Saturday, January 28, 2012

Favorite Christmas Gifts!

Hey guys, I thought it would be fun to show a few of my favorite items from Chirstmas that I got as gifts this year. Since I don't do videos, and since my Christmas was on vacation, I won't show you everything since I got mostly money and giftcards (easy to pack!) and just random stuff like candy and parachuting army men (I love my parents! haha). Consider this like a curated version of my Christmas haul :)

 Here are all my favorite things together! I'll go into more detail about each one below

This bracelet is from a random boutique in New Orleans and I received from my awesome big brother. I am just blown away by this because it is surprisingly SO me despite that I don't own anything like it so I am amazing that my brother was able to pick out something I love! What really makes me love it is that it seems kinda Vivienne Westwood-esque, a high end designer that I would just DIE to own anything from! :) Until the day that I am rich this bracelet should get me through :P

I suppose this is kind of like a Christmas gift to myself because I bought it with a giftcard. This is Kate Spade Twirl, a perfume that I originally sampled through birchbox, and just fell in love with! I was originally going to save my birchbox points to buy the full size but when I came across this in a set with a matching lotion and a suuuper good price I knew it was meant to be and that I needed it now! Haha. Now I have decide what amazing thing to save my points for now :P

This shirt and I... pure love. It seems so crazy, I know, and probably not something I would have realized I would love had I seen it in a store myself. My brother's amaaaazing girlfriend got this for me and, again, I am stunned at her and my brother's ability to get my style spot on! When I wore it for the first time it really was true love. The shirt it self is SOOOOO soft and comfortable it is amazing, and the graphic is just plain amazing too. I love to wear this in a kind of grungy way with jean shorts (while I was on vacation in Florida, haha) and my Madden Girl boots. I just love the look, and it kind of reminds me of Sarah Hawkinson's style, who I love! This was also purchased in a NOLA boutique but I found it online if you want one too!

And lastly, because it is just plain cute and is also something my brother got me. It's a little top hat facinator! It is perfect for mardi gras (I went last year) and I secretly loooove facinators (and I want to wear a little feathery veil one when I get married one day :P). I'm not sure when I will wear it except if I go to mardi gras again, or for a costume occasion like Halloween or something. Anyone have any ideas? Well other than maybe Harajuki, Japan.

What were your favorite things for Christmas? Comment below, I'd love to check it out!

Monday, January 23, 2012

January Birchbox

January Birchbox! I had some issues this month with this getting here, hence the lateness of this post (the delay was my fault really though, not Birchbox's and they were still super nice and accommodating about it!). As usual I will post little mini reviews of each product as I get a feel for them or use them up.

1. Juicy Couture - Viva La Juicy
I'm kind of meh about this perfume but I don't hate it. I don't think I would ever buy this, but I wouldn't be upset if someone randomly gave it to me as a gift or anything. I am slightly disapointted that I don't find it amazing or anything because I know a lot of people love this perfume. I think its because I more of a cirtrus sweet and sour kind of girl rather than a true fruity floral like this is. Also, for having vanilla musky undertones, I'm surprised I don't hate it because usually I hate that, but with this perfume it just work well with the rest of the notes.

2. VMV Hypoallergenics - Re-Everything Face-Hand-Body Lotion
I don't think there is anything miraculous about this product as a body lotion (I did not try it on my face) in light of its high price tag ($45!). I did notice that my skin was nice and smooth, and better than other lotions I have used. But, for the cost, I don't see myself ever buying it.

3. Lara Bar - Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
This was fun to try. It was a nice taste and even though it was kinda nutty, which I am not sure I like, I do like that because of the nuts it doesn't make you feel bleh like some candy bars can make me feel afterward. I don't know if I would go out and buy these, but I would eat them again. I hear there is a chocolate-y one... I wouldn't mind trying that one next!

4. Origins - Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash
I can't decide how I feel about this. I like that it is nice and creamy, but I'd prefer it to have some kind of scrubby-ness to it. I particularly enjoy using this mixed in with another face wash because it keeps my skin nice and happy with the creaminess, and nice and clean with the other not-as-creamy cleanser. It is possible that I may grow to really love this product by the time I finish it up, and I will let you know if that happens, but at the time I like it, but I'm not sure I love it more than other cream cleansers I have tried, namely the Ahava one I tried.

