Saturday, December 21, 2013

Freckles and Fashion on Morpha Life!

Hello hello! I'm just checking in to let you guys know it's your lucky day! I know you have all been DYING to know all my deepest, darkest secrets, and now here's your chance! Tiana from Morpha Life, asked me to do a little style profile interview on her blog. I was more than happy do this, as I just love talking about myself! I mean, why do you really think I started this blog, anyway? 


Ok, so "my deepest, darkest secrets" might have been a bit dramatic, but if you care to read my advice to new bloggers, how I stay stylish on a budget, or you have just run out of things to look at online and you need to kill some time, stop by and check it out here. I sound like like a turd, but Tiana says some really nice things about me, so that alone is worth reading. :P Thanks to the girls over at Morpha Life for contacting me about this and saying such swell things. I totally feel legit now! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

November Favorites

November favorites including Bumble and Bumble Dryspun Finish, Butter London Bit Faker, and Soap and Glory Sugar Crush

Yeah yeah yeah, so maybe I skipped the last 4-5 months of favorites posts. See, I'll be honest with you. I have always had some MAJOR trouble with consistency. I'm working on it, though, I promise.

So, November was sort of a lazy month for me. I don't deal well with this time of year. As soon as the temps drop below 50 degrees, I go into a deep, dark place and stay there for a while. This "dark place" doesn't require me to do much with myself, as all I want to do is lay on the couch, eat Cheez-Its, and catch up on Revenge and Breaking Bad. However, when I am forced out of my rabbit hole of seasonal depression by some necessity, these products have been my saviors.

  • Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish-  This little spray can of love is a dream for making flat hair nice and voluptuous. A few little spritzes at the root and a bit of fluffing gives me all the volume that my dirty, rat like hair needs to be able to go out for my daily coffee. Cause we all know no matter how cold it is outside, nothing can stop mamma from a nice Starbucks macchiato. You can read a more in depth review of this here.
  • Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in the shade Dolce Vita- This lip pencil  gives the lips a really pretty dusty rose, almost brick red color. It's quite a bit different than my usual lip color choices but I have really been enjoying it. It isn't very bright or dramatic, but it perks up my face and the color lasts quite a while. You can see this in action in this post.
  • Butter London Bit Faker- I am "favoriting" this nail polish based on color alone. The color is all kinds of gorgeous sparkly fun. Flecked with gold, bronze, and black sparkles, this one will be great for Christmas/New Years festivities! The formula, however, is absolute shit. I mean, for $14, I expect a nail polish to last longer than a day before it starts to chip! But, knowing that Butter London is the master of all chips, I bought this anyway. I have always been distracted by pretty, shiny things. The good thing about this formula is that unlike most glitters, it was completely opaque in two coats. Two coats! Unheard of! If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw me sporting this a few days ago. 
  • Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer- I was never too big on concealer. Then, I started getting old any apparently the area around my eyes turned all sorts of colors. Purple, red, just dark in general. I decided it was time to invest in a good concealer. After some research, I decided on the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Porcelain. This really is creamy, and doesn't make my eyes look all cakey and crusty. It glides on smooth and covers the rainbow of colors around my eyes like a dream! My eyes look brighter and way less tired after dabbing this on and blending with my finger. The color match is great for my corpsey skin, too! This also covers blemishes pretty well. And it doesn't look all dry and cakey on those, either. I would definitely try this if you have dry skin that needs covering!
  • Sacha Juan Hair Repair- my dry, frizzy hair loves a good mask and ever since I started using this subtly floral scented cream, it's condition has improved quite a bit! I use this a couple times a week for maybe ten minutes and when I rinse it out, my hair feels really smooth and smells wonderful. My hair seems much shinier and healthier and I have been heat styling it more than ever. It also doesn't hurt that the packaging looks really nice in my shower :) 
  • Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream- I read so many rave reviews about the Sugar Crush line for so long, specifically the body scrub. But once I finally saw the line at Sephora, I already had a good body scrub, so I figured I would try the buttercream. The most notable thing about this is the scent. My god. The scent! I wasn't sure if I would be into the sweet lime thing, but omg I love it! It smells like an effing margarita with a sugar rim. Maybe. I dunno, I don't drink margaritas. It smells good, ok? Not only that, but it makes my skin feel like baby butt cheeks. Like, seriously. It's smooth. I have always loved the Soap and Glory packaging, and this stuff is just such a treat to slather on after a bath!  
Are there any great products I'm missing? What are you guys loving these days? Come on, let's chat about some girly stuff! 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Featured in IFB's Links a la Mode!

