Recently Loving #4

4:42 PM

(Sorry for the photoshop job - I reeeeeally don't want to take pictures today, plus the lighting is weird in my room right now!)

I found this at TJ Maxx just as I was starting to contemplate purchasing one of these facial sprays. There haven't been any drugstore releases and I was going to go out and purchase an $18 bottle until I found this gem for $3. I am in love. I spray this on my face (or body) whenever my skin is feeling a little dull and needs a refreshing pick-me-up. It also works very well as a makeup finishing spray. The spray nozzle itself is very good as well, the spray is fine and consistent.

I was beginning to think I would never find another moisturizer other than the infamous Nivea Soft, which contains things like mineral oil and petrolatum. When I stumbled upon it, I remembered I really liked the Oasis Mist and decided to try it - after all, it was oil free, not tested on animals, and the packaging was lovely. I have to say that I adore this. The gel texture is amazing. It feels soothing and refreshing, and the smallest dab can cover my entire face and neck. It hydrates my normal/dry skin amazingly well and I quite like the scent of it! The only problem I have with it is that it's unhygienic and no SPF - but both of those aren't a big issue.

I've had very mixed feelings about this product. While I like the product itself, the claims are just ridiculous and that really puts me off. Anyways, it's nice and light, perfect for a no-makeup makeup look. It's also very convenient, very nice for quickly slapping it on and running out the door. I'm enjoying it lately mainly because it's really easy to apply. I dab a bit on the inner corners of my eyes, by the crops of my nose, on my chin and bridge of nose, and I can blend as I make the mad dash out my door and to the car. Although most of the coverage fades away after just a few hours, the concealer never creases or gets cakey.

This nifty little palette is something I use on a regular basis without really thinking about how nice it is. It's a cream concealer with a very creamy (duh) consistency that has medium coverage, is very blendable, and not at all drying. It contains a green toned concealer so you can cover up any red spots with ease, and two shades so you can mix your custom shade. Very handy, quick, and a lovely product in general.

Seriously, this brush is amazing! It's a small stipple brush, as the name would suggest. Why use a small one, you ask? Well, it allows you to have more control and reach areas you wouldn't be able to reach with a larger one (like around the nose and under the eyes). I wouldn't recommend for foundation simply because it would take too long, but you could do it. It's a very multipurpose brush - I can use with liquid, cream, or powder products! I use it buff and blend out my undereye concealer, which gives a very natural but beautiful finish. Fair warning though, stipple brushes give light, airbrushed coverage. This one does so as well. Anyways, it looks sleek, doesn't shed, and dries quickly!

This brow pencil is a savior when I'm in a hurry. It's a hard, waxy pencil, which means that I can skip out on brow gel because not only will the color last all day, the wax base of the pencil will tame my brows to an extent. It's also got a spoolie on one end for quick brushing. Like I said, savior!

This is a very very VERY thick cream. I wouldn't recommend using this on your face, but I find that it's great for moisturizing my neck. I often forget to moisturize my neck, because it's too high for my body butter but too low for my face moisturizer (what terrible reasoning). Lately I've been slathering this on my neck after my shower and I've found that my neck feels... tighter. It's hard to explain.

Triple Threat Facials
I've been LOVING VDM's Triple Threat Facials! I did a post on some products that I've been using for these facials - basically you exfoliate, then deep cleanse, and finally hydrate. I find that after one of these bad boys my skin just feels amazing.

Misc favorites now!!

Little Alchemy
This is an app on the Google Chrome store, but now that I think about it is it available on the Apple store? Update: I just checked and it isssssss. Anyways, this is a cute little game where you start out with four basic elements: earth, air, fire, and water, and you have to make more elements. For example, if you combine fire and earth together you'd get lava, see?

Oh dear lord, please don't get me started on this. I crammed eight years worth of 45 minute episodes into six weeks. What an amazing show. Very suspenseful and each season has an amazing plot. The actors, writers, and directors are amazing. I highly encourage you to watch... Wait, don't. It's so painful... 

