5 Easy Ways To Be Happier

2:08 PM

Hi, guys! With the weather and spirits being generally better, I thought I'd write a quick post about some simple ways to embrace happiness more. I'm not really a happy person, and even I benefit greatly from these posts.


  1. Switch things up! Feel free to switch them up as much as you want. Routine, while healthy, can get boring and monogamous. A bit of change can really perk your mood up. Perhaps change your personal style a bit, get a new spring fragrance, try a new hairstyle. Personally, I've been wearing my hair in braided updos a lot more these days rather than just let it sit around my shoulders. 
  2. Exercise! I know everybody tells you to do this for everything, and for good reason too. Exercise is good for you, not just physically but also mentally too. It can change your outlook on life. If you're not one to go lifting at the gym (I know I'm not) you could do something much more simple like jog for half an hour every day, or yoga, which you can do in the comfort of your own home. There are tons of easy routines on Pinterest and YouTube.
  3. Get colorful. I want to let you know that I'm really not one for color. I wear the same three colors - black, white, and blue - but even I love this little trick. Paint your nails a pretty pastel, or change up your hair color. I might dye the back of my hair purple. You could try some colored liner - purple is a great starter color for those a bit afraid to venture into colored eyeliner.
  4. Read some books! I absolutely adore reading, but since I don't have a lot of time these days I find myself reading less and less. To combat this, I've been reading a little bit every evening before I go to bed. Normally when I start a book I like to finish it on the same day, so no wonder I don't have time to read for six hours straight! Pick some light reading, such as short stories. This little thing can really help you relax and sleep better, at least it does for me!
  5. Spend less time looking at screens. I feel like this is a happy tip for all the time, and rightfully so. Now, I'm a student - I have to spend a lot of time on my computer and iPad doing work, but I try my hardest to put away the screens and spend more time in a light, airy environment with my notebook and pens. Not to say that you ignore your phone (I can't do this for the life of me), but try not to be glued to it for a little bit more.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any ways to be happier?

The Overnighters

2:41 PM

As much as I wish I wasn't, I'm such a routine girl. I wish I could just live in the moment; after all, if I forget one thing, what's the harm? Apparently it's everything because I almost always have to do something in order of my routine otherwise I get really twitchy and annoyed. My OCD is like that. I have certain products that I have to use every single night, without fail. Read on to see what they are~


Obviously, I've got my usual moisturizers. But these change every now and then so I'm not gonna mention the ones I'm using right now. However, every night, without fail, I apply coconut oil onto my eyelashes and eyebrows. I feel like this helps make them strong and keeps them from breaking. A lip balm I use religiously is C.O. Bigelow's aptly named My Favorite Night Balm because it makes my lips unbelievably nourished, soft, and supple. I can still feel the balm on my lips when I wake up, even when I use the smallest bit! The hand cream that I apply every night as if my life depends on it is the L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. Although I don't like the smell of it, I enjoy how soft this makes my hands and it's comforting to me to apply this thick hand cream.

Thanks for reading! What are your overnighters?

The Warmer Weather Edit | Spring/Summer Products

2:48 PM

I've never been one for these seasonal edit posts. I don't have anything against them and I like reading them, but I've never written one or really thought about switching up my makeup until just this week, when I was reaching for my matte lipstick and realized, "this color isn't fun enough for spring." In my opinion, spring and summer makeup is quite similar. Foundation coverage goes down, lipsticks get glossy and milky, and it's all about a healthy complexion. Read on for my picks for the warmer weather!