Hey guys! I hope everybody had a nice Thanksgiving and a successful Black Friday! Do you guys do Black Friday? I'm interested to know what kinds of deals you guys found. I never get into it, mostly because I can't handle the crowds and if somebody pushes or tries to trample me, I will most likely punch them in the throat. Let me know if you have any good Black Friday stories!

For the second week in a row, my post was picked for the IFB Links a la Mode! I'm pretty flattered, especially to be featured with some other really great posts! If you're looking for some good reading material, check out the other links below :)



"Grace" has many meanings. Whether you're saying "Grace" at the dinner table today with your friends and family for Thanksgiving, or you're talking about the elegance of "grace," or heck, maybe you're talking about Grace Coddington, no matter what if you love fashion, you'll be thinking about "grace" this holiday season. This week's roundup the IFB Community has put a lot of thought into their posts, with super smart tips and tricks to get you through the season. Going into the science behind autumn colors, the difference between plaid and tartan, how to shop Black Friday, and even how to style your hair for going out or staying in. It's everything you need, so grab the mug of spiced cider read these links! Happy Thanksgiving!

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

  SPONSOR: EastDane, PJ Luxe, Lady Grey, Endless Rose, Kate Spade NY, MCM, Sally Lapointe, Morgan Lane, Castaner, & Karla Spetic, Time's Arrow, Tom Dixon NEW Instructions for Submitting to Links à la Mode: 1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode. 2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

15 Gifts for Her Under $100!

Hey pals! This post is for anyone who is having trouble finding a gift for any of the ladies in their life! Or, maybe you are "the lady," and you aren't quite sure what you want to put on your wishlist. Don't worry, I am here to save Christmas! I pretty much just copied my wishlist for you, but I am pretty much your average girly girl. Trust me, this is the kind of crap that we like. I tried to stay under $100, though the leopard print Nikes are exactly $100, so that counts, right? Hover over the photos for details. Click to purchase. And hurry! Christmas will be here before you know it!
I'm actually a really big fan of shopping online for the holidays. I absolutely loathe waiting in lines and the stores are always so crowded and messy. What do you guys prefer? I guess some people actually like to go out into the holiday shopping crowds. Also, what are you putting on your list? I might have to steal some ideas ;)

Submitted to IFB Project #125: Holiday Gift Guides

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Save vs Splurge: Batiste or Bumble and Bumble?

Batiste Dry Shampoo vs Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish
Alright, it's confession time. I'm about to discuss one of my deepest, darkest secrets with you...

I only wash my hair about once every 4-5 days.
I know, I'm a dirty, little rat. However, the reason I do this is two fold. One: My hair is pretty thick and dry, so it actually looks a lot better once the natural oils start flowin'. I'm not a fan of fresh, squeaky clean hair. It doesn't style as well, and it just doesn't give me that messy bedhead look I've come to adore so much. Reason two: it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to do my hair after I wash it. 45 minutes to an hour! Enough said. 

Since I often let this go on a little too long, I find myself relying on dry shampoo to keep me from looking like a total grease ball.

First, we'll discuss the more wallet friendly option: Batiste Dry Shampoo. Guys, this stuff really is the shit when it comes to soaking up oil. I like how it actually makes my hair feel clean and refreshed. It smells pretty decent too! It gives hair a fresh, clean, scent (I use the original version.) You get a nice 6.73 oz bottle for 7.99 which is a pretty sweet deal if you ask me! Even on fourth day hair, I can spray this on my roots and leave the house feeling like an actual human being! The downside? Well, it does leave a white residue anywhere I spray it. I kind of have to work it in with my fingers a bit and then brush it through to make it go away. I'm always a bit paranoid that I won't rub it in good enough in the back and I'll have white polka dots on the back of my head. I also feel like I have to use this every few hours, because my hair does get weighed down and flat after a while. Which brings me to my next point. This does not have any styling properties, nor does it offer any hold. It is simply a dry shampoo.