5.FULL SIZED Stila - Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Peacock
The color is something I would have never picked up for myself but after using it to test it out I realized that I really like the consistency of it and wouldn't mind seeing the other colors of this product. Using this as a classic eyeliner or for winged eyeliner looks strange, in my opinion, but I'm going to play around with it some more because it could make a lovely lid color because the shimmer/shine to it is just gorgeous!

6. BONUS Birchbox Magnet
I think this little magnet is just adorable! A perfect bonus to get in a birchbox. No complaints here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Purge 10

1. (Not Pictured) Incoco Nail Polish Applique in Sparkly Blue
For review of this click here.
The only change from that review is that when I returned to my appliques a week or two later to do the second mancure I found that the stickers were dry and unable to be used. Learned my lesson: must seal the little envelope it came in in order to preserve the stickers' stickiness. Bummer that I didn't know that before because I was looking forward to more sparky blue nails. Guess there is always my Zoya blue sparkles

2. (Not Pictured) Sun Bum SPF 15+ Continuous Spray Sunscreen
For more info on this product check out my previous post.
Loved this stuff. Lovely subtle smell (which is a nice break after the strong Banana Boat smell of my other sunblock). Effective for tanning. LOVE the packaging. Will repurchase when I am in the market for sun screen again and I am either down in Coco Beach or are desperate enough to order it online.

3. Veet Fast Acting Cream Hair Remover
I like the product over all, minus the funky amonia/veet smell, but it is effective. Just wish it didn't take some much product to get results. I may purchase this again, just gotta think about whether it is cost effective or really works better/long than just regular shaving. I did like that it was moisturizing though!

4. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle
I love the packaging! The product is fine, though feels a lot lighter than I thought it would, oh well. It does the job. I treated it like a regular conditioner rather than a deep conditioner. I will probably buy this again at some point. Maybe I can find a way to use this dispenser for other hair products....

5. The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Body Scrub
I liked this scrub but not for what I thought it would do. It ended up being the middle child of the La Rocca scrub I tried, and the Bath and Body Works one I loved this summer. It left a bit of a greasy layer after scrubbing, but was more olive oily feeling rather than petroleum jelly feeling like the La Rocca was. I think I would have LOVED this product had it been lighter like the Bath and Body Works one, but I did like using this body shop one on my legs because then if I forgot to moisturize after showering, I was still good to go! Haha. Loved the scent, may check out other Body Shop products, but not sure because of the crazy pricing, may just stick to Bath and Body Works. 

6. Sephora Brand Lip Gloss in Rosy Glow
Another lip product down! Just one more left in the trio! Woo hoo! I now have confidence in my ability to use up lip products (if only I had more confidence in using up eye shadow... -____-). I found myself really liking this product, which is odd because I don't really like lip gloss to begin with. I liked that it was rather thin, which let me be ok with wearing it on its own without lip balm under neither. After a few times having to do this out of desperation of my chapped lips and not having lip balm on me, I found that this lip gloss is decently moisturizing, when I thought it would make my chapped lips worse, bonus! I am quite sure I liked this more than the Bronzed Beauty color I used up first, so we'll see how I like it compared to the final one in Precious Pink. I am guessing that Rosy Glow is going to win because Precious Pink is seeming to be more gloopy and sticky unlike the others, and Precious Pink is pretty much a non-color and is just glitter. But maybe they get thinner as you use them? I have a vague recollection that Rosy Glow started out thinner than how it ended.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Favorite Scarves!

So, one of my favorite accessories is scarves! I thought it would be fun to show you all my favorite ones in my collection and give a little of their back story.

This lovely little number right here is a favorite of mine because it is soft, and warm without being wooly. I love the scrunching/ruching and the almost Arabic vibe to it. I got this scarf super on sale at the going out of business sale for the late and great MetroPark, a store I greatly loved (rumor has it that is was bought and is going to reorganize and relaunch, but I'll believe it when I see it). I also love the little tassels on the end along with the stripes because that also gives it a semi jewish prayer shawl vibe as well.

