Sunday, January 25, 2015

Don't Blink!

I've been hearing about marsala, the official color of 2015, since New Years, and I've got to admit, I kind of like it. It's a deep pinkish-red color that goes with so many things, so today, I decided to give you an OOTD featuring my favorite marsala sweater from Jordandene!
I posted an outfit featuring a top by Jordandene last month, and I'm still loving this brand just as much as I did then! A while back, they sent me this gorgeous sweater with a graphic that says "Don't Blink!" on the front (can I hear a big whoop from my Whovians out there?), and I absolutely love it. It's lightweight, warm, and extremely comfortable, something that I don't usually find in a piece that gets complimented CONSTANTLY when I wear it! Even my friends who don't watch Doctor Who were asking where to get theirs!
 I'm pairing this top with my favorite black skinnies from Wet Seal and some combat boots, my go-to shoes for any outfit. It's a relaxed outfit that is perfect for those days where you want an effortlessly chic look.
You can find this sweater and other nerd-approved, trendy pieces at jordandene.com or by clicking here! If you're wanting to get cooler pieces for the warm weather in store for us in just a few months, this top also comes in a graphic tank version here. Personally, I'm still loving all of my winter clothes, and I'll be devastated when summer comes around to take them away from me! What about you guys, are you wishing this cold winter away, or are you holding on just as tightly to your layering pieces as I am? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fresh Start Glam Bag

When I got my December glam bag last month, I was so down about not being able to share those awesome items with you guys due to my holiday series going on then, so I'm crazy excited to show you my bag this month! January's bag is called Fresh Start, and it has some products in that are perfect for beginning 2015 fresh-faced and gorgeous.
First up is a Natural Mineral Coconut Eyeshadow by Pacifica in the shade Etheral. I found this brand through Ipsy, and I always look forward to finding one of their items in my bag! This shade is a very beachy, nude toned color, and it's perfect for a quick makeup look when you're going light on the eyes. I used this product in my Five Minute Makeup tutorial a few days ago, so you can check that out here to see how this shadow looks!
Second in this bag is Phyto-Medic Eyelish Enhancer by Lashfood. I can't claim to have used this product long enough to tell you if there have been any real results from it, but I do like the product. I did a test earlier this week where I wore no eye makeup and just applied this in the morning to see how my lashes looked and felt at the end of the day, and they definitely seemed significantly softer and more full. 

Next up is one of my favorite items in this bag, Probelle's Into The Blue Nail Lacquer. All of my regular readers know that I'm more into the deeper colors, but ever so often, I come across a great pastel color that I completely fall head over heels for. The color looks exactly like it does in the bottle once applied, something I've come to see as a rarity in the nail polish industry, and the polish stays on really well- once it's dried, which I found to take ages. I applied this, tested it an hour later, and it was still pretty wet. Consequently, I ended up smudging the polish several times before it completely dried. If you're planning on using this polish, make sure you won't be doing anything with your hands any time soon! Other than that, I adored this polish and would definitely use it again.
Now for a product for you unscented gals, the (MALIN+GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm. I can't deny that the first thing I wondered about when I received this was the brand's name, but that's beside the point. The formula seems pretty nice, but it had zero scent whatsoever. On one hand, it's pretty rare that a product is ACTUALLY unscented, but I personally prefer a fun scent for my balms and lipsticks. 
Last but not least is this Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush. Can I start this off by saying just how excited I got when I pulled this out of the bag? I mean, come now, it's a hot pink brush that DOESN'T have stiff bristles and comes in a little girl's makeup kit. My inner girly side practically went crazy. I love this brush so much not just because of how pink it is, but because it's really a pretty great tool. I have a bit of a brush obsession, especially when they're this soft, and it can be used so many ways. It can make a nice crease brush, all over brush, or even a blending brush depending on how you hold and apply your shadow. 
Overall, I really enjoyed this month's bag! It had some pretty great products, and it was a pretty great bag to kick off my subscription for 2015.

Remember, I pay for all of my monthly Ipsy bags myself, and I am not in any way influenced by Ipsy. All of my opinions are my own.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Five Minute Makeup Routine

We all have those days when we're running late. Maybe you hit snooze too many times, maybe you forgot about a meeting before work, or heck, maybe you just stayed up too late last night watching the new Downton Abbey (I know I did!). Whatever your reason may be, we all run late, and we all need a quick and easy way of dealing with it. Today, I'm sharing my five minute makeup routine that I use all the time, even when I'm not running late, because I love it that much!

