Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sephora // Sun Safety Kit

For the last seven years, Sephora has come out with their 'Sun Safety Kit', a collection of products with high a SPF and self tanners that will transform you into a bronze queen. This year, the kit contains 18 deluxe samples, a brush, and a large makeup bag. Two thirds of the profits are donated to The Skin Cancer Foundation so not only are you receiving a number of products by very respectable brands, you are also supporting an amazing cause. I had trouble getting my hands on this set because they sold out quickly online and not all stores have them in stock. Fortunately, they are back in stock now and you can pick one up! I haven't yet had the chance to try all the products since there are so many but my favorites include the Too Faced 'Chocolate Soleil' bronzer and the Dr. Brandt BB Cream. However, I was hoping that some of the products would be a bit bigger. For example, the Smashbox primer in this kit is the same size I got free of charge when I had purchased something else from Sephora. I guess I cannot really complain because it truly is a wonderful collection of products for only $30. I will let you guys know if there are some stand out products as I make more use of this set of samples. If you would like a more detailed description of what this kit contains, click here! Let me know if you took advantage of this offer!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May Favorites

The first month of my summer break has come and gone and I have to admit I am relieved that June is starting and I will be once again have a routine. Since I spent a majority of the month in sunny California, most of my favorites coincide with warm weather. On my face, I have mostly been wearing the Aveeno Tinted Moisturizer which has SPF 30 and gives just enough coverage. I love it so much I did a whole post on it here. I also have gotten into conturing my face, which has become quite simple with my handy dandy Real Techniques 'Contour Brush' and Too Faced 'Chocolate Soleil' bronzer. This bronzer is matte and does the job perfectly. On my lips I have been wearing the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Honey' practically everyday. The color is very natural and it stays on for hours. Lastly, I have been very fond of a particular Mac eyeshadow that I bought because of this post by the lovely Amelia Jane. 'Sable' is a beautiful metallic bronze with a dash of pink. I have been wearing it both all over the lid and on the outer lid with another color. What have you been loving this month?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mac // Cleanse Off Oil

If I had to name one product I am in constant battle with, it would be the Mac Cleanse Off Oil.  I bought the small travel sized bottle of this about a year ago and I still haven't used up the entire ounce. On one hand, it is mineral-oil free and one of the most gentle cleansers I've used to this day. On the other hand, it does not remove my waterproof mascara. I purchased it for the very purpose of removing my mascara after Ingrid mentioned it in one of her videos. I don't know if I'm using some heavy duty mascara or if my application of the cleanser is incorrect but I just cannot get this product to do what it is supposed to do. Also, if you get it anywhere near your eyes, everything will look foggy for sometime. How is anyone supposed to wash off their mascara if they can't use the oil near their eyes? My CaudalĂ­e Cleansing Water does a better job of removing my makeup than this oil. Overall, once I am done with this small bottle of the Mac Cleanse Off Oil, I will not be buying it again. Did you have a better experience with this product?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Five Product Face

So this type of post has been making an appearance on multiple blogs that I follow so I decided to take on the challenge and attempt to do a full look with only five products. I have to admit that this was a difficult task because I tend to use twice the amount of make up products in a given day. The first thing I chose to use was my Nearly Naked Foundation because the coverage is buildable and it was the only face product I chose to include. I followed up with a bronzer because I have a round face and I need some contouring to survive. For my eyes I went with a simple duo of the Maybelline Color Tattoo in 'Bad to the Bronze', on the eyelids and as a liner in my outer lower waterline, and the Maybelline Great Lash mascara. The last product I used was the Mac lipstick in 'Chatterbox' which I used both as a blush and lipstick. I have to say I am quite proud of myself. Have you tried this challenge?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In with Inglot

Inglot is a make up brand I have been longing to try out for a couple years now. The problem is that most of their locations are in big cities and none of those locations are in Ohio. Of course there is the option of ordering online but that can involve high shipping costs and it takes away from the whole experience of playing with the colorful selection. I was lucky enough to happen upon an Inglot counter in Union Square in San Francisco and I made a small purchase. I did not have a lot of time to examine all the beautiful colors so I quickly chose 450 [muddy red] and 46 [pearly oyster color]. 450 reminded me of Mac's 'Cranberry' so I decided to get it since it was less expensive than Mac. I'm not so sure how to wear this color, since red on your eyelids can make or break your look, but I am up for the challenge! The actual eyeshadows are very pigmented and the magnetic packaging is nifty. The palette I purchased was a duo from the 'Freedom System' which is where you choose the the size of the palette and select the eyeshadows. That's really half the fun! Have you tried any products from Inglot? Also, if anyone has a post on how to wear red based eyeshadows leave me a link in the comments!  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Revlon // Colorstay Gel-Shine Top Coat