My foundation pick is a lightweight tinted moisturizer, the Sonia Kashuk Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. I love this product. It's comfortable to wear, cancels out mild discoloration, and provides SPF without feeling like you're wearing anything on the skin at all. You can actually get decent medium coverage if you layer it up, plus it gives a really nice skin-like finish that can be mattified down or (in this case) glowed up if you wanted to. The next product is a brightening powder, the SK Brightening Powder. This finely milled powder gives a very beautiful glow to the face and when applied all over makes the skin look absolutely radiant, but not overly shimmery. It can also be applied more heavily or exclusively to the cheekbones and down the nose bridge to subtly bring out the areas and highlight. I find that for the spring and summer, blushes turn from light baby pinks to more peachy and coral shades. I've found the perfect blend between peach and coral, making The Face Shop's Coral Cushion the perfect warm weather blush. This shimmery number, when swept over the apples and back towards the hair, gives a lot of warmth and life to the face. It also smells really pleasant. And to finally finish off the shimmery, glowing theme, my favorite product of the bunch, the Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighting Stick in Shimmering Sands. This champagne toned cream stick highlight applies, blends, and highlights like a dream. Whenever I wear this, I can't help but admire how amazing my cheekbones and Cupid's bow look. I've also heard that this is an exact dupe for the Benefit Watt's Up. Like I said earlier, lip shades turn milkier and we tend to shy away from matte lip colors during the warmer months. I like to pick a gloss that's close to my natural lip color because that's what I'm comfortable with, but the NYX Mega Shine glosses come in tons of gorgeous colors. You can get these more neutral toned colors like Tea Rose, or you could go for a light peach or coral. Either way, the high shine but non-stick formula wears well and feels great on the lips. Finally, to finish up the warm weather edit, a fragrance. The Body Shop's Dreams Unlimited is the perfect spring scent for citrus lovers. This fresh and uplifting perfume has a really zingy but unoffensive fragrance that will last you all day, plus the base scents are phenomenal. Give it a sniff the next time you wander into a store.

That's all for today! Do you have any spring/summer picks? Do share!

tarte

Tarte Bright By Night Skincare Discovery Set | Review

6:50 PM



What it is: A skincare duo of face oil and eye cream
Where it is: Sephora
For how much: $10
BTW: Tarte is cruelty free!

Tarte is a high-end brand that I've always wanted to try, but never wanted to splurge for. They're famous for their Amazonian Clay and Maracuja lines, but their products are pretty pricey. I spotted this in the impulse buy/checkout lines of Sephora for an affordable $10. I figured I might as well try, because I needed another moisturizer and my eye cream just ran out, so why not?

I haven't been using this very long. Normally, I wouldn't even review this (everyone's skin is different!), but I've heard whispers that this is limited edition and I can't even find it online, although I saw it in stores very recently, a little more than a week ago. If you're interested in this, run out to a store and get it before you can't get your hands on it. At an affordable $10, what's the harm? If one of the products doesn't work out you can always repurpose it.


This "undiluted organic and moisturizing maracuja oil quickly absorbs for firmer, brighter, smoother skin. Pure maracuja oil is rich in vitamin C, so skin appears instantly brighter and more radiant. The oil is also a source of essential fatty acids (EFAs), a requirement for healthy skin cells that the body cannot produce on its own. EFA deficiency can result in the breakdown of essential skin cells which causes skin to appear dry and aged. By supplementing skin with pure maracuja oil, you are infusing life back into dull skin and replenishing EFAs to rapidly rebuild and repair. This potent antiaging elixir that has anti-inflammatory benefits promotes active skin recovery and delivers maximum hydration without any greasy or filmy feel." Pretty hefty wording, Tarte! Essentially it claims to brighten and hydrate with anti-aging benefits. This little bottle contains 7 mL (.23 fluid oz) and is formulated without parabans, sulfates, fragrances, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, and triclosan. Doesn't that sound incredible?

Despite this being just a basic oil, Tarte sells it for a pretty high price. There are three available sizes of it, and they're all pricey. One of them is a rollerball, but the other two are basically bigger sized of this little one. They come in a dark purple glass jar with a cute wooden dropper. This oil doesn't really smell like anything, but it smells like... oil, you know? It's not a thick oil, but thin and lightweight and sinks in very quickly. It's recommended for nighttime use, but because this oil sinks in very fast, you could also use it in the morning. When I wake up, my skin doesn't look any better (granted, I have a very normal complexion that nothing really does anything to) but it feels incredible, soft and smooth and just plain happy. Maracuja oil can be used all over the body actually - I hear it's very beneficial for hair care, but since my jar is so tiny I haven't tried it yet.

This oil is pretty incredible! Like I said, it sinks in quickly, leaving skin feeling hydrated. It's a little difficult to spread over the skin like a normal oil, so I recommend rubbing it between your fingers and patting into the skin. I love mixing this in with an overnight mask like the Origins Drink Up Intensive, or using it alone. Either way, this little guy really packs a punch! 


