Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Room Updates

Hey guys!

I wanted to share with you some real quick room updates!

When it comes to spring and summer, it's a time when I crave lots of yellow, white, and brightness in the design of my rooms. Even though I know we'll have lots of snow storms in the course of the next month, at least my room can feel light, airy, and spring-like!

With the help of Instagram and Pinterest, I've been lusting over more of a shabby chic, feminine design lately. I have no clue why, but suddenly it's really appealed to me.

One of the biggest changes to my room is bedding. I decided I wanted to invest in this fluffy, Simply Shabby Chic comforter from Target. I love it so much! It's brightened up my room so much and is absolutely perfect!

I really love how the bedding came out. I refreshed the look a little bit with navy blue gingham sheets from Steinmart, I used my favorite set of pillows (the yellow flower is from Target 2010, yellow texture pillow is from Target Winter 2014, and my homemade Riley Blake navy chevron pillow). The comforter from Target is such good quality! It feels like something from a fancy hotel!

Another huge change happened to my dresser area.

I picked up the Ikea Ung Drill Mirror the other day and then spray painted it white so it would fit in better with the rest of my room. It's amazing how much light this mirror reflects and what it looks like!

So those are the changes for now! If you like my decorating posts, make sure to check out an entire page I have about the decorating I do, featuring my dorms and changes here at home. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Guide to Oily Skin

Hey guys!

When I first started using makeup, there was always one question I was faced with that seemed really daunting: do I have oily or dry skin?

For people that have been using make up, this might seem like a silly question. But when you are new to things, it can be really hard, since this is usually a question that only you would know.

It really helps when you do know the answer, because it can help you pick the right kinds of makeup and skincare product for you.

I thought that maybe I could help out a little.

Signs of Oily Skin:

-You notice shinny spots on your skin: especially on your forehead, nose, and chin.

-You feel like you need to wash your face several times a day.

-You often get pimples

-You have an oily scalp: meaning you wash your hair or need to use dry shampoo often.

-You feel your makeup sliding around your face during the day.

A quick way to tell if you suffer from oily skin: buy a pack of oil blotting sheets (my favorite are the Deep Clean ones by Neutrogena). Press a sheet against your skin. If you turn the paper into something that looks like the picture below: you've got oily skin.

A few tips for people with oily skin:

-Even though you might not want to, moisturize! Skin becomes oilier the more it dries out. I like the First Aid Beauty Daily Face Cream.

-Choose face products that say they are oil free and mattifying. I like It Cosmetics CC Cream and the Smashbox Photo Finish Light primer.

-A good powder is your best friend. I love MAC's Studio Fix Plus.

-Finding a good cleanser that cleans deep into pores is super important. I love the Neutrogena Clear Pore and First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser.

-Blotting sheets like the Deep Clean ones above, are so helpful!

-When all else fails, Urban Decay's DeSlick spray literally works miracles.

Make sure to check out all of my latest posts: My Nail Polish Collection, My Everyday Makeup, MAC First Impressions/Haul, and Covergirl 3-1 Foundation Review.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Cleaning: Nail Polish Collection

Hey guys!

It should be no surprise that I love nail polish.

Unfortunately it's something that I've always struggled with storing. I personally have never felt compelled to invest in those wall racks you see in salons. But recently I got an idea about a cute, easy way to store my rather large collection of colors.

Hobby Lobby had these small photo boxes on sale for 50% off this past weekend and they just so happened to have this cute navy geometric print in stock. I decided that four boxes would definitely fit my collection and would make my book case look a lot more organized and cute!

I think it came out really good and I just put a few things that I had just sitting around next to them to make my shelf look a little bit more put together. Also, I think you'll notice just a small fraction of my always growing candle collection beside the boxes...

Anyway, here's a quick look in the boxes. Three of them have polish in them and the fourth is actually empty! It'll eventually probably begin to store more polish eventually though.

This box is my most full since it stores mostly my reds, pinks, and purples.

The next box holds my grays, greens, and blues.