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish, however, is much more than just a dry shampoo. Guys, I got sucked into the blogger hype on this one. I told myself I didn't need this. I told myself it was too much money and I was content with Batiste. Well, I was. And then I went into Sephora and sprayed this throughout my roots, just to see what all the fuss was about. Holy eff! I've never seen volume like that! In full disclosure, my hair is quite thick and big to begin with, but it does tend to go quite flat at the roots. This gave me heat roller, bombshell hair! Today, I sprayed this on third day hair that was pretty flat and getting oily, and I ended up with thick, full, voluminous, luscious locks that almost caused me to make a duck face in the mirror. You know that face when you know you look good and you subconsciously start to pose in the mirror. Yeah, it's that good. It's duck face good. Let's see... oh yeah, it smells amazing! There's absolutely no residue. It's a totally invisible product. Which means, you can spray it throughout your hair as willy-nilly as you please, and it won't show up and it won't feel gross. Spray it on dirty hair, or right after you style it to add some texture and fullness. Fine haired gals will really benefit from this. To use, I lift up sections of hair and spray at the root, paying extra attention to the crown and anywhere that feels flat. Then, I sort of massage and fluff. At $29 for 4 oz, this is quite expensive, I realize that. You are paying more than the Batiste and getting less. However, this product is more versatile, as it acts as a dry shampoo and a styling product, doesn't leave any residue, and the results last longer.

For me, The Bumble and Bumble option is definitely worth the splurge. If I just needed a product to adequately soak up oil, then the Batiste would be wonderful. But, I happened to be in the market for a product that gave my hair some oomph. I needed some weightless volume, while making my hair appear cleaner.

Bumble and bumble has won my heart.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Featured in IFB's Links a la Mode!

So I was feeling a little off today. Just in one of those moods, ya know? Then, I found myself looking at IFB's Links a la Mode for this week and low and behold, there was my link! Couldn't be more jazzed about being picked and featured with some really awesome bloggers! Please, click through and check out the other links featured!


Primped & Pretty in Pink

This season has everything all mixed up. Pink for fall? Sweatshirts? After all, breaking rules is what fashion is all about. As we're right in the midst of the holiday season, getting beautified and looking your best is second only to getting in the spirit of giving. This week's roundup has a nice mix of beauty, trend and tips for the holidays, so get your cup of mint cocoa and read through these fabulous links!

Links a la Mode: November 14th

  SPONSOR: EastDane Love & Lemons, Lipault, A Fine Line, 1883, Theory, Kismet Milka, Kaufman Franco, Men's RayBan, & Sweaters, Latest Sunglass Styles

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Nars Guy Bourdin Promiscuous Lip Pencil Holiday Set

Nars Guy Bourdin Promiscuous Lip Coffret Set
Nars Guy Bourdin Promiscuous Lip Coffret- $45 at Sepohora or Space NK

Ok guys. I saw this set, had a 20% off coupon... What would you have done in my situation? I know I was supposed to be toning down my makeup purchasing, but come on! This included five mini pencils for less than the price of two full sized ones! And it came with a little pouch to carry the plethora of unnecessary lip products which I always have with me for some reason. How's that for a good value?!

The set includes:
    .06 oz Velvet Matte Pencils in Cruella and Sex Machine 
    .08 oz Velvet Matte Pencils in Dolce Vita and Never Say Never 
    .08 oz Velvet Gloss Pencil in New Lover
    Cosmetic bag

Nars Promiscuous Lip Pencil Swatches
Nars Promiscuous Lip Pencil Swatches

Before I get into the shades, let's talk formulation and wear. I went over this in this post, here. All you need to know is these pencils glide on quite smooth, they're easy to line the lips with, and they don't settle into lines and cracks. However, there is a bit of prepping that needs to be done beforehand. I like to use my Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub or exfoliate with my toothbrush and apply a tiny bit of balm prior to application just to ensure there won't be any flaking. You can get a few hours of wear out of these matte pencils but you'll probably have to reapply after meals. What I really love is how light they feel on the lips. You honestly forget you're wearing anything at all!

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Sex Machine
Sex Machine is probably the most wearable, everyday shade of the bunch. This is one of the velvet matte finishes, which I would have to say is my favorite finish they offer. Sex Machine is a natural, dusty, pinky rose color. This sort of touches into "my lips, but better" territory. This actually isn't a color I would normally be drawn to, but what I do love about it is I can wear this with a darker, smokey eye and it doesn't make my pale skin look washed out. This applies really smooth and easy. Surprisingly, I really enjoy this shade!

Never Say Never is the shade I was most looking forward to in this set. Nars describes this as a "lilac rose" which, I guess? It's actually quite tough to accurately describe this beautiful color. I would maybe say rosy, pinky, plum? Whatever it is, I'm really enjoying it. It just brightens up my face and makes my lips pop. I like this color as a matte. I think if this were a satin or gloss pencil, I wouldn't like it nearly as much. But, I was looking for more of a plummy pink in a matte, and it looks like I have found the perfect one!