This "intense, maracuja fruit- and vitamin C-infused, multitasking eye-treatment visibly hydrates, firms, and brightens the delicate eye-area." Tarte says that this cream will "Refresh, renew, and recharge tired eyes. This skintuitive™ eye treatment contains rice bran, mango, and coconut, which are naturally rich in antioxidants and help fight signs of aging and free radical damage. Meanwhile, oat sugars instantly smooth and visibly tighten skin. The opthalmologist-tested nutrient-rich formula also delivers the ultimate in hydration for smooth, youthful-looking eyes." It's formulated without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. Basically this eye cream claims to intensively hydrate the eye area while brightening it. The full size contains .35 oz and retails for $38, while this sample contains a teeny .088 oz, making it worth around $8 - hey, I paid $5. 

I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little ticked off by this product. It comes in a set called Bright by Night, so you assume it's applied at night, yes? But this cream actually contains mica (aka shimmer) to brighten the eyes. While mica itself won't technically harm you, it won't benefit you in any way and I don't really know many people willing to go to bed with shimmery particles around their eyes. That being said, the mica makes it a wonderful pick-me-up in the morning. It's just a little misleading and annoying to nitpicky people like myself.

The packaging is a jar packaging. Eugh. I know some people aren't bothered by jars since they use clean hands to apply the product - always a good rule of thumb - but still, dust and other bathroom ickies can settle in when it's open for the 15 seconds while you apply the cream. I mean, it's bearable, but still impractical and unhygienic. On the plus side, the cap for this is actually a little rubberized, making it easy to grip, even with lotioned-up hands. I'm not sure if that applies to the normal packaging, but either way both come in sturdy glass purple jars.

This eye cream is a really lovely cream - it's creamy and sinks in quickly but delivers good hydration. I think it'd be wonderful for people with not exactly dark circles, but a little bit of discoloration under the eyes. It's very brightening, but in a subtle way (because of the mica!) and is a treat to apply in the morning. It's easy to spread around the eyes, but isn't so thin that it'll run all over the place and into your eyes. I haven't been using it long enough to see any effects on my dark circles, but I suspect in the long run and with a full size, you'll see significant improvements.



A quick mention about the oil, maracuja oil is also known as passion fruit oil. You can get cheaper alternatives here and here. Anyways, I really recommend you check this out. If you're needing a new set of creams, it's worth popping into Sephora for and picking it up. 

Out With The Old | #4

2:49 PM

Hi, everyone! I'm watching an episode of Friends right now (the one where Joey pretended to own a Porche) as I type this. I've got another installment of Out With The Old today. Read on to see the products I'm tossing!


Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner - empty, not repurchasing
This is the second bottle of this toner that I've been through. It's okay, to be honest. I picked it up again for the scent. It's a perfectly fine toner, there's nothing wrong with it at all, but I'm just tired of it and I'm looking forward to using a new toner.

H2O+ Oasis Mist - empty, possible repurchase
I really enjoyed this product. Although it's essentially just toner in a bottle, it's very refreshing and made for a nice wake-me-up on those sleepy summer afternoons where I lazed around all day. It also helped to uncake my makeup when I did it a tad too heavily. There's actually a little bit left in the bottle but for the love of me I can't get it out. This spray costs $18! How ridiculous is that? I bought it at TJ Maxx on sale for $3. While I do like this product, I'm not willing to pay eighteen bucks for it, so if I'm going to purchase it again I'm gonna get it when it's on sale (which I often see it as).

H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment - empty, not repurchasing
While I liked this moisturizer, I don't think it was right for my skin type. I have normal/dry skin that's a little dehydrated, and this gel moisturizer just didn't give it enough deep hydration. I loved the lightweight gel texture and the clean scent, but it just wasn't hydrating enough. I think this would be great for oily/combo skin types, just not for dry types.

Burt's Bees Sensitive Eye Cream - empty, probably repurchasing
I loved this eye cream! It didn't aggravate my milia, hydrated my eyes, and the sunk in quickly. The lightweight cream was easy to spread evenly over the orbital bone, and while it isn't unscented, the light cotton scent didn't bother my sensitive eyes at all.

Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Treatment - old/empty, not repurchasing
I had this bottle for around two years. That's so nasty, I know. Anyways, this concealer is essentially a lightweight concealer designed to brighten and de-puff the under eyes, which is exactly what it does. It never creased, was pleasant to apply, and was generally a good experience. While there isn't anything wrong with this under eye brightener, I won't be repurchasing simply because there are others to try out there.

L'Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer in Light/Medium W4-5 - wasn't used, not repuchasing
Eh. I know a lot of people like this product, but I just wasn't that into it. It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't great - plus the shade was too orange for me. It's nice and blendable, but it sort of creased around the nose, and I really didn't like the texture of it under the eyes. 

No7 Lash and Brow Perfector - old, possible repurchase
I liked this brow gel! The small applicator was really great for making sure I didn't get any gel on the surrounding skin, and they held my brows in place without feeling crispy or like cement. I'm not using a brow gel at the moment and I wanted to try another one, but I'll probably go back to this one if I don't love the next one I try.

NYX Round Lipstick in Heredes - old/never used, not repurchasing this shade
The formula of these Round Lipsticks is amazing - creamy, super pigmented, long lasting, never pulls on the lips, etc. It's just this particular shade that I don't like. I picked it out because I thought it would be a good my lips but better color, but the truth is that it's just really unflattering. It's a light brown color that makes the lips look lifeless, and can't be used as a blush because, once again, it's a light brown shade. What was I thinking?

No7 Sheer Temptation Lipstick in Entice - never used, not repurchasing this shade
This line has a few really pretty colors that would look wonderful sheered out, just not this shade. This color was essentially just glitter packed into a plummy pink balm. I did like the texture and the lightweight feel, just not the shade. 

Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum - empty/old, not repurchasing
This liner is holy-grail material for a lot of people. I loved it at first, but after a while I slowly got tired of it and started disliking it more and more. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad liner at all, but I just don't love the formula. I do love the packaging, the sleek silver calligraphy type pen comes to a fine point, which makes it easy to line the lashline. The lid also had a little vacuum closing little thing, which kept it from drying out. I didn't like this for winging out liner, because I didn't think the tip was flexible enough. The formula was sub-par. It wasn't black enough, nor was it very long lasting. It never flaked or smudged, but it had a tendency to fade over the day. I also had a lot of trouble getting product though the nib; it tended to just stick in the pen although this can be easily combated by storing it upside down, despite the directions that say to store it horizontally. The growth serum claims are true to an extent. I found that it made my lashes a little fuller, but not longer or stronger. However, this seems to depend on the user. Some reported lots of growth, while others saw none at all. If you're thinking of buying this liner, I'd recommend to try it out from a friend first. 

Elizabeth Arden Lash Extending Treatment Mascara -  old, not repurchasing
Man, oh man. This $20 mascara is not good. It claims to lengthen the lashes, which I suppose could be true with daily use for a long time, but I can't imagine wearing this daily. While this mascara gave a defined, natural look, it smudges like crazy and is unbelievably unwaterproof. There is a waterproof formula, but I can't imagine that it gives a different effect from the normal formula, sans mascara smudges. What a shame. I wanted to like it. 

These posts are tiring to write in one go! I usually write the product after I finish it, but I didn't do it this time. Lesson learned. Thanks for reading! Have you tried any of these?

Weird Beauty Tricks #1

3:28 PM

Random picture I pulled out of my archive!
Clean off your spoolies/brow brushes with a coffee filter. I don't get how people can use the same spoolie for years and not clean it. The thought of that just grosses me out. I try to clean mine about every three or so days so that it dispenses the color and brushes out my brows better, and I can't quite do that with a washcloth or paper towel because it catches fibers in it. A coffee filter will effectively clean off your spoolie without getting any coffee filter shrapnel caught in it.

When traveling with loose powders, tape over the sifters. Clean the cap and sifter first, of course! But taping over the sifter is going to prevent all your powder from getting jostled around and possibly spilling all over your stuff when you open the jar later.

