Monday, April 30, 2012


April has been a pretty simple month in terms of beauty products.  Since it's warming up here in California, I haven't been going for very dramatic looks so everything is fairly neutral. But, April has been a really good month for finding products that I am in love with and are perfect for me.  I did not include things that would be my favorite for other months, such as my Lancome Teint Idole Ultra foundation, because it would seem silly to have that in every single Monthly Favorites post.  However, I will do a post on my "Holy Grail" Products that would belong in every Favorites post. 

YSL Parisienne Eau de Parfum Spray

This was featured in my 'Retail Therapy' post and has definitely been a favorite for me this month.  I've worn this basically every single day.  It's just a really great, every day scent that is not too overpowering.  Even my boyfriend likes this perfume, which is always a good thing. 

Redken All Soft Conditioner

As I've mentioned in my 'Hair Help' post, I have quite dry hair thanks to the bleaching I've tortured my hair with over the last year.  I've been looking for a good, every day conditioner I could use in my hair that wouldn't be too heavy for my hair.  I have been watching essiebutton's videos on youtube for quite some time now, and she has mentioned a few times that this line has saved her damaged hair.  I saw it at Target and decided to take the plunge and get it.  It's quite expensive for a 8.5 oz bottle, but it's totally worth it. I don't think I will buy another conditioner for a while because this is absolutely perfect for me.  It's lightweight, smells good, and makes my hair SO silky smooth and soft.  Softer than it's felt for a while.  I think I'll be purchasing this from an online dealer next time I buy it because I think I'll be able to find it at a cheaper price.

Tarina Tarantino Fleur de Lash Mascara in Black Opal
Tarina Tarantino Fleur de Lash Mascara in Black Opal

I recently received this as a 100 Point Perk from Sephora.  I'm a huge fan of mascaras and I love when Sephora has mascaras as samples, because it's an easy way for me to try out a high end mascara without dropping $20 every time.  My lashes are pretty average in length, but are really straight and droopy.  I've found a pretty good process to keep them curled throughout the day, so I've been looking for a pretty good volumizing mascara that isn't too clumpy.  This mascara is amazing for that.  It has a pretty large brush, but it is never gloopy with product, so it is never clumpy. The brush is similar to the Revlon Grow Luscious but the Revlon mascara gets way more product on it, which makes it a lot clumpier.  I may consider buying this product when the sample runs out, but I've noticed with a lot of mascara samples, the sample is a lot better than the actual product.  So, we'll see.

MAC 'Warm Soul' Mineralize Blush
MAC 'Warm Soul' Mineralize Blush

I purchased about a month and a half ago, and I've found that I've been reaching for it a lot.  I was at the MAC counter at Nordstrom and asked what their suggestion would be for a natural, every day blush.  The lady at the counter immediately suggested 'Warm Soul' and told me that it's their best selling blush and it's the perfect natural blush.  It's a gorgeous mid-tone dusty pink shade with some gold shimmer throughout.  It is perfect for every day because it's not an overpowering shade and the shimmer isn't too harsh.  I rarely like pink shades, and I find that since this is a dustier pink shade, it is a lot more natural looking and easier to wear.

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackest Black

I wear liquid liner almost every single day.  I've also tried almost every single drug store liquid eye liner. One of my favorites was the L'Oreal Lineur Intense Carbon Black Liquid Eye Liner, but one day, while shopping, I noticed it had flaked off and faded.  I decided to give this one a try.  So far, it's been perfect.  Rather than being a thick layer of liquid liner, it's almost like a stain, so it doesn't flake or fade throughout the day.  I was afraid of it not being opaque enough, but it's actually quite opaque and buildable.  It's a felt tip, pen applicator, so it's a lot easier to work with than most other liquid liners on the market. 

Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer in 'Park Ave Princess'
Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer in 'Park Ave Princess'
Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer in 'Park Ave Princess'

Let's get this out of the way first: I absolutely hate Tarte's packaging.  Most of their packaging looks juvenile and tacky.  They have some products with fairly simple packaging that is tolerable.  But most of it is gaudy and awful.  Example: this bronze, crocodile, fake leather mess shown above.  What's strange is that their products are quite natural and sulfate/paraben free, so you'd figure they'd go for a more pure, simple looking packaging.  Also, their products are quite good and I really enjoy them, but their packaging really keeps me from wanting to buy anything of theirs because it's a pretty embarrassing part of my collection. But, oh well. Anyway, I had a sample of this bronzer and I really fell in love with it.  It is quite shimmery, but doesn't look that shimmery on the face.  It's a great color for me because it's not too orange or too dark.   It looks really good with matte blushes, since it has a bit of shimmer on its own.  I've been using this a lot, especially when I want a more cheek-focused look. 

