Tuesday, 30 March 2010

My 100th Blog Post!

My 100th Blog Post!

Woo! It feels like I just started this blog yesterday and here I am at my 100th post. I am a very diligent person by nature and I take my daily tasks seriously, but this blog is the furthest thing from a chore. I love how I have been able to learn and grow from every post and reading old posts to see how the blog has transformed over these months has been so exciting. I can see that as my posts progress I get more comfortable with the blogging format and let myself insert more of my own personality in each and every entry.

I hope that one day I will be doing this type of thing as a job! My ultimate goal in life is to be a beauty editor at a magazine so writing about beauty/makeup/products is absolutely something that I want to do outside of blogging in my future.

I'll try to keep developing this blog into something that I continue to love writing and hopefully people love reading!

Here's to 100 more...

Monday, 29 March 2010

Weekend Away Update (As Promised)

Weekend Away Update (As Promised):

I said in my Weekend Away post that I would let you guys know how the packing went and if I forgot any beauty essentials this time around so here's the deal. Makeup was actually a success! I had everything I needed and really didn't wear that much anyway. Hair care was another issue, however. I didn't bring any styling creams or leave-in conditioners so i was not a fan of my hair texture. Also I just brought my mini travel brush and no round brush so blow drying my hair was an experience. Definitely not how I would normally want to be equipped to deal with frizz!

I also mentioned that we drove all night getting there so I was pretty tired and my sleep schedule got a bit skewed so after 6+ hours of driving back (yikes!) I went to bed around 9:45 that night and didn't get up until my alarm went off at 8:30 the next day! Much needed sleep! I woke up with a sore throat that morning and have has a stuffy nose ever since :( Hopefully it goes away soon!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Cream Cleanser

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Cream Cleanser:

This name is a mouthful! I have always been a Neutrogena face wash girl (as you know if you've read my morning/evening skin care routine posts) and I have used the pink grapefruit scrub for about a year now. I use it when I need to get my exfoliation on so I thought I would give the cream version a try. I love the smell. There is nothing better to wake you up in the morning or perk up a groggy shower session. However, the 2% salicylic acid content is a little high for my skin type and this tends to make my skin fairly dry. I actually have that literal squeaky clean feel after using it which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I do need to pack on the moisturizer after using it. I think I will save this for the hottest summer months when I am sweaty, oily, and generally feeling super gross.

Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Hydrating Shampoo

Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Hydrating Shampoo:

So I have already raved about the conditioner version of this product and I knew I had to try out the shampoo. Personally, I have been using it with the conditioner so I can't really tell if the shampoo is doing much, but I like it anyway just because I am so hooked on the conditioner. Why not use both, right?

Maybe I should throw a controlled variable into this experiment and use them separately for a week and let you know how that goes. More on this later...

Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Mousse

Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Mousse:

This drugstore buy seriously works. Period. It works better than my 50 dollar curling creams, better than my department store products, better than anything really. My hair straight out of the shower with nothing done to it can look like a boring wavy mess, but with this mousse my hair actually has fabulous curls that stay through classes, errands, and a trip to the gym. It smells good, it is easy to apply to my wet, freshly combed hair and it lasts a very long time. I love it when great products come with a cheap price tag, don't you?

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter:

When I was out shopping with my mom the other day we just had to stop outside of the Body Shop because they had samples of their body butters and our hands were just parched. I had not stepped foot inside a Body Shop store since about the sixth grade, but I am not sure exactly why. I went through a crazy Body Shop phase where I had every product that they sold, but then I just ran out of steam. I remember using their Mango Body Butter all through middle school. It smelled so good and was so moisturizing. I figured I would try a little blast from the past and get a tub of the Coconut scent. It smells and feels just as good as I remember. Plus right now they are having a body butter sale where all butters are buy one get one half off so my mom got the lemon scented tub. I love how it reminds me of when I was younger and is still such a great product.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Makeup on the Cheap

Makeup on the Cheap:

Ever get your products/beauty buys wholesale? I'm always tempted, but I've never actually tried it. If I did I think I would go for a legitimate site like http://allcosmeticswholesale.com/ or try a blog sale from a YouTube beauty guru that I would trust. Gurus that often have some pretty nice sales are Allthatglitters21, juicystar07, and lollipop26. Check out the blogs of any gurus that you like to watch to see if they are having sales. Make sure it's someone that you trust to sell only completely new or unopened products.

Beware of EBay! I've heard so many stories of very well-informed beauty lovers that have been duped through EBay and the only thing you can do is give the person a bad review- no returns on scams! People sell everything from fake MAC brushes to non-cosmetic quality pigments so be extra careful of what you buy and who you buy it from. This is not to say that you can't find great deals on EBay. There are definitely honest sellers out there, but you just have to watch out for those nasty scams.

Do you buy makeup on the cheap?

Weekend Away

Cheesesteak from Pat's. Wit out, Wiz, Ketchup. Aka without onions with their famous cheese wiz plus ketchup. WOW.