Shampoo after conditioner. This trick isn't for everybody - your hair might hate it. But if you find that your hair is weighed down and just doesn't quite feel right all the time, give this a go. That way, you shampoo out the conditioner residue that could possibly be weighing your hair down. Remember that this trick shouldn't be a regular thing (you can cause some serious damage to your hair) but if you have trouble getting volume you should try it, and if you like it do it about a third of the time!

This is another tip that isn't for everyone, especially not me personally, but it might be great for you - try it out! Apply lipstick while you're smiling, so that it ensures full coverage and things won't sink into lines weirdly. It doesn't work for me because I have quite thin lips, but those of you with lovely full lips could potentially benefit greatly from this!

Double cleanse your face! Try washing your face twice. Once to take off makeup, and once to get down into the skin. This trick is especially great for cleansing balms and thick cream cleansers.

Apply body lotion when your body is still wet. I actually did this for two or so years. You'll find that your limbs are so much softer and gets a lot of use out of a little lotion. It would seem that the water would emulsify the lotion and make it less moisturizing, but on the other hand it locks in the moisture and leaves you with silky soft legs. This can also be used with body oils as well.

Thanks for reading! Do you have any weird tips?

How could you do this to me? | Disappointing Products #1

4:36 PM

It's not often that I end up with a disappointing product. I try to read up on my things before I buy them, that way I don't waste money and end up with a product I don't enjoy using. I find makeup to be relaxing and fun to apply, and disappointing products just kill my buzz. Read on to see what products left me dissatisfied. 


Almay Sofies
Read my review here. These eyeshadows, seemingly great on paper, are terribly in practice. You can only get color payoff if you shove your finger into the pan and then onto your eyelid, which already sounds awful. Using a brush is useless, they won't pick up the pigment but stain the brush so you end up sweeping a brush with shadow on it but not getting any to the eyelid. Not to mention that they have terribly lasting power and blendibility. What a shame. The packaging is so cute.

Yes to Grapefruit CC Cream
This is Yes To's first and only makeup item (unless you count tinted lip balms), and I was sorely disappointed. I read somewhere when this first came out that this was a true CC cream; it has some lengthy claims about reducing discoloration and improving skin texture and won an Allure award, but I just don't get it. I myself am a light base sorta gal but this is far too light for me. There's no coverage, hardly even a tint! Not to mention that the shades are terrible - a light shade and a light/medium. I've got the light/medium, which is in actuality a medium/dark shade with a strong pink undertone, while the light is incredibly pale with a strong yellow undertone. It's not that big of a deal since this CC cream gives no coverage and sheers out to nothing, but if I'm buying a base that promises to color correct my skin, I expect it to do so.

NYX Slide On Eyeliner in Brown Perfection
I know a lot of people like these liners and compare them to the UD 24/7 Glide On ones, but if the UD ones are anything like the NYX ones I'll pass. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad eyeliner - not by a long shot - but it's nothing amazing. It's just not silky and creamy enough, plus I find that it disappears on its own after a short while. I'll stick with my Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pens, thank you very much!

Burt's Bees Mango Lip Butter
After hearing a couple Youtubers rave about this I figured I'd give it a go, as I'm always looking for my next favorite lip balm. People claim that this just moisturizes the lips so well, but I'd have to disagree. The moisture is very temporary, disappearing within ten minutes and leaving me with parched lips. In order to keep the balm texture, I have to reapply every five minutes, which is annoying and a waste. It smells very nice - like mangos - but that's not enough to make me like it. I've forced myself to use it, simply because I need to start working through my lip balms, but I'm not smitten.

Real Techniques Shading Brush
Ah, this fellow. Nobody ever talks about this. The Pixiwoo sisters included. I picked up two of these because they're part of the incredible RT line and I figured they'd be great. In theory, they should be! These synthetic Taklon brushes are stiff and dense, making them great for packing on color. The problem is that they barely pick up any pigment. I can't use this in a different manner, because shading brushes are designed for packing on color and I don't really like to pack my concealer (only other thing I can think of for this). As of late I've been using it to apply a tiny amount of shadow to my lower lashline, but I'm not really happy with it as the bristles scratch the delicate skin.

Thanks for reading this rather negative post, haha. Remember, if you like any of these, don't take it personally - I just wasn't swayed by them.

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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!