Urban Outfitters Nail Lacquer in 'Tanline'

I featured this in my most recent 'Lacquer Lust' post.  I bought this a few months ago, and I'm actually not quite sure if you can still get this.  I wasn't able to find it online, but it still may be available in stores.  I was pretty afraid of this color at first, but in the last month, I've become absolutely obsessed with this nail polish.  It's a fluorescent orange shade, so it's perfect for the upcoming months.  I actually think I'm going to paint my nails this shade next.  Which will be like the 5th time this month.

NARS Lipstick in 'Barbarella'
NARS Lipstick in 'Barbarella'

I purchased this lipstick about a year ago and I've sort of forgot about it until a couple months ago.  I really like to wear peachy, nude shades on my lips but I think it's hard to find a shade that isn't too light or too nude.  This is the perfect, sheer peach shade.  Though it is quite sheer with one coat, you can build it up really well to create a more opaque kind of color. It's almost like a "My Lips but Better" kind of shade.  It's a great shade for girls who are looking for a good, neutral lip color to wear that doesn't make them look dead or like they have concealer lips.  I also think that it could look really good on a range of skin tones, especially medium skin tones.  It's really creamy and moisturizing, as most NARS lipsticks are.  I don't hear much about this shade online or anywhere, so I think this is a hidden gem amongst the NARS collection. 

Sephora Prisma Chrome Eye Shadow in 'Moon Beam'
Sephora Prisma Chrome Eye Shadow in 'Moon Beam'

I recently featured this in my 'Face of the Day' post.  I've been reaching for this a lot since I purchased it earlier this month.  It's just the perfect, shimmery champagne shade.  It's not too light, which I find to be a problem with a lot of champagne eye shadows.  It's quite sheer in color, but is easily buildable.  I'm really glad I purchased this after swatching it for months and months.  I still have yet to try it wet, but will keep you guys updated if I decide to do so.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

FACE OF THE DAY: Sephora Prisma Chrome Eye Shadow

Foundation: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hr Foundation in 410 W Bisque
Concealer: L'Oreal True Match Concealer in Light/Medium Warm 
Powder: Sephora Matte Foundation Powder in Medium 30
Eyebrows: MAC 'Mystery' Eyeshadow
Bronzer: NYC Bronzer in 'Sunny'
Blush: MAC 'Warm Soul' Mineralized Blush
Highlighter: MAC 'Soft & Gentle' 
Eyeshadow: Sephora Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Moon Beam, Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette 'Tease'
Eyeliner: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Mascara: Tarte MultipEYE Lash Primer, Maybelline One by One Mascara in Black, Tarina Tarantino Fleur de Lash Mascara in Black
Lips: NARS 'Barbarella' Lipstick, Revlon 'Pink Truffle' Lip Butter

Friday, April 27, 2012

LACQUER LUST: Urban Outfitters 'Tanline'

So, remember when I said I'm not really a fan of orange? Well, here's the exception. This is 'Tanline' by Urban Outfitters, a fluorescent orange shade with the perfect name for its color.

Now, you probably know that I really like my neon nail polishes.  This is another one of my favorites.  I was pretty skeptical when I first bought it since I have such a weird feeling about oranges.  But I did the tried and true toe nail test and decided that I loved it! It's a true neon orange shade.  It looks a little more dull in the picture, but I guarantee this color is the best way possible.

You might be wondering how good quality an Urban Outfitters polish can be, and I am surprised to say that it's actually really great quality. It only requires about 3 coats to get an opaque color and lasts at least 5 days without chips with the right top coat.  You definitely need a top coat with this one because the color dries a bit flat.

This nail polish is gorgeous and so appropriate for summer. I find myself constantly reaching for this shade when I paint my nails.  I just can't get enough!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RETAIL THERAPY: Duty Free, Urban Outfitters, and More!

YSL 'Parisienne' Eau de Parfum Spray, 3 oz.

My lovely mother bought this for me from Duty Free on her trip to China recently.  I've been LUSTING after this perfume for months now.  Every time I would step into a Sephora, I would spray it and just sigh about how much I loved it.  I've been wearing this every single day since I bought it and I can't get enough! It's so feminine and soft, but still unique.  It's a bit fruity, but floral at the same time, creating a really elegant, sweet scent. I'm hoping this will last me a while since it is a 3 oz. bottle. The second it's gone, I know that I'm going to have to repurchase it.  I'm in love. 

