Monday, January 31, 2011

fringe & stripes

cardigan & bag - H&M
dress/top - Charlotte Russe
earrings - DIY
necklace - Forever 21
rings - PacSun & Etsy

This afternoon, i decided to utilize my tripod in attempt to take photos of what i wore today.  People always recommend i do more outfit of the days & since i picked up a few items when i went shopping yesterday, i thought i'd share them.  Other than that, i've been feeling really uninspired on the fashion front lately!  I think it's the combination of school + not having much in my wardrobe to choose from.  Excuses, excuses i know, but it gets annoying wearing the same pair of jeggings & the same few tops every week!
Trying to save money for a trip over spring break but wanting to reinvent your entire wardrobe is hard.

01. This bag has to be one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe.  The neutral color makes it go with everything, but the fringe makes it fun & very me :).  Can i just say.. i love fringe.  Maybe it's the laid-back/cool feel that always takes me back to Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock 1969, but fringe is such now becoming a slight obsession of mine.  The cardigan is also a purchase from yesterday.  Of course when i go out in search for new shoes & tops, i come out with everything but.

02. I turned in my application yesterday at the thrift store.  Two of my friends (+ a lot of other people from my school work/have worked there) work there at the moment & urged me to apply there.  Sure that thrift store may be a dodgy place, but a job is a job & i need one!  Besides, i've discovered some pretty neat (lol, neat...) finds from thrift stores.  Also, the manager's cute.  That's always a plus ;)

03. I've officially decided i want to re-paint my room.  I think i've just outgrown the pink (even though we just painted it what, like two years ago?).  I'm thinking of going more neutral, in the cream/tan direction.  With a few artsy touches & decorations i think it'll look really nice.

04. We're about to get packed with snow over the next couple of days (where i live is way past due i guess!).  I don't want to jinx it, but i'm really hoping for at least one snow day this week.  Our city is pretty good at salting & clearing the roads - good thing if you have to be somewhere, bad thing if you want school to be cancelled - pretty quickly, but we'll see!  Hope you all had good starts to your weeks!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

viva glam gaga lipstick.

When my sister asked me what i wanted for Christmas (within reason of course), i didn't really know what to say.  At the time, i decided that i wanted to start building up my MAC collection so i finally just said "anything from MAC".  She knows i love Lady Gaga & that she had a lipstick out at MAC, so i suppose she landed on this for my gift!  I know i'm a bit late to the whole Viva Glam Gaga collaboration, but better late than never i suppose?
If you didn't know, Viva Glam is a program MAC started to "support men, women, and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS globally.." (taken off the MAC website).  100% of the proceeds goes to these people - to help give them food, afford doctor's visits, provide them with tools to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, among many other things.  To learn more about that, you can click here.  I think this is such a great cause & no matter what one may think about the lipstick itself (although they do have gorgeous shades & formulations), this is such an easy and beautiful way to help those in need.

Last year, Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga collaborated with MAC & came out with their own lipstick and lipglass shades under the Viva Glam range.  Cyndi Lauper's shade was a gorgeous red color, while Lady Gaga's was more of a baby/bubblegum pink color.  As i said before, i got Viva Glam Gaga :)

This is the second MAC lipstick i've ever tried, but the first lustre finish i've ever used.  The lipstick goes on really smooth, but it's not too long wearing.  I find that after a little while, the product actually settles in the crevices of my lips - not a good look!  The color itself is really nice, but i don't think it would suit a lot of skintones unfortunately as it is such light, but bright shade.

To be honest, i don't find myself reaching for this too often.  But even if i bought it with my own money & if it wasn't a gift, i wouldn't have regretted purchasing it as the money goes to such a great cause.
On my lips (i swear it looks less scary IRL!) & swatched on my hand - with no editing
You may also notice i've dyed my hair...
Above i have swatched it on my lips & on my hand - it looks kind of scary on me in that photo for some reason!  My lips are pale, so the lipstick comes out quite true-to-color on my lips.
I've just checked the MAC website and unfortunately both the Cyndi & Gaga lipsticks are sold out, but the lipglasses are still available.  I'd maybe stop by your MAC counter/store & see if they have any left in stock!

I've heard that Lady Gaga (maybe Cyndi Lauper too, i'm not sure!) is collaborating with MAC again this year for another Viva Glam lipstick, i'm excited to see what the new shade is going to be!

Monday, January 24, 2011

skincare purchases

As those of you may know (if you follow me on Twitter ;), i woke up at the crack of dawn to stop by the DMV and get my temps this morning!  If you don't know what a temps is, it's basically saying you're legal to drive as long as you have a parent or guardian in the car, someone whose 21+ years old, or an instructor in the car.  You also can only have relatives in the car, or up to one non-relative.  If all goes well, i should have my driver's license by the end of July :).  My dad's taking me out driving tomorrow (in a vacant parking lot, of course!) for the first time, quite excited actually!  Fingers crossed i don't run into any poles....

