End of 2013 | Life Update

2:56 PM

I found this thing on tumblr and I thought, sure, why not do it? I might do this same thing next year. Who knows, it might become a tradition!


Looking back on 2013

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Traveled completely by myself! I flew to Michigan over the summer all by myself. Seems like a petty thing, but oh well, it was a big accomplishment to me because I have a bit of social anxiety and being alone in crowded places makes me very nervous.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any last year, but I made a buttload this year. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nah.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, but my best friends aunt died of breast cancer. 

5. What countries did you visit?
Canada over the summer, but otherwise I stayed in the States.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
More confidence, less fear, and more sass.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I can't quite remember what exact day I saw it, it might have been May 9th, but I had a really nice date with my boyfriend when we went and saw Iron Man 3 at a dine-in theater, it was really nice. Also April 20 (hehe), I went to a hockey game with my best friend. December 23, Christmas party with my dear friends. They're all just warm fuzzy memories that make me feel good.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Surviving.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not living enough and doubting myself too much.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing big, really. In March I had an enlarged lymph node on my neck, from a past cold, not a big deal. But when I was a child I had a benign tumor on my neck so my parents went crazy when I told them about the lymph node.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my phone, haha. I'm glued to this thing.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My boyfriend!

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled?
Probably myself; I tend to turn my filter off without realizing.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mostly to myself. Selfish, I know! 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I remember at the start of the year my boyfriend took me to the MoMA in New York, I'd been there before (several times, in fact) but since it was his first time I was really excited for him. We had a lot of fun

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
I've no idea. Perhaps Happiness by The Fray.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
Honest to god, I think I'm the same. 

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Gotten more done in general.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinated.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas isn't a big deal at my house. We just don't care enough, so I spent Christmas watching all the Christmas specials of my favorite shows.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Well... Late 2012. I fell in love with things like tv shows and role models and music though, a lot in 2013.

22. What was your favourite TV program?
Supernatural!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mat Kearney! I love him.

26. What did you want and get?
New phone!

27. What did you want and not get?
A lot of stuff. I'm gonna avoid answering this one, the answer is much too long.

28. What was your favourite film of this year?
(500) Days of Summer. I like to think that this movie is the film form of me.

29. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I used heat on my hair once. Because of this, my hair got super long and it's very satisfying to me.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Crappy, lazy fashion to less crappy, but still lazy hipster/grunge fashion.

31. What kept you sane?
My boyfriend, my best friends.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Jensen Ackles. Misha Collins.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
The government shutdown. Come on, America. Get it together.

34. Who did you miss?
My boyfriend, my friends.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Keep going. You are strong enough to make it through this. 

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"I'm asking for your help; I am going through hell, afraid nothing can save me but the sound of your voice." - How by Maroon 5

I'm really looking forward to 2014. 2013 was an exhausting year. The best way to sum it up is as an emotional rollercoaster. It was amazing and horrible at the same time, and I'm happy for a new start. 

out with the old

Out With The Old | #2

2:21 PM

Hellllooooooo. Today I've got an Out With The Old Post. This is quite similar to an empties post, but rather than just empty products, these also include products I'm tossing for other reasons. Sorry the pictures are so bright, I'm not quite sure why I couldn't tone it down.


Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash - Empty
I love this stuff. I'm really upset that it's out. This face wash is really great - it removes makeup well, deep cleans, doesn't strip the skin, smells nice, and is at an affordable price. Would repurchase.

2 Ponds Deep Cleansing Mud Cleansers - Empty
These are both from Taiwan. They were really good at cleansing the skin, but they left my skin with the "squeaky clean" feeling, which I wasn't looking for. Wouldn't repurchase, but it's not a bad product.

St. Ives Green Tea Scrub - Empty
People rave about this exfoliater. It's a nice product; gently buffs away skin and smells nice, but once again, it left my skin feeling squeaky. Would not repurchase.

Obiqo Gentle Face Scrub - Empty
Wayyyyy too gentle. Didn't do anything for my face except leaving it smelling like ginger. Shudders. I hate ginger. Would not repurchase.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50 - Nope
I gave this guy so many chances. Every time I used this, it would leave me with a face of dry, itchy, uncomfortable patches. I gave up with it after a while. Would not repurchase.

Garnier Skin Renew Anti Puff Eye Roller - Didn't do anything
Man, I tried to like this. I really did. Unfortunately, it just did nothing for my skin! Yes, the cooling ball felt nice, but the actual product? Kind of a gimmick and didn't really do much. Would not repurchase.

HABA Sunscreen Stick SPF 35 PA +++
Too light. Smelled too weird. Accentuated dry patches. Would not repurchase.

Earth Therputics Hydrogel Under-Eye Recovery Patch - Empty
These undereye patches were really great! They perked up my puffiness and felt really nice. They weren't wet, smelled really nice, and were affordable. Would repurchase.

