Monday, March 28, 2011

new camera ♥

I'd been looking into getting a new camera for months now, but it wasn't till my birthday two fridays ago that i actually got to purchasing one!  I knew i wanted a Canon DSLR that fit into my tight budget, so i went for one tech-savvy people call an "entry-level DSLR", so basically a dumbed-down version for people like me who want to get into DSLRs, but don't want to just blow a lot of money on something he or she doesn't know how to use.
After doing a bit of searching, i landed on the Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR.  I've heard Canon has actually stopped making these and is actually making a new & improved version of the XS that is set to be out later in April, but i just couldn't wait to be honest!  I'm super content with my decision to say the least (for now ;).
I haven't had time to read the manual fully to discover all the lovely features (work work work and school :/), but i've watched a little review/brief overview video (i must say i love that video, even have it favorited haha #lame) of the camera & have gotten the just of it.  I thought i'd share with you a couple snaps i've taken since i got it, as kind of an update on me as well ♥.
These photos may not really show a difference in the quality & such of the photos from my last camera, but i've definitely noticed a difference.  You  may be able to tell a bit better on my last post, in which there are some photos i took with the new camera.  I have to say it's so effortless to take really lovely, high quality photos in a wide range of lighting situations & such.  I'm so happy i invested in this camera!  Can't wait to take it when i go traveling.
Hope you've all been well. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm a convert!

Urban Decay Primer Potion & Too Faced Shadow Insurance: It's been quite the battle between these two tres popular eyeshadow primers ever since i first came across the beauty community on Youtube & Blogger.  I must admit the first primer i bought was the Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP), mostly due to all the hype & pretty packaging.  I was content with it & never really had any problems with it...until it came to finishing off the tube.

The main issue with UDPP is the packaging.  The primer is amazing, and may even make your eyeshadow last a bit longer than Too Faced Shadow Insurance, but getting every last drop out of the tube can prove to be quite difficult.  I know so many people have the same issue & it's caused people to make the switch to Too Faced.
And i have to say i've joined them!

Being both $18 at Sephora, it can be quite hard to decide which primer to go with.  After going through a tube of UDPP & purchasing and using Too Faced Shadow Insurance for a while, i've officially converted!  The squeeze-y tube lets you take however much out of the tube as you need, which i find is quicker & obviously is less wasteful.  I feel like i'm really getting my money out of it to be honest.  Urban Decay's primer is great, but the packaging is just too impractical for someone like me!  It is pretty and all & it's unique to Urban Decay, but again, after using Too Faced for a while, i don't know why i put up with that packaging!
The Too Faced primer's packaging is clean-looking & pretty too, so i don't have to much of a problem with that. ;)

So, what do you ladies think - which primer do you prefer, or do you use a different one completely?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

11 most reached-for products

As some of you may or may not have noticed by now, i am quite the fan of tags.  This will be my 21st tag (and counting) post that i have on this here blog - some most of them may be a bit pointless (the "personal" ones), while the other beauty-related ones, like my old favorite "8 Things Tag", may be of more use to you lovelies.  Well, i'm sure many of you will be relieved to read that this is one of the beauty-related tags. :)
I was catching up on my Youtube subscriptions and came across one of Allison's newest videos, her 11 Most Reached-For Products tag, if you couldn't already tell by the title. ;)  I figured i would hop on the bandwagon myself & give my own two cents worth.  Just as Allison explained in her video, i'm leaving out my everyday foundation/face routine since that doesn't really change much for me.  For the most part, i'm just putting in products that i go to without much thought, that i know will look good & that i will still like by the end of the day.
Here are my 11 most most "reached for" products, in no particular order ♥:

1. MAC Studio Finish Concealer
This one of my first MAC purchases & it lasted me for a long, long time.  I use it to cover my blemishes (i find it's too drying for my under-eye area), and along with a bit of mineral foundation over top, it provides really nice coverage.  I find that my skin will break-out or be irritated by a lot of face products of various brands, but this doesn't cause my skin to react in anyway.  Will definitely have to buy a new tub of this!

2. Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in RSVP
I've already done a review on this, which you can read here.  This has been my go-to eye base/primer as of late.  It's so quick & easy to just slick on and it's quite versatile as well.  I wear it by itself with liquid eyeliner & mascara, with MAC's All That Glitters eyeshadow over it, MAC's Satin Taupe in the crease, & Twinks in the outer v, or just by itself & a light-medium brown shade in the crease (or Twinks in the outer v, blended into the crease).  As you can tell by that previous, unsightly sentence, it looks good so many ways!  It's love.

3. Clinique Brush-On Cream Eyeliner in True Black
This is one of the newer additions to my makeup collection and i don't know what i've been thinking in regards to liquid/cream eyeliner for all this time!  It has incredibly long lasting power, which i find to be perfect as my eyes are unnaturally watery/teary all the time haha.  It may take a little more time in the morning, but it's worth it for me.  May do a full, in-depth review of this eventually!

4. Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Pink Please
If you've read my blog for a while, you know i have so much love for this lipstick.  I wear this most everyday & it is always in my makeup bag.  It looks really nice with just about every look & adds a lovely bit of color to my otherwise pale face & lips!  Read my really old review of it here. :)

5. OPI nail polish in Got a Date To-Knight
If i ever finish a bottle of nail polish in my lifetime, this will definitely be the one!  This color is such a lovely, baby pink that i find is really flattering with my skintone no matter what time of the year.  I wouldn't say this nail polish is particulary long-lasting, and it also takes quite a few layers to build up the color, but this is by far one of my favorite shades i own.  Whenever i'm a bit indecisive of what color to paint my nails, i choose this one 99% of the time!

6. Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black
I used to be quite the Covergirl Lash Blast fanatic, although that was great for volumizing my lashes, i found it didn't do too much for length.  I'd had samples & even a full-size tube of High Impact before, but never really appreciated it until recently.  It both lengthens & volumizes, and it quite a deep black as well.

7. Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sin (called Drink Me, Eat Me in this palette)
This is by far one of my favorite all-over-the-lid colors and actually even one of my favorite eyeshadows i own.  It accentuates the eye very nicely - with a complimentary crease & outer v color, it's perfection.  It's also quite long lasting, and with a base it lasts for even longer.  I find it's really versatile as well, it looks so good with so many different combinations.  When in doubt, i almost always go for this shadow with Too Faced Shadow Insurance or Benefit CCS in RSVP on its own for a lid color.

8. Clinique Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher in New Clover
I've mentioned this product in a few monthly favorites, but i just had to add it to this list.  I don't have an immense collection of blushes, and generally just use up the sample-size blushes i get from usually Clinique, but i find that i reach for this shade just about everyday of the week.  It gives such a natural flush to my cheeks and looks really flattering & pretty on my fair skintone.

9. MAC eyeshadow in Satin Taupe
Satin Taupe was one of the first MAC eyeshadows that i added to my collection, and it is one of my must-haves.  Along with many of the products on this list, it is very versatile.  It looks really lovely in the crease with just about any champagne color on the lid.  I usually wear it in the crease & built up in the outer corner (or Twinks in the outer corner instead) with Benefit's RSVP, but it looks great with just about any combination.

10. Revlon Matte Lipstick in Pink Pout
This is probably the second most-used lipstick in my collection, after Maybelline's Pink Please.  :)  On me, it shows up as a lovely baby pink.  As you can see, it's a bit messed actually broke the day i got it & i just had to stick it back in the tube in order to use it.  It's a bit drying as well, but it lasts quite a long time & has a nice matte finish.

11. Sigma E25 Blending Brush
This travel size brush came free with a Sigma order i made around Christmas.  It's supposed to be a dupe for MAC's 217 brush, but i have to say i actually prefer this one to the 217.  My 217 actually became quite fluffy over time & doesn't apply eyeshadow to the crease as well/as clean as it did when i first got it.  Maybe it's because i haven't had this for as long as i have the 217, but it applies crease colors SO well & i'm in love!  Quite the nice surprise to see this came free with my order. :)


What products do you find yourself reaching for the most?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

two new loves

Feel very pose-y in this photo...
I went to the mall with my mom the other day to spend a store credit from Forever 21 from when i returned a few tops i didn't want a long while ago, as well as Back to MAC for a lipstick.  I'm not too impressed with the stock at Forever 21 at the moment.  Well, actually i love a majority of the clothes they have in right now, but i don't suit any of it!  There are a lot of tops & dress with drop-waists that would be perfect if i had a different body shape & figure.  I do not suit drop-waists at all, which is sad (well, for me) as i love the way the look.
Also, i really hate that whenever i find something i do like & something i think would actually suit me, they don't have my size.  Really frustrating to be honest.  I've been stuck in a fashion rut, but whenever i try to get out of it, i can never find something that fits, suits me, and i actually like.  Blah :(
I suppose that's besides the point!  On the same shopping trip, i stopped by my trusty Boston Store (department store where both my mom & sister work) in search for a top that suited the criteria mentioned above.  In the Calvin Klein part of the store, i spotted this top.  Usually i would feel guilty about spending a larger sum of money on a top than usual, but i was just feeling so crap about myself that day that i needed a little mood booster!  And with it being on sale & with my mom's discount, i suppose it wasn't that much of a splurge...
 This top is gorgeous - i love how flowy it is, but i love that it has shape.  The seams and sinching make it both comfortable & chic.  I also love that it is a tad sheer, which is what i was also looking for.  The print is a bit different, it's not exactly animal print, but not exactly any other sort of print - abstract animal print maybe?  Hmm... haha.  The fabric is also gorgeous, quite light and so soft.  All of the things mentioned just screams quality to me.  You get what you pay for, you know? :)
Lovely flowy sleeves that come in at the forearm.  Bracelets were a gift, American Eagle, and from a festival (respectively).
These sunglasses are from Forever 21 and i love them!  They are similar to sunglasses i got last year from F21 as well, but these are larger & have a slightly more cat-eye silhouette.  Love the tortoise shell effect to them.  Look really nice on as well, only thing is that i feel like they don't shield my eyes from the sun as much as other sunglasses do.