The final box is where I put polish I just purchased, currently loving, or planning on wearing. I think it's good to have a separate box for this purpose because often times I forget about certain colors I've just purchased. I also store my nail polish remover in here too so it's out of site.

How do you store your nail polish? Do you prefer racks or having your bottles out of the way?

Spring MAC Haul/First Impressions

Hey guys!

There's no doubt that I love MAC makeup. It was the first high-end makeup that I dabbled in, and I still continue to find that the brand as a whole is great quality and (when compared with other high-end brands like NARS) relatively affordable.

I've been struggling with my face makeup recently. I love the It Cosmetics CC Cream, but I find myself wanting more coverage and something that holds up better with oily skin.

I thought about trying out the Amazonian Clay Tarte foundation, but found myself just wanting to try something really different. Enter the MAC store. I really like the MAC counter that's here in my hometown, but I truly love going to the full-fledged store about an hour away.

Anyway, in the store I received great customer service and walked away spending about $70 more than I was originally planning on, but overall I think I picked up some great stuff.

I picked up five things at the store, four face products and one eyeshadow!

Cork Eyeshadow

Over the past year or so, I've collected enough products to finally exchange for the Back-to-MAC program (which I view like an incentive program). I knew that for my free eyeshadow, I wanted a nice brown color that would look great with my NARS Alhambra duo and this shade is perfect! I can't believe I didn't own Cork before now.

Select Cover-Up Concealer

I've been using the Make Up Forever Full Cover concealer, but when the makeup artist used this on me, I could truly see how much better this is. I love it so far. It looks amazing under my eyes (conceals all signs of dark circles without getting cakey or making my face oily) and is great on blemishes and redness on the rest of my face. It's thicker and creamier than the MUF version. The MAC website says that this concealer blends in to be invisible and I must agree, I don't even notice it on my face. In case you are wondering, I was matched to NW25.

Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder

I'm gonna be honest and say that before I purchased this powder, I had never heard of it. When I asked the makeup artist about a new setting powder, I thought for sure she'd lead me to another Mineralized Skinfinish Natural (which I loved), however, she recommended this one because she said it's great for sensitive skin, blots up oily perfectly, adds little coverage, so no need to worry about a cakey look. So I can use it all day to touch up any oiliness that might appear. Plus, after using it a couple of times, it feels so amazing! I love this stuff. It takes away any shine or oil, but still gives my face a glowy look. (By the way, I'm in the shade Light Plus).

Matchmaster Foundation

Knowing that I was curious about MAC foundations, I did some research before I went into the store and discovered this guy. I thought it sounded promising, but I wanted to see what the MUA would suggest. After telling her that I was interested in a medium-full coverage foundation that would last through-out the day and not make me oily, she brought this one to me. Guys, I've only worn this stuff three days now, but I love it. A lot. I've faced absolutely no problems with oiliness, it looks great and glowing on my face, and literally feels like I'm not wearing anything. But it covers up my redness while still not looking cakey. It's amazing. Plus, it has lasted 8-10 hours just as promised. If you have oily skin, you need to check this stuff out. It has SPF 15 and I'm in the shade 1.5.

Powder Blush in Peachykeen

After having the MUA also apply this to my cheeks, I couldn't help but get it too. It looks so pretty for spring and I think it looks really good with my green eyes. The site describes it as a baby peach with a little shimmer and I'd have to agree. It's natural and perfect for spring.

I'll give updates and do full reviews on some of these products, but I just have to say, that when it comes down to it, I'm always impressed with MAC.

What spring things are you picking up?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Cleaning: My Everyday Makeup

Hi guys!

I'm really excited because right now I'm on spring break, so that makes me feel like I finally have time to take care of so many things in my life and relax!

One of the things that I've already tackled is reorganizing my daily makeup collection.

It had started to get a little out of hand and I wanted something that didn't look nearly as cluttery. This past Saturday, my mom and I were shopping at the store Garden Ridge and I found a couple of these cosmetics drawers. Although they aren't exactly the heavy quality of something from the Container Store, they were only $20 each and they fit all my everyday makeup a little more.