The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Shower Gel - Empty
I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm a sucker for anything lemon. The gel of this itself was an average gel, but oh mama the scent... Dear lord it was amazing. Would repurchase.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil - Empty
This oil is a really sweet chocolate scented oil. The oil claims to help with dark marks and stretch marks as well, which I found to be true, but you have to use the oil for quite some time. It sunk in really fast, and was actually decent at hydrating my legs. Would probably repurchase.

Organic Tea Tree Soap from serenityaplaceforeveryone.com - Empty
I used this on my back and chest for my bacne. Damn, I love it. Cleared the area right up. Would repurchase.

L'Occitane Rose Hand Cream - Empty
This cream was really nice! I liked the rose scent a lot. It was silky and sunk in quickly. If it weren't for the high price, I would definitely repurchase.

Kirkland Signature Borghese Mineral Sheer Foundation, Mineral Exact Match Concealer, Powder - Old
These products were good - they're simply old. The powder I almost used up, and then dropped and it proceeded to crack away. Although these products were good, they weren't remarkable and I wouldn't repurchase.

Crest 3D White Whitestrips - Empty
These do work. I was weary that they would make my teeth sensitive, but even weirder - they only made like, three specific teeth sensitive. I don't think I would repurchase because they're really expensive and there are better teeth whitening products out there.

Glisten Mop Shinedrops - Old
I stopped using this ages ago. This was supposed to be a hair oil that was for shine, but it didn't really do much. I wouldn't repurchase.

Que Bella Detoxifying Dead Sea Mask - Empty
Burned my face. A lot. However, it was really good for my back and chest, drawing out sebum and oil. Would not repurchase.

Lollia Relax Hand Cream Sachet - Empty
DAMN was this nice. It was scented nicely, sunk in quick, and felt silky. Would repurchase.

B&BW Fresh Picked Strawberries Hand Sanitizer - Empty
Just a hand sanitizer! I'm not too picky about those, so I don't really care if I would repurchase or not.

Zatik Herbal Refresh Deoderant - Awful
Supposedly unscented, but no. No. No. Scented. But scented like crap.

traveling

Travel Makeup Bag

2:35 PM

Hi, guys! I'm spending a week in Michigan on Monday. I though I'd show you what'll be in my makeup bag for that week. I'm not sure if I have space to bring brushes or not, but if I do, they'll just be a sponge, a fluffy brush, and a smudger brush. 


NYX HD Photogenic Concealer | Sonia Kashuk Brow Definer | No7 Lash and Brow Perfecter | Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in Inked in Pink | Boots Botanics Eye Quad in Golden Brown | Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Cocoa | Physician's Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner | NYC Eyelash Curler | Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Mascara | Elizabeth Arden Exception Definition Lipstick in Breathless | NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paulo | Rose Salve

I always go for a simple, easy look when I'm traveling. I've got my basics here and then some more enhancing products. This isn't a week of partying and going out, it's just a week of catching up and relaxing with some of my best friends in the world. I'm super looking forward to it. I plan on my daily look being concealer and brows, then a bit of shimmery eyeshadow, liner, and mascara. 

Favorites

Best 13 of 2013

2:17 PM

I thought deciding which products would make the cut would be easy... Turns out I was wrong. After much contemplation, I have narrowed my favorite products of 2013 down. These aren't in any particular order, just how I would use them on my face.


I'm sure you're tired of hearing me rave about this. I cannot say enough good things about this cleanser. This little guy is powerful and provides a deep clean BUT won't dry out my skin, doesn't strip it, or cause any sort of bad reaction. It removes makeup well, smells nice, and is affordable. Cannot recommend enough.

This mask is a hidden gem. I've never heard anyone talk about it, ever, before I stumbled upon it in TJ Maxx. I fell in love right away. This detox mask really sucks out impurities without being harsh on my skin. It also brightens my complexion a bit. 

These little silicone face pads are really big in Asia, but they haven't quite gotten enough hype overseas. You squeeze some cleanser on it, and massage the face. They're quite cheap, but really great. These are a lot better then cleansing manually; the little silicone 'arms' cleanse out your pores and help remove makeup.

What can I say? Multifunctioning salve, good for any type of dry spot. Use on lips, elbows, cuticles, face, etc. Really useful and effective.

This eye cream is just lovely. It sinks in quickly, doesn't aggravate or bring up milia, and is quite gentle on the skin. It hydrates really well too, and the lightweight formula wears really well under makeup.

Easy to use concealer. Blends like a dream, combats dark circles, feels good when applying to skin. The tube lasts FOREVER. Doesn't crease or dry out delicate undereyes, and is really good for brightening elsewhere on the face.

This creamy concealer palette has it all. Three shades, a neutralizer and a setting powder, this is really great. The shades can be mixed to create the perfect concealer color. This offers medium coverage and doesn't look cakey or unnatural. It blends and buffs into the skin really well, and lasts when properly set with a powder. 

