Monday, December 31, 2012

My Favorites of 2012

Instead of a December favorites, I decided that I would do a big crazy favorites of 2012 post, to show the things that I’ve enjoyed the most. I always find it interesting to see what people love enough to put it in this category. And since a lot of things impressed me this year, I’ll just jump right in!

Face Products!

Up and Up Cleansing Towelettes

I’ve tried a lot of cleansing wipes and makeup removers this year. From expensive to cheap, these are the best value for how well they work. I really enjoyed Neutrogena’s Night Calming ones and Simple’s pleasantly surprised me, but so much can be said for these wipes being under $4. They take off my mascara and face makeup, and that’s exactly what I ask for.

Clean and Clear Continuous Control Cleanser
I’m in love with this cleanser. When I struggled awhile back with breaking out last spring and winter, I didn’t know what products to try. I was drawn to this because it has Benzoyl Peroxide in it, instead of Silicic Acid. And it really has helped. I’m definitely a believer in it.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural  
I love this powder. I’ve mentioned it a lot on my blog, but it really has been such a great product for me. When I want more coverage (but still natural looking) I use this as a setting powder over my BB creams. On days that I just want to quickly do my makeup (which I’ve been doing for over the past month), I’ll just put this over my primer and go. It’s perfect.

Sigma F30 Large Powder Brush

I didn’t think a powder brush could make such a huge difference in how my makeup is applied, but this brush has made my MAC powder looks amazing. The brush is so dense and soft. It cleans well, retains shape beautifully, and has never shed one hair. I love it!

MAC 168 Brush
I’ve had an iffy relationship with this brush this year. It’s shed a little. It definitely gets stained from my blush. And it was kind of expensive. But after using the Sigma version, and an ELF blush brush, I can safely say that despite the slight shedding, it’s worth the money. It applies my blush effortlessly and evenly. It has the right density, the right length of hairs, and the perfect shape.

Eye Products

MAC Painterly Paint Pot

I have no clue how I lived my life without this product. It makes the perfect, flawless base for applying eyeshadow, and makes it stay so much longer. I’ve tried Urban Decay’s Primer Potion and NARS Eyeshadow primer, and neither can compare to this. This is a product that I can’t live without. The second I run out, I’m running to MAC to buy another.

MAC 217 Crease Brush
This is without a doubt my favorite eye brush I own. It has made applying shadow to the crease so much easier and made the look so much crisper. It’s worth the price, and I probably should invest in another, since this is one that I use every single day.

Covergirl Shimmering Sands

If you don’t own this trio, you definitely need to go to Target or Walmart and pick it up. I think it’s around $4, and is my go to look. Every time I wear this, I get tons of compliments. It’s natural and pretty. It just is beautiful. If I could only own one palette, this would kill my Naked palettes.

MAC Satin Taupe
This is my other favorite shadow. Everyone talks about how amazing this color is, and the hype is so accurate. It’s dramatic and natural at the same time. It blends beautifully. It could be a crease or an allover lid color. It’s a shadow that I’m so happy I picked up from MAC.

MAC Technakohl Liner

While I found a drugstore version I like as well, there is nothing that compares to the staying power of this liner. It stays black, doesn’t turn gray, and stays put for 12+ hours. As soon as I use up all of my Physician’s Formula eyeliner, I’m heading to MAC to buy this again.

Maybelline Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara

I’ve used a lot of mascaras this year, but without a doubt, this is my favorite. It surprises me to hear that this doesn’t have the best reviews, because I love it. I love the shape of the brush, the formula, and the effect it has on the lashes. I really notice a huge difference between this and my other mascaras I’ve used. It doesn’t clump even after multiple layers. And the packaging is adorable. I’ve also loved the Covergirl Clump Crusher so far, but I’ve only used it a week, so it has to be second place.

Hair Products!

Herbal Essence “Hello Hydration” Shampoo and Conditioner
No matter what shampoo and conditioner I use, I always go back to this duo. I’ve tried Redken’s Smooth Down, Pantene’s Visibly Smooth Nature Fusion, and tons of others, but this is the shampoo and conditioner that always leave my hair soft, smooth, frizz free, and smelling great. Plus, it’s super affordable.

Redken’s Real Control Slim Supreme

I’m not always the best at using leave-in conditioners or other products. I don’t like the heaviness or the oil that they seem so cause. But this product is really great, particularly for summer frizzy hair. It’s light, silky, and can be applied to wet or dry hair.