Thanks for reading! What have you been loving?


Everyday Makeup Routine

4:33 PM

I wear very little makeup on a daily basis. After all, I really see no reason to get dolled up. I'm getting up early in the morning to go sit with a bunch of other children who also get up early in the morning just to stare at an adult who asks us to answer questions. You can see that I really care how I look during school (sarcasm, for you slow ones). However, I do wear some makeup everyday and since I really enjoy reading these types of posts, I thought I'd write one too.

So usually, I use five products, but on some days I feel like dolling up I toss some more into the mashup. The first thing I do is fill in and define my eyebrows. I like using powder for a more natural look. Who wants to look like they have drawn on eyebrows for school, anyways? I pull out my trusty Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral palette for this purchase. Then I set my brows with brow gel, the No7 Lash and Brow Perfector being my card of choice. After brows, I move onto concealer. I use two different concealers, a light coverage liquid for my undereyes to brighten, and a heavier cream on my chin and around my nose to conceal imperfections. I like the Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller for my undereyes and the Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette for my face. After that step, I slap on some color on my lips and I'm good to go. I always have a billion colors floating around in my bag, the one I'm using most at the moment is the Sonia Kashuk Moisture Luxe Tinted Lip Balm in Hint of Pink.

Now for the more complicated days, I'll add a little more to the mix. Sometimes I'll throw on a little eyeshadow. I prefer matte ones because there's no fallout and they look more natural. The eyeshadow look I go for is a contoured eye, I put a darker shade on the outer edges of my eye and into my crease. Once again, I love the Eye on Neutral Palette. Then I apply liquid liner, very close to my lashline. This just makes my lashes appear more defined. My favorite is the Physician's Formula Eye Booster, the nib is so fine and precise. I love applying liner to my lower lashline and smudging it out, so I'll grab a brown liner and do just that. I love the NYX Slide On in Brown Perfection. I almost never wear mascara (only because I hate the hassle of removing it), but when I do, it's usually the No7 Exquisite Curl, sometimes the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide.

Thanks for reading! What's your everyday makeup routine?

what's in my bag

What's in my school makeup bag?

4:33 PM

For many of us, school is starting - or has already started. One of the infinite issues I have with school is that I'm in a controlled environment with hundreds of other kids. These few words are not a good sign. Emergencies could happen anytime. For this reason, I've collected a few items over the years that I find are a good quick fix for anything that might happen during school.

  • Hand sanitizer - self explanatory. I always carry around a hand sanitizer. More often than not, it's on of Bath and Body Works's Pocketbac ones because they smell lovely! 
  • Hand cream - I have sad, dry skin so hand cream is a must for me. This L'Occitane Cherry Princess Hand Cream is luxurious and lovely, and hydrates my hands.
  • Lip balm - I freaking love lip balm. I have one everywhere, so it makes sense that I would have one in my bag. And it makes for a good cuticle balm if you have a cuticle emergency during school (if that's even possible?). I currently have my Nivea Lip Butter tossed in the bag.
  • Perfume - I wear perfume almost everyday. Whenever I forget I whip out this Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange rollerball. It smells tangy and unoffensive, I love it!
  • Tinted lip balm - because I need more than one lip balm. This usually gets rotated around, but right now it's the Boots Botanics Tinted Lip Balm. Good for a subtle tint of color to really wake up your complexion if you're looking sallow or pale.
  • Makeup remover wipes/pads - personally I don't carry these around because I don't wear much makeup to school (just brows and a bit of concealer) but I think these are great to have in case you have an eye watering experience and your mascara gets messed up or something.
  • Eye drops - this isn't something everybody needs, but I definitely recommend for contact wearers or people with sensitive/dry eyes like myself!
  • Gum/mints - nobody likes to have bad breath, but these also hold off my hunger until lunch!
  • Hair ties/bobby pins - also self explanatory.
  • Band-aid - I always manage to cut myself during school, and sometimes I'm just too damned lazy to ask the teacher for one or go to the nurse.
  • Tampon - alllllso self explanatory.
  • Tylenol - in case myself or a friend gets a sudden headache!
  • Tissues - another self explanatory thing. Gosh Emily, could you be any more boring?
Thanks for reading! What's in your school/travel makeup bag?