Damn, I love this stick. It's so nice. This cream highlighter is easy to use, easy to blend, long lasting, brightens up a complexion instantly, and the shade is beautiful. It reflects light like a dream. I'm in love.

I have talked about this countless times. Why? It's amazing. 12 amazingly pigmented matte shades work together to give you a versatile palette with all colors from a peach to a gray to a black. I get a lot of use out of the shades and love  how buttery the shadows are.

This pencil is the secret to my beloved eyebrows. This pencil is long lasting, the color is a very good match, and it doesn't get patchy. It's a really nice pencil that I recommend for anyone.

You know how sometimes brow gels and clear mascaras can leave your eyebrows feeling crispy? Or you get the gel on the skin surrounding you eyebrows? This gel doesn't give you either of those. The formula holds your shape and color really well without crispiness, and the small applicator makes it difficult to get brow gel on anywhere but the brows.

This eyeliner is sooo silky. It's super pigmented and doesn't drag when going onto the eyelid at all. Did I mention how it glides on like butter? It's incredible. So. Freaking. Silky.

This shade is beautiful. It's a dark plummy pink that is actually really wearable. Super pigmented, super silky, feels really well on the lips, and lasts really well. Up to six hours of wear without drinking.

Thanks for reading! What did you love this year?

New Years Resolutions | 2014

6:10 PM

Hi guys. Since the new year is right around the corner, I thought I'd talk about things to accomplish in 2014, or my resolutions. Did you know that the whole "21 days to form a habit" thing isn't quite true? Depending on the habit, it can take anywhere from 18 days to 5 months! The average is around 66 days. 


  • Stop being afraid. It isn't sexy.
  • Have killer eyebrows. 
  • Wear clothes that make me happy.
  • Stand up straight.
  • Drink a buttload of water.
  • Listen to music that makes my heart sing.
  • Try Project 365.
  • Stop procrastinating.
  • Stop judging and comparing people.
  • Get more sleep, but not too much.
  • Get fit. Run, do yoga, meditate.
  • Stretch every day.
  • Purge negative feelings.
  • Eat less processed foods and more fruits, veggies, and natural foods.
  • Appreciate more.
  • Put a lot of effort into things and love things too much. It's fun to be into something.
  • Read more books.
Are you making resolutions? What are they?

Christmas Gift Guide

5:14 PM

Hi, all! Happy Monday (blech). I had a spectacular weekend, caught up on my sleep and saw Elf for the first time with my boyfriend. Christmas is approaching quickly, and for those who haven't gotten Christmas presents for their loved ones, I've got a gift guide for you. I think this guide will work for any type of guy or gal, whether he/she is a dork, gamer, fashion person, music lover, etc.

The Tea Lover

I personally am a huge tea lover. I think these gifts would be perfect for the friend who loves their drinks, whether it be coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. These are all reasonably priced, cute, quirky presents for that friend.

The DIY Lover
I've actually got two of these already, they're the cutest thing. My man got me the uke for my birthday, and we had a lot of fun putting it together.

The Literature Lover
The 7 Year Pens literally sound amazing to me. I love writing, and I go through pens like crazy.

The Fashion Lover
My boyfriend (how many times can I mention him??) is a huge fashion guy. He loves his Chukkas and wears them every day. I think they'd be great for a guy that likes to dress well.

The Photography Lover
These gifts are so cute, are they not? Any photographer would love and appreciate them. I think the watch would really hit it home, it's just so unique and quirky.

The Electronic Lover
I always find that it's so easy shopping for one that loves electronics. There are so many cool gadgets and tools and toys these days that getting them something cool is pretty easy.

No Category Stuff
By the way, the keychain is actually a self-defense weapon! You put your fingers in the holes and stab with the ears. Might sound a little paranoid, but better safe than sorry, right?

Thanks for reading! What are you getting your friends for Christmas? I'd love to know!

Everyday Hairstyles

6:31 PM

Hi, guys! Today I've decided to show you my favorite everyday styles when I'm not feeling too lazy to do my hair. I'll be showing you a picture of how I do it, and giving you a quick explanation.


The French Braid
The knowledge of French braiding is so helpful. A French braid is a super versatile style that can be dressed up or down by simply loosening/messing it up and bam, you've suddenly got a casual hairstyle. Not to mention that when you shake your locks out of the braid you'll be left with beautiful waves. This braid can be made by crossing strands over another and adding in hair every time you cross. (Watch this video for a detailed tutorial)


The Fishtail Braid
Oh my, this style is the love of my life. It's oh-so-easy and requires no time at all. If you ever look at me in class chances are I'm either looking out the window or doing my hair into this style. I think it's really pretty and (like the French braid) super versatile. This braid is done by simply splitting hair in two and pulling strands over to the other side. Check out this video (PS it's the same one as before!).


The Faux Sidecut
Sidecut styles are a side of the head shaved, for those of you that don't know. Oh my, I would love to have one. My face, however, is too flat and my unflattering profile would NOT look good with a permanent one. So I fake it! This style is super easy, consisting of three Dutch braids pinned underneath the rest of the hair. A Dutch braid is almost the same as a French, except strands are crossed under rather than over.