Marc Jacobs 'Lola' Eau de Parfum Spray, 1.7 oz. 

My mother also purchased this from Duty Free for me.  I bought my first bottle about two years ago while I was working at Nordstrom.  It was my summer before college and I was looking for a signature scent that I could take with me to college.  In high school, I never wore perfume so I wanted something to make me feel more grown up and college ready.  I went to the counter and was immediately drawn to its beautiful packaging.  And the instant I smelled it on myself, I was hooked.  It's a gorgeous floral scent that is daring and sweet. I bought a 3 oz. bottle and it has lasted me this long.  The best part about 'Lola' is that it lingers for forever.  I will only spray it about 3 times and it will last me the whole day through. It definitely has become my signature scent. I've had a lot of friends from college tell me that whenever they smell this perfume, they immediately think of me. Mission accomplished.  

Sephora Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Moon Beam

I had been swatching and looking at this color since this collection came out.  It's a really beautiful champagne beige shade with really finely milled shimmer.  I've been wanting a good, neutral shimmery shade to use every day or for a more natural look.  I used it recently and received compliments on my shadow color, so that must mean something good! My only issue is that it doesn't really apply very well with a brush when dry.  It doesn't have the best pay off, but the color is buildable.  I have yet to try this eyeshadow wet, but I don't know if I will since I'm not really a fan of applying wet shadows to my eyes. 

Silence & Noise Side Ruched Knit Skirt in 'Black Multi', size small
Silence & Noise Side Ruched Knit Skirt in 'Orange', size small

I'm not sure why online these skirts are listed as 'Black Multi' and 'Orange' because the first one is definitely a bright, royal blue shade and the second is definitely a brick red shade. But, okay. You've probably seen the red skirt in action in my 'Pops of Red' OOTN post. I found these skirts in the sale section of my local Urban Outfitters are was immediately drawn to the shape and color.  They are normal body-con mini skirts, but they has ruching up the sides.  I was a little skeptical at first when I looked at them on the hangers, but decided to try them on anyway.  As I was going into the fitting room, the fitting room attendant told me that a lot of people have told her that they were surprisingly flattering. And as soon as I tried them on, I was sold.  The waist band is a little bit big, but not a deal breaker.  Everything else fit me perfectly. It's the perfect body-con skirt.  The ruching was so flattering and the way it gathered on the sides was perfect. I've been needing more colored body-con skirts cause I was getting sick of my typical black body-con skirt look every weekend.  But, the tag said that they were on sale for $19.99 so I stuck with the red instead of the blue.  But, as soon as I got to the register, they rang up for $9.99 so I literally ran to the fitting room, grabbed the blue one as well, and bought both! Best surprise and most exciting purchase in a really long time!

Staring at the Stars Textured Cropped-Sleeve Top in Ivory, size medium

On my way to the fitting room, I stumbled across a sign that said "Staring at the Stars Crocheted Top Now $29" and I immediately thought, "Um, yes."  Staring at the Stars is one of my favorite brands from Urban Outfitters so I jumped at the opportunity.  It decided to go with the Ivory shade because I'm not really a color person in general and I thought this was a really versatile color.  You can make it more bohemian with a pair of jean shorts, sandals, and a head wrap with lots of chunky jewelry.  Or, you can make it more edgy with a lace bralet underneath, black high waisted jeans, black booties, and a collar necklace.  I wore this in my 'Pops of Red' OOTN as well.  It's so soft and so comfortable, I want to live in this shirt.  It fits nice and loose, but it's still a bit short so it doesn't look too big.  You definitely have to wear something underneath since it is crocheted and you don't want to give the world a free show.

Forever 21 Black Sundress, size small

Okay, let's get this straight. I am not a dress person.  Especially not a sundress person.  I'm not entirely sure why, but I think a part of it is that I find a lot of dresses to be boring.  Like, you can't really do much with them.  But, this is one of those rare, random gems you find in the middle of a random rack at Forever 21 (hence the lack of a link, cause I couldn't find it online) for $12.80 and you figure...why the hell not.  It is just a typical, short, black sundress that cinches in at the waist.  It's actually very flattering on me and can be dressed up or dressed down.  I probably wouldn't have purchased this if it wasn't in black cause I wouldn't know what to do with myself in a colored sundress.  I'll probably end up living in this in the summer since it's so easy to throw on and go.  It was a great purchase for the price, but I'm not sure if I'll ever really be a dress person.