I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of bummed when I saw they included a Velvet Gloss Pencil in the set. I mean, I guess they sorta have to, right? But, I would have much rather tried another matte pencil (ahem... Damned...) However, I have to admit, New Lover is actually kind of nice. Now, keep in mind, I'm not a huge fan of the glossy lip. I just think I look better in satins and mattes. I didn't really know what to expect from this. I mean, glosses are supposed to be like, liquid, right? So, gloss in pencil form? It actually makes it more appealing for me, because it seems less thick and well, wet looking. Which is what normally turns me off about glosses. It just adds a bit of shine and a slight gold shimmer. Nars describes this as a "gold infused strawberry pink." I think that's basically accurate. I think this is pretty wearable and it feels nice and smooth on the lips. 

Dolce Vita is described as a "dusty rose," but for me, it looks a little more brick red with a hint of peach maybe. This is really nice if you want a bit of color, without the brightness. There is something about this color that just makes me feel like a grown up. This definitely isn't a "look at me!" type of lip color, but it adds just the right somethin' somethin' to perk up the face and can be used for everyday wear. 

I was initially really excited about Cruella. Then, when I started applying if, I realized it was like crazy dark. Well, for what I'm used to anyway. This is a really vampy, you better be sure of yourself, type of red. This is deeper and darker than Dragon Girl, which you can see my review for here. I think maybe I'd be feelin' it more if I hadn't wiped off four other lip colors before applying this. I think some of the other colors may have smeared around my lips a bit, sort of ruining the look of this for me. Otherwise I actually like it. My only real beef is that it didn't apply as nicely as the others. It was hard to color inside the lines with this. Like, I just could not for the life of me get a nice, straight line. Also, in the photos I had of me smiling, showing teeth, I realized those babies were just smeared with red. I think it's just because the color is so richly pigmented. Just a warning: plan on carrying a mirror and triple check for lipstick smears on the teeth with this! 

What do you think of this set? Do you think the colors are varied enough? Or are there others you would have liked to see in the set?

Will this be going on your Christmas list? 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blush Crush

Nars Penny Lane, Kevyn Aucoin Liquifuschia, Marc Jacobs Outspoken, Mac Pink Swoon, Stila Gladiola
Left to right: Nars Penny Lane, Kevyn Aucoin Liquifuschia, Marc Jacobs Outspoken, MAC Pink Swoon, Stila Gladiola
For me, blush is one of those products I just don't feel complete without. At any given time, I have to at least have a base, mascara, and blush. My corpse-like complexion just wouldn't have it any other way. I can go without eyeshadow. I can go without lipstick, but without blush, I just never feel quite right.

I rounded up my five favorite, must have blushes that never fail to perk up my lackluster, zombie skin. Here they are!

I love cream blushes because they add a bit of dewiness to my skin when it's looking a bit parched. One of my faves is Nars Penny Lane. I like to dab this on whenever I do more of a dramatic eye and want to keep the focus on that. It adds a pretty glow to my cheeks and perfectly finishes off the look. (Note: a "dramatic" eye for me basically just means wearing more than two eyeshadows at once.) Penny Lane is sort of a brown toned pink with shimmer. Although, on the cheeks, it translates as more of a glow, rather than a shimmer. I apply this with the real Techniques Expert Face brush. I was wearing it in this post!

I like to dab on Kevyn Aucoin's The Creamy Glow in Liquifuschia to add a healthy, pink flush to my cheeks! It isn't as scary on the cheeks as it is in the pan, I promise. Just don't go buckwild with it and it looks quite pretty. This is quite pigmented, so a little goes a long way. No glitter, no shimmer. Just a pretty, healthy glow. For a cream product, this is actually quite long lasting. This is a great companion for a pink lipstick. I just go a little easier on the eye makeup.

When the Marc Jacobs beauty line came out, the first product I zeroed in on was the Shameless Bold Blush in the shade Outspoken. I was on the hunt for a lilac toned blush, and when I saw this, I was pretty jazzed. First, the packaging. The packaging for all of his products are very luxe. Sleek, shiny black with silver accents. Inside, is the prettiest, lilac pink color. I like wearing this blush, because it is completely different from all my other blushes. It isn't the most natural looking color, but it really perks up my skin and just feels pretty.

I got MAC's Pink Swoon almost a year ago, and I still wear it probably more than any other blush. It looks quite bright in the pan, but translates to a nice, subtle pink on the cheeks. This is one of their Sheertone blushes, which means you can build up the color, and it doesn't look over-the-top. With this, you get a lovely, natural flush. This is more of an everyday blush.

Stila's Gladiola looks amazing when I have a bit of a tan. It looks pretty good without, but when my skin is a bit tanned, good god, it looks great! It is sort of an orangey, peachy coral, which looks scary in the pan, but sheers out quite nicely on the cheeks. I got this to wear with my orange toned lipsticks, like MAC Morange and MAC's So Chaud. But, it also looks great with a peachy, nude lip. This is probably my favorite summer blush.