The Braided Bun
I love this bun. It gets my hair out of my face with a pretty bun that leaves people wondering how I did. Not to mention that the braids can be switched out for fishtail or rope braids. Very pretty and easy. This bun is made by pulling hair up in a ponytail and simply braiding it, and wrapping it into a bun.


The Bow
I made this bow out of a square piece of fabric! If I can find the Pinterest tutorial I used I'll def link you. Anyways, this bow is the cutest thing. Adding it to a simple ponytail amps up your cuteness and makes it look you put a million hours into your hair when really you pulled it up messily when running out the door this morning.


By the way, my arm is like that in every picture because I was pointing a remote at my camera. It looks really weird now that I look at it, haha. Thanks for reading! How do you usually do your hair?

review

Sonia Kashuk Creme Blush | Review

8:34 PM

Hi, guys! How are you today? I've got a review for you today. It's taking so much effort for me to write this right now, I'm staying home today lounging around and my brain is shut down and I just feel kind of fuzzy.


What it is: a cream blush
Where: Target stores
Price: $9.89
BTW: Sonia Kashuk is cruelty free!

I've actually had this blush for quite some time, I just haven't mentioned it at all. Why? I'm not a big blush girl. My cheeks have a natural flush, they're always just a tad rosy and pink. But before I picked this up I did keep glancing at it whenever I went to Target. Sonia Kashuk says that this blush's "crème formula easily blends into cheeks for a beautiful finish that lasts all day. Whether you're looking for a natural glow or a dramatic flush this crème leaves skin looking radiant and fresh, never greasy. It transforms from a very creamy, soft texture into a beautiful soft powder veil with an end result that is incredibly natural and smooth. Actives include White Lily Bulb Extract & Peach Extract for their anti-oxidant properties." This blush is available in three shades, I'm reviewing Blossom for you today.


Like every other SK product, the cream blush's packaging is lovely. It's white and has a magnetic closure that's relatively strong. Currently Sonia Kashuk is repackaging their products to be black, but I think either are really pretty and nice on your vanity or desktop. Ypu can see through the top, which is good if you've got several of these.


I've got a quick disclaimer about my skintone, I'm cooltoned with a medium to light skintone. It doesn't look very pigmented from my swatch, but that's just because it's about the perfect 'natural flush' color for my skin. This blush is actually crazy pigmented. Blossom is a peachy-pink, once again, the perfect natural look. I think this would look really lovely on very pale gals. The formula is quite nice as well, it's super creamy but quickly dries down to a powder finish. I apply this with a stippling brush, but applying with a finger is super easy because it blends beautifully. This blush doesn't cling to any dry patches or appear patchy after a while. It's not super long lasting, but it'll do fine on a regular day.

I quite like this blush. I'm going to pick up the other two shades when I have a chance. Do you like blush? What's your favorite?

The Love of my Life

11:54 AM

I'd like to introduce you to the new love of my life, my new parka.



This jacket is from Old Navy! I snagged it on sale for $30. How great is that?? Anyways, it's a hunter green color, very long on my short frame, but still flattering. There's a drawstring waist, a drawstring hem (looks like a ducktail, but since I'm moving in this picture you can't see it, haha), zips all the way up, and has a hood with a fauxfur trim. It's fairly flattering and covers my butt too, not to mention that I can layer up inside it with sweatshirts and scarves. The sleeves also go to my favorite length, slightly over my hands. I'm so in love.

mary kay

Mary Kay Timewise Products

5:21 PM

Hi, everyone! It's freezing out today, snowed an inch or two last night that froze overnight. Anyways, today I'm bringing you a review on three products from the Mary Kay Timewise line!


For those of you that don't know, Mary Kay isn't exactly a brand that you can walk into a store and purchase. Like Avon, most products are bought online or through a representative. I got these products from a consignment shop owned by a friend. I've got the Replenishing Serum + C, Firming Eye Cream, and Moisture Renewing Gel Mask.


MK claims that "this antioxidant-rich serum is powered by a potent blend of multiple botanical extracts. These extracts are derived from natural ingredients known for their high levels of Vitamin C, which can help protect skin against free radical damage that can impact skin firmness and definition. The overall effect is positively uplifting! The innovative airless pump bottle keeps air out, so you can be confident that you are getting the same maximized product freshness with every application." This product is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. This product is supposed to contain a lot of botanicals high in Vitamin C, such as pomegranate extract.

How amazing is this packaging?? There's a little window on the side that allows you to see how much you have left. Mary Kay recommends using three pumps of this, but I thought that was a little much. Using three pumps twice a day gives you six weeks of using this serum. Every day the product will move up to the next little slot, which I thought was really cute for some reason. Anyways, I used the recommended amount for about a week and then decided it was way too much serum (I ended up slathering most on my neck and chest) and dropped the dosage down to one pump.