I love how clean and put together my dresser top now looks thanks to these drawers.

Let's take a super quick look at how I organized these four drawers:

The first one is dedicated to my liquid products. In here I have:

-Aveeno Smart Essentials Moisturizer

-First Aid Beauty Daily Moisturizer

-Urban DeSlick Spray

-Covergirl Foundation

The next drawer is dedicated to my face products like foundation and blush such as my It Cosmetics CC Cream, Smashbox CC Cream, Rockateur Blush, and Make Up Forever Full Cover Concealer.

Another drawer is dedicated to my eye makeup like primers, eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner.

And the final drawer is actually kind of empty, but right now it holds a few hair bands, lip balms, and cotton rounds.

Having my everyday makeup organized in drawers instead of a makeup bag just makes me feel so much more permanent and less nomadic, plus I love being able to see everything when I'm getting ready. Plus these cute little drawers give me a chance to display my pretty perfume bottles on top of it too, which makes me so happy!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

5 Things I'm Loving

Right now, there's a few things that I can't get enough of.

1. I'm obsessed with Pure Seduction Bloom from Victoria's Secret. Not only is the packaging freaking gorgeous, but it smells like spring in a bottle. I couldn't help but go out and buy the shower gel as well.

2. I'm equally crazy about this nail polish from Vicky's as well. I think this is the most perfect mint nail polish. It's the color "Lucky."

3. Don't get me started on Benefit's They're Real mascara. This makes my lashes look like they are a million miles long. Plus it goes on without a single clump. It's truly one of my favorite mascaras ever.

4. My first NARS eyeshadow duo in Alhambra is so pretty I can't stand it. This pink and sparkly gold combine to make the prettiest all over lid color ever. I can't believe I've lived without this for so long!

5. My boyfriend. I can never get enough of him.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review: Cover Girl Stay Fabulous 3-1 Foundation

Hey guys!

It was within the last month I finally became brave enough to not only try out a full coverage foundation, but to try a drugstore one at that.

I've heard great things about Cover Girl's 3-1 Foundation, especially for people with oily skin, so I decided this was the one I wanted to try.

Let's just say that I loved this stuff at first. It seriously gives the most natural full coverage face. It lasted at least 10 to 12 hours, and definitely had a powdery finish, perfect for my oily skin.

Everything about it is amazing, except for two things:

1.) The color selection is truly awful. In MAC I'm a C3. I'm definitely on the fair side, but I have a slight yellow undertone. Not orange. Not pink. Yellow. This foundation refuses to believe that anyone could be anything other than orange or pink. Everything was way too orange or pink. I went through four colors until finally deciding that 810 (Classic Ivory) was the best match I could get, but it still wasn't great.

2.) This broke me out like you wouldn't believe. At first it was all fine and dandy. And then four (4!!!!!) huge zits all popped out at once. One was the size of a nickel. I couldn't believe it. I've spent almost all of February and March trying to get my skin back to normal. But a couple of weeks ago I wanted to try it out again...thinking maybe it was a face wash or something else that caused it. And proceeded to get another 2 pimples.

Needless to say, I've given up with this foundation. It's not worth the breaking out and it bums me out that they don't offer a yellow toned version of fair.

That being said, if you have any recommendations for a medium-full coverage foundation that doesn't break you out and is great for oily skin, let me know. Drugstore or high-end would be great!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It Cosmetics CC Cream Review

Hi guys!

A little while back, I decided I wanted to try some new face products. I tried the Stila CC Cream and the Smashbox one, but neither were products that I truly fell in love with. Stila's hardly provided coverage and the Smashbox one was still a little light for what I wanted (and the fair shade seemed a tad yellow on me...).

So because of the amazing reviews of the It Cosmetics CC Cream, I wanted to give it a try. At $38, it was an investment that I really needed to think about. But, it's at Ulta, which is a good thing because I think they have a much better rewards program (I got this product for $30 because I cashed in $8 worth of points). And occasionally they offer coupons that can be used on anything.


