Tuesday, July 16, 2013

E.l.f. Haul and Mini First Impressions

Recently e.l.f. (eyelipsface) had a 50% off sale online. Considering they already have insanely cheap prices, I couldn't resist taking advantage of this offer. Here's my haul and my first impressions when I swatched some products...

The first swatches are the HD Blushes I got which normally cost $3 from elf's studio line. I've been interested in trying them out for a while. They are SUPER pigmented, and I'll have to experiment on how to make that dark shade work for me.
From top to bottom :Superstar, Headliner, and Showstopper.

Next I got the cream blush/bronzer duo. I've been using my Sonia Kashuk cream bronzer every day, so I decided to try this out. It's a little orange for my skin tone, but is pigmented and creamy. The blush is a gorgeous color, however it is almost too soft, and I'll have to be careful not to dig into it when I use it. It is $3 on the website.

I got 3 of the Lip Balm Tints (normally $2 each). They are surprisingly pigmented, considering they are just a tinted lip balm. They are moisturizing and have a slight sweet taste to them. I'm already a fan! From left to right: Nude, Peach, and Berry.

I LOVE elf's studio line of brushes. They are soft, durable, and at $3, the price can't be beat. This is the small tapered brush, which I will probably use for highlighting or contouring. It has a slight paddle shape, so I feel like it'd be perfect for either uses.

The elf essential brushes, for me, are hit or miss. But, because they only cost $1 (and 50% off that...) I threw some in my shopping cart. This is the smudger brush. Seems like not the softest thing, but it'll serve it's purpose.

I actually already have one of elf spoolies. But, I tend to lose these kinds of brushes or they get dirty and can be hard to clean, so it's always good to have an extra handy. These are also part of the essential line, so they are normally only $1.

This is the angled blush brush. I have had my eye on this one for a while. It is part of the studio line, so it is normally $3. It's decently dense, and I think it will lend itself to blush or contouring.

Not swatched: elf brow treat and tame and eyebrow kit. I bought two treat and tames because they tend to dry out, but I really like them for lazy days when I dont want to full out fill in my brows. I also got the eyebrow kit which I have never used before, but I have seen others use it and it's seems like something good to try out. Both products are part of the studio line and normally cost $3. I also got both products in ash- I love that elf has an ash option instead of just a light blonde, because often eyebrow products are too warm for my liking, so it's good that they are clear that this product is cool toned.

Thanks for viewing!

Monday, July 15, 2013

IPSY July 2013 Bag Review

Hey everyone! So today I got my July Ipsy bag in the mail. Wahoo! Something weird happened with shipping so I didn't get my bag last month (but their customer service has been great in trying to get me a new one!) so this month I was particularly excited to receive it.

If you don't know what Ipsy is, it is a subscription site that costs $10 a month, and each month they send you a bag with (usually) 5 makeup/beauty products. There are many other sites like this out there (Birchbox, Beautybox5, etc), but I was interested in this one because 1) it is only 10 bucks a month, and other subscriptions can cost much more and 2) it is run by lots of my favorite Youtube beauty gurus, including AndreasChoice, MichellePhan, and Dope2111 (Promise Tamang).

With this site, you can personalize your account, and they tailor pick things to send you out of a certain group of products, so not everyone receives the same bag. Buuuuut, here's what I received:

1) The bags Ipsy comes in are usually quite cute. This months theme is "beach beauty," and they used a translucent pink cylinder bag. This is honestly probably the first bag I really see myself using for makeup (for travel, purse, etc), because I ADORE that it's see-through so that I can see each product inside. Last month's bag was leopard, yet another reason I was bummed shipping got messed up!

2) Coola tinted moisturizer SPF 20. It's organic and rose essence and all of that, but I'm not really one for tinted moisturizers. I have pretty oily skin, so if I use a product like this it needs to be suited for such skin types (I LOVE Garnier BB Cream for oily/combo skin). I'll give it a try, but meh.

Coola Rose Essence tinted moisturizer- full size (on Coola's website)= 1.7 oz for $36
Sample size from Ipsy= .23 fl oz= $4.87 worth of product

3) POP Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Fuchsia Flirt. I do love myself a lip crayon, but this one is pretty sheer. It's not something I would pick up at the store, but I will probably use it as a nice day-to-day gloss type o' thang. Plus, it's full size. So that's fun.

POP Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon= ermm, can't seem to find anything online about the individual price. They have a set at Ulta with 6 of them (not sure if they are full-sized or not) for $25. So we'll just say it's worth about $5.

4) BH Collection sample shadows. BH Cosmetics came out with a new line of palettes (Hollywood, San Francisco, and Malibu) and it looks like they took a shadow from each kit and put it into one cute little set. They are pigmented and smooth.

