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?