Let's just jump right in with what I think about this stuff.

First off, I love the packaging. I love the fact that it has a pump but is still a tube. It makes it really easy to deal with. There's not much else to comment, but it feels substantial and I think sometimes that's all you can ask.

Moving on, this product guarantees everything just short of the kitchen sink:

"Why did IT Cosmetics create this product: To finally give women an all-in-one multi-tasking beauty miracle that truly gives full, flawless, perfect coverage, protects your skin with SPF 50+ from the harmful rays of the sun and is clinically proven to improve skin texture and hydration. IT Cosmetics worked with plastic surgeons to develop a multi-tasking correcting cream that is true scientific breakthrough. It's packed with anti-aging ingredients that is clinically proven to improve skin and works on all ages, that doesn't crease or crack!"

Guys, that's promising a lot out of a CC Cream. Not only is this SPF 50, but it's supposed to give me anti-aging benefits, serve as a primer, moisturizer, and full coverage foundation, and works on everyone. Wow.

Now, I think if you compare this product to what it claims, it will fail. Nothing can live up to a description like that.

You can see a tad of redness, a little bit of scarring, but overall I'd say it's a good medium coverage. An hour into wearing it.

This is after 10 hours of wear.

Honestly, I think this is the best CC/BB Cream I've used. Without a doubt. It feels nice, it isn't too oily or dry. I have some dry patches that it of course clings to and I have oily patches that don't go out of control. I've found that to make this product successful, I need to do three things:

1. Use a beauty blender. Forget fingers and brushes. They will leave this product clinging in the weirdest ways possible. The Beauty Blender is the only way to go.

2,) Moisturize. I have oily skin, and I still need to moisturize because this. stuff. will. cling.

3.) Use a primer. Because the staying power is about 6-8 hours...with Smashbox Photo Finish Light. Though I'll admit, when this wears off, it isn't like "OMG my face just melted off and I look like a beast." It actually still looks nice, but I can definitely see my redness and scars poking through.

But, I think it feels great on the skin, looks great (especially with a good concealer). And I think it smells like lemon cheesecake in a non-obnoxious way. More in a subtle fresh way.

I think your best bet is seeing it in person when it comes to color. Both the makeup artist and I thought I'd be light and it was kind of dark on me, so I had to get fair. The light was really yellow toned and the fair is much more neutral colored.

Will I repurchase? I think so, at least I'm 80 % sure. I really like it a lot. It beats the Stila and Smashbox versions hands down.

Check out a few of my other latest posts: MAC Haul/First Impressions, Covergirl Foundation Review, Guide to Oily Skin, My Everyday Makeup Storage, and my Nail Polish Collection.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy 30 Months!

Hey guys!

Today was pretty much like the most amazing spring day here in Colorado. Temperatures pushing 70 degrees, slight breeze. You know what that means, snow is probably coming any day now.

Anyway, the 10th of every single month holds a special place in my heart. That's because my boyfriend and I started dating on September 10th. So, like any other crazy obsessed girlfriend, I keep track of every monthly anniversary. Don't get me wrong, it's not like we have a parade and I expect flowers or anything. I actually think we've only celebrated truly our first and second anniversaries. But my boyfriend and I always make sure to text each other or call and wish the person a happy whatever-month anniversary.

Today is two and a half years (we've given up trying to count months. Just thinking of the title sent me into math overload) that we've been together. It's funny how when I think of 2 and a half years, but feels both really long and really short.

So in the grand scheme of things, two and a half years isn't really that long of a time. But, when I think about many of the people I know and their college relationships, we've been together longer than everyone else. Despite school, full-time work, long-distance, student teaching, etc. And that's what makes me think that 30 months is something that should be celebrated.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review of Smashbox CC Cream

Hey guys!