Anyway, on the way home, my mom decided to stop by Target to treat me to a few things & pick up a few goodies for herself.  I have to say she is terrible at saying no to me putting things in the cart!
This 'haul' might be a bit boring to those of you who aren't to interested in skincare, but i thought i'd share with you all what i got anyway.

Boots Botanics Organic Face Rosewater Toner, $7.99 - This is the main reason we went to Target.  I was running low on this toner & needed to pick up another bottle.  I swear by this stuff!
St. Ives "Timeless Skin" Apricot Scrub, $2.99 - I was running out of exfoliator as well & thought i'd try something new.  I've been using St Ives Sensitive Skin Apricot Scrub, but didn't feel like it was really exfoliating my skin too much.  And anything that claims to "renew and firm" my skin sounds good to me :).  We'll see how this stuff goes...

Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes - 30 count, $5.99 - I've been using baby wipes to take my makeup off for a while now & noticed that my skin gets a bit irritated (ironic, huh?) or that it doesn't really remove my makeup too well.  I've heard many good things about this brand so i thought i'd give these a go!  Cute packaging + lovely ingredients = muy bueno :)
Yes to Tomatoes Skin Clearing Facial Mask, $14.99 - This was my splurge (well, my mom's :/) for the day & the product i'm most excited to try out.  Again, i've been hearing a lot of good things around the beauty community about this brand (same brand as the Yes to Cucumbers range), so i have high hopes!  My skin has been acting up lately so i've been looking to up the amp in my skincare routine.  Really hope this does my skin some good.

Sleeping mask & mini hand sanitizer, both $1 - Picked these up in the clearance section!  It's super bright in my room in the morning to i figured a sleeping mask might help, and how cute is it? :)  Also picked up a mini hand sanitizer for my purse by the same brand that's supposed to be "strawberry champagne" scented - i'd say more like strawberry smoothie spiked with strawberry Smirnoff, but hand sanitizer is hand sanitizer right? ;)


Need to go to the mall soon to Back to MAC for a lipstick (i'm thinking Creme Cup maybe?), pick up more Studio Finish concealer, stop by the Clinique counter, and spend the rest of the money on my Forever 21 card!
Hope you're all having a splendid Monday <3

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

wednesday summary

Please excuse my frightening hair in these photos haha, we did water polo in gym today.

♥ Day one of exams was today!  All i had were orchestra, Spanish, & gym, which we only really had an exam in Spanish which was a breeze.  The next to days will definitely not be so easy, i have physics & honors pre-calculus exams tomorrow and history & honors English on friday.  Not looking forward to those :(  I also have this journal thing as well as a portfolio due for math on monday.  Hence the FML picture lol :(
♥ I recently joined my school's AFS club - mainly because we have one seriously gorgeous German exchange student this year (of course to get involved in my school too...ahem..).  I'm sure those of you who follow me on Twitter are sick of hearing me tweet about how much he looks like (a hotter) Rob Pattinson - he really does though haha :/ - but if you knew him, i'm sure you'd do the same ;)
♥ Only three more days of driver's ed left & then hopefully i'll have my temps!  Fingers crossed i pass the two written tests & the DMV is open on friday....
♥ Anyone watch the Skins US premiere on monday?  I already talked about it a bit on Twitter & on Formspring, but i actually quite liked it.  A lot of people were saying (before it premiered) that it was going to ruin the original version, etc. but i honestly though it was pretty good.  Although i do admit that i'm a bit mad that now everyone here in the US knows about Skins!  Just a warning, never watch it with your prude mother in the room...
♥ I don't think i've featured my Scrabble ring in a post yet!  I got it for Christmas & i loves it.  A few of you were wondering where i got it from and i got it from an Etsy store - here's the link.  It actually came broken in the mail (i totally understand this though, it had traveled a long way!) & so i hot glued it lol.  I then broke another time (accidentally, obv) so i had to hot glue it back together once more.  Will have to get some more heavy duty glue!

Hope you're all doing well <3

Saturday, January 15, 2011

a little pick-me-up

You may or may not have noticed already, but i've been feel really down/stressed out/generally upset about a lot for a while now - school, boys, friends, family, self-image, etc.  Everything just seems to come together to create one massive weight on my shoulders, you know?  I think everyone goes through this every once in a while, just comes with being human i suppose!  If you're going through one of these phases as well, i hope this post helps pick you up a bit, even writing it is making me feel better :)
Here's a bit of motivation (and cheesiness!) - in the form of quotations, songs, & whatever i feel like including in this ol' blog post ♥
(click the photos for credit)


You're beautiful.  Don't let anyone make you think otherwise.

