Holiday Hysteria

I remember being consumed with the idea of Santa when I was younger.  Obsessed with him.  I mean, this guy didn’t even really know me… I stopped buying into that ‘good girl’/’bad girl’ threat at the age of four when I stole a classmate’s fruit roll up, lied about it and still got Christmas presents that December.  The physical reaction that took place on Christmas mornings for me were like what I only assume dropping Acid in a room full of cash, while simultaneously being cheered on by your closest friends and family would be and just like a drug, it happens in stages.

First?  Anticipation.  The nights leading up to Xmas day were filled with angst and high hopes and around the 20th, sh*t got real.  Sweating, the shakes, scenarios running through my head… I needed it.  I needed it to be the 25th.  This hit a high point at the end of Christmas Eve dinner when I knew it was really in sight.  We got the goods.  To describe the night’s of 12/24 between the years of approx. 1992-1999 would basically be similar to a multiple personality, caged animal with a bad case of tourettes breaking out in random laughs, cries and keywords from my Christmas list.. “KABOODLE!!!?!?!??”, “TOMAGATCHI!?!??”, “CASH REGISTER!!!?!?”.  I really don’t have any recollection after this, so I can only assume my parents had to step in and slip me some kind of sleep aid and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I wake up, deceived.  HOW did this happen?  I fell asleep.. impossible.  No time for thoughts – C$H$R$I$T$M$A$S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Later in life, I learned the only way to describe this moment is…

mind_blown

taken from here

The sad reality is that this process, although traumatic, is magic and as we get older, it fades.  You learn that not everything you believed in was true (in my case, I found out when my Jewish best friend asked me when I found out that my idol, my beloved, my rockstar, Santa Claus didn’t really exist.  I responded confidentently and carefree, “HA, seriously.. I’ve known for ages………  I must be going now”, quickly turned my back and cried the entire way home).  But, then you fill the void with the memory of innocence and with appreciation for your parents going through all kinds of trouble to make the day as mind blowing as it was… I mean, my Dad once drove three hours north to meet a woman in a parking lot in the freezing cold to exchange a sold-out-everywhere Furby for more cash than than that loud, needy toy (that doesn’t turn off, by the way) was ever worth.  And yes, I still love Christmas.  Some part of me reverts back to that selfish, bratty, unappreciative eight year old every year and the spirit of children lives on.

*Reference to drugs was used for humor’s sake.  Don’t do drugs.  Just love Christmas.

Top Items On My List (in no particular order)

1

Prada 0PR 23OS Sunglasses $245

2

Proenza Schouler PS1 Wallet $165

3

Gorjana Alphabet Coin Bracelet $60

4

Vince Camuto ‘Tipper’ Boot $179

5

Lulu Guiness Blush-Perspex Lips Clutch $390

 

6

 

Etsy’s Naomilingerie Black Satin and Cotton Cat Eye Mask $23.07

 

 

 

7

 

 

Nixon Time Teller Watch $99.99

 

 

1

 

 

Coach Legacy Leather Large Wristlet $108

 

 

2

 

 

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette $50

 

 

1

 

 

Rebecca Taylor Giselle Leopard Zip-Around Wallet $78

 

 

2

 

 

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool $22

 

 

3

 

 

T by Alexander Wang Inverted Pleated Dress $129

 

 

4

 

 

 

Nars Night Flight Nail Polish $18

 

 

 

5

 

 

Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Day Glow Pink $65

 

 

6

 

 

Boutaugh Bow Tie in Pink $68

 

 

7

 

 

J Crew Vintage Short Sleeve Pajama Set $78

 

 

8

 

 

Anthropologie Kismet Knit Turban $48

 

 

9

 

 

Ka’Oir Wifey Lipstick $15.99

 

 

10

 

 

MAC Pro Lip Palette $40

 

 

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Kate Spade Colorblocked Silicone iPhone 4 Case $35

 

 

2

 

 

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray $19.50-39

 

 

3

 

 

Nespresso Latissima Plus $399

 

 

4

 

 