I recently mentioned this top coat in my Nail Care post and I just couldn't leave it at that. Now I've been through my fair share of top coats: Sally Hanson, Seche Vite, NYC... For some reason I never stuck to one specific top coat. I know the Seche Vite top coat is practically a cult favorite but it just didn't do it for me. For the price, I did not expect that I would only be able to use half the bottle until it became gunky. So when I finally gave up on trying to get one last use of the Seche Vite, I drove to Target and found the Revlon Colorstay Top Coat. I am a big fan of the Colorstay nailpolish line in general. The brushes are thick and the formula is magnificent but I was still surprised that the top coat was this extraordinary. It goes on easy, you only need to dip the brush in twice to paint almost all ten nails, and it dries in moments! Faster than Seche Vite! I am happy to say that this is the top coat I will be sticking to from now on!  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Little Notes // 2

I have been a busy bee today! The day begun with a couple hours exploring Stanford University's campus and ended with a salted caramel cupcake from Sprinkles. My family often visits Stanford when we are in California because of its beautiful campus that includes a spacious plaza and the Hoover Tower. We actually climbed to the summit of the tower and were able to see the San Francisco skyline in the distance. After lunch, we went to a huge shopping center that was nearby and I was a bit naughty at Mac and Urban Outfitters. I was actually able to score a dress that was originally $90 for only $5! Can you tell I'm proud of myself? For dinner, we went to a small sushi restaurant and I went a little crazy with my camera. I ordered a bento box because there is something I like about having my food displayed in small compartments. I guess I'm odd. For dessert I had a cupcake which is quite unusual for me because I am not a fan of cupcakes. It was actually pretty good. Now, I am catching up on the latest season of 'Game of Thrones'. Lovely day all in all. How was yours?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Elizabeth Arden // Eight Hour Cream

Oh no yet another blogger is writing about the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream! Yes, I decided to give this product a go when I finally found it for a significantly reduced sum. I guess I just refuse to pay full price on anything. My primary reaction when I opened the tube was, "this is orange," and "what is that smell?". Perhaps that is not the best reaction but keep in mind that was before I actually tried it. I know that there are 162 ways to use this cream. Okay, that's a slight hyperbole but it really is a multipurpose product. Apparently Elizabeth Arden would apply her magical cream on the legs of her beloved horses. This isn't the first time I've used a beauty product that was used on horses [Mane 'n Tail Conditioner], so I figured if it was good enough for her prized thoroughbreds, it was good enough for me. I personally purchased the 8 Hour Cream to fight a certain dry patch I have on my cheek and to moisturize my elbows. The box itself mentions a few other uses and really summarizes this cream:

" This legendary skincare classic works wonders to moisturize and protect anytime, anyway you choose. Shape brows, revitalize shine, soothe dry hands and smooth cuticles and nails." 

I think it's safe to say that you can pretty much take a bath in a tub of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream. Oh, if you're curious, I did pinpoint the smell! On my skin it smells exactly like earl grey tea! What do you use the legendary 8 Hour Cream for?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Aveeno // Tinted Moisturizer

Off the bat, I have to confess to a couple of things: I have never used a tinted moisturizer previous to this and I actually stole this off my dear mom. I had been looking for something that would provide some coverage to my still adolescent skin and would be suitable for the warm weather. I researched various BB creams and CC creams and was ready to buy the new Garnier BB cream when I stubbled upon the Aveeno Tinted Moisturizer in my mom's bathroom while looking for a new toothbrush [perhaps too much information]. Turns out that this product actually has a higher SPF than the Garnier BB cream and has a pump on the bottle which I always find handy. Now aside from the convenient packaging, the actual moisturizer evens out my skin tone and freshens up my complexion. Overall, it's great for daytime wear! My mother was nice enough to surrender it over to me since she is not an avid make up wearer. Thanks mom! Have you tried any tinted moisturizers? 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Nail Care

