Play! by Sephora Boxes

I’ve finally found a subscription service that I’m loving. I tried Birchbox when I was in college and I did Ipsy last year, but neither one thrilled me. I kept getting products I didn’t want no matter how many times I retook the quiz and gave feedback so I ended up cancelling.

When I heard Sephora was coming out with a monthly box I nearly fainted. (dramatic?!) You know if it’s from Sephora, it’s more than likely going to be good. Obviously they are going to send you products they sell so you’ll get products from brands you’ve heard of and know are good. AND it’s only $10!! I just knew it’d be $20+ and I’m not about that life. I finally got off the waiting list and I’ve been loving the products I’ve received.

You get 5 samples every month plus a perfume sample. The perfume sample doesn’t count as one of the 5 items though. I freakin hate perfume samples so I normally just toss those.

I’m playing catch up since I took a little hiatus earlier this summer so I have 4 boxes in today’s post, but from now on, they will only be monthly.

May

June

  • Becca Backlight Priming Filter Primer–I knew this was a luminizing primer and thought “what the freak am I going to do with this?” Luckily, I actually read the information card that comes with it and it suggested using it as an undereye primer. GENIUS! I would never apply this to my entire face since I’m so oily, but it works great under the eyes. I won’t be purchasing the full size because it’s expensive, but this is a great size sample and I will definitely use it up.
  • Benefit They’re Real Mascara–I freaking love this mascara, but it doesn’t love me. My eyes water and are so irritated every time I use this mascara so I gave it away.
  • Bare Minerals Bare Skin Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer
  • Tarte Tarteguard Sunscreen–There’s SPF in my moisturizer/primer so I gave this to my sister.
  • Bumble & Bumble Don’t Blow It Creme–You’re supposed to put this in your hair when it’s damp and let it air dry. It claims to “…enhance texture and body with a soft product-free feel for your perfect air-dried style.” I never use a hair dryer so this is would be right up my alley. However, my hair mimics Mufasa’s mane when I let it air-dry and don’t use a straightner or a curling iron. Unless there is some Harry Potter type magic in this little tube, it is not going to tame my hair enough for me to let it air-dry and face the public. It’s not for me, but one of my FAV bloggers did a review here so you can get another opinion.

July

  • Ouai Wave Spray–I don’t curl my hair so I don’t need a wave spray. I gave this away, but I will say that it smelled really good.
  • First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay–I was excited to try this because I hear great things about this brand. I liked the cleanser and the way it made my skin feel, but I wasn’t blown away and I probably won’t purchase the full size.
  • BeautyBlender blotterazzi–I’ve been wanting to try this for months, but just haven’t picked it up so I was so excited to get this. You can wash this so it’s a great alternative to blotting sheets that you use once and toss. #ecochic
  • Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate–The Milk Chocolate would be better for my fair skin, but I can make this work with a light hand.
  • Smashbox Pore Minimizing Primer–Lots of YouTubers say that this is the best pore filling primer so I was so excited to get this in my box. I was scared to try it because I just knew I’d love it and then I’d want to buy the full size which is $40. Naturally I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.Why is the full size so expensive?!

I just got my August box yesterday so I haven’t had time to review these products. I get my box so late!!

sephora

I’ve been really love my boxes and I look forward to getting them every month!

Pops of Pink

2

Shirt-Macys; Jeans-Belk; Shoes-Tory Burch; Earrings-(similar); Bracelets-Mantra Band, Purple Peridot; Watch-Fossil; Necklace-Kendra Scott; Lips-MAC Candy Yum Yum

Y’all know I love a poncho so when I found this summer version, I immediately made it mine. It just so happened to match my Purple Peridot bracelets perfectly. I added my Kendra Scott necklace some pink lips and voila!

BeautyBlender Liner Designer Review

I was so flippin’ excited when I saw this online. Finally something to help me perfect winged liner. I love winged liner and the cat eye look, but I can’t seem to get the hang of it. There’s also the fact that I have the patience of gnat that makes it all the more difficult. I’ve tried tape, using a credit card, and everything else. I could get both wings drawn on, but they were no where near even.

When I saw this little tool, I thought that’s a guitar pick that’s being sold for $16. THEN beauty.com had a sale, y’all know I can’t resist a sale, so I bought it. Keep reading to see if it works….(I know you’re on the edge of seat)

File0006File0007File0008File0009

Yes! It totally works. I love BOLD winged liner, but it’s just not necessary in my every day life. I can create a dramatic or subtle wing with this quickly. You can do all kinds of tricks with this little thing. “For a more dramatic cat-eye, use the long, straight side to draw out and elongate a curved, long wing. For a subtle cat-eye, use the shorter, curved side to create a straighter wing. Use the larger, curved side when applying liner to the bottom inner and outer corners of your eye.” (from nordstrom.com) It also comes with a super cute little case so you don’t have to worry about losing it.

Have y’all tried this yet or y’all winged eyeliner magicians that don’t need such? Let me know in the comments!