What are your favorite blushes? Have you tried any of these?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

3 Simple, Cheap, Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Every Halloween, I end up scrambling at the last minute to put a costume together. This year, I actually had one planned out and then I realized it just wasn't going to work out. So, today I woke up and decided I would once again throw something together at the last minute! Here are just a few last minute ideas for costumes that are easy to piece together and most of the items can be found at your local thrift store or a chain like Forever 21 or Target. 

Steve Urkel
Steve Urkel Costume, Easy Steve Urkel Costume

Steve Urkel is a really easy costume, because the nerd look is "in" right now so  the pieces should be easy to find. Forever 21 has a decent selection of varsity cardigans and plaid shirts. You can also probably find a plaid shirt at the thrift store. Then, just get some high waisted jeans and suspenders. Places like Hot Topic or Spencer's should carry suspenders and "nerd" glasses. Then, just remember to walk crotch first! 


My best friend and I have been talking about going as Daria and Jane for Halloween one year. It's a pretty simple costume. For Daria, you need a dark green jacket. The one pictures above is from ASOS, but if you're shopping last minute, you can check the thrift store. Then, get a black, pleated skirt from Target, Forever 21, or Charlotte Russe, a brownish tee shirt, and some black combat boots. Once again, Target usually has these too! Then, some round nerd glasses from the Halloween store or Hot Topic. And voila! Just act really sarcastic and negative all night :) 

Beetlejuice costume, DIY Beetlejuice

If you walk into a Forever 21 store right now, chances are you will be overwhelmed with black and white stripes. They have a few pairs of striped pants that could work, and I believe they even had a black and white striped blazer. Then you need either a white or purple button down shirt (he wears purple in the cartoon, white in the movie), a black tie (thrift store), a white wig or white hair spray (or green), and white face paint. Then, you can either color around your eyes with black eyeliner or purple. Then, just make yourself look absolutely filthy! 

Any other ideas? What are you guys going as? I think I'm going to do the Beetlejuice thing. Whatever you do, have fun and be safe! Happy Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Simple, Everyday Look Using the Nars And God Created the Woman Palette


Let's be real here. Spending more than like 5 minutes on your makeup totally sucks. Which is why I typically aim for a very low maintenance, simple look. Also, I really just don't like to be too overdone. I tend to like a more natural look on myself. So, neutral palettes like the Nars And God Created the Woman set really appeal to me.

I'm sure you have all seen countless reviews on this palette, so I'll spare you and just show you my favorite way to use it.


The Products I Used
Nars Look Using And God Created Woman Palette 
  • Bobbi Brown BB Cream in Extra Light (buy here) mixed with a bit of Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer
  • Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Porcelain (get it here)
  • Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre on T Zone and under eyes so my concealer doesn't crease in my giant under-eye lines

  • Nars Penny Lane Cream Blush (get it here)(blended with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush)
Nars And God Created the Woman Close Up
  • Mac Painterly Paint Pot as a base
  • Nars And God Created the Woman Palette:
    • Lid: Kalahari (top right)
    • Crease: Bellisima (top middle)
    • Inner Corner/Brow Bone: Alhambra (top left)
    • Liner on Top and Bottom Lashline: Galapagos (bottom left)
  • Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara
  • Tarte EmphasEYES Waterproof Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse in Medium Brown 
  • YSL ROUGE PUR COUTURE Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain-Rebel Nudes #108 (Oops, I forgot to throw this in the photo!) Buy it here
 Buy the Nars And God Created the Woman Palette here!

Like I said before, this is just a really simple, quick look using this palette. I usually don't wear too much eyeshadow, and I tend to go for more of a bold lip. However, when I feel like changing things up a bit, this is my go to look. I hope you enjoyed it :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Ghosts of Halloweens Past

Hey guys! I'm finally back! I was working on a post that would explain the blog name change, but unfortunately, the Blogger app is terrible and it didn't save (even though I know I saved it.) Long story short, my old domain name expired and after going to great lengths (and failing) to figure out how to get it back, I finally decided to just purchase a new one. Out with Dressing Room Diaries, in with Freckles and Fashion

Ok, so I was going through some photos and stumbled upon a few of my past Halloween costumes and I thought I would share them with you. 

One year, for whatever reason, I decided to be a fanny pack wearing, (fake) cigarette smoking, PBR drinking, dirty, little hipster (left). I remember drawing a mustache on my finger and acting like I knew everything about everything, especially music. 