Let me just say, it seems like within the next month, my life is going to just explode. I have this big capstone project (the biggest and final of my career) due on April 14, and right now my entire life revolves around trying to make it work as well as dealing with all the stresses of state testing and getting the students to actually pay attention to me instead of wishing it was spring break.

But anyway, in between preparing lessons and sleeping, I've been testing some new face products. One of those is the Smashbox CC Cream. This was recommended to me by a makeup artist and Sephora and I've been trying it out for a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd share my thoughts with you.

As you've probably heard, CC creams are great for people with problems with redness and dark spots. They offer a little bit more coverage than a BB cream, but are still usually a light to medium buildable coverage.

According to Sephora, this Smashbox CC Cream is supposed to be a color correcting cream that "fades imperfections, even complexion, and prevents future discoloration." It has SPF 30, supposed to be lightweight, neutralizes and brightens skin, as well as primes, perfects, and protects. It adds moisture without creating extra oil.

My Thoughts:

Overall, I think this is a pretty good product. It feels pretty nice on my skin (by the way, this month I've been STRUGGLING with combination skin, both insanely oily with dry patches around my nose and chin). I find that toward the end of the day, it can get a little oily (what doesn't?) and it can cling to dry patches as well. But it is lightweight and doesn't make me feel like my face is caked with makeup.

I'd say this is a light to medium coverage, but very buildable. One thing that I have noticed, is that after wearing for about 15-18 hours, this can still be on my face in some of my less oily places. I'm shocked that it lasts that long for just a CC cream. Of course, in my red areas, I do notice it starts to wear in the 6-8 hour area, but that's pretty decent.

This is after about 10 hours of wear

It covers my redness pretty well without any concealer, and I usually just wear some powder over it. I do use a primer underneath, because I find that it really clung to my dry spots without that. I also use a moisturizer and apply this with a Beauty Blender to make sure that I didn't get any of those awful patches. This definitely applies patching and awful if you don't blend it in well.

I haven't noticed any long term skin benefits, but I've been using it two weeks, so it's tough telling on that. I wear the color fair and I think it might be a smidgen yellow on me, but I think it blends pretty well into my skin color.

However, I do think $42 for 1 oz of product is ridiculously steep. I'm not sure if I'll repurchase just because of that fact alone. But I am enjoying it right now and I'm going to continuing using it in a rotation with other products. Is it better than the Stila CC Cream? Yes, without a doubt. I think it offers much better coverage and feels so much better on the skin.

Have you tried out the CC Cream rage or do you think it's too gimmicky? Also check out my Stila CC Cream review too.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

First Impressions of Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Hi guys!

Recently I picked up this little Beauty Blogger sample kit from Too Faced. I mostly picked it up because I wanted to try the Better than Sex mascara. Honestly, I wanted to try this mascara mostly because of the name. Hey, that's pretty much the sole reason why I went out and bought NARS Deepthroat and Orgasm (they are great blushes though, besides the names).

Let me tell you, the name might make you cringe (or giggle if you are me), but this mascara is amazing! I've tried it twice, and already I am contemplating throwing out the $23 for the full size. It's that good.

I've been loving the Rocket, which I thought was the bee's knees, but this just might be better. The brush is super similar to the Cover Girl Flame Out mascara. Which sucked in my opinion. But something about this brush is just better. It somehow reaches all my lashes and just defines and lengths them, while making them huge!! Seriously! Three swipes and I thought my lashes might hit my eyebrow!

So here are a bunch of really bad pictures taken with my Iphone, but I just want you to know, that I'm super obsessed with this stuff. It's perfect!

This picture shows that one eye has mascara, one doesn't.

So as you can see, I love taking pictures of myself. And I really think Better than Sex is a great mascara. Yes, I can see how it can get a little clumpy, just if you have the Rocket or Clump Crusher on hand in case things get crazy, I think it's fantastic. It might be my all time favorite high-end mascara.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Favorites

Hey guys!

So February is over and I couldn't be more excited! I want Spring and flip flops and flowers, so the quicker that we get done with February and March, the better in my opinion. Except as I'm writing this, it's snowing outside, typical Colorado.