BH Cosmetics Eyeshadow Sampler= again, hard to tell. Each palette, when sold in full size, comes with 16 eyeshadows and 4 face products, and are on sale right now for $9.95 online. So I'm going to say this is probably in the $2 range worth of product.

5) Nailtini nail polish in Mai Tai. I have gotten different colors from this brand from Ipsy before, and I have to say, I'm a fan. This is a beautiful coral, however in the picture it looks more orange. Very excited to use this. It's also a full-sized product (always good!)

Nailtini nail polish= $13

6) HealthySexyHair Soy Renewal Beach Spray with argan oil. I've never tried this, and the size they gave is perfect for traveling. Interested to see how this works out (I usually make my own beach spray, click here for the recipe)

HealthySexyHair Beach Spray- full size at Ulta- 5.1 fl oz= $19.95
Ipsy Travel Size- 1.7 fl oz= $6.65 worth of product

All in all, this bag contained about $31.52 worth of product, and some stuff I am very excited to try out! Definitely worth the $10! 

Thanks for viewing!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

DIY surf spray

Here's an super easy, affordable "recipe" I found on youtube from pinksofoxy on making your very own surf spray! I love these types of products in the summer, but buying them at the store can be very hit-or-miss, as well as expensive. By creating your own, you have control over what exactly goes into your product!

What you need:
Aloe vera juice (or water**)
Sea Salt
Hair gel
Spray bottle
**Aloe vera is very good for your hair and will help decrease the drying effects of salt (and can aid in hair growth!). You can find it in most grocery stores in the health and supplement section.

How much you use of each product depends on the size of your bottle/how much you are making. For the size shown here, I filled the bottle about 3/4 of the way with aloe vera juice, used about 1 tablespoon of gel, and about 1 teaspoon of salt. I would err on the side of less salt, as when you add more it can make hair more dry and brittle. 

Then, just shake it all up! Be sure to shake before each use, as product can settle on the bottom. 

Thanks for viewing!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Temporary Claw/Almond Nails

So, I've wanted claw/stiletto/almond nails for a while now. I even have a post a couple months ago about how to create the illusion of that shaped nail. In order to achieve these, most people get acrylic nails, but I just do not have room in my budget for that. Also, I really do not want to have to deal with the damaging affects of acrylics.

So, I decided to try it out with temporary nails. I used the Impress brand. I received a free kit of these when I placed an order with an online clothing store a while back, and found that they stay on your nails pretty darn well.

I just did my nails this way, and I am really digging it! Here's how I did it and what I used:

Here's everything all laid out. The nails came with a teeny nail file (the pink thing on the white paper) and an alcohol prep pad.  I got the Impress kit in "Superstar Scandal" in the medium length. If I were not making this shaped nail, I would have gone with the short length.

1) Select the 10 nails that fit your nails best. 

2) File the nails down (with the provided file or your own- I used a rough one that I have because there was a lot to file away) to desired shape and size. You make hit the glue part, but don't worry, you can file that away once you press on the nails.

3) Remove all nail polish. Use the provided prep pad to clean your nails of all dust and residue that could keep the glue from adhering firmly to your nails. 

4) Peel away the tab on the back of your first nail. I suggest doing the pinky first, and leaving thumbs for last. Press the fake nail onto your real nail. Continue with the rest of your hand. You can also peel away the back of all of the nails first and then place them on. Your choice. 

5) Wait 30 minutes. Then, go back with your file to shape your nails how you would like them.

Then you're done! This is super simple, and if you're careful, can last up to a week. You can also paint these nails if you end up getting bored of the color (although I happen to love this vampy red!)

Thanks for viewing!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dr. Oz Three Day Detox Cleanse Review

Before Spring Break, my best friend/housemate and I decided to go on a cleanse. We didn't want to do anything too absurd, but we had both been eating poorly and thought right before Spring Break might be a good time to flush all those toxins out. I have read and watched documentaries about cleanses (juice cleanses, mostly) and thought it wouldn't be too difficult, especially if it was only a couple of days. I have also been using my juicer frequently since I got it for Christmas, and honestly, the juices I've made have been quite yummy (well...most of the time). Thus, I thought a cleanse would be healthy, not too icky, and a little bit of a challenge.


Naturally, my friend and I searched Pinterest first for cleanses. I came across "Dr. Oz's Three Day Cleanse" a lot along with a cute little graphic shown here. It even came with a shopping list, so we headed to Meijer that very night to gather our supplies.

Seems easy enough, right?