This serum has a light and runny texture, like most serums. It has a pleasing scent that reminds me of baked goods. It sinks in relatively quickly, and the smell doesn't linger. I didn't have any sort of reaction to this, good or bad. I used about half of this before I decided it didn't do anything for my skin. I used it for quite some time, much longer than the three weeks the bottle indicates. It was pleasant to put on, but I felt like it just wasn't benefiting me in any way. If you've got mature skin or dull skin this might do something, but I don't think I'll repurchase, or even finish.


Now onto the eye cream! MK claims that "this luxuriously rich eye cream is so advanced, it improves firmness and brightens while providing intense moisturization. It also minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with the combined power of a collagen-enhancing peptide duo that restores the supporting structure to revitalize cells for firmer skin." This cream is hypoallergenic. 

The packaging for this cream is simple but aesthetically appealing. The pump is really nice, but it pumps out way too much. One pump would be enough for my face. I would always end up with way too much cream and end up using it on my cuticles. 


This cream is a light texture, making it ideal for day use. It's not fast to sink in, but you don't have to wait ages. This didn't aggravate my milia, but also didn't calm it down. This cream is hydrating, but it's not as rich as I would like it to be. Personally, I didn't see any difference in any fine lines. Other people have said the same thing, but it is lightly moisturizing. I would recommend for anyone in their twenties who don't require a lot of undereye hydration.


MK claims that this mask "instantly hydrates and locks in moisture. Skin appears less stressed and feels purified, nourished, calmed, firmer, smoother and softer. This product also helps minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores. It features an aromatic scent of botanical extracts including chamomile, rosewood and lavandin." It's oil-free, hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, and non-comedoginic.

The packaging for this product is really simple but nice, a simple squeeze tube. The squeezy part is really easy to control, because it's small and allows you to squeeze out as much product as you want. 


The formula for this product is really nice. It's silky and really nice to spread over the face, not to mention you can leave it on overnight if you want. I would really like the product, but the alcohol content in this stuff is high. Not to mention it smells like alcohol too.

Overall? These products are average. I don't think they're worth the rave reviews I've seen, but they're not bad. They def aren't worth the price, but I don't dislike them. Try them if you want, but there are better options.

Thanks for reading!

lipstick

No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick | Review

8:08 PM

Hi guys! I'm currently taking a break from my homework to write this. Today's post is a review on the No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick.


What is it: a lipstick!
Where: Target stores and online
Price: $9.99
Anything else: Boots does not test on animals.

Boots is one of those brands that never fail to catch my eye. They've just got so many lines, I could slowly read them all for hours. I got this lipstick a while back, but accidentally picked up this shade instead of the one I wanted (Pink Angel). Oh well.

Boots says that this "No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick will ensure your pout packs a punch! Available in 8 trendy shades, this long-lasting lip color has been designed to stay in place for up to 8 hours, giving an intense color-rich finish in just one coat." I have mine in the color Raspberry.

Would you look at that packaging? So pretty. It comes in a sleek and shiny lipstick tube that can attract fingertips and dirt, but only to a little extent. The packaging for the line is all the same, hence why I grabbed this one instead of the one I wanted. The cap snaps on securly, which is satisfying.


Raspberry is a dark pinky-plum color. It's quite close to red, although it looks plain dark pink on my swatch. Your lip pigmentation will boost it to a darker color. The lipstick is pretty pigmented, with a very creamy and non-drying texture. Although it's not quite a matte finish, there's no shine or reflecting light properties. This lipstick is by no means hydrating, but like mentioned before, is not at all drying. It lasts okay. There is a bit of transfer when drinking and eating, but it's not going to disappear if you're just talking. The claim is that this will last eight hours, which is preposterous. It lasts around three or four.

Overall, I think this lipstick is okay. Is it worth the $10? No, but it's not a bad lipstick.

Thanks for reading! What's your favorite lipstick?

blush

Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo | Review

4:41 PM

Hi, all! It's been oddly warm lately, considering it's December. Today I've got a review for you. Read on!


What it is: a bronzer/blush duo
Where it is: Target stores
Price: $12.99
Other info: SK is cruelty free and is sold exclusively at Target

Sonia Kashuk is easily one of my favorite brands. Everything I try from the brand is a total hit. The affordable price and luxurious packaging always draw me in, and my SK wishlist is ever-growing.

This bronzer/blush duo comes in three shades. I'm reviewing 51 Glimmer. The bronzer half of this is available by itself, but the blushes only come in the duo. Sonia Kashuk says that this duo's "hybrid texture combines all the best features of baked, powder, cream and fluid formula to easily blend, protect against dryness and deliver buildable color payoff that lasts up to 12 hours without fading."


As always, the packaging is really nice. The outside is a pretty bronze color, with a magnetic closure that's pretty strong. There's no wasted space that has a brush/puff or mirror, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on personal preference. Personally I don't care if it has a mirror or not, but at least now I know I won't be paying as much for packaging.