Remington Keratin Therapy Curling Wand (1 inch)

So my entire life I’ve wanted to be able to curl my hair, and have it stay. And never could I do it. I had some slight success with flat iron curls (but it’s so time consuming and tiring), but I wanted to try a curling wand. And I don’t know if it’s the curling wand style or this particular one, but I actually get curls that stay all day. I love this thing so much! It’s super affordable (like $29 at Target I think), and really works.

Nail Polish and Products!

Essie Chinchilly

Without a doubt, this is my favorite nail polish from this year. I’ve never used a polish as much as I’ve used this one. I can’t describe how much I love the gray coloring of Chinchilly.

Wet N’ Wild I Red a Good Book
I was a little hesitant to try out this polish mostly because of it being Wet N’ Wild. Would it chip in a day? Would the color be odd? This exceeded my expectations immensely. First, it stayed for over a week. Yes. Usually Essie lasts about 4-6 days for me. This didn’t chip or crack until like day 8 at least. It’s a beautiful bright red, and only like $2.99. I’m definitely going to try out more colors in 2013!

Revlon Red Carpet

This is my absolute favorite red I own. It’s just the perfect red for my skintone. It is much cheaper than Essie and OPI and I think better quality. It’s definitely a staple for me.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat

I hate the hassle of waiting like hours for my Essie top coat to dry. Nothing is worse. Well, this has been like a miracle product for me. It claims to have your nails dry in 30 seconds, and while that may be a bit of a lie, it’s definitely a minute or two. If you love painting yours nails, but hate how slow drying can be, try this. You won’t regret it.

Other Favorites

Target’s Mossimo Boyfriend V-Necks

I’m a sucker for plain t-shirts for layering with cardigans and scarves. I think I wear this combination at least 3 or 4 days during the week. And in warmer weather, I love wearing these shirts alone. They are incredibly cheap (usually like $6 or $8) and come in such pretty colors! I own white, black, gray, coral, dark blue, light blue, green, and a new mint green. I love them!

Victoria’s Secret Pink V-Necks

These are usually the 2 for $28 shirts (checking their website, it now says they are 2 for $30...oh well). Recently I picked up a couple and fell in love. They are so comfy and cute! Plus they have the little dog logo which I love on the bottom. I have a red and a blush pink color and they are so great for layering as well. I definitely see myself buying several more in 2013.

Bath and Body Works Shower Gel in Sweet on Paris, Twisted Peppermint, and Vanilla Bean Noel
I love Bath and Body Works shower gel because it all smells so good! This year I fell in love with these three scents (too bad two are seasonal and one was limited time). I’m really loving sweet scents this year, so if you have any recommendations for a 2013 one, let me know?

Bath and Body Works Wallflowers

I’ve been in love with these since my freshman year. They are so awesome for dorm rooms, which tend to not be the freshest spaces in the world. My favorites from this year included Lilac, Pumpkin Cupcake (love this so much!!), White Barn No.1 Nutmeg and Spice, and Twisted Peppermint. I’m not sure what my winter scents will be like after Christmas (I’m not a fan of their global collection or their beach scents…so if you’ve tried frosted cupcake, let me know if it’s a good one that’s strong enough to smell).

Bath and Body Works Country Chic Perfume
This might become a shocker, but I actually love this scent more than Marc Jacobs Daisy. That’s how much I love it. I love the light floral, lemon smell. It reminds me of spring and happiness and my boyfriend (he’d give me back massages with this lotion). It’s without a doubt my favorite.


This year I've really gotten back into loving scarves! They are so cute and some of the new ones I've picked up are so adorable! My favorites are either the floral one my little gave me or these leopard ones I picked up at Target back in October!

Vera Bradley Large Duffle in Island Blooms

I know I talk about this nonstop, but it really has been so handy this year for going home on the weekends. Not only is it super helpful for over packing (which I do best), but it’s also just so pretty!

Starbucks Iced White Chocolate Mochas

My all time favorite drink! I'm addicted to Starbucks and usually, this is what I get. It's definitely been my favorite drink of 2012!