Weekend Away:

This weekend I went to Philadelphia for a night and day with my boyfriend because he had to attend a networking conference and we had just spent 10 days apart for spring break so we figured we would make a little trip of it. Packing for guys typically involves just the necessities, but packing for girls is just so much more complicated! I always stress about what products to bring and what makeup I may need. I don't want to have another emergency like last weekend where I forgot lip colors (although that turned out really well because I ended up with Laugh a Lot!) so I tried to be more careful this time around.

For face makeup I made sure to take one spot concealer (just in case!), one under eye concealer, one pressed powder, one bronzer, one blush, and my NARS Orgasm Illuminator because I can't live without it recently.

For eyes I packed one shadow palette with lid colors, a crease color, and a highlight, a mascara, and an eyeliner.

Tools-wise I brought my travel set from EcoTools that includes a kabuki brush, blush brush, and two shadow brushes- one lid and one blending brush- and I make them both do double duty to suit my eyeshadow needs.

I always keep my Nanette Lepore roller ball perfume in my purse so I had that as my scent.

Finally (I didn't forget!) for lips I brought my Laugh a Lot lipstick and my Rosebud salve.

It seems like a lot, but I was so nervous about forgetting things on my last weekend trip that I overcompensated this time around.

I am currently writing this blog post from my aunt's apartment. So awesome that I got to visit family on this trip too! I have never experienced a night out in Philly so I am excited for the evening. The bf and I will do dinner and a little city exploring. I'll let you know how the makeup turned out. We left at 3 am and arrived just after 8 am this morning (saving on a hotel room) so we didn't sleep last night. I am almost horrified to think how awful my under eye circles will be today! Hopefully I can get a nap in at the hotel post lunch with the aunt and pre city adventures and dinner with the bf. After a night spent in a car I think I may just need a shower more than a nap. Yikes! I'm crossing my fingers that my packing was better this time around. I already know I forgot my toothbrush so I'll have to stop by a CVS or something along those lines to pick one up. I hope that isn't a sign of forgotten things to come!

Tell me, what do you pack for a weekend trip?

MAC Lipstick Wish List

Colour me Coral (Left) and Victorian (Right)

MAC Lipstick Wish List:

In light of my last post I thought I would also mention a MAC lipstick or two that I have been dying to get my hands on. I am loving the color Victorian and I hear that it is the perfect blend of pink and coral. I have seen it on a few people and it really is a fabulous color for spring. It looks so bright and punchy! It is part of the Spring Forecast Collection. Speaking of this collection...I am also craving Colour me Coral which looks much more pink than Victorian, but I am still a fan.

I'll keep you posted as to whether I can justify buying one more makeup product. My parents keep asking me what I want as a college graduation gift (just 1.5 months away...yikes!) and all I ever really want is makeup, but I should say something practical like future rent money. Well, luckily my birthday is just two weeks after my graduation so maybe I can have the best of both worlds? We shall see...

MAC Lipstick in Laugh a Lot

MAC Lipstick in Laugh a Lot:

I have a confession to make. I actually stole this from my mom! We were at the MAC store the other day when I happened to be home for an appointment in NYC and I wanted to pick up a few things. My mom snagged this lipstick and in the tube it looked just like what she wears. Mauve/pink/ muted and boring. However, she put it on at home and it looked much more pink than the colors that she usually wears. I completely forgot to pack ANY lip colors when I came home that weekend and I needed something to wear to my city appointment so I rumaged through my mom's lip products and picked this up. I figured I may as well try it.

Turns out that I fell in love! The color is a deep pink, but when you apply, blot, apply, etc. for a little while it turns into a truly impressive shade of pink. Check out the difference from the swatch to the tube. They look like two completely different products. Yet another reason why first appearances can be deceiving (in makeup products at least). I may or may not have tucked it into my purse and forgotten to give it back. I wish I had found this shade a few months back because it feels like a cool weather product to me, but I can wear it out at night anytime.

It is a MAC lustre lipstick which I am a huge fan of and it is really moisturizing. I never would have picked it out myself so I have to give my mom props for her selection! It is limited addition so get your hands on one while you still can!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Does Eating Healthy Foods Really Make for Great Skin?

Does Eating Healthy Foods Really Make for Great Skin?

I feel like this is one of those things that researchers and scientists go back and forth on with no definitive evidence that diet actually does or does not alter skin's appearance. I know for a fact that when I eat healthfully and exercise I just feel better so maybe that could also make me feel like I have glowing skin. Too much of a stretch? I passed Magnolia and Crumbs bakeries in NYC the other day and managed not to eat a cupcake (or ten) but I did manage to get a bit sun burnt from 74 degree weather in March. Odd, no? I guess my skin benefited and suffered from that excursion.

From my own experience I've found that a sweet treat once in a while hasn't wreaked havoc on my skin. If I had cupcakes every day, however, who knows? That might be an interesting experiment. You know, for the sake of science...

Tell me, do you feel like what you eat affects how your skin looks?

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Hydrating Conditioner

Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Hydrating Conditioner:

It's a hair care given that moisturized hair is sleek, smooth, and shiny while dry/damaged hair is frizzy, puffy, and generally out of control. This John Freida conditioner means business when it comes to moisture. This is the perfect new product for me because as the weather gets warmer my locks tend to frizz out in the humidity so there's no time like the present to start seriously hydrating my hair!