Then there was the year I went as a Parisian girl (middle) and I kept telling people I was a "lady of the night." Did I realize what I was really saying? Yeah, I'm not sure. But it was a super easy costume, as I already owned the black and white, striped shirt and black pencil skirt. I just had to buy a red beret, silk scarf, black gloves, and then slick on some red lipstick. Easy peasy. 

Lastly, I went as a sassy burlesque dancer (right). This costume was probably the most fun for me, because it was both cute and sexy. See, I don't usually do sexy. And to me, that's the best part about Halloween. Just dressing up and pretending to be someone different. Doing something a little out of your comfort zone. I got the corset from Charlotte Russe (it was fairly inexpensive there), the teeny tiny top hat, ruffle underwear, and feather boa from one of the Halloween stores, I think I already had the chevron printed tights and I used the black gloves from the Parisian costume. It was a little awkward just wearing underwear out in public, since I'm normally quite a modest gal, but like I said, that just makes it more fun :)

This year, I'm pretty excited about my costume! I'm planning a David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust type of thing! So, if it turns out well, expect to see some photos of me with a hot pink mullet, a thunderbolt across my face, and a very tight fitting outfit that I'm still not so sure about... 

What are your Halloween plans this year? Any cool costume ideas? Or if anyone has any David Bowie costume advice, I'm all ears :) 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

5 Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

Uses for coconut oil

Now, over the past year or so, I have taken a particular interest in skincare. When I say "skincare," I mean lining my bathroom shelves with bottles, tubs, and tubes of Sephora's "Best Sellers," often costing upwards of $50. Cleansers, serums, moisturizers, scrubs, peels. You get the idea. What if I told you I had found a product that does it all? And the best part is? It will only cost you about 1/3 of the price of one of those high end products.

This beauty do it all can be found at your local health food store. Coconut oil, guys. Trust me, it's great stuff. And here are just a few of it's numerous uses and benefits:

1. Body Moisturizer - I have been slathering myself with coconut oil post shower almost daily. Two major things I have noticed are 1. I smell like cookies and 2. My Keratosis Pilaris has cleared up significantly. Do you ever get those hard, little bumps on the backs of your arms that don't seem to go away regardless of how much fancy body butter you rub yourself down with? That's what that is. And this stuff helps quite a bit.

2. Makeup Remover - Coconut Oil can be used at night to remove all traces of dirt and oil and leave your face feeling soft and moisturized. Most cleansers leave my skin with a tight, uncomfortable feeling. This, however, zaps my skin with natural moisture as it cleanses. Just warm this up using the warmth of your hands to change it from its solid form into a liquid oil and use it like you would your daily cleanser. Just remove it with a wash cloth as you would a cleansing balm. 

3.Frizz Fighter/Hair Conditioner - Coconut oil is made up of fatty acids and proteins that are actually absorbed by your hair as apposed to just sitting on top of it like most products. First, you want to submerge the tub in warm water for a few minutes, until it turns into a liquid. Take a bit and saturate your hair with it (if you have thinner hair, steer clear of the scalp.) Leave it on for about 30 minutes before you get into the shower. For an extra deep treatment, blast your head with your hair dryer for part of this time. Wash and condition as you normally would. Make sure you don't neglect your roots, as they will end up looking a little greasy if you do. I promise your hair will be smooth, shiny, and frizz free afterwards. Apparently, due to coconut oil's antifungal properties, it can be used on the scalp to fight dandruff.

4. Lip Balm - I just replaced my standard lip balm with a little slick of this miracle oil before bed, and now I wake up to smooth, hydrated, crack free lips.

5. Facial Scrub: Mixed with salt or sugar, coconut oil can be used as an all natural scrub to buff away dead skin cells and remove dirt and buildup while moisturizing dry skin. It is also supposed to help with acne, once again, due to the antifungal properties. 

I bought this tub of miracle oil from a Better Health store for somewhere between $10-$12. Not bad for an all around wonder product! Got dry skin? Bumpy arms? Dry, frizzy hair or chapped lips? Just this one product can solve all of those issues! Have you ever tried using coconut oil as part of your beauty regimen? Are there any other uses you know of? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

"Fall"ing for Nars Lip Pencils

Nars Dragon Girl and Palais Royal
Left: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl  |  Right: Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Palais Royal
For me, fall beauty means dark, moody lips. And red. Lots of red lips. Sure, I might dabble in the occasional darkish eye look with a minimalistic lip, but for the most part, I'm all for doing up the lips. When the weather gets colder, I don't want to get out out of bed, let alone spend a lot of time doing my makeup. This is where bold lips and I really get along. When wearing a bold lip, it is typically expected that you keep the rest of the look simple, resulting in extra snooze time.