DAY ONE. I got up early to make sure I had time to make the tea and morning beverage. For some reason I thought the drink recipes would be somehow similar to the juicing recipes I've used with similar ingredients, but I was very, very wrong. First, the texture. Not just the morning drink, but all of them. It's like drinking sludge. Bitter, icky, kinda-fruity-but-still-leafy tasting sludge. The worst by far was the lunch drink, as it is extremely large (double the size of the breakfast and dinner), and the worst tasting. The texture is also the worst here because it contains four stalks of celery, and because it's just in a blender (not juicer), you get to slurp down all of that lovely celery pulp. The dinner drink was probably the best, and my friend even said "I actually like this one!" when she tasted it.

So, after the first day, I was far from satisfied but still ready to give it all three days. My friend was ready to quit as well, offering me $20 to quit with her. But we decided to give it another day.

DAY TWO. Woke up grouchy and hungry and stayed that way all day. The lunch drink was even harder to finish (I don't think I even finished it...) than the previous day.

Time to get a little personal. So cleanses...are supposed to cleanse you out. But I did not feel that way at all, even halfway through day two. I was taking a probiotic and everything, but was every bit as bloated and bleh as I had been before. So needless to say, about 3/4 through day two I was about ready to give up.

I still made my dinner drink and headed to work that night, though, in hopes that my will power would outweigh the growling in my stomach.

But, in a wavering moment, I asked my best friend if she wanted to quit. She replied that she was about to make the dinner drink but would way rather have some crackers, so yes, she was down to quit. Of course, once I heard that, I thought. "All right, I'm out."

And I was. I came home from work that night and my friend made me pancakes. And those were the best pancakes I have ever had. Honestly, I don't regret it at all.

Of course, part of me wanted to just stick it through one more day, but I just couldn't. Le sigh.


Morning Drink- fruity and the peanut butter is nice, however the copious amounts of raspberry seeds might be one of the most frustrating things...ever.

Lunch Drink- A really leafy green taste. Tastes healthy, which is nice, but the texture is awful. It's like drinking 24 ounces of cold celery cucumber kale sludge. I like that it included coconut oil, but I can incorporate that into my diet in much tastier ways.

Dinner Drink- Definitely the best. The cayenne made it more interesting and satisfied cravings for other foods, but still sludgey.

I understand that, generally, cleanses take time, and that the first couple days are always the hardest. Unfortunately, on this cleanse, all you have is a couple of days, and if you don't see results then, you might just not in general. If I had the funds I would way rather try a ten day juice cleanse than this three day one, as for me the main issue was the texture.

All in all, this cleanse was a fail. I do not suggest it, although it may work for some people, as people's bodies react differently to different things. I just don't think it was working how a cleanse is supposed to. I could deal with the hunger and grouchy-ness if I was seeing results, but I was not, and was having severe doubts I would within the last 24 hours.

So, basically, if you are going to try a cleanse, research it, and make sure it's something you think you can do! Also make sure it's healthy, because some cleanses are not. It's important to still get all the nutrients your body needs when you're on a cleanse, because a lot of times you are flushing a lot out of your system and need to rebuild.

If any of you know of a good and effective cleanse, I'd love to hear about it! Thanks for reading!


Seaside Nails

Hey all! So, unfortunately, the weather where I'm at is not so Spring/Summery yet. But I wish it was! Here's a nail tutorial that symbolizes my longing for summer (sigh). Enjoy!

 What You Need:
cosmetic sponges
neutral sand colored polish (Revlon Colorstay in Trade Winds)
various shades of blue (Sinful Colors Cinderella, Essie Bikini Teeny, and Revlon Indigo Night)
sheer sparkly polish (Essence Space Queen and Nailtini Millionaire) 

1) Paint your nails the sandy color.
2) Rip apart a cosmetic sponge. Place a couple dots of your lightest blue polish on your palette.
3) Dip the ripped portion on the sponge into the polish and start lightly dotting the color about 3/4 down the nail, leaving a portion just the neutral base. You can build up the intensity with more layers however you prefer. 
4) Repeat using a slightly darker shade of blue, this time starting to sponge the polish on about 1/2 way down the nail.
5) Repeat with your darkest shade, this time only 1/4 down the nail, to create this ombre effect.
**the first shade I used was very sheer and sparkly, so to fuse all of the shades together more seamlessly I went over the entire blue portion of the nail again using just the lightest shade**
6) Go over the tip of the nail with a sparkly polish (I didn't have blue, so I used a very sheer pink shade with reflective glitters that reflect blue.)
7) Go over the base of the nail (the part that is only the neutral color) with a gold glitter. I am honestly not sure if I like this with or without the gold glitter, but I do enjoy the difference in texture it gives.
8) Top Coat that sucker!