Look at the alligator pattern! Isn't it pretty?



The texture of this is pretty unique for a blush. The powder is packed really densely (it doesn't kick up any powder in the pan!) which gives you a pretty sheer application (it's supposed to be sheer) although the pigmentation of the blush isn't at all bad. It's quite easy to build up and lasts pretty well. The colors of this blush though... The bronzer is so metallic. It's a really shimmery bronze, not for contouring at all. It's much more suited to be an eyeshadow, and it can be used as such because this product is baked! The blush has a satin finish, neither matte nor shimmery, and is a peachy shade. Together, they form this sort of shimmery tan peach shade, which is great for summer, but it's December. 

This duo isn't bad. I seem a little confused in this review, and that's because I am. I don't love or hate this, it's just not my style - shimmery things aren't my favorite. Perhaps the other shades will please me more. Anyways, I would recommend this for those looking for a sheer, shimmery and glowy application. This is definitly more of a summer product.

Thanks for reading!

diy

DIY Brush Cleanser

4:45 PM

I don't know why, but when I published this earlier and installed a new theme, it deleted the post! Anyways, today I'll be showing you an easy-peasy DIY brush cleanser. This is the method I ALWAYS use. It's cheap and easy. 


That's right, that's all you need! A drop of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and a blob of your favorite face wash.

Why EVOO? It breaks down and dissolves makeup, also working to keep your brushes nourished. Why use face wash? Well, it's going on your face anyways! Make sure the one you use is a deep cleansing one.

Thanks for reading! Try this out and let me know how it goes.

EOTD

EOTD type thing

3:30 PM

I've been wearing this eye look a lot these days! I'll post the shimmery version in a few days, haha. First of all, I apologize for the shakiness - either way, it's quite a simple look. This is my first post with a picture of me, so don't laugh! My eyebrows look a bit patchy, I know, but they looked fine in person.



It's a nude eye with a very slight wing - I was never good at wings, so I'm actually really proud of myself.

I used:
Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Palette
Physicians Formula Eye Booster Liquid Liner

No mascara on! I wore the look to school and ran out of time getting ready, so I skipped out on that. Thanks for reading!

hair

Drugstore Recommendations | Hair

11:59 AM

Hi, all! Happy December. For all you Americans, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. Today I'm going to be showing you some of my favorite hair products from the drugstore. I'm not a big hair person (I haven't used any heat on my hair for over a year now - woot woot), so there won't be a lot of products, but I've still got a few for you, enough for a basic hair routine.


Shampoo - Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo
I've been using this stuff for years and years. It's great, very affordable and effective. It's not stripping or drying on the hair and the scent is really nice and fresh.

Conditioner - Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Total Care Conditioner
This should really be a lot more expensive than it is. It's a great daily conditioner. It works to hydrate your hair without weighing it down

Leave-In Treatment - Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccon Sleek Oil Treatment
This is a really nice oil. It's lightweight, and smells great. It's also a mulitasking product, acting as a leave in, detangler, serum, and eliminates frizz in one go. Highly recommend!

Detangler - Not Your Mother's Knotty To Nice Conditioning Detangler
This shit. Is great. It really works to smooth out knots and detangler my mane. The name is also quirky and cute, huh?

Dry Shampoo - Batiste Dry Shampoo
This is something that EVERYBODY raves about. I quite like it, it smells nice and doesn't leave my hair with a gray cast. The stuff itself is also really good at absorbing oil and making your hair look a lot cleaner than it is.

Hairspray - L'Oreal Elnett Satin
This hairspray is legendary. It is a lighthold spray, but does hold your style with a lot of movement and zero crunchiness. The packaging is also really luxurious and nice.

Heat Protectant - TREsemme Heat Tamer Spray
This product has also been used by everybody and their mother. It's great - it works to protect your hair (obviously), minimizing the damage a hot tool can do. It also smells like green apples and is super affordable.

Thanks for reading! Have you ever tried any of these?

I need your help!

3:24 PM

I'm always having problems with blogger, whether it be technical or mental (like not posting, but don't worry, I'll be back next week!). Right now my theme (or template) won't let me reply on comments, and I keep thinking "I'll get to it tomorrow" repeat x infinity. I like this theme, but if this problem is big enough I'll change it. Can anyone help? If you know how to fix the problem or know of a theme garden please email me at theravingsofaninsomniac@gmail.com

Thanks so much!

Let's Talk About Photography | Basics

12:28 PM

I love me a good photograph. I'm quite the sucker for photography, it's my hobby and something I hope to make a career out of someday. Over the years I've picked up a good amount of tips and tricks and today I thought I'd talk about the basics. Quick disclaimer, I am by no means a professional. These are just things I find work for me. I'll talk about my gear at the end of this post. For now, let's get onto the very basics.

