July 27, 2015

Packing for a Longer Trip

Almost everyone can relate to the struggle that is overpacking. This task becomes especially problematic when you're going on a longer trip and feel the need to take everything you own along with you. Recently, I went away for about 2 weeks and luckily I stayed with family and had all of the normal conveniences that I am accustomed to, basically a washing machine and ample closet space. 

Since I can do laundry while away, I only packed a few nights worth of pajamas and a few workout outfits. To save space, I rolled a top and bottom together and stacked them in one section of my suitcase. 

To have lots of options and prepare myself for any weather possible, I packed a few extras and layering pieces, a stylish jacket, a cardigan, a rain jacket, jeans, and a belt. Packing these extras in a different space and/or pile helps to keep my suitcase more organized, since I'm not digging through and shuffling them around each time I go to find clothing. 

 When it comes to putting together basic outfits, I always like to streamline how many pieces of clothing I have to take. To keep my suitcase a little bit lighter, I only packed a few bottoms (this works when you have access to a washing machine). Then to go with each bottom, I packed a few shirt options, meaning I won't have to repeat the same exact outfit for the whole trip.

After I decided which pieces to pack and laid them all out together, I chose jewelry that will complete the outfits. I always lay everything out to make sure I don't pack a bunch of jewelry that won't coordinate with any of my outfits.

After laying out all my jewelry and deciding what to take and what to leave at home, I pack all the jewelry up in separate ziplocs/jewelry bags so I don't have to spend my hole vacation untangling necklaces. I like to put all of my small accessories in one place, which is where the eaglecreek packing cubes come in handy. These small storage pouches keep everything organized and protected.

July 24, 2015

A Likely Pairing// Jouer Suntan Bronzer & Peach Bouquet Blush

Jouer is a brand with higher quality makeup and simplistically, functional packaging. I have owned both their Suntan bronzer and their Peach Bouquet Blush, but up until recently never wore them together.

When I put the bronzer and blush on my cheeks together, it all made sense. The packaging of the two products fit together, which is one innovative thing about Jouer is the grooves on the products slide and hook on to each other. They just look so nice next to each other. Both of the powders set in well and truly blend into the skin. Both shades look natural and last the whole day.

The Suntan shade is a neutral bronze and has slight, but seemingly unnoticeable, shimmer.

Peach Bouquet is a beautiful, shimmering, coral. It really livens up the face without looking like "ooh, you put some pink shimmer on your cheeks and are calling it blush.

July 19, 2015

5 Reasons to Love Ikea

After not having visited Ikea in a while, I dedicated a recent rainy day to look around. I ended up buying a couple pieces of accent furniture, but while I was there I realized how Ikea is so much greater than I remember it being. Basically, here's why...

1. It is super easy to find. The building is always painted in bright blue and yellow and dominates its surrounding area. 

2. The display rooms make you want to move in and never leave. 

3. You don't really have to leave, at least not to get lunch because they have a cafe inside. 

4. The pencils are adorable and if you want to use them to write down the numbers to their cheaper furniture, especially these Lack tables that are only $7.99, your wallet will thank you.

5. Even though it is hit or miss, the as-is section is also super cheap. I personally don't mind if my furniture has one or two dings if it means that I can save lots of money.

Ikea can be few and far between, but the trek is always worth it. 

July 15, 2015

July 2015// Go Bold Birchbox

I am very impressed with my Birchbox for this month. Basically, the products on the inside are just as eye catching on the box itself. Although the bold and neon geometric pattern collides with my normally classic tastes, it is fun and exciting for the middle of Summer. 

I always like receiving hair products in my box. It's just something I like to experiment with more than most other beauty products. This month I got the Amika un.Done Texture Spray, which is basically supposed to do everything that a sea salt spray does but without the sea salt aspect. I really like the smell so that alone will push me to use the product and probably sway my opinion on it. 

I also received the Macadamia Weightless Moisture Leave-In Conditioning Mist. I don't know if Macadamia revamped their line or just introduced new packaging, but either way, I am always excited to try out more of their products. This spray also comes in handy as my current bottle of It's a 10 Miracle Leave in Product is rearing of the end of its life. 

The only thing I am not extremely excited to try is the Coola Makeup Setting Spray. Although setting sprays have become very trendy and I am sure this one is nice, my friend has recently made me try and, without putting forth much effort, forced me to like is Mac's Fix Plus. 

As far as makeup goes, Birchbox has been stepping up their game and sent me The Balm's Balm Desert Bronzer. I like when Birchbox sends the Balm samples. Their powder products are always soft, creamy and pigmented. I like the shimmery, warm shade of this bronzer, but I think it will work a lot better as a bronzer.

Lastly, Birchbox sent each subscriber one of the shades from the Stila Look at me Liquid Lipstick Trio. I got a super bright pink, Venizia. This shade is pretty unwearable for me, but the cream does smell like vanilla cake and the size is great as the slightest dab is pigmented enough to last all day. 

June 18, 2015

Buffalo Exchange Trip

I have wanted to visit a Buffalo Exchange for a little while. I never really came across one and nor did I go out of my way to search for one. I finally took the time to go to the Buffalo Exchange in Georgetown. 

It was a nice store, easily found, well organized, and had impressive inventory. Even though it was smaller, there was still lots of clothes to choose from. I purchased one shirt, which is more unique than most shirts I buy and was a very nice price, but it is currently in the wash, so I'm just going to share the accessories that I came across. 

I just kind of came across the scarf section. I saw this navy and white striped scarf, similar to others that I have refrained from buying in the past. Even though it is Summer, I bought this J Crew scarf for $12, something I definitely would have paid the original price for. 