Thanks for viewing!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Marina and the Diamonds Makeup Tutorial

Hey there! So I've seen lots of Marina and the Diamonds makeup tutorials floating around, however it seemed like such a fun tutorial to do that I just had to give it a go. Here's my version:

 Products Used
Foundation- Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous
Blush- Urban Decay in Quickie (Bubble gum pink)
Contour- Couldn't find my Hula Bronzer :( so I used a matte medium brown eyeshadow
Highlight- Wet N' Wild Color Icon in Reserve Your Cabana

Eyebrows- matte medium shadow from Coastal Scents Warm Palette
Base- POP Beauty Eye Magnet base
Crease/Lower Lash Line- MAC in Omega
Lid/Brow/Inner Corner- matte slightly pink cream color from Coastal Scents Warm Palette
Lower Lash Line- Creep from Naked palette
Top Eyeliner & Heart- Maybelline Lash Stiletto liquid liner in very black
Waterline Liner- Stila Kajal eyeliner in Topaz
Lashes- top: Ardell (can't remember the number, sorry!) bottom: e.l.f. natural lashes (cut up into segments and trimmed to shorter length)
Mascara: Almay Get Up and Grow

NYX round lipstick in Harmonica

Thanks for viewing!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2012 Top Beauty Favorites!

Last year was quite a year for me. I grew and changed a lot, and cannot wait to see what's in store for me in 2013. Here are my top beauty products of 2012!


Redken All Soft Conditioner. I think the liters are on sale at Ulta now for $16. Right now my hair is very bleached, and I believe this conditioner is the reason it isn't falling out of my head. SO GOOD.


Real Techniques brushes. They are so affordable, soft, and great quality. My favorite is the domed shadow brush. I actually use it to blend out my concealer, and it works wonderfully. 

Shu Umera lash curler. I've had this baby for a while, and nothing else I've tried holds a curl quite like it.


Smashbox Photofinish Light Primer. This is one of my all-time favorites. It primes my face without the silicone-slippery feeling of many other primers.

Revlon Colorstay and Colorstay Whipped foundations. These are great for oily skin and wear well all day. 

NYX blush in Cinnamon. Although I don't really wear this in the depths of winter, I love it for spring/summer. In combination with bronzer, the smallest this product on the apples of my cheeks gives me a very natural sun-kissed flush. The orange hue also looks great on deeper skin tones.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer. My go-to contour bronzer. Matte and will not make you look orange or muddy.

Pixi All-Over Magic in No.3 Brightening Radiance. This is a great, non-sparkly highlight. I love that it comes with a couple of different shades so I can switch it up according to the season and my blush.

Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette. I cannot say enough about this palette. It comes with two different concealer shades, one correcting shade, and a setting powder. I tend to mix the two concealers to get the perfect shade for me. The correcting green isn't too green-it's more olive toned and blends into my skin without looking like a green patch on my face. The area around my nose and chin get super red (thanks hormones) and this correcting tone neutralizes it perfectly. I don't use the setting powder much, but it is a very fine pressed powder and works well. 

Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach. I have bad dark circles and blue hues in my inner eye, and this peach concealer neutralizes them very well. I use my real techniques domed shadow brush to apply this and it works fantastically into my inner eye area. A little pricey at $15, but very much so worth it. A must for a "flawless face" look. 


Again, my Naked palette takes the cake. But I've discovered that the shadow I use most in the palette is half-baked, a light/medium gold. Using this as a highlight by my tear duct really makes my eyes pop, and is a bit more unique than the standard champagne inner highlight. 

Half-baked single pan
Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Beige. The best one-step all-day eyeshadow. I just pop the the long-wear cream onto my lids, blend under my brow, and even bring to my inner corners on days I don't have time to do a full-on eye. This color was limited edition, but there is one very similar to it (I actually think it might be the same, just different name) in a current collection called Barely Branded. This color really helps me to look more awake as well.

Barely Branded- a light champagne color in the current collection
Urband Decay 24/7 Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion. Pigmented, long-lasting, doesn't budge. Yes please.


Wet N Wild Megalast Lipcolors. First, at $1.99 at the drugstore, they can't be beat. Second, Wet N Wild often goes on sale 50% off, so getting them at $1 a piece is just ridiculous. Because of this, their matte finish and long-wearing color, I've accumulated about 10 or so. My favorites have been Plum Fairy and Cherry Bomb, as they satisfied my deep-wine lip obsession this past fall. But really, these colors are amazing. They can get a bit drying (as most matt lip colors do), but a little lip balm or gloss is an easy fix.

Revlon Lip Products. Just in General. I love the Super Lustrous lipsticks, Just Bitten lip crayons, and lip butters. They have a fantastic range of colors, and I will never have enough.

Thanks for viewing!!