Sephora by OPI Gelshine At Home Gel Colour System $159

 

 

5

 

 

Jiffy Steamer $58.12

 

 

6

 

 

Frends Taylor Rose Gold Headphones $199

 

 

7

 

 

 

Ciate Mother of Pearl Caviar Manicure $27.95

 

 

 

9

 

 

Nikon 1 J1 10MP Digital Camera $399.99

 

 

10

 

 

Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Camel Leopard $198

 

 

11

 

The Little Dictionary of Fashion $19.95

12

Paige Denim Edgemont Ultra Skinny Jeans in Cheer $167.30

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Unreal Stila Sale

Drop everything you are doing you’re doing right now and go onto Stila’s website.  They are having a blowout warehouse sale like I’ve never seen!  I use their foundation (normally $36) and coverup regularly (normally $20), which is on sale for $8 and $5.50!!

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I bought the following four products (was tempted by much, much more) and here are my reviews on these new steals:

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Natural Finish Oil-Free Makeup $8

I like to blend this with a lighter weight foundation, but use it regularly and definitely recommend it for full face coverage.

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Cover-Up Stick $5.50

Hands down my favorite Stila product.  I’ve been using this for years because it covers up unexpectant blemishes flawlessly.

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All Over Glimmer Powder $10

I was in desperate need of powder and am so happy I didn’t shell out $35 for one at Sephora before I found this.  It has more shimmer than most loose powder, but I like the glow it produces.  Definitely worth more than the cost.

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Lip Enamel in Joy Red $7

 

I had never tried Stila’s lip enamel before, but have been meaning to pick up one in ‘Giggles’, an amazing bright pink color (find it here).  When I saw this deep red, I had to get it even though I’m normally skeptical when it comes to a gloss for something I normally want an opaque look for.  I was pleasantly surprised to try it and find the consistency is thicker than you’d imagine and produces amazing, long lasting color.

 

Total: $30.50!!!!  That’s less than I normally would be paying for just the foundation or powder – so exciting!

Check out the sale for yourself by clicking here.

 

 

 

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint

I’ve been a huge advocate for the BB Cream craze, mostly because it combines a lot of steps that normally require separate products, however I do find that sometimes I want a little more coverage (although not wanting a face product to be too heavy).  My new favorite product that solves all these problems is Jouer’s Luminizing Moisture Tint $38.

I use it in ‘Golden’ for the perfect base before applying the rest of my makeup.  It’s really light weight, but strong and really gives you the perfect palette to go from day to night.  You only need a little, so the $38 should go a long way.

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Can’t Live Without Makeup: Daily Essentials

This Summer was filled with back to back commitments.  I’ve managed to fill in every spare second with visits with close friends and trying out new local restaurants.  What I haven’t been great with, however, is ear-marked!  No worries though, long flights and non wi-fi locations have left me with piles of magazines with turned down pages and as we head to Fall, I’ll be preparing posts in advance to be sure you’re getting your daily fill!

All the travel also forced me to minimize my daily essentials to only what I absolutely need, which is always a challenge for me.  I listed below some of my favorite products, and although I definitely like to switch things up, I know I’ll be ok if these items are packed in my purse!

Can’t Live Without Makeup (in order of how I apply):

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream $38

Smashbox Photofinish Luminizing Facial Primer $38

Laura Mercier Moisture Supreme Foundation $43

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit $33

*I like how this one has two colors – not all skin tone is the same and it’s also useful when you’ve gotten some Sun or in my case a faux tan 😉

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation $28

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights $30

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush $25

Stila Eyeshadow Trio $28

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner $15

Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara $19

LORAC Cream Lipstick $19

Tory Burch Dash Large Brigitte Cosmetic Case $75

RODIN Olio Lusso

With a couple weekend getaways coming up, I’m always on the lookout for great sample sized products to make my away-from-home beauty routine more manageable.  I’ve been a huge fan of RODIN Olio Lusso for a while now, after testing out their various oils a few years back.  When I discovered they were offering a limited edition Travel Kit $60, I instantly knew it would be a must have – especially for Summer trips where climate changes and red eye flights get the best of my skin and hair.