Elizabeth Arden

Skincare Products I've Been Using Recently | Mask Edition

8:55 AM

I enjoyed writing the last skincare post so much I thought I'd bring you a version about masks. I normally don't write skincare reviews on my blog because what works for me might be a disaster for you, but I do enjoy sharing products and giving my opinion, so these mini-reviews are perfect! Today is a face mask edition. I used to use masks quite frequently, and then got a bit lazy with the process because I found it too slow and tedious. Recently I've been using them again and really enjoying the process I used to find boring.

Starting from left to right, this Petal Fresh Botanics Aloe & Cucumber Facial Peel Off Masque is something I found in Taiwan and I cannot find and proof of this brand anywhere other than Ebay. But basically, it's a gel that you apply to your face, and it forms a film that you can peel off about ten minutes later. It's cool and satisfying, but alcohol denat is the second ingredient in this product and I'm trying to back off from products with high alcohol content.

The Elizabeth Arden Hydrating Mask is something that I actually wrote a review on. I don't feel as if it actually hydrates my skin, but I like the scent and it's tingly and cooling on the face. The consistency is very nice too, it feels almost clay based but it doesn't harden.

This third mask I got recently, and I've been really enjoying it. The Giovanni D-Tox System Purifying Facial Mask is quickly becoming one of my skincare staples. The mask isn't very opaque, which is nice because I don't look like a serial killer, it smells quite fresh and natural, and really helps my skin feel cleansed from the inside. It doesn't dry out my skin, nor does it bring blemishes to a head (although I know that's good I cannot stand it).

Probably my favorite mask of the bunch, one that I always use is the Origins Drink Up Intensive. I'm sure you've heard of it, it's exploded over the blogosphere. I've had this sample size since February, and it's still going strong! This is a hydrating mask that you leave on overnight. But don't worry, it absorbs into your skin so it doesn't end up on your pillowcase and sheets. It smells like apricots, feels luxurious, and in the morning the skin just looks and feels beautiful.

This Yes To Cucumbers Calming Facial Mask is something I'm pretty partial to. It smells too strongly of cucumbers, but otherwise I can't find any faults. It works fairly quickly, the clay drying within ten minutes, so if you're in a hurry and you need a quick detox mask than this will do the job. I don't think it's anything amazing, but I don't dislike it.

burt's bees

Skincare Products That I've Been Using Lately #1

4:58 PM

I hesitate to make a proper skincare routine because for the most part, the routine is the same as the last one I posted a few months back. The products have almost all changed, but the routine and order is still the same. But I do enjoy reading skincare posts, so I thought perhaps I'd do a series on the skincare I've been using, with mini reviews. I'll update it every couple months when a few of the products have changed. Let me know what you think of the idea!

If I'm wearing makeup that day, before I even start my skincare routine I will remove my makeup. If I'm wearing mascara or face makeup (other than concealer), I'll take it off with a good massage of coconut oil and a washcloth. But more often then not, I'll just have my brows filled in and a tiny bit of concealer on. If that's the case, I'll simply take it off with my cleansing water, the Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water. It's no game changer, but it does the job and it does the job well.

For a few months I would switch between cleansers daily, which is all good and fun, but then I discovered a cleanser that I really enjoyed - so much that I couldn't bear to leave it for just one day, so much that I use it both morning and night. It's the Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash (review here). Very gentle but powerful, this cleanser washes away all dirt, makeup, and impurities. The refreshing scent is also very lovely.