First, I take out the concealer. You would normally put on foundation under your concealer, but when you're really rushing, some well-placed concealer can stand in its place. I apply this in a right triangle beneath my eyes to cover dark circles and use it to conceal any blemishes I happen to have that morning. For years, my favorite concealer has been this SkinClearing blemish concealer by Neutrogena in the shade Buff. This is an absolute miracle worker for dark circles and blemishes. When blending your concealer beneath your eyes, it's always best to use your ring finger. It's your weakest finger and is best for applying the right amount pressure to that sensitive eye area.
Next up is powder. Powder is a step that I never skip out on because it's a real life-saver when it comes to hiding that shine I have in the mornings. There's a difference between natural glow and oily! I've always used Neutrogena's SkinClearing Mineral Powder in Classic Ivory 10 for this as it's perfect for hiding any oiliness throughout the day. 
Contouring comes next, and this is a step that should be included in any makeup routine, quickie or not. Depending on how much time you have, you could always go into more detail with this, but my favorite places to contour are along my cheekbones and the sides of my nose. Take your favorite blush brush and sweep it just along line your cheekbone makes from the corners of your lips up to your ears, then use it to accent your jawbone and on the sides and tip of your nose. I've used Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Blends Natural Radiance Bronzer in Sunkissed 30 for years, and it's always worked perfectly for my skintone. 
Now, take your favorite blush and apply it to the apples of your cheeks. My favorite right now is Sunkissed Cheek by Ulta because it gives your cheeks a radiant glow that I just adore. 
We all know that we should only emphasize either our eyes or lips in a look so not to look too made up, and between the two, lips take much less time to do. That's why I'm going really natural on my eyes by sweeping a natural color across my lids and applying a light mascara. The eyeshadow I used was Etheral by Pacifica, and for mascara, I used Smashbox's Full Exposure.To make my lashes appear a bit longer and to remove any clumps, I'm running a spoolie through them after applying mascara, then I tame my eyebrows a bit with a brow brush. 
For lips, take a more bold lipstick that suits you and layer it until your get the desired look. With the cooler weather outside, I'd recommend using a chapstick underneath your lipstick to keep your lips soft throughout the day. My favorite chapstick right now is a Lip Butter by NYX in Red Velvet that goes perfectly with this lip crayon by J. Cat Beauty in the shade Red Rose.
There you have it! A makeup routine that takes no more than five minutes and is absolutely gorgeous for any occasion. I hope you enjoyed, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Comfy in Cardigans

 I love this weather. We've been having some freezing weather here in Alabama recently, and the past few days have seemed like heaven.

 I got this gorgeous cardigan from the juniors section of Belk a few weeks ago, and this was my first time trying out this little beauty. It's absolutely perfect for this weather, and it's so big and cozy! I nearly fell asleep in my fifth period snuggled up in this cardigan ;) I love the dark-colored pattern, and the fringes give it an incredibly relaxed feel.

With all of this nice weather, I don't want summer to come! I've just gotten used to my winter clothes! At least we have a month or two left before the time comes for sleeveless tops and ponytails, but until then, I plan on savoring my warm clothes as much as humanly possible. What about you? Do you prefer summer or winter clothes, or are you stuck in between? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Garnier Fructis Extra Volume Dry Shampoo

Having just dyed my hair a few weeks ago, I've naturally cut back on washing my hair. We all know that washing colored too frequently makes the dye wash out quickly, so I've went from washing my hair four times per week to more like twice weekly. To do this, I've been stocking up on one thing in particular- dry shampoo. 

Garnier Fructis has been a haircare brand favorite for me for ages, so of course they were my first stop for dry shampoo. I tried out their Volume Extender Instant Bodifier Dry Shampoo for Flat or Fine Hair. I'm about as far from fine-haired as you can get with my extra think strands, but since my hair goes extremely flat when I haven't washed it in a while, I figured it would still work for me. 

I tried this on third-day hair, and I got mixed results. It didn't help all that much with volume, but it did significantly decrease the shine in my hair. The smell is also fantastic, one of the reason I love this brand so much. And you really can't beat the price at about five dollars a bottle. 

I'd definitely recommend this dry shampoo, but it isn't anything absolutely amazing. I've gotten just as good results from the diy shampoo I posted about last April (find that post here), but sometimes it's easier to just pick up the bottle and spray it in your hair rather than making your own. Hello, Monday mornings!
Do you prefer buying your products or making them yourself?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sephora Mascara Favorites

With Christmas long gone and life getting back in order, I've started to find time to try out some of my gifts! One that I especially loved was this set of mascara samplers from Sephora. I'm such a sucker for mascara, and I buy new ones to try constantly. This gives me a chance to try out several sample-sized bottles of mascara from brands I've been itching to get my hands on, and it even includes a full-size bottle of one! Today, I'm rating these seven mascaras from worst to best.
7. Considering that this set came from Sephora, I expected their Outrageous Curl- Dramatic Volume and Curve mascara to be pretty good. But when I opened this bottle, I was absolutely shocked to see a wand no longer than my finger nail, which is saying something since I keep my nails trimmed extremely short. It made application a challenge, and it took ages to evenly coat my lashes properly! As for the formula, it made my lashes longer than any of the others had, but it was also the heaviest. A huge pet peeve of mine is heavy mascara, and this definitely fit the criteria for that. Unless, for whatever reason, I needed my lashes to be long enough to touch my eyebrows, it isn't something that I would ever wear again.