*Comes with sample sizes of their Hair Oil, Face Oil, Body Oil, Crema Hand + Body Lotion and Perfume.  That’s all of the products they offer, except the Lip Balm $30, which I’ve also been curious about.  Anybody tried it?

Tarte Cheek Stain – Ten

Tarte Cheek Stain – Ten ($19) is 100% one of my favorite products.  It’s paraben free and has countless skin nourishing ingredients, but the thing that makes it literally a must have is the color.  It’s without a doubt the perfect pink.  I use it on my cheeks almost every day and cannot get enough of either blending it or using it alone as a lipstick.  The consistency is perfect for a long lasting, smudge proof pout.

Buy this now!  You won’t regret it!!

I’ll Only Go Curly With This From Now On…

Everyone knows I have a love/hate relationship with my curls.  I’ve spent hours, weeks, months, and what seems like years in front of a mirror on the verge of tears, dripping in sweat, with burning hot hair tools in my hand trying to straighten my natural curly locks.  I’ll really know I’ve made it when I can afford to have it done in the mornings (#dreamworld) and not have to tame what is comparable to a wild beast.

There are days, however, that a good air dry and comb through leaves me with a head of curls that aren’t so unmanageable and I decide to bare the outdoors as my natural self… well, at least from the scalp up.  I’ve tried almost every product and some definitely help.  I love Morroconoil Frizz Control ($32) and use it almost every day before I comb my hair after getting out of the shower.

I recently picked up a bottle of Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray ($4.79), which has a lot of mixed reviews around the web, but it’s cheap, so I thought I would give it a try (and full disclosure – I was $5 away from getting free shipping with an online order).  What I was looking for was a product I could use on my dry hair the day after I wear it curly.  I don’t think I’ve ever been lucky enough to score two good curly hair days in a row.

The thing is, I understand why people don’t like this.  The complaints are mostly that it leaves hair dry and “dirty feeling”.  This is a texturizing spray and is supposed to make your hair look like you’ve spent all day at the beach.  It gives you that unkempt, effortless look, which I happen to really like – it also smells like vacation, so I’m willing to overlook the downfalls.  I suggest starting with a modest amount and layering on if you feel you need it, but also (if you’re trying to create waves/more defined curls) spraying it on and twisting sections around with your fingers to get better definition.  It will feel a little dry, but only because the product contains a lot of salt, which holds the waves in.

July TestTube

Here’s the deal.  TestTube is a beauty subscription that only comes every three months as opposed to every month and instead of breaking up the payments of around $10/month, you are charged close to $40 every quarter.  To me, those things are cons, but the benefits far exceed them all.  They provide the most information about the products, the most samples and many of them full size.  I’m continually finding they introduce me to new brands and products I probably wouldn’t buy, but should because they are great quality.  I always do my reviews starting with my favorites and counting down to the one I liked the least, but I genuinely enjoyed each of these things as opposed to every other beauty subscription where I have at least one or two I don’t like at all.
July TestTube: (in order of my favorite to least favorite)

Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick in Orchid $19/.12 fl oz (received full size):  I’m partial to lip color, and the fact that I don’t own many in the lilac family, I was thrilled to receive the full size of the Mally gloss.  Mally is a brand that’s kind of blowing up… and for good reason.  The company was started by celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal.  This particular product claims to be a primer, gloss and liner in one tube and I have to say – it’s super long lasting, not sticky and the colors are amazing!  **Note: this is a subtle light purple/pink color.  Some of the other shades would be more dramatic depending on what you’re looking for.

Olay Pro-X-Clear Complexion Renewing Lotion $30.99/2.5 fl oz clarifying cleanser, 1.7 fl oz skin clearing treatment and 1.7 fl oz complexion renewing lotion (received .24 fl oz):  When you sign up for TestTube, you fill out a survey that personalizes your samples, so you get products to go with your hair color and skin type, but sometimes I swear they’re reading my mind.  Because this Summer has been particularly busy and has come with its share of stresses, my skin has felt the brunt of it.  I’m currently tackling some pesty zits that ironically tend to show up at the very worst times.  This was the only product I’ve tried over the last couple weeks that hasn’t burned, but seemed to have moisturize and tone down the redness.  I definitely would buy this full size!