Quick mention about that pink thing! I love these things. They're basically little silicone face brushes that gently exfoliate and help you get a deeper clean. Mine is from Sephora. I squeeze cleanser onto it and massage my face.

I exfoliate every other day - I should probably wait to do it once a week, but I really like the scent of my St. Ives Green Tea Scrub and I enjoy the way it makes my skin feel, smooth like a baby's butt. This scrub doesn't actually do anything for acne, but it's gentle on the skin while buffing away dead skin cells.

After removal, cleansing, and exfoliating, I must tone. A lot of people say toners are unnecessary, but I really like them! I find that they make my skin feel a lot smoother and happier (toners balance skin's pH level, if you didn't know). I'm using two at the moment, although one isn't labeled as one. Said toner is the H2O+ Oasis Mist, a hydrating facial mist that I use pretty much whenever I feel like it. This alcohol-free concoction works well as a toner, a facial spray, a setting spray, or a pick-me-up. In case you haven't noticed yet, I love it. The other toner I use after cleansing - but only at night. It's the Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner. I'm pretty partial to this product, this bottle is a repurchase - but only because the I really like the smell of it. It's a nice toner, but I could do with a new one. Sometimes I apply the toner with a cotton round, but usually I rub between my palms and press into my skin because I like the way it feels.

My favorite part of my skincare routine is probably putting on eye cream. Don't ask me why, I have no idea. For some reason, I find it extremely satisfying. The eye cream I'm using right now is the Burt's Bees Sensitive Eye Crean, which I like but probably won't repurchase. It's light and hydrating and the texture is very nice, but I'm on the lookout for anti-aging creams so I can prevent future wrinkles and fine lines, and this eye cream doesn't contain many anti-aging ingredients.

I don't have a lot of active acne, but I do have small bumps under the skin that annoy me to no end. I also have blackheads and my chin is forever breaking out. I need a spot treatment. The one I'm using right now is the No7 Rapid Spot Rescue. Originally, I really liked the product, saying it really did reduce the spot in two hours like the claim said, but my opinion has since changed. I don't dislike it, but I feel that this treatment is only a temporary fix. Not to say that's a bad thing, I would just rather have something deal with the spots for good.

This moisturizer is something that's new to me - you might have seen it in my recent haul. It's the H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment. This can be used a moisturizer or a mask, I've been using it as the former. I absolutely adore it so far. I have to use it for a lot longer to see if my skin will have a bad reaction, but I really love it in this early stage. The gel formula is really cooling and nice, it smells lovely, and it really hydrates my skin. The smallest bit also goes the longest way!

Whew! That ended up being a lot longer than I anticipated. Thanks for getting to the bottom of this rather long post! What skincare products do you use?


Triple Threat Facial - VDM Style

4:23 PM

I'm sure you all read the famous Vivianna Does Makeup, and that you're familiar with her "Triple Threat Facial" posts. In case you aren't, I'll catch you up. Basically it's a triple whammy - first you exfoliate, then you deep cleanse, then you hydrate. I really enjoy doing these because afterwards my skin feels smooth me hydrated, and looks radiant and glowing.

Sometimes I like to mix up my own scrub by just adding a bit of sugar into my usual face wash, but more often than not I like to use the St. Ives Green Tea Scrub, which doesn't do much for acne but is great for buffing and polishing the skin. I like to apply it to a dry face (with damp fingers) to really make the most of it. I tend to leave it on my skin for a couple minutes simply because I like the way it smells.

The next step would then by a detox or deep cleansing mask. Mud and clay masks are especially good for this, so my weapon of choice for today is the Giovanni D-Tox Purifying Face Mask. It has a soothing scent and the skin feels cleansed from the inside.

The last and final step is to use a hydrating mask. My favorite one is the Origins Drink Up Intensive because hey, what's not to love? It smells nice, reeeeally hydrates your skin, and pretty much makes me happy.

Thanks for reading! Try out this facial method and let me know what you think.

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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!