The verdict after using this conditioner for about a week...

DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT HAIR!!! I am almost at a loss for words. My hair is so soft and glossy that it just slips through my fingers. Even when I first step in the shower and am usually confronted with automatic tangle, I now find myself with silky smooth strands. Not only does this conditioner make my hair look good all day and night, but it has changed the texture of my hair in general. It is less frizzy, without tangles, and my normally kooky curls are gentle waves (which I love!!) that fall just right.

I have not found a product that has actually done so much for my hair with so little effort from me. Just condition and go! If I could shake John Freida's hand I would.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Wake Up Makeup

Wake Up Makeup:

When I wake up late or don't have anywhere particularly fabulous to be (see: going to class) I usually toss on some mattifying powder, apply eyeliner to my water line and tight line, and choose a great lip color. This also goes for when I am in a rush. Luckily, I have a boyfriend who prefers me totally makeup-less with my hair un-styled fresh out of the shower (aw!), but when I go out at night I love to get all dolled up.

In other words, how low can you go in terms of products used when you don't have anywhere super special to be? I know girls who will not leave their houses without twelve coats of mascara and a face full of powders, creams, and gels regardless of where they are going.

What is your wake up makeup routine?

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

elf Blush Brush

elf Blush Brush:

I am truly impressed. This brush is absolutely surprisingly fabulous! I mean you have to remember that all studio line products are 3 dollars (or less with a coupon) so this is a great value for the quality of the product. The small head is perfect for getting a precise application on the apples of the cheeks and blending from there. The bristles are so silky soft that I could swear this was a department store purchase. It has yet to be seen how they will stand up against wear and tear, but I will keep you updated on that.

I think I need to go on the elf site right this minute and order more of their brushes!

elf Corrective Concealer in Neutralize and Brighten

elf Corrective Concealer in Neutralize and Brighten:

In a lot of ways I think of elf like the H&M or Forever 21 of makeup. You can get the high end trend for way less. I have really wanted to try out a palette like this from a high end makeup line, but I wanted to try it out from elf first to see if I like the idea of using the green and pink shades to help conceal. Specifically I have been coveting the Make Up Forever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette. After taking this cheapy version for a test drive I know I would love the real deal!

The light shade actually matches my skin very well (the shades come off more darker on camera in this picture...they are really very light) and the darker shade would work if I was using my sunless tanner. The green cancels out redness very well and the pink is great for under eye circles! I love that this palette comes with a little brush as well.

I will definitely use this at least until I hit pan before I buy the Make Up Forever palette, but now I know that I am a fan of the color wheel concealer concept! It's like buying a shirt from H&M and wearing it until it starts to unravel, loses buttons, gets a hole, etc. If you want quality then you pay for it, but if you want to take a trend for a test drive then why waste the money if you don't know if you will love it or not?

elf Bronzer in Golden Bronze

elf Bronzer in Golden Bronze:

Love this product! The brick comes with four shades: light bronze, dark bronze, a peachy gold, and a dusty rose. When swirled all together with my big fluffy brush these colors produced the most natural glow on my face. There is hardly any shimmer in these colors which I like because I prefer a more matte look to my bronzers. I find that the deeper shade itself is enough on my skin without adding loads of shimmer as well. This is the perfect new product to take my ghostly complexion into spring!

elf Blush in Peachy Keen and Candid Coral

elf Blush in Peachy Keen (Top) and Candid Coral (Bottom):

I just received my little elf haul in the mail. I got a few products from the studio line to try out. These blushes are definitely worth while purchases. The coral resembles a bunch of blushes that I already own, but the peach really stood out to me because I don't have a peach shade in my collection. It is excellent practice for my future MAC Pinch O'Peach purchase! I find the texture of these blushes to be a bit dusty, but they certainly give you a lot of product for the price (all items in the studio line are 3 dollars each, but I used a coupon and got them for even less). For that price I think they are worth taking a little extra care in the application to ensure a smooth complexion.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

MAC Blush in Well Dressed

MAC Blush in Well Dressed:

Confession time. I have never owned a MAC blush before! But I did my research and checked out about one billion YouTube review videos and went on the MAC site almost daily until I made my careful selection. Well Dressed is a very soft baby pink that gives the most youthful, bright, perky glow to the cheek bones. I like that it is light so that I can really build up the color myself instead of worrying about looking like a clown with one false swipe of the blush brush.

My next MAC blush purchase (I have already decided) is Pinch O'Peach. I figured I would get something in the pink family, one in the peach family, and a plum will be my third blush purchase. I'll let you know how it goes!

MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study

MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study:

After a whirlwind love affair with my MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque, I figured I would expand my color range. Rubenesque has some serious copper/gold reflects in it and I love how it really makes my eyes pop, but I picked up Bare Study after checking out all of the color options because it is a more toned down shade. I can wear it under light/neutral eye makeup as a base or just swipe some on in the mornings before I run out the door as an excellent color all by itself. How versatile!