6. The Kat Von D Immortal Lash mascara was a very interesting mascara. The formula gave me nice-looking, full lashes that I liked, but the brush made application incredibly awkward, something I've never said about applying mascara before. It has a large tip, something that I've never been crazy about since it makes it more difficult to get even coverage, and the spikes on the ward were too long for my taste, making it easier to accidentally get mascara on your skin. It almost looks dangerous! Just kidding, but it's definitely one-of-a-kind. Just not for me!

5. Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara falls at number 5 on my list, and it isn't my favorite. It may just be that my expectations were so high for this one since I've been recommended to try it so many times, but I felt that it was just average. My lashes looked pretty and had a nice finish, but no more so than when I use a drugstore brand. The thing I do love about this though is the wand. Hourglass mascara wands are my FAVORITES because they give your lashes more of a natural curl and a nicer finish. This mascara wasn't my favorite, but I would use it again.

4. The only other product by Buxom that I've ever used was a lip shine I received in an Ipsy bag a couple of years ago, and it became a pretty important staple in my beauty routine. I can definitely see their Blackest Black mascara following in its footsteps. This mascara probably has the least clumpy texture of all seven that came in this set, and it's perfect for long wear. It also has a slight hourglass shape to its wand, which I was very happy about.

3. The They're Real! mascara by Benefit Cosmetics is what I call the basic mascara. It's exactly what I'd ask for on a day where I don't want to be over-the-top, but I definitely want some extra length. It has a pretty traditional wand for application, and the results are extremely long-lasting. 

2. The Smashbox Full Exposure mascara was one of my favorites in this set. The description that popped into my head when I first tried this was 'girly' because it gives such a clean, natural finish. It isn't artificial-looking, and it has a more pointy brush that is perfect for reaching the smaller lashes in the inner corners of your eyes. I'm so glad this was the one that came in a full-sized bottle!

1. Perversion. I would seriously go on all day long about this mascara if I could. The first word that comes to mind when using Urban Decay's latest masterpiece is smooth. It practically glides on my lashes, and the results are free of clumps and absolutely beautiful. This wand does a perfect job with application, and I get extremely long, full lashes that I've never gotten from any other mascara. 
This set was such an awesome gift, and I had a great time trying out all of these products! What's your favorite mascara? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 Trend Predictions

Everyone knows that trends have a habit of changing drastically from year to year, and sometimes we get caught up in all of the trendy madness going around. The things we were scoffing at in 2012 are in everyone's closets these days, and things are getting more and more complicated as each year goes by. Today, I'm going to share with you some of my favorite trends predicted to rock our worlds this year.
1. Trench Coats
One piece that seems to really be pushing its way into our wardrobes is the trench coat. One of my favorite ways to modernize the classic trench coat is to buy them in fun colors. I mean really, who wouldn't die for a pink or purple trench coat? These can be thrown on over most any outfit for a classy touch or to add an extra bold element to your look. This is definitely a piece I'm looking to add into my wardrobe this year!
Source: www.sabkitube.com/
2. Cut-Out Backs
Cut-out tops and dresses were relatively popular a few years ago and slowly faded out, but I can definitely see them coming back this year. Whether it's a design in the back, a low-cut back (my personal favorite), or even the classic slit back top we love when we're wanting to show our more daring side, I've seen people owning them in 2015. 
Source: pursebuzz.com/

3. Hats
Hats never go out of style completely, but there are times when they're more popular than others. Hats like the beanie and snapback never go out of style, but I think styles like the fedora or beret are slowly making a comeback since their decline in the early 1920s. I especially like the more modernized hats, such as lace hats or even leather hats.
Source: wetv.com
4. Colored Hair
As anyone who reads my blog can tell, I've always been a fan of colored hair, especially purple hair since that's what I'm currently loving. There's always been a select group of people that have worn colored hair, but I think that the love for colored hair is rapidly expanding. I predict that it will continue to grow until colored hair is more accepted in the workspace than it currently is, a day that I can't wait for. 
Source: tropdamour.co.za/
5. Dark Lipstick
Dark lipstick has always been for the more goth people that wear all dark colors, but the market for dark lips is growing. I've seen more and more people pulling out the deep purple and navy hues for the new year. Eyes have dominated the face for years, and I think that lips are finally going to have their time to shine in the 2015.
Source: beautybanter.com/
6. Layers
Layered hair has been around forever, but a vast amount of people are still terrified of taking off so much length. I currently have layers up to my ears and my longest layers down far past my shoulders, and I've started seeing much more of this recently. People have become more and more bold in recent years, and I think this is an example of just how much style really is evolving.
Source: direct-hairstyles.com/
If I had to choose one word to describe what I predict to see in 2015, I'd choose new. People are going places they've never gone before in the fashion and beauty industries, and I'm supporting it wholeheartedly. Women of today have more opportunity than ever to express themselves in ways that weren't optional just a few years ago, and I just hope to see more and more of that in my lifetime.