For some time, I have been oogling the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. It was just a matter of which color to get my creepy, little hands on. Then, as it got closer to fall, I decided it was time for a new red lipstick. And when it comes to red lipsticks, they have to be matte for me. I'm just not a fan of a shiny, red lip. So, after swatching Nars Dragon Girl,  I decided it was the one. The formula of this is just lovely. It glides on really smooth and the pencil shape eliminates the need for a lip liner. This sits nicely on the lips, not highlighting dry areas, which is a big plus for me. There's few things I hate more than having my lipstick settle into my dry, cracked lip patches. Well... ok, serial killers, maybe. And rude drivers. Well, you get the idea. Anyway, this also has some awesome lasting power. I have issues with my lipstick lasting longer than 30 minutes, but this lasts hours without budging. I have a feeling this might even replace my Mac reds :)
Nars Dragon Girl on Lips
Nars Dragon Girl on the Lips
Next up, the other Nars lip Pencil I purchased (and also the darkest lip color I own), Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Palais Royal. I think this actually might look a tad darker in person, but not too much. This would be described as a dark berry, plummy red (sangria). I can't say I like this as much as Dragon Girl, just because I really prefer a matte lip. This glides on really smoothly and feels light and dewy. It actually looks/feels a bit glossy when first applied, but after about 20 minutes, that initial glossiness wears off and you're left with more of a satin finish. This wears off nicely, as it leaves a bit of a stain behind, so it doesn't look uneven. It seems to highlight my dry patches more than Dragon Girl, but not too badly.

Nars Palais Royal on Lips
Nars Palais Royal on the Lips
Overall, I am extremely pleased with the Nars Lip Pencils. I think given the quality, they are a pretty decent value at $25. I like that they eliminate the need for a lip liner, and they are super easy to apply. My other red lipsticks need an accompanying liner to look their best. I also love the sleek packaging of these. They're skinny and they save much needed space in my bag. The only thing that I don't enjoy about these is that you have to sharpen them. No, they do not come with a sharpener. You either have to buy the one from Nars, or just hope that the one you have at home is the right size. I wish they would have just made these with the twisty end. I'm not a fan of sharpening things, hence, why I always used mechanical pencils in school. Regardless of the packaging, I am loving these two products for fall. I can't wait to try a few more of their beautiful colors!

My lips are ready for fall. Are yours? What are your favorite fall beauty looks?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Plaid? For fall? Groundbreaking.

Wavy haircut, long bob, plaid shirt outfit
Shirt: Target (similar)  |  Mint Sweater Vest: Thrifted (you can try searching on etsy or eBay)  |  Jeans: Urban Outfitters  |  Bag: Fossil  |  Shoes: similar

I go to the weirdest places. I know. I told you guys, I try to seek out unique places to take outfit photos. When a group of friends told me they were going to the Michigan Renaissance Festival, I was all about it. See, the "Ren Fest" is the ultimate people watching experience. And I LOVE me some people watching. Some people enjoy bird watching, for me, people are where it's at. I can't get enough of it. The exposed butt cracks, the horribly unattractive cleavage, the wild outfits, the drunken antics... the list goes on and on. What I have discovered about people, is that they will cash in on any chance they get to wear a costume. However, since I do not own a wench, pirate, or fairy costume, I decided on plaid.

I know plaid seems like the obvious choice for a fall day, but I figured I was sort of putting my own spin on it by adding the mint sweater vest thing. This thrifted piece has been sitting in my pile closet since spring, but I just never really had the "right" outfit for it. I threw it on over this plaid shirt from Target and everything just clicked.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I finally got my hair chopped. I was in desperate need of a cut and color for months. I finally just got fed up with feeling like my head weighed 30 lbs and not being able to do anything with the bushy, shapeless mess on top of it. I was nervous about getting so much cut off, but now I couldn't be happier with it. I just went for a lightly layered long bob type of thing that's ever so slightly longer in the front. It looks fine straight, but wavy (as pictured) is where this cut really shines. It's just so bouncy and shiny, and so much easier/quicker to style! I really love it :)

What do you think of this plaid look? What's your favorite way to wear the trend?