The first necklace that I spotted on the stand is simple and seems to be good quality. I took it home for $8.50, a good price as it seems like something I would wear over and over again. 

Necklaces are my weakness. I wear this one specific necklace a lot. I saw a necklace similar to the one I already love, a little too much, but still different enough. Needless to say, I purchased it for $6.50 (it was 50%off). I later realized that it is from Loft, which means it is pretty good quality and most likely cost a decent bit. 

I fell in love with their sunglass selections. They stocked a few pairs of designer sunglasses. They were still expensive, but much cheaper than their original prices. I stuck to the cheaper and still abundant selection. There were a few pairs of cat eyed styles and I settled for a smaller, tortoise shell, pair that only cost me $8. They feel very sturdy and the plastic feels thick, unlike my other cheaper pairs, which are usually from Target. They may not look the best on me, but I like them and have given up on finding flattering sunglasses. 

May 17, 2015

Birchbox-- May 2015

May's Birchbox was centered around a blogger and author, who wrote Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home. Anyways, my box this month is pretty amazing and well rounded. 

Starting out with the things I'm least excited about, the Dr. Jart Night Beauty Balm. It feels nice on my skin and claims to be safe to sleep in, which I guess is nice. In all honesty, I feel like the beauty balm craze is over and I don't understand the marketing behind a "night" beauty balm.

The other skin care product, the Marcelle Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel, is an intense moisturizer. I will use it, but, in relativity to the rest of my box, it is not something I am excited about. 

Birchbox doesn't always give the best makeup samples, so receiving the Mally Evercolor Waterproof Eyeliner in Shimmering Steel is pretty exciting. It's different than the normal black and brown eyeliner that most people stick to, but is still a neutral. Plus, the formula is smooth and long wearing. 

I am more excited to test out the Harvey Prince Sea Salt Texturizing Mist. I like the packaging and the smell, which is strong, but still a nice men's type of scent. 

Probably the most exciting, and valuable, thing in my box is the Macadamia Nourishing Moisture Oil Treatment. I love Macadamia hair products and I will definitely use their oil. 

March 20, 2015

March 2015 Birchbox

This month, the actual box is perfect for Spring. Plus, Birchbox put the products and their descriptions back on the card they send, which makes me quite happy. I missed not having the information last month.

I love the It's a 10 Miracle Leave In Product and Birchbox keeps sending it to me. I really don't mind, since I use it after every wash to help with brushing out my hair. It tames my hair and helps make brushing a little bit easier. 
A few days after my box arrived, Birchbox emailed to inform me that they added 50 extra points to my account for accidentally sending me the same product twice. I truly don't mind, but this is amazing customer service. 

I also got the Paula's Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster. I really like using face oils and I am up for anything hydrating.

The Elite Theraputics Rosemary Eucalyptus Body Creme seems nice. It has quite the natural scent and is made with mostly organic ingredients, not something I necessarily look for, but it's still an interesting fact.

I love this trend of sheet masks. I tried my first one in January's Birchbox and have been purchasing them from Sephora. The BioRepublic Skincare Green Tea Detox Purifying Fiber Mask is infused with tea and claims to nourish the skin while cleansing it of impurities.

I am always excited to receive a little bit of makeup in my Birchbox. The Jelly Pong Pong Glow Getter Highlighter is made with 80% water, which claims to make it very lightweight. The name is a little out there, which bothers me. I swatched it and it's definitely not my favorite. It doesn't blend out evenly and looks a little strange on.

March 17, 2015

YSL Touche Eclat

I go through phases of using the YSL Touche Eclat, but I have ultimately decided it is not worth the money for what it gives.

I bought the this product when Sephora was having a sale, but that doesn't justify the price. It is as expensive as a foundation at $42.

I purchased the shade 3 because the first few shades are too light and would make my under eyes look ashy. It claims to brighten your complexion, which then diminishes dark circles. I find that it does highlight, but you can still clearly see the darkness underneath my eyes. If you do not have dark circles, this could work to brighten, but I would not pay over $40 for a mediocre eye brightener. 

This product does not erase fatigue, as it claims, but rather makes it look like I tried to cover up my fatigue. It is the type of product that needs to be paired with a higher coverage concealer. It only works to highlight, but if I want a highlight, I buy a highlight, so I prefer using other products.

If you want something with heavy duty coverage, I would purchase the Bobbi Brown Corrector. If you want something with less coverage, I would not even spend the money on this. If you want to spend a lot of money, I would buy one of YSL's lipsticks instead. 

March 15, 2015

Mac Cleanse Off Oil

I use a cleansing oil at night to remove my makeup and then follow it up with a cleanser and usually my clarisonic. However, if I am feeling a bit more lazy, which is quite often, I just use a cleansing oil and go straight to bed. 

I have tried a few different cleansing oils and I decided to pick up the miniature Mac Cleanse Off Oil, which costs $10 for 1 fl oz. 

I love the packaging. The bottle is sleek. You can lock the pump to make sure it doesn't accidentally leak. Also, the pump gives you much more control over any other cleansing oils that I have tried. 

It doesn't have an offensive scent, which is great when it comes to skin care. When you first apply it to dry skin, it really melts your makeup. Then, when you add some warm water, it emulsifies and makes makeup disappear. I like how easy cleansing oils are, including this one, to use and how gently they disintegrate your makeup, without drying out your skin.

March 13, 2015

Sephora Birthday Gift// Nars Lip Pencils

Last year, I was not too excited about the Makeup Forever lipstick and eyeliner birthday gift. It just wasn't really something I wanted to try, but this year is a different story. I absolutely love Nars. It is probably one of my favorite makeup brands. I have been wanting to try out more of their lip pencils (I have 1, but I do not like the shade at all; I talked about it here). That being said, I am really excited about this years birthday gift.