1. Camera
You need to have a good camera for photography. I have a DSLR. This is not necessary at all. These are quite expensive and lenses are pretty pricey as well. As I said, these are by no means essentials. I have included it in this basics post because these are the easiest to control. Using a point-and-shoot camera will work just fine, or even an iPhone camera. I would recommend something that can take clear, focused pictures. If you don't have a quality camera I would advise you to invest in a point-and-shoot like a Canon Powershot or a Nikon Coolpix. These are affordable, portable and convenient cameras.

2. Tripod
Tripods are like bras. You don't "technically" need one, but you need one. They hold your camera still and provide for clear, quality pictures. If you primarily use your camera to blog, I don't think you'd need to invest in a crazy expensive tripod. Consider buying one of these bad boys, a small tripod-type thing that balances your baby.

3. Conditions
Always shoot in natural lighting, but never in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight brings out harsh shadows and unflattering angles. Instead, try to shoot by a window when the sun isn't directly shining through. I shoot by a window in my room, and if the sun happens to be shining through I pull my curtain, a cream colored thing, to diffuse the light.

4. Editing
This is simply something to make your pictures a little more enjoyable to look at. There are plenty of free editing sites online like iPiccy that give you great basic editing such as adjusting brightness, addding text and filters, etc.

Those are the four basic pointers that I have for new photographers. Quality camera, some form of stabilizer, good conditions, and editing.

Quick mention about my gear: I have a Nikon D90 and quite a few lenses. Usually I use my Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens. I use these two on my Manfrotto tripod from the 290 series and I edit with Photoshop CS2.

Thanks for reading! What kind of gear do you use?

eyebrows

NYX Eyebrow Marker | Review

1:16 PM


What it is: a brow marker
Where it is: Target stores, Ulta stores, and online
For how much: $9.75
Anything else: NYX is cruelty free and their products are hypoallergenic!

NYX is a brand that I've only tried a few products of but really want everything from. Everything's so damn cute and affordable. They started selling at Target stores a couple months ago, so I vowed to try some more products... but there aren't many products there! Anyways, I've been wanting to get my hands on a brow marker, and since they aren't too available here in the States I grabbed this as soon as I laid eyes on it.


In case you didn't know the concept of a brow marker, it's like a felt-tip eyeliner but for your brows. They're supposed to give quite a natural brow look, which is my jam. I love fluffy, natural brows. There are two shades, Medium and Deep, which is the one I'll be reviewing. NYX says, "Sculpt, fill in and enhance your natural eyebrows with our felt-tip Eyebrow Marker. The color resists smearing and smudging, and wears all day long." This marker is opthalmologically tested, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and cruelty free.


The packaging is pretty simple, it looks like a felt-tip pen. The cap locks on securely, so no fear that the tip will dry out. The tip is actually a lot shorter than I expected, especially since eyeliners are so much longer.


This isn't very pigmented, but brow pens aren't supposed to be. The color is supposed to be quite faint, as you can see by the swatch it is. On my hand, it looks to be pretty neutral toned, but on the brows it's quite red-toned. When I remove it the cotton pad comes back as red. It's really odd. The formula is pretty great, it's smudgeproof and so long lasting, but since the tip is so precise you have to really trace over your brows, which inevitably leaves you with brows a lot fuller than expected. Brushing out does no good either since it's budgeproof, but if I apply brow gel the wand comes back red! How weird. 


Like I said earlier, I'm all for natural-looking brows. If this product was a bit more hazy and suited my hair color more I'm sure I would love it, but for now I'll just save it for any occasions where I absolutely cannot use powder. I would recommend for anyone who likes a strong brow look.

Thanks for reading! Have you tried any brow markers? Are they all as weird as this one?

How Much is my Face Worth? | Skincare

4:58 PM



Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water $12Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash $11 | Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash $5.49 | Eclos Skin Prep Cleanser $14.99St. Ives Green Tea Scrub $1 | Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner $6.99 | No7 Rapid Spot Rescue $11.99 | Burt's Bees Sensitive Eye Cream $15H2O+ Oasis Mist $17 | H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment $36 | Nivea Soft $5.39 |

All this adds up to... $117.87!! Damn, this is high. Especially for a cheap student like myself... This stuff isn't even including the masks I use.

highlighter

Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick | Review

6:23 PM

I don't think it's any secret that I love Sonia Kashuk Makeup. Everything I've tried from the Target exclusive brand is amazing! Today I will be raving about my new love, the Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick.


What it is: a cream highlighter
Where it is: Target stores
For how much: $11
Anything else: Sonia Kashuk products are not tested on animals!

I don't think this is the first time I've advocated an SK product. From the affordable price to the luxurious packaging, everything from this brand is downright lovely. I've had my peepers on this little guy for ages now, and I was thrilled to finally spot it in stores.

Sonia Kashuk claims that "the creamy, pearl-infused formula housed in a portable stick creates an illuminated effect, making it easy to selectively highlight features or add a healthy glow to bare skin. Triglycerides ensure that the stick blends smoothly and adheres perfectly and comfortably to the skin for a long lasting, brilliant shimmer effect." There are two shades available, a pink toned one (Persian Sunset) and this gold toned one that I'm reviewing today, Sparkling Sands.