Happy thoughts:
butterflies, oversized sweatshirts, beaches, nights out with friends, summer dresses, cookies fresh out of the oven, unexpected (lovely) texts, hot chocolate, hearing your favorite song on the radio, floral cardigans, slippers, long baths, bicycles.

This song never fails to make me want to stomp & sing at the top of my lungs.

Things to do when you're feeling down:
-Bundle up under the covers with a good book or film (animated films are a great idea!).
-Write - writing can provide such a huge relief.
-Make a list of things that make you happy (try to avoid material things :)
-Turn the music on loud and dance & sing along.
-Go for a walk/bike ride or workout to relieve any frustration you may have.
-Bake some sweets - brownies are my favorite to make in this situation haha.
-Sit down & catch up on some Youtube videos :)
-Re-organize/tidy your room - it might sound crazy, but i do this all. the. time.

Giza Pyramids

"Life is full of beauty.  Notice it.  Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.  Smell the rain and feel the wind.  Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams."

If you have any other happy thoughts or suggestions of what to do when you're feeling down, feel free to leave it in the comments :)

Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow.

I know i've been incredibly MIA lately, and i want to apologize - i also want to thank all of you who have stuck by me & this blog even though i haven't been able to blog as much as i would like.  I don't feel like handing out a bunch of excuses to you guys, but i honestly have been focusing on other things - eg. school, exams, getting through driver's ed, etc.  After this week is over (i have exams this upcoming week & it's also my last week of driver's ed & when i will hopefully be getting my temp's), i'll try to get back into the swing of things.  If you want to keep up with me in the mean time, feel free to follow me on Twitter :)

Another quick thing before i get onto the review, i have switched up a few things with my blog layout, all my links (to Formspring, ThreeWords, etc) & my email address are now in the right sidebar, just a little FYI as some people seem to be confused!

I was first introduced to Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows/Liners by Gemma, she was always raving about them & one of the shades (now discontinued) was one of her go-to products.  I'll admit that the packaging helped draw me in - it's gorgeous! - but i was interested in trying these anyway since i'm always looking for ways to cut down the amount of time it takes to apply makeup in the morning (applying a primer, then an eyeshadow over that?  I'd rather have a two-in-one ;).

I figured i'd do a review on the product since a few of you seemed interested in it when i featured it in one of my 'haul' posts & i haven't done a review in a while!

I'll start of with the packaging - it's both gorgeous & practical.  It's easy to open & close, get the product out, and see the shade of the product.  The color itself - i have the shade RSVP (swatch below :) - is one of my favorite shades to wear all over the lid, but it is a bit frosty.  One of the downfalls to Benefit's CCS range is that they all come in one finish - frosty.  I think MAC Paint Pots have the upper hand in that they have a variety of finishes & they also have more shades for a lower price (Benefit: $19, MAC $16.50).

The product itself is quite creamy & easy to apply, but i find it dries quickly so blending can be made a little difficult.  Since i have oily lids, i thought there was no way this would stay without creasing sans a primer, but i really haven't had too much of a problem.  After applying one layer then letting it dry, i apply another layer which builds a more opaque finish as well as helps prevent creasing.

I wouldn't say this has the staying power of say a primer + a powder eyeshadow on top of that, but it's nice for those days you just can't be bothered to go through the whole process.  Just slick this on your eyes with a bit of mascara & that can be it for your eyes :)
Swatch of RSVP - both without flash
Overall, i'm glad i tried one of the Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows as i think it's a nice thing to have in your collection, but i don't think i'll be repurchasing it when i run out.  Nothing against Benefit as a brand, but their products are a bit out of my price range & more of a once-in-a-while/treat sorta thing.  But i think if i'm interested in purchasing a product similiar to this, i'll be going for a MAC Paint Pot.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

products i'm loving!

Something very exciting (well, for me) has happened since my last post - i (FINALLY) signed up for driver's ed and have already completed my first week of it.  I'm going to be 17 in March, so i'm way past due to drive.  Really can't wait to just get behind the wheel (am a bit nervous tbh) & be able drive myself places instead of having to rely on other people all the time for rides.  Unfortunately this means i am gone from 7:00 in the morning to 6:00 at night, so i have absolutely no proper lighting to take photos for my blog, resulting in less blog posts :/
I've also rearranged my blog a bit, i tried to go for the two-column layout since it would be a lot easier to see everything on my blog and such, but it just messed everything on my blog up & i just couldn't seem to make it look ok!  So the three-column layout might be here for a while!