Linking up with My Serendipitous Life

P.S. I had to add this last photo, because it cracked me up how it looks like this woman walking by is morphing out of me with a weird, dinosaur claw hand, and a really goofy look on her face! I would feel bad about that, but come on, lady. I'm obviously trying to take a picture. Don't go ruining it with your claw hand and your "I'm trying to lick food out of my teeth" face.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Feline Frenzy Part 3

HM Cat Print Dress, Leather Jacket
Dress: H & M  |  Wedges: Target (similar style) |  Bag: Forever 21 (old)  |  Sunglasses: Warby Parker  |  Jacket: Urban Outfitters (old)

Whenever I read articles on how to be a successful blogger, they always say to find your niche, your "voice," your "thing." This is something I always have trouble with. When I first started this blog almost a year ago, I aspired to be the next Blair Eadie or Emily Schuman. But, see, the problem is, that's not me. I don't wear designer clothing, I don't have perfect hair (I often go six months without so much as a trim), I get acne, and when I bake cookies, they look like a pile of garbage. I also struggled with the fact that l don't live in a big city, therefore, I wouldn't have the "right" background for my photos. I live in a suburban neighborhood with no real visual appeal whatsoever.

At first, I was really apprehensive about the whole blogging thing altogether. "Nobody wants to look at my Target bag or my Forever 21 shoes, or my stupid hair, blah blah blah." The thing is, some people actually do, because that's the reality for a lot of people. So many people swoon over these blogs, but could never afford the stuff they wear. The Elizabeth and James jeans, the Equipment blouses, the Chanel bags, the Manolo Blahnik heels, etc. Yes, I will splurge on the occasional J Crew sweater or a top from Madewell. I splurge on makeup, hair and skincare. But for the most part, my style is what I call "budget chic." And I am starting to embrace that.

As far as my location is concerned, I am starting to come to terms with the fact that I don't have a NYC or LA backdrop for my photos. It forces me to be creative, much like my lack of a designer budget forces me to be creative with my outfits. I am always on the hunt for something visually interesting to take photos in front of. I think the background is almost just as important as the outfit. The background enhances the photos, creates a story almost. I don't like taking photos in my bedroom. The lighting sucks and there's no story behind that. All the photos would be the same. That's why I am constantly searching out unique little gems to use as a setting in my story. Obviously, they can't all be this wild, or unique. Sometimes, I just do the old 'pose in front of the side of a colored building' thing, but when I find a gem like the Heidelberg Project, I embrace it and run with it. It turns out Michigan has so many unique and beautiful locations to photograph. You just have to look beyond your front yard. All this is what makes blogging fun for me. With every post, I try to show readers a little bit of who I am. Not just a picture perfect, fabricated life, but my real, quirky, sometimes a little offbeat self. 

Coming up on my one year blogiversary, I aim to fully embrace and show readers who I am, and not pretend to be who I sometimes wish I was.

Make sure to check out Part 1 and  Part 2 as well :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Feline Frenzy Part 2

In the last part of this series, I talked about being resourceful and making the most of what you've got, wardrobe wise. Well this time, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the background of those (and the following) images. First, I thought this setting would be appropriate for this post, because it is located in a place where the people know quite a lot about making the best of what they've got. This is the Heidelberg Project, which is an open air community art exhibit on Detroit's East Side.

The Heidelberg Project was started by artist Tyree Guyton in 1986 as a response to the decaying community. Dotted with abandoned, collapsing houses, many would argue that the destitute, crime ridden city was a hopeless case. Tyree Guyton along with a few other artists and many members of the community decided to turn the decay into something inspiring. Whether it looks like art, symbolism, or junk to you, you have to admit that it does serve a better purpose than abandoned, caved in houses. It is bringing the community together in a place where all you hear about is how people are killing each other left and right. The Heidelberg Project creates an atmosphere which gets people off the streets and working together to create something very unique and thought provoking.

There are many different houses and little "exhibits" involved, made up primarily of reclaimed "junk" found around the city. Below is the Polka Dot House, which Tyree inherited from his grandfather and remains a focal point of the community's aesthetic. There is a fence covered in all types of shoes, a speed boat filled with stuffed animals (Noah's Ark), a house covered in pennies, a house covered in records... the list goes on and on. The beauty of it is that it's up to the viewer to make sense of it and decide what it all means. 

 Cat Print Dress: H & M  |  Polka Dot Shirt: J Crew (old)  |
 Cardigan: Madewell (old)  |  Shoes: H & M   

The Heidelberg Project is one of Detroit's top tourist attractions, bringing in around 275,000 visitors each year from all over the world. Whether inspiring people to think about art, community, politics, or just to create a wacky, quirky outfit mixing cat print and polka dots, the Heidelberg Project is  serving a viable purpose in a place that no doubt needs some repurposing.  

What are your thoughts on this? Would this be something you would be interested in visiting?