Anyway, this month I tried a ton of new products, so I'm kind of excited to share my February favorites with you. Hopefully, this month I'll be able to share some more product reviews with you, as well as hopefully some room updates as far as decorating goes.

So let's take a look at things that I've been loving of late!

Essie Fiji

This is a pretty popular color for a lot of people, and this month I got to see just how amazing of a color it is. It's pretty, feminine, and neutral (but with a cute pop of interest). I loved it on my nails, much to my surprise. I'm pretty sure that this light pink is going to be a spring staple for me this year. I love that it's completely opaque (I hate nail polish that's still sheer).

Beauty Blender

This month I've been experimenting a lot with new face products, so I finally caved and bought the Beauty Blender from Sephora. I must say, this thing is amazing! It's great on full coverage foundation and fantastic on a lighter coverage CC cream. No matter what, it leaves the makeup looking flawless and super natural. Plus, it lets me keep my fingers nice and clean! I'm already wondering how I've gotten this far in life without one!

The Body Shop Mango Lip Butter

I picked this up back in January from Ulta in a holiday gift pack that was on sale. This stuff smells amazing!! I'm been obsessed with all things peach and mango this month, and this stuff definitely helps make me a little more obsessed with mango! It is thick and buttery, and instantly helps relieve sore lips.

MAC Naked Pigment

I've been wanting this stuff for a few months now, and I finally got to my MAC counter and bought it. I'm so happy that I did, because I've found out just how amazing this looks as an all over the lid color. It's shimmery and a little glittery, but in a subtle sort of way. I think it looks amazing with the colors of the Naked Basics palette (which is a favorite this month too!). I've experimented applying this wet and dry, and both are gorgeous. I'm currently loving it applied dry though, because I think that makes it a little bit less shimmery.

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser

My skin went absolutely crazy this month. From oily to acne filled (four zits on my face at once was insane, I haven't had any breakouts like that in like six months!) to now dry, my face has seen it all this month. One thing that I made myself commit to doing is actually cleansing my face after removing makeup. I'm awful about that, but with the help of this cleanser, I've been doing it consistently for two weeks now and this has made a huge difference I think to the way my skin feels. This instantly makes my face feel clean and nourished, soft and healthy. It helps get off any last traces of makeup and I think has helped me calm my skin down (I'm down to just one tiny breakout up my lips).

Maybelline's The Rocket Mascara

I mentioned earlier this month I was giving this stuff another try, and I'm so happy that I did! It's amazing! It adds so much volume without clumping while adding some length! I can't believe that I ever stopped using this stuff! Plus it's amazing on my lower lashes!

Bath and Body Works Market Peach Hand and Body Cream

I mentioned that I'm obsessed with all things peach and mango, and I blame this stuff for fueling this addiction. I love it! If you love the candle, you need this lotion! It smells like amazing fruitiness and makes my skin so soft without being greasy!

Milani Luminoso Blush

Another old favorite, I started using this again this month as well. Can you tell that I'm in the mood for spring? This is the perfect pretty coral blush. I think it's even prettier than NARS Orgasm. And applied with the Real Techniques Blush brush, it's even more amazing. It gives such a pretty, feminine glow.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

Hands down my favorite UD palette, I started using this again with the MAC Naked pigment. I use Naked 2 and Faint in the crease and foxy on my brow bone, which makes the most beautiful, everyday look. I'm convinced that whenever you use those three colors, you will just look gorgeous. I feel like I've gotten every penny I spent on this palette back just by how much I've used it.

Bath and Body Works Raspberry Peach Macaron Candle

I was super excited for the release of the Sweet Shop scents this month and I honestly didn't expect this candle to have been my favorite. It smells amazing! Fruity and sweet, it's like the perfect combination of spring and winter. It burns amazing, has a great throw, and I think the packaging is so adorable. You have got to smell this stuff if you love raspberries or peaches.

Love looking at past favorites? Take a look at what I was loving a year ago in my February 2013 Favorites!