I bought this scarf a few years ago, back when circle scarves were considered to be kinda weird. I decided to take the change on the weird concept, and little did I know would they become wildly popular. What drew me to this scarf was the delicate scallop pattern, as well as the color. I love a good white scarf, sweater, gloves, and really anything knit it white yarn. The way this hangs is also quite lovely and I think it looks really elegant. I consider it to be quite thick/wide and long for a traditional circle scarf, but I think that is why I like it so. It looks "chunky" when you wear it and is also nice and warm. It is from American Eagle.

I have no idea about the origins of this scarf because my mother gave it to me and there is no tag or designer mentioned on the scarf. She has a rather nebulous and mysterious bedroom and closet which every now and then spits something out that my mother thinks I will enjoy. This is silky (I have no idea if it's real silk.. probably not) and I love the floral pattern! I don't really own very many things in floral because while I love it, I'm afraid of having things that either look too old/matronly or, now because it's "in," too trendy. I think this falls in the "just right" category because it isn't a paisley like floral, and the scarf is kinda shorter than your normal scarf so it doesn't go crazy with the pattern. I will admit that I semi-dorkishly like to wear this in the fluffy stewardess style tucked into the neck of a sweater rather than hanging like a regular scarf. Is that weird? Am I the only one that thinks it looks lovely with this scarf? haha :P Let me know below!

Anyone who knows me personally knows about my great love of TJ Maxx. Well this scarf is proof of my love and semi re-initiated my love of the store. I got this sometime at the beginning of my law school career and feel so in love with it, I have yet to reemerge from it even after 2.5 years! At the nice price I got it for, which I'm not sure what it was exactly but I know it was likely less than $20, I think the fact that I STILL love it makes it worth almost a ridiculous price like maybe $30 or $40. I love the feathers (I can never have enough feathers) and the way it just goes so well with the chain pattern. Scrunched up when you wear it I just love the way the feathers peak out with the chains. Simply amazing. Also, this image is of the scarf folded in half because the pattern is mirrored on the other half. I have no idea what the brand is because I cut the tag off long ago because I didn't like to see it when I wore the scarf, haha. And, after examination the designer did not work their name into the design anywhere.

What are your favorite accessories? Have a favorite scarf? What does it look like, where is it from?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Purge 9

1. Pantene Pro-V Restore Beautiful Lengths Shampoo
I liked the smell of this, a lovely violet-y floral, but I can't say it did anything different than any other shampoo that I have tried. I liked that it was a squeeze-y tube, but I am not sure if I would repurchase it. I am going to try out a different shampoo next, and maybe return to this one sometime in the future if I find some horrible shampoos haha.

2. Pantene Pro-V Restore Beautiful Lengths Conditioner
I don't think this was anything spectacular. The bottle kind of annoyed me because I used more conditioner than shampoo so the squeeze-y tube aspect is annoying for conditioner because it tends to squish up when I want it to squish down, haha! The results where eh, and the smell was eh. Didn't make my hair feel weird or anything but didn't notice it doing anything. It was meh, and I feel like I like other meh conditioners better that I wouldn't return to this one if I have to resort to a meh conditioner sometime, haha.

3. Nivea A Kiss of Recovery
It worked fine, but I feel like it always applied thick when I didn't want it to and that the results weren't that great for something so thick. Nothing notable about the smell. Too meh to repurchase, but would consider getting a different Nivea chapstick in the future.

4. Philosophy Happy Birthday Beautiful! Vanilla Birthday Cake Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath
This was a fun little birthday perk but I don't know if I would ever buy it for myself. The bubbles aren't that great for bubble bath and I don't feel that it is an effectively cleaning shampoo at all, but I did enjoy it as a shower gel. Even though I wouldn't repurchase it, I would enjoy getting it again as the Sephora birthday perk. :) Fabulous little size too, was perfect for my holiday vacation.

5. Banana Boat Protective Tanning Dry Oil SPF 15
Loved this product. I used it while tanning on vacation and it really is a "Dry" oil. I have another Banana Boat spray sunblock that is absolutely greasy and sticky, but this Dry Oil formula is fabulous. Just enough SPF so that I never got a sun burn, and I enjoyed the crazy banana coconut Banana Boat classic smell, perfect for a tanning atmosphere haha. I would buy again because I had no problems (other than I felt that the bottle didn't last me too long, but I think the regular lotion would have lasted about the same), and I recall that I got a fabulous deal on it during the summer when I bought it. I would definitely consider buying this again next season, especially if it was on sale or on BOGO.