The packaging for this is really convenient; it's in a twist up tube. I quite like the packaging. It's functional and simple. The cap locks securely in place so there's no doubt that it comes off in your makeup bag. The color of the tube is correspondent to the shade, this one is golden while Persian Sunset's is pink. 


As you can see, this is a shimmery reflective pearly champagne shade. It's easy to blend and the color won't smudge around or disappear, it's pretty much smudgeproof and waterproof although it isn't advertised. I wish it were a little more creamy, it's a tad dry (mine broke off in the tube, I didn't even realize until I was taking photographs for the product) but it doesn't really affect the outcome. And the outcome? A subtle, healthy glow that makes you look fresh faced and bright.

I really like this highlighter! The packaging is efficient and simple, the formula's pretty nice, and the shade is really beautiful as well. I'm itching to get my paws on the other shade. Highly recommend!

Thanks for reading. Have you tried any SK products? If so, do you love them as much as I do?

Favorites

Recently Loving #5

6:05 PM

Hi, all! I'm back today with a favorites post. I've been enjoying a variety of products lately, and I thought it was time for another favorites post.



Giovanni D-Tox System Purifying Face Mask
Are y'all tired of me talking about this yet? I kind of really love it. It's basically a clay mask that draws out impurities and deep cleanses your skin. It doesn't leave my skin feeling dry, but rather clean from the inside. And the color (it's chalk gray) is also strangely satisfying to smear over the face.

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner
I've been using this toner for over two years now. For me, this is a product that I've never really thought about how much I like up until now. It's gentle and helps balance out my skin and tighten pores without drying.


Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick in Sparkling Sands
I won't go too much into detail about this (full review coming soon), but basically it's a lovely stick highlighter that gives a subtle and beautiful glowing sheen. The stick makes it super handy as well, and the shade is a very nice champagne/gold/pearly shade.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in Inked in Pink - review here
I've had this eyeshadow for a few months now, but haven't really used it much until now. It's slowly becoming one of my everyday makeup staples. It's quick and easy, and makes me look like I spent ages on my makeup when really it took me ten seconds to slap some on my lids.

NYX Slide On Pencil in Brown Perfection
This is a simple brown eyeliner, but it's so lovely. Doesn't smear, smudge, or run anywhere. It's easy to smudge out before it sets though, so that's what I've been doing - marking the edge of my lower lashline and smudging it out for a hazy yet defined look.

Favorite Lip Combo
I've been loving the Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink with the NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Tea Rose. Both are a very natural pink color, which is hardly remarkable, but together they give me a pouty just-been-kissed esque look. Both are also super hydrating and the scents (minty and candy) make for a sweet smelling scent that wear comfortably.




Bath & Body Works Sea Island Cotton Hand Cream (I think this has been discontinued but I've linked you to the scent, something still worth smelling)
I've never really taken time to appreciate this cream, but I'm doing it now. It's a thick, luxurious feeling cream that absorbs in SO fast and really hydrates my hands. The moisturized feeling lasts for hours afterwards. The scent of this is also really lovely, relaxing and soft.

Boots Extracts Coconut Lip Balm
Yet another product I've hardly raved about, this is one of my favorite lip balms. It sinks in quickly, but the moisture given lasts for quite some time. It also has a pretty matte finish, which is strange in a lip balm but something that I appreciate.


Essie Buy Me A Cameo
I totally forgot to photograph this, sorry~! This is a beautiful rose gold shade, the website describes it as a "frosted satin mocha" if it helps you picture it any better. This was on my nails for the longest time!f

Time for random favorites! Warning - there's a lot. A lot are TV shows too. Don't laugh.


Nokia Lumia 521
Yes, I'm including a phone in my favorites! Haha, I just got this a week or so ago and although its got some faults, it's a nice phone. Windows 8 is a really nice platform for cell phones. Very customizable! I love it.



Supernatural
This was in my last favorites post... can you blame me? It just came back. Too good. I can't finish this thought, this show's just too much.



Parenthood
I've talked about this before! I love this show. It's a show about a boisterous family. It's quite realistic and humorous, but there are also underlying messages of love and family.



The Walking Dead
Man, this show got popular really quickly! I started watching when it first came out, and it was a quiet show. But by halfway through season 2 EVERYBODY was watching. I love this show. I love dark shows, and a show about the zombie apocalypse? Daaaaark.



Parks and Recreation
Parks has actually been back for quite some time, but this season is amaaaaaaazzzziiiiiiiing. Very funny and unexpected.



The Office
Dwight. 'Nuff said.

Thanks for reading! What have you been enjoying recently?


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Hi there, I'm Emily. It's nice to meet you. I'm a beauty blogger who also happens to be very interested in photography/film. Chat with me, let's be friends!