Well, I think that covers a lot of my loves this year. Tell me what you loved this year, maybe I’ll have to try those out! Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Favorite Vera Bradley Items

Hey guys! So if you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you will know that I love Vera Bradley. A lot. There is just something about the prints and the styles of the products that just make me happy. Some may say it’s old lady-ish or too floral or whatever, but when I look at it, I see cozy, fresh, pretty, and even young (seriously, tell me Va Va Bloom is an old lady print. It’s not.). Recently, I got to thinking about what are my favorite items I own from there. I mean, I have tons of stuff. Tons. Some hits. Some misses. But what Vera products I would repurchase again? What are the most useful? So here they are:

Laptop Backpack!
As you probably know, I have three already. I love my Vera backpacks. They are bright and cheery (always a plus when you’re going to a class you aren’t fond of), girly, classy, and so reliable. Yes, the bottoms get discolored and kind of worn. But it’s understandable considering the amount of use they get. And I definitely have my eyes on maybe another in Island Blooms…

Laundry Bag
So last Christmas I asked for this sorta on a whim. It was on sale in Mocha Rouge, and although I already have a college hamper I love, I got this anyway. Well, fast forward to this school year in my sorority’s house, and it has come in handy. I don’t always have time to do my laundry up at school this year (14 girls, 1 washer, and 1 dryer make it sort of rough), so this laundry bag has made lugging my clothes to and from school so easy! It’s so incredibly durable. And so large!

Large Duffle
This purchase was sort of just a random one. I had always admired them, but wasn't sold on one mostly because of the price. But when I found it on sale for $65 over the summer, I jumped on this one in Island Blooms. I go home a ton on weekends from college, and this duffle is the perfect thing for packing some clothes and my makeup. I have no clue what I would do without it. Plus, I think it looks really cute in Island Blooms.

Clutch Wallet
Even though this product is on its way out, it’s one that I love. I have in Happy Snails, and now Island Blooms. It is classy as a clutch, good size, and not too big for stuffing in a purse. It’s easy to get into, and even though I was worried about the kisslock, it’s been super reliable and durable.

Laptop Case
This was my very first Vera purchase. Back in high school when I received my first laptop for college, I wanted a cute case. Not one of those ugly black ones. My mom recommended Vera Bradley, which I knew a little bit about, but not a lot. Well, we were shocked by the prices. But we noticed that this print, Caffe Late, was on sale. Even though it wouldn’t be my first choice for a print, I fell in love with Vera after that. It’s been great for traveling with my laptop, and has been super durable.

I have purchased many napkins, but I’ve never used them for their intended purposes. These come in handy! I’ve used many for sorority letter shirts and for making pillows for my bed at college. They are awesome deals and ways to make your own Vera Bradley items.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

High Five For Friday

What have been your highlights of the week?

Post Christmas Haul

So yesterday we braved the mall to see what deals we could find. Although I didn’t look all that closely at every store we went into, some of the stuff I got was pretty good.
First, was American Eagle because I was after a scarf that would match my new navy blue sweater I got for Christmas. I know, that was pretty specific. But when I tried the sweater on, I felt like it needed just an extra winter accessory, and I don’t have any scarves (believe it not) that match navy blue. I found one too! It wasn’t on sale, but it does match my sweater really well, in addition to a couple of other sweaters I have too!

Plus while I was there, I noticed that the cable knit sweaters like the coral one I got for Christmas, were seriously marked down to just $14.99. I couldn’t believe it. The sizes are definitely picked over. Mediums and larges were completely gone, but I decided to try an extra-large, and it actually looks really good! I picked it up in this cute oatmeal/tan sort of color.

While we were there, I really wanted to check out the Semi-Annual Sale at Bath and Body Works. And I’m so glad I did. See, a few days ago I had this totally random dream about the Cinnamon Sugar Donut scented candle. Which is funny because A.) it’s a fall scent and B.) I’ve never owned this scent or really paid any sort of attention to it before my dream. So when I saw this at the store, I think I literally gasped. So I had to pick it up, especially because it was 50%. I also spotted my all-time favorite Pumpkin Cupcake candle (I love fall scents, what can I say?). So I snatched that up too.

I couldn’t resist my favorite Lemon Vanilla scented body wash and lotion either. I love that combo so much. And for $3 each, I think I may have to make a return visit after pay day.