6.  Garnier Nutritionist Nutri-Pure Oil-Free Detoxifying Wet Cleansing Towelettes
Not sure I would repurchase but I won't suffer through the 2nd package that I already have. I enjoy the smell, and the texture of the cloth is nice and soft while still being scrubby enough to take off makeup. The only thing I didn't like was that I felt like I still had to wash my face after using this to remove makeup which is annoying because I bought them for the purpose of taking of my makeup on a lazy night and not having to go wash my face. Oh well. I came to find later that it is a nice refreshing cleanse in the morning before makeup or just before sunblock since I never wash my face in the morning anyway. If I am going to be putting on sunblock anyway, the wanna-wash-my-face feeling doesn't bother me because of the layer of sunblock being thick anyway, haha.

7. Oscar Blandi Jasmine Protein Mist
For a review of this product click here.

8. Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Weightless Anti-Frizz Serum
For a review of this product click here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

L'Oreal 24 Hour Infallible Eye Shadow

L'Oreal 24 Hour Infallible Eye Shadow!!

I don't know about you guys but I have been DYING for the drugstore brands to kick their cream shadows up a notch when it comes to choice and quality. I know of a few drug store cream shadows but I have never heard many amazing things about them from bloggers and gurus who seem the most like me.

I vaguely recall hearing about this product a while back but never saw it around because I think it only was released in the US fairly recently. Needless to say, when I saw this product at CVS I had to buy it despite my Kill It Quest because I didn't know if I would ever stumble upon them again! Haha. I'm going to justify the purchase with the fact that I don't own any cream eye shadows and I was looking for something to replace Wet 'N Wild Brule for when I kill it totally soon.

I for one am stoked that it was L'oreal that decided to take the first real plunge into higher quality cream shadows. I haven't used may of their products myself, but I always hear good things and I have always meant to try them out as they always seemed high quality drug store to me.

The colors that I chose were 888 Iced Latte, a champagne shimmery shade, and 899 Endless Pearl, a matte beige shade. First I will say that the name "Endless Pearl" is misleading because it acts like a matte shade for me so I dunno why it has the word "Pearl" in it, when that makes me think of shimmer, but maybe that is just me? Also, if you stumble upon the display for this product you will notice that these are basically the 2 most neutral shades as a lot of them are quite bold.

REVIEW: I found that these cream shadows were dryer and more powdery than I expected, especially when compared to something like Make Up Forever Aqua Creams, but I don't think that it affects the performance of the product. I actually think that allows one to use less product when applying because it makes it harder to pick up too much.

I found that the Endless Pearl shade to be quite similar to Wet 'N Wild's Brule but more of a yellow undertone while Brule has a warmer pink undertone.

Iced Latte is like a true champagne color without being that cliche "pinky peach" color. It makes Stila Kitten look really peach and orange in comparison and makes Sephora Peach Beige look almost silvery and pink. Despite all three colors being quite similar and in the same champagne family, there is some noticeable different when put side by side. Also, the shimmer in Iced Latte is quite fine and subtle whereas Kitten has a strong shimmer quality that makes it feel like it is a larger shimmer but still not at the level of glitter. When compared to Sephora Peach Beige which is also a fine shimmer, some how Iced Latte is subtler, almost as if  the shimmer is less dense but in a good way because sometimes over application of Peach Beige can start to look foil-y by accident.

The way I like to apply these is not much different from my go to neutral look of Brule all over, and Peach Beige on the lid (and recently I have been adding the silver shade in my Kat Von D Palette to taupe-a-fy it! It's a new love). I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer, applied Endless Pearl all over, and concentrated Iced Latte only on the lid. I think the yellow-ness of Endless Pearl is going to take some time to adjust to and work with since I have more of a warm undertone, but definitely will be enjoying Iced Latte because it looks so nice and I think it will be an easy swipe-and-go color for class next semester.

SIDE NOTE: I am so proud of my pans in Brule and Peach Beige! Peach Beige took a conscious 1.5 month effort to make that pan this fall that I actually wore it to work every day in October and November! Hitting pan on Peach Beige almost allows me to justify the purchase of Iced Latte! Haha

What about you guys? Have you been able to find this product? What do you think of it? Any other colors you recommend? Comment below :)