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum $15.14/1 fl oz (received full size):  First of all, this product smells great.  I’m very particular about scents.  There’s nothing worse than something smelling artificial or overbearing, but I’m always pleasantly surprised when something is refreshing.  I’ve been using it under my moisturizer and it feels great going on.  I’m making an effort to take better care of my skin, preventative care included, so I enjoyed adding this product to my daily routine.

Lumene Time Freeze Firming Night Cream $21.99/1.7 fl oz (received .5 fl oz):  When it comes to a firming lotion or mask, I like to actually feel it working.  When I’m leaving something on for 20 minutes, I like it to stiffen up and really work on my pores, but when it’s a cream I leave on overnight, a happy medium between barely there and super charged tightening is key.  I like that this cream has a substantial weight, adds tons of moisture to my skin and doesn’t fade within minutes of applying it.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product $17.99/4 fl oz (received 2 fl oz):  I’ve used a few It’s a 10 products in the past and have not been overly impressed, I’m all for a good frizz fighting detangler.  It definitely helped with knots, but I’ve found other similar products are more effective in the frizz department.  I think this would be great for someone with hair that knotted easily, but didn’t have as thick hair as me.  I’m using this in my dream life – beachy waves and slight tangles because I just surfed all morning and need a quick comb through before I head to my successful studio… if that’s your life… this product is for you and also – please be my friend.

Neutrogena Brightening Eye Perfector in Light $11.19/4.9 g (received full size):  The color is a bit off on this one for my skin (maybe that’s why I didn’t absolutely love it), but the coverage is good.  I don’t have particularly dark eyes or circles, so it’s never been a really important product for me, but for someone that does, I think it would definitely help.  The key to this is to start with only a little of it – it’s easy to layer too much on and look cakey.

Hydroxatone Instant Effect 90 Second Wrinkle Reducer On The Go Singles $44.95/15 packets (received full size):  I’ll admit, part of the reason for the low rating is because the packages are practically child locked (or I’m just weak), but it’s a pet peeve of mine when packaging is hard to open… especially for daily singles!  It definitely does tighten, which is great, but it’s also a bit sticky.

 

Bubble Bath

Summer is supposed to be about relaxation and taking time to have some fun.  Somehow, ever since the first day kids were rejoicing that school was out, I’ve been trying to stay afloat and juggling more work commitments than ever before.  I’ve managed to spend a couple evenings here and there doing things I’ve wanted, but for the most part, this Summer is far from indulgent.

The other day I happened to have an hour to myself and although I am absolutely a shower person, I decided to force myself to use my bath for the first time since the lease was signed.  I lit candles, I played music and even turned my phone on silent!  With bubbles flowing, 20 minutes of soaking felt like luxury.

My 7 Favorite Bubble Baths:

Soap & Glory Calm One Calm All Bubble Bath $14

*Most standard and all around best one in my opinion.

 

Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bubble Bath & Wash $4.99

*WARNING: You may fall asleep in the tub.  You should probably tell someone you are taking a bedtime bath before using.

Philosophy Cinnamon Buns $16

*WARNING: You may instinctively start shoveling the bubbles into your mouth with the warm, gooey scent of Cinnamon Buns.

*DISCLAIMER: This products tastes nothing like Cinnamon Buns.  It tastes horrible… I’ve heard.

   

Lush Bubble Bar – The Comforter $9.95

*Really good for when you want to relax, but don’t want to be put to sleep.

      

Lush Bubble Bar – Turbo Bubble $6.95

*This makes your bath GLITTER!!!!!!!  That makes me happy just reading it.

         

Lush Bubble Bar – Sunny Side $6.95

*This makes your bath GOLD!!  I mean, this is good stuff.

    

Aveeno Active Naturals Stress Relief Foaming Bath $5.59

*Love it after a long day of work.