Did you score any great deals?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What I Got For Christmas

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a holly jolly Christmas! I also hope that you got things that you are excited about and had a great time with your family.
I had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas, and I was thinking it would be fun to show you the things that I got for Christmas. I'm always curious to see what other people got. So this might be a tad of a long post, so bear with me. I'll start with some stocking stuffers that I recieved.
 On the left above I got some Ghiradhelli Peppermint Bark, which is so yummy. I also got some chocolate gold coins, which have been a favorite of mine since I was little.
 I recieved two cute key toppers. One is a ladybug and the other is a cupcake! They came from Target and I love them! I also got some bows for my hair (perfect for pulling my bangs out of my eyes), and some holiday Soft Lips (raspberry and sugar cookie!).

 Now are two monogrammed things I recieved. On the left is a really cute new phone case. It's an Otterbox that has been personalized with navy and white stripes, with a red circle monogram in the center. I love it so much! And it's much better quality than my other cases I've used. It was a total surprise because I was expecting a Kate Spade one.

The item on the right is the monogrammed necklace that I was drooling over in my Winterlicious post. I got it. It's perfect. It's 1.25 inch silver from this etsy shop. It's so affordable and seems great quality too!

Going into more beauty related products, I heard about It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product on Youtube. Since I've started curling my hair frequently, I thought my hair could use a leave-in product that protects it against heat and styling. So I'm hoping it works as good as things I've heard said.
I got the new Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara, which I have been dying to try. I've heard really good things about it, and I'm interested to see if it's better than my Maybelline Cat Eyes mascara.
 This is something that I've been really eyeing. It's one of the Starbucks Christmas tumblers with a fox on it. I love it. It's the tall size (the other two sizes were snatched up fast), so it's perfect for water beside my bed at night).
Here of course is the Naked 2 palette. I've been waiting to get it forever. I wasn't actually planning on getting it, but my mom surprised me! I've already been watching tutorials on looks from it.


Next up was a huge surprise. I had been wanting the Marc Jacobs Dot perfume since my birthday, but it was so expensive! Well, my mom surprised me with buying me the 1.7 oz., which is so much bigger than I expected it being! I love the packaging so much and the bottle is too cute for words.

Here are some Vera Bradley items I had been wanting really bad. The wallet is the clutch wallet in Island Blooms (this style is one they are discontinuing, and I love it! My old wallet is the same, just Happy Snails, so I wanted another too before it disappears!). I always got the Happy Snails hipster, which my mom scored for only $30 on Cyber Monday. I love Happy Snails, and being the hoarder I am, I'm trying to collect as much as I can afford in it before it too is officially retired.
And of course, what is Christmas without new jammies? These reindeer pajama pants on the right are from Old Navy and I love love love them!

 They are so cute and festive and warm! Next up are some bath items, both from Ulta. I love the packing of the Christmas Cookie 3-1 shower gel. Isn't it adorable? The smell is heavenly too. So sweet and yummy! And I also recieved this fuzzy dottie bathroom my mom got for free from Ulta. It will come in handy definitely up at college.
And of course, I was so delighted to see this Lilly Pulitzer wall calendar on Christmas morning! Every year I like to get a calendar for my room at home, and this will be perfect! The pages are just like the agenda, and they are too cute for words. I cannot wait for February, that's for sure, because that page makes me so darn happy!

Now getting into some of the clothes I got. Above I got this thick, warm navy blue sweater. It's sort of a cable knit and it will be really cute layered with a warm scarf.

 And on here I got this plaid flannel shirt from Target. It's really cute and soft!

I also reieved this red cable knit sweater, that is so warm! I love it! Plus it has little sparkly particles in it, which is super perfect for Christmas and New Years!
 Above I recieved this dottie henley that has a ruffle down the center. I absolutely love the polka dots!

I absolutely love this American Eagle cable knit sweater! The corol color is so pretty and I really love this button detail on the sleeves.

The last clothing item I recieved was this pretty lavender-colored cardigan from Target. What I love about it, is the lace all over the front. I love lace so much!
The last item I recieved were these cute monogram decals! They are from Etsy (if you're curious just let me know and I'll put a link to the exact shop), and I think they will look really cute on a couple of notebooks for my classes next semester!
Well, that's all! I love everything I got! All of it will be really useful and fun to have! But most of all, I really just enjoyed the holiday. Even without the gifts, it would have been amazing and fun.
What things did you recieve? Was there anything Santa left out that you are hoping to score in an after Christmas deal?