Monday, April 23, 2012

HAIR HELP: My Favorite Products for Dry/Frizzy Hair

If you can't tell already, I have ombre hair, which pretty much means that my hair is damaged like crazy.  In order to get the color that I wanted, I had to bleach my hair at least 5 times, mainly focusing the bleach on my ends.  It's left my hair pretty dead at the ends and a lot frizzier than it used to be.  Not only that, but I curl my hair about 2 to 3 times a week.  So not only have I inflicted enough pain on my hair by bleaching it, I also use heat on it.  However, my hair has managed to not fall off and still look smooth despite all of the damage. I believe I've found some really great, affordable products that have helped fight the frizz and the damage on the ends of my hair.  

TreSemme Heat Tamer Spray

One of the most important products for me and protecting my hair from further damage is a heat protector spray.  A heat protector spray will basically act as a protective barrier between your hair and the heating tool you use.  Direct contact with the hair could lead to unwanted frizz and damage. This TreSemme one is really affordable at about 5 dollars and works really well. One of my favorite parts about this product is how it sprays.  I feel like a lot of spray hair products are really poorly made.  The spray gets clogged up, and then the product doesn't spray out evenly.  However, this distributes the product in an even spray and doesn't get clogged up.  It also smells nice, which is a huge thing for me and hair products.

Organix Light Moroccan Argan Oil

Another important product for me is a light argan oil.  This is the affordable alternative to the ever-so-popular Moroccan Oil that ranges for about 30 dollars.  The Organix Oil goes for about 6 dollars and does the same job.  I like to use this after I've used heat on my hair to just tame frizziness and add some shine back to my hair.  My favorite thing about this product is that it's really lightweight, so it doesn't make your hair look overly oily or weigh it down. It's perfect for everyday use just to boost the look of your hair. And although it's a pretty small bottle, I've had this for about 3 months and I still have about half of it left.  You only need a pea size amount at a time to run through your hair.

Macadamia Natural Oil Leave In Cream

Not only does this have really cool looking packaging, but it is also a really great leave-in conditioner.  This is the most expensive product of the products I've listed with a price of about 25 dollars, but it's definitely the most concentrated and most effective.  It's different from the Organix product above because it's a cream rather than an oil.  The creamy consistency feels rich in your hair and works wonders. The instant I run this through my hair, it instantly feels soft and looks so much smoother.  It's like the argan oil product, but a lot more penetrating and smoothing.  It's great for those days where you feel like your hair is extra dry or dull and all you need is a pump or two or product.

Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo

One of my biggest tips for helping your hair fight the frizz and dryness is to switch your shampoo to a sulfate-free shampoo.  Almost all shampoos have sulfates in them because they are the ingredient that create the lather when you shampoo your hair (they come in the form of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate).  These sulfates dry out your hair and your scalp, which could lead to drier hair and frizzier hair.  Switching to a sulfate-free shampoo will help reduce the dryness of your hair and help control the frizz.  Sulfate-free shampoos also help color last longer, if you color your hair.  And you can find sulfate-free shampoos anywhere now.  They're a lot more readily available and affordable than they used to be, so this is the time to make the switch! Good hair starts with the basics, so I feel like the best step you can make to help the condition of your hair is to change your shampoo.

Any questions about these products? Feel free to ask as a comment!


Saturday, April 21, 2012


Top: Urban Outfitters
Bralet: Urban Outfitters
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: Brandy Melville
Shoes: H&M
Rings (Left to right): Brandy Melville, Urban Outfitters, H&M
Arm Candy: Forever 21, Nordstrom, Michael Kors Watch
Nails: OPI 'You Don't Know Jacques'

Foundation: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 410 W Bisque
Concealer: L'Oreal True Match Concealer in Light/Medium Warm
Powder: Sephora Matte Foundation Powder in Medium 30
Eyebrows: MAC 'Mystery'
Eyeshadow: Sephora Prism Chrome Eye Shadow in Moon Beam 
Eyeliner: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Liner in Black
Mascara: Revlon Grow Luscious
Bronzer: Tarte Park Ave Princess Bronzer
Blush: MAC 'Warm Soul'
Highlight: MAC 'Soft & Gentle'
Lips: NARS Heatwave

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: Lazy Afternoon

Tank: Forever 21
Cardigan: H&M
Shorts: H&M
Sandals: Marshalls
Necklace: Urban Outfitters
Bracelets: Nordstrom and Forever 21
Rings (Left to right): Old Navy, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21
Nails: Essie 'Tart Deco'

Today is just one of those days where I want to be really comfortable.  I only have class today from four to six so I've spent most of the day just lazing around in bed, doing some on and off studying and blogging. Mostly blogging, as you can tell by the two posts in one day.