 

My Last BeautyBox5 Review

That’s right.  I threw in the towel.  Not because I think BeautyBox5 is bad, but like I’ve said before, I definitely think it is important to test out different beauty subscriptions so you can find the right one for you (we all have different needs and preferences… and this one just isn’t exactly my style.  So from now on, I’ll only receive monthly boxes from Birchbox, Glossy Box and Test Tube.

It’s actually funny that my last BeautyBox5 was my favorite.  It featured some great products, but nothing that compared to what the others were sending (for me), so I decided to stick to my gut and respectfully discontinue my subscription.

June BeautyBox5 Review:
*in order of best to worst

Everyday Minerals Blush in ‘Girl Friday’ $6.99/mini jar (received full size) – There’s no doubt I have a thing for blush.  What I love even more is layering different colors.  Powders make this really easy.  The ‘Girl Friday’ color is really nice because it’s a little deeper than my normal range of colors that I buy, which makes accomplishing a more dramatic look easier.  Everyday Minerals is a company I’ve liked for a while now.  They have beautiful colors and they are light enough where you can play with them and not look crazy, but instead layer for a darker color, giving you more control.

The All Natural Face Vegan Mineral Eyeshadow in Just Peachy $3.99/5 gram jar (received full size) – I definitely unfairly pre-judged this one.  I’ve had really bad experiences with vegan cosmetics before where I’ve seriously felt like I was using something so ridiculous like grains of salt on my eyelids and have even broken out from a similar product, BUT I have to say I love this color and I’ve been using it daily.  The color is very subtle and layers really nicely.  It’s the perfect symmetry of orange and pink, which was missing from my collection and will be very useful for Summer.  I’ve even been using it on my cheeks!

Comodynes Easy Peeling New Face Effect $12.99/8 sheets (received 1 sheet) – I was really intrigued with this and have actually decided I would buy this again.  I love exfoliating and appreciate the soft skin it leaves behind.  What I don’t like about exfoliating is that often times it’s really messy.  Because this is a sheet that you rub over your face, it eliminates the mess, which is great!  What I will say about this is that it is really rough.  It felt very abrasive, which I couldn’t decide if I loved (because it was doing its’ job) or hated (because it kind of hurt).  My skin did feel really soft though about 15 minutes after use, so I’m eager to see what would happen if I used it weekly… it was hard to judge with just 1 sheet.

Blinc Eyeliner $25/.21 oz (received small sample tube) – The positives of this eyeliner are that it definitely lasts a long time and goes on dark, but there are a few reasons I wouldn’t buy this product again.  For one thing, you have to be patient when you apply it.  Wait for it to dry or else you’ll undoubtedly make a mess of your makeup, which is probably more an issue on my part leaving only the very least amount of time to apply makeup in the morning and even 30 extra seconds seems impossible.  Also, the brush is very flexible.  When I’m putting on dark liquid liner, it’s helpful to have a stronger wand that won’t accidentally flop over and create a vertical line making you look ridiculous and usually causing you to start your eye makeup all over again.  Lastly, and this one isn’t necessarily 100% negative, when you do take it off, it almost peels off in little pieces, much like paint.  The reason this bothers me is that I inevitably miss some in the inner part of my eye and wake up with stringy black leftover makeup in my eyes, which is not the way I like to start my day.

Blum Naturals Oil Absorbing Facial Tissues $3.90/50 sheets (received full size) – I’m pretty sure the last time I used an oil absorbing sheet was in high school when Jennifer Love Hewitt was doing the Neutrogena commercials and those little blue oil sheets seemed cool.  Although I admit I initially bought them purely because I had a serious obsession with the movie Can’t Hardly Wait, what I loved about them (although kinda gross) was that there was visual confirmation that they were working.  The oil became apparent as you slid it across your face and it felt like it was working.  This product doesn’t do that.  For me, it just felt like I was rubbing tissue paper all over my face, but it could just be the fact that I don’t have particularly oily skin (I actually am usually looking to help with dryness).