I have been really loving certain products lately, so i thought i'd share them with you all.  There's a combination of some things i got for Christmas, as well as some products i've recently gotten that i've been wanting to try out for a while.
♥ Too Faced Shadow Insurance eye primer.  Now i've been a long time fan of the famous Urban Decay Primer Potion, but i can honestly say that i prefer this to it.  The product itself & the job it does is essentially the same as UDPP, but it's incredibly easier to use and so much easier to get the product out of the tube.  Although i love the bottle on the Urban Decay Primer Potion, it's just not ideal & a lot of product is wasted.  If you love UDPP but have the problem many people have with getting all the primer out, i recommend trying Shadow Insurance out.  You get a tad bit more product with the Two Faced Shadow Insurance & it's the same price as UDPP.  Will definitely be repurchasing this when i run out!

♥ Sigma F45 Buffer brush.  I asked for a few Sigma brushes for Christmas and this is one of them.  I don't know why i waited so long to try out their brushes, but i'm honestly so glad i did.  One of the brushes i asked for was this kabuki, the F45 (F standing for face).  It's incredibly soft and blends my blush & contour perfectly, as well as applies my setting powder (which will be discussed below!) amazingly.  I don't have a MAC kabuki brush to compare this to, but this is by far the softest & best buffer brush i have tried.  Highly recommend trying this one out!

Sorry for the dirtiness!  Need to wash my brushes :)
♥ Sigma F40 Large Angled Contour brush.  This is another Sigma brush i asked for on my Christmas list & was the one i was most excited to try out.  This brush definitely did not disappoint, and it immediately became one of my favorite makeup brushes!  I love using this brush with my Bare Minerals All-Over Color in "Warmth" (or any bronzer) to contour my face.  It's dense & super soft, and applies the product super well.  A lot of people also use this to apply blush, but i haven't tried that yet since i already use it to contour.  I'm honestly considering just getting another one of these for blusher :)  Haha.

♥ Sigma E25 Blending brush.  This brush came free with the order.  It's a travel-size (short-handle) brush, which i'm actually happy about - the less room my makeup takes up in my suitcase, the better! This is supposed to be the equivalent to the MAC 217 brush, which i do own (which i love - you really can never have too many blending brushes!).  I don't prefer one over the other really, but since the Sigma version is less expensive than the MAC one, i would recommend opting for the Sigma.  I use this to apply color in the crease & the outer corner, as well as blending my eyeshadow out - does the job nicely :)

♥ Bare Minerals Mineral Veil.  I've been using this since i first started using Bare Minerals, but i've only recently really appreciated Mineral Veil.  I apply this over my foundation, blush, and contour with my Sigma F45 (as said above :) & it's honestly just a dream to put on, as stupid as that sounds!  It leaves the most gorgeous finish to the skin - not at all oily or sparkly.  It just gives a lovely sheen to the skin, making it look younger & more fresh.  Love.

Top L-R: Shroom & All That Glitters.  Bottom L-R: Satin Taupe & Twinks.
♥ Favorite MAC eyeshadow combination of the moment.  As you may have seen in my recent MAC haul & updated palette post, i picked up a few neutral shadows - Shroom, All That Glitters, and Twinks - and i have been loving using them all together, along with Satin Taupe (which i already had in my collection).  I use Shroom as an inner corner & brow bone highlight - All That Glitters all over the lid - Satin Taupe in the crease - and Twinks on the outer corner/outer v.  I then apply black liquid liner on the upper lashline and either brown or black eyeliner to the waterline, as well as a black mascara, and it creates a gorgeous daytime/neutral look.  These four eyeshadows will probably be the four i take in a quad with me when i go traveling - unless i find a different combination i like instead of course :).  If you don't want to go buy all four but still want the same sort of look, you could probably go without Satin Taupe & just blend Twinks into the crease and then build it up in the outer v.  Will hopefully do a face of the day with this combo soon :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 to-do list

Random/annoying photo haha :P
I've seen these sort of "New Year's Resolutions" (man, do i hate that phrase) posts on a few blogs now, including Michelle's and Katy's. and thought i'd do something similar.  I'm not to big on thinking of a new year as a fresh start - i'm stuck with the same people, in the same place, doing the same things no matter what day or year it is, you know?  Not to be a downer on anyone else's new year, just thought i'd put in my own opinion!  I do think it's nice to set a few (reasonable) goals to accomplish within the new year though.  Here are a few of mine:

♥ Try to excercise at least 2-3 times a week.  It may not be that much, but it's a step up from the amount i do now.
♥ Eat more fruits & vegetables and try different types of food.
♥ Travel more.
♥ Get my driver's license.
♥ Try to get an adequate amount of sleep each night.
♥ Pass honors pre-calculus (and the rest of my classes, obv).
♥ Be more patient with people - especially family.
♥ Look into potential colleges/universities & majors (yikes).
♥ Continue improving "Big City Dreams".
♥ Spend more time outside.
♥ Try new things.

So much for a few goals, eh?  Most of these are also quite vague, but these are the first things that came to my mind.  I'm really hoping to have some new experiences and just have more fun & be happier this year.  Easier said than done i suppose, but we all need to start somewhere!

What are some of your goals for 2011?