LACQUER LUST: Essie 'Tart Deco'

Okay, I admit. I have a bit of an addiction to nail polish. It's strange because in high school I barely wore nail polish. But, once I went to college, I've been addicted. I partly started to wear nail polish more frequently because I had a nasty habit of biting my nails and having my nails done helped me not want to chew my nails down.  But, that's developed another nasty habit of painting my nails at least two or three times a week.

I recently painted my toe nails with Essie's 'Tart Deco'.  I am usually pretty weird about oranges on my nails, but I have the mentality that you can wear any color on your toes, so I tried this out.  I ended up falling in love with it and decided to give a try on my fingers. 

This is not your usual orange.  In fact, it isn't quite orange at all.  It's actually a beautiful, peach color that's a great bright shade for the spring/summer seasons. Also, it makes you look really tan. Which is never a bad thing.

The consistency is quite good for an Essie polish. I tend to find Essie nail polishes to be way too thin and it usually takes three to four coats to get it perfectly opaque.  This takes about two to three coats, which isn't too bad.  The finish is a creamy finish, which is my favorite.

If you're a bit afraid of color on your nails, I definitely recommend trying out a bright shade on your toes.  That way, you can see if you like the way the polish looks on your skin tone without having it too exposed if you end up not liking the color. It's a great way to transition into wearing brighter colors on your fingers and it looks great with the open toe sandals you'll be sporting for the upcoming seasons!


Monday, April 16, 2012

BEAUTY LOOK: My Everyday Eye Shadow

As we are getting into the warmer months, I have been going towards more summer-y make up looks for my everyday face.  Recently, I've been doing the same eye shadow look almost every time I've worn eye shadow during the day.  It's a very subtle, golden/bronze look that I feel is appropriate for the spring/summer season.

First, I start by priming my eyelids with a MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre.  It's a light skin tone color that has a yellow undertone, so it's the perfect base for my skin tone.  The alternative for pink or neutral undertones is the MAC Paint Pot in Painterly.  Paint pots are a really great base for those of you with thin eyelids that show your veins because it has an opaque color to them, rather than something like the Urban Decay Primer Potion, which is clear.

After that, I use the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bold Gold, which is another product that is marketed as a eye shadow base.  I tend to really dislike drugstore eye bases because they usually crease a lot on me, but paired with the Paint Pot, I find that it helps make the gold stand out more, and last longer throughout the day.  I just use my finger with this product and I apply it to my eyes from the lash line to just above the crease and blend out the edges with a fluffy brush.  The color is a bit of a darker gold and the color pay off is pretty good.

On top of the Color Tattoo, I apply a wash of BareMinerals Eyecolor in True Gold, which is a brighter, more shimmery gold.  I use a Ecotools Eye Shadow Brush to apply this just over where I applied the Color Tattoo to brighten up the gold. 

In the crease, I apply a MAC eye shadow in Soba. This is a medium golden-y brown color.  This is a matte color so it helps to add dimension to the eye.  A tip to make the eyes look like they have more depth is to have a shimmery color in the inner two-thirds of the eye and a darker, matte shade in the outer third of the eye. I apply this with a MAC 219 Pencil Brush on the outer third of the eye and bring it into the crease.  I blend out any harsh lines with a fluffy brush.  This softens the look and creates a more seamless transition between the shades.

Once the eye shadow is done, I use L'Oreal's Carbon Black Lineur Intense liquid eyeliner to create a cat eye.  My tip for the cat eye look is to draw the flick of the cat eye as if you're continuing the line of your lower lash line.  This way, both sides will be even.  Also, practice makes perfect with winged liner.  

My last step before mascara is to use a NARS Blush in Albatross as a highlight on the inner corners of my eye.  Albatross looks like a yellow-y white in the pan, but when applied to the skin, it just looks like a light, golden glow.  I apply this with the Real Techniques Detailer Brush that comes in the Core Collection.  It's the perfect size for the inner corner.  Albatross is beautiful paired with the golden eye shadows and really brightens up the inner corner to make the eye look bigger and more awake.  

The final step is just to apply some mascara to the top and bottom lashes.  I like to use a lot of different kinds of mascaras on my eyes.  I find that different mascaras are good for different things.  I use specific mascaras for lengthening and others for volume.  My favorite mascara for the top lashes is the Revlon Grow Luscious mascara.  My favorite for the bottom lashes is the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara. And Voila! Here is the finished look!

I feel like this look is very subtle and very appropriate for the spring/summer.  None of the shades are too strong or dark for everyday purposes, as well, which is perfect for those of you who want to look put together without looking too done up.