My nails are always able to illustrate the type of day I'm having. If the nail polish is all chipped off, that probably means it's finals week or I have a deadline looming over my head. If my nails are freshly manicured and polished, it may be Friday night and I'm about to go out or it's Sunday and I am relaxing before another stressful week. Taking care of my nails has become a ritual and the products I use are some of the most used beauty products in my collection. I begin washing and moisturizing my hands. I follow up with the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover and push back my cuticles with a cuticle pusher. After removing the remaining product with a cotton ball, the actual painting begins. In the past year, I have begun to use a base coat and I have to say it has served me well. If you're an avid nail painter like me, I suggest getting some because it helps the polish stay on longer and protects your nails from severe staining. So far, my favorite base coat is the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat. It dries in seconds so you don't have to wait long to begin applying your selected nail polish. Today, I used OPI's 'Read My Palm' which is a deep mint green. I then added my most loved top coat, the Revlon Colorstay Top Coat. It is so amazing that I am going to have to write a whole separate post on it. Be on the look out for that! What do you use to take care of your nails? 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Go-To Travel Minis

'Read My Palm', 'What Aura Gonna Wear?', 'Leotard Optional' 

Traveling, specifically when it involves airplanes, can be stressful. When you factor in packing and flying restrictions you may have a mess on your hands. Over the years, I have learned to pack pretty lightly, if I do say so myself. For someone who is attached to their makeup collection and skincare items, packing for a trip is the time to pull out miniature versions of products and samples. For the plane, make sure you have moisturizer and cleansing water because air travel is harmful to your skin. Save smaller containers to refill them at home with the full-size product. That happens to be what I do with the Josie Maran Argan Oil. Instead of hauling around a large highlighter that may take up half your makeup bag, grab a liquid highlighter like Benefit's High Beam. When it comes to nail polish, I tend to overpack because they are my weakness. Many brands such as OPI, Essie, and Orly make miniature sets of their nail polishes so people can try them out before buying the full-size version. This also comes in handy when packing because I am able to cram about five of these in my already overpacked makeup bag. What are some of your tricks to packing light? 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fresh // Citron de Vigne

Perfumes are the area of the beauty world that I rarely visit. I find most of them overpriced and way too potent. However, after watching one of Fleur's latest videos, I saw that she had bought a perfume while she was in the U.S. by the brand 'Fresh'. I immediately feel in love with the simple design of the bottle and the price tag of only forty dollars. I am quite picky when it comes to how I smell so I spent a while sniffing the various scents at Sephora. I finally settled on the citrus smelling 'Citron de Vigne' because I love me some oranges, so why not smell like one? The reviews I read on this perfume were mostly positive but many said that one has to reapply this quite often. I don't mind since the bottle is quite small so I can carry it in my bag. What perfume/body spray have you been wearing this spring? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Body Shop // Body Butter Duo

Ah yes, the legendary Body Shop body butters. Like Winnie-the-Pooh and his pot of honey, I am attached to this little pot of luxury. The body butter is thick and moisturizing, perfect for those warm summer days when you're going to be displaying your legs. The only problem is that the scent of the cream is so overpowering that you cannot and should not wear perfume at the same time. I opted for the macadamia flavor because I figured it would not smell as strong as the berry scents but I was wrong. The lighter cream is for normal areas and the darker cream is thicker and meant for drier areas. These body butters usually cost twenty bucks a pop but I found this one at TjMaxx for only five. Got to love a good bargain. Have you tried any of the Body Shop body butters?

FOTD // 1

Today is a busy day for me because I have to run a thousand errands and pack for my first trip of the summer. I quickly wanted to share what I have on my face today!

♥ Rimmel Fix & Perfect Primer
♥ Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Ivory 
♥ NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder
♥ Rimmel Powder Blush in "Pink Sorbet"
♥ Benefit High Beam 

Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer
Maybelline Color Tattoo in "Bad to the Bronze"
♥ Urbay Decay Naked 2 Palette "Busted"
♥ Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
♥ Elf Eyebrow Kit 

♥ Mac "Chatterbox" Lipstick 

It seems like a lot when I write it out but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do to be and feel beautiful!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Covergirl // Clump Crusher

Multiple people in the blogosphere have baptized this mascara as the best mascara of the year. I rarely venture out of my bubble of Maybelline mascaras, but after hearing endless praise, I decided to give the 'Crump Crusher' a go. Spoiler: I was underwhelmed. True, the mascara does not clump but it does not do anything else either! It does not lengthen or add volume to my lashes.   The part that is clumpy is the packaging. Not to mention every time I apply it, I feel like I'm in art class because of the strong oil paint smell. Okay now that I am done bashing the product, I should focus a bit on the upsides of the 'Clump Crusher'. It is a wonderful everyday mascara that would work well with a natural make-up look. What is your opinion on this mascara?