go near anything with "matte" in the title. However, I had read in previous reviews that the Matte Moisture Tint had more of a velvet-y finish that really let your natural skin shine through, and I figured if I combined it with the Luminizing Moisture Tint it could be a great pair.
When I first tried out the Matte Moisture Tint (in the shade Linen, which is my perfect match) I immediately noticed how similar the consistency was to the amazing Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. While they both have a whipped, airy texture, the Matte Moisture Tint has much more of a light-to-medium coverage compared to the very full coverage of the Laura Mercier offering.
Like the Silk Creme Foundation, the Matte Moisture Tint definitely does have a soft, skin-like finish that's not too matte nor too shiny. Even for a dewy-loving girl like me I think I could see myself wearing this alone. I could definitely see myself wearing just this during the summer when my skin has some added hydration, and when the Oil-Free formula would be a great fit. However, as much as I do enjoy wearing this alone as a base, my love for it grows exponentially when I add a few drops of the Luminizing Moisture Tint in Pearl.
These two offerings completely balance each other out! Alone, the Luminizing Moisture Tint is a bit too shiny for me, and right now the Matte Moisture Tint doesn't have enough shine for me. Added together, these two are a match made in heaven, and form my little "golden duo". They add just the right amount of coverage to my face while still allowing my natural skin to show through. I couldn't ask for more from these two gems, and I imagine they both will be getting a lot of use year round from me.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Faking a Full Night Sleep

Lately I've had trouble sleeping through the night. I think it's because I've had such a hectic schedule the past month or so, and my body's just gotten in a routine where it can't sleep in. Honestly, it's a pain in the ass. Luckily, through the power of makeup I can fake a full night's sleep. There are a few products I absolutely swear by when it comes to looking refreshed and awake, starting with the incredible Origins VitaZing. This little miracle product manages to even out your skin tone while adding a beautiful, subtle glow as well. Honestly, I find that starting with the VitaZing allows me to use less makeup on top, because it helps so much with smoothing over any uneven spots or dark pigmentation.
On days where I don't want to wear a ton of makeup, the VitaZing is honestly a natural enough base that I sometimes wear it alone and just touch up with concealer. But when I'm trying to look a little less zombie-like, I usually add another base on top. In this case, I've been loving using a combination of my Tarte BB Tinted Moisturizer and Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint. I've spoken before of my love of adding the Jouer Luminizing Tint with my Clinique CC Cream, and it works just as well added to all of my other bases. It adds a bit of glow and sheen to your face, making for a beautiful highlighter. It helps make tired skin look a little less dull, which instantly brightens up your entire face.
Looking more awake is all about brightening, so I make sure to also use my Clarins Instant Light Brush On Perfector underneath my eyes, over a little bit of my Clarins Instant Concealer. I then add some color to my cheeks with the amazing Tarte Cheek Stain in True Love, and lastly finish off with my eyes Urban Decay Setting Spray and there you have it! It's a natural looking face, but one that helps hide the inevitable lack of sleep that college or stress will do to a person.

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