Mani Monday: How To Get The Perfect At Home Mani

I am a nail polish addict, clearly. I always have my nails painted. I really can’t remember a time since high school that I haven’t had my nails painted. Sure, I’ll take a break every now and then, but it’s rare that you catch me polish free. My grandma got her nails done every 2 weeks and I always went with her so I got a taste of those salon fumes early in life and an obsession was born.

I have had acrylic and gel nails in the past, but I always just get clear polish at the salon and then do the painting myself. I don’t want to wait around for them to dry plus I’m a perfectionist/control freak who would rather do them myself.

People are always so surprised when I say I do my nails myself. They ask how I paint them so well and get them to look so good.  Two things that have helped me are practice and paying close attention when I get my nails done. I was never a chatty person in the nail chair because I was always paying close attention to what they were doing so I could do the same thing at home.

Keep reading to see what products I use and I how I get the perfect manicure at home.

tools

  1. Remove current nail polish. Even if you don’t polish on, quickly swipe your nails with remover anyway to remove dirt and oils. I love this nail polish remover because it has a pump. I bought this and once it was gone, I just refill it. I use non acetone remover because it’s more gentle.
  2. Apply Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover to cuticles. Leave on for 15-30 seconds, then use a cuticle pusher to push cuticles back. Don’t cut your cuticles, but you can trim them if necessary.
  3. Shape and lightly buff nails.
  4. Apply Red Carpet Manicure Step 1: Prep Max Adhesion Sanitizer to nails. This is will absorb into your nail in a second. It’s not a polish that will actually stay and coat your nails.
  5. Apply base coat.
  6. Apply 2 coats of color. For clean up, I use nail polish remover and a small Sonia Kashuk brush.
  7. Finish off with top coat.
  8. Once nails are completely dry, wash your hands and apply cuticle oil or cuticle balm. I don’t like the scent and feel nail polish remover leaves on my hands so I always wash mine as soon as possible.

extras

  • Mess No More Liquid Tape and Glisten & Glow Latex Barrier are easy to apply and will help you stay in the lines. You paint these around your nail, on your actual skin, and once you’re done with your mani, you just peel it off!
  • Mani Guard which does the same thing as the aforementioned products but is latex free.
  • If you like to change your colors often or are using a glitter or textured polish, a peel off base coat will be your best friend.
  • Anyone else HATE the scent/grossness that nail polish remover leaves on your hands? I’ve found the (albeit pricey) solution! This nail polish remover cloths come with a post removal cleansing cloth. How cool is that?!

BONUS!!

gelmani

A few years ago, I saw this DIY Gel Mani using the Gelous Top Coat floating around Pinterest. Of course, I immediately tried and it does work! I don’t know about the 2 week wear time because I can’t wear the same shade for that long, but I can definitely go a week without chipping using this system. *I wait about a minute or two in between coats*

  1. Red Carpet Manicure: Step 1 Prep Max Adhesion Sanitizer
  2. Two coats of Gelous
  3. One coat of color
  4. One coat of Gelous
  5. Another coat of color
  6. Finish off with top coat

 

Do you do your own nails or do you get them done?

Jewelry Organization

I am an organization junky/nerd. Having a place for everything just makes me happy and I swear I get a high when I walk in The Container Store. I have A LOT of jewelry so I have to keep it organized. I’ve changed my set up quite a few times. I’m always thinking of better ways to keep things neat and organized. I have a 6-cube organizer in my closet and most all of my jewelry lives on top of it.

IMG_4766

I have about a zillion bracelets and I’ve tried so many ways to organize them, but think I’ve finally figured it out. I wanted to be able to see all of them and get to them easily. I found this stand on shopbop.com and I’m in LOVE with it.

IMG_4768

I like big earrings on occasion, but I mainly stick to posts. These organizers are actually lipstick organizers. I did have lipstick in them, but my collection quickly outgrew them. I didn’t want to toss them so I thought of another way to use them. I can see everything I have and I can easily grab what I’m looking for.

IMG_4769

The circle dish is from Target and I got it to hold my bigger earrings. The crown ring holder is my fav and was a TJ Maxx find, but here’s a similar one. I also have a little ring dish that I keep extra earring backs and necklace extenders in.

IMG_4771

I have my nicer costume jewels in their dust bags on my dresser.

IMG_4770

I have all of my other necklaces hanging on this rack inside my closet. It’s actually a tie rack that I got at Home Goods, but it’s perfect for holding all of my necklaces and keeping them tangle free.

If you’re a jewelry junkie like me, how do you keep your jewels organized?

Highlighter Collection

I’m obsessed with makeup in general. I love it all. However, I go in phases. It all started with eye shadow, then it was lipsticks, and more recently it’s been highlighters. I’m all can’t stop/won’t stop when I see them. I have super fair skin so it’s super tricky to find a shade that works with my skin, but through some R&D, I’ve found some winners.

A few of these were given to me by a friend and the rest I purchased. A few of these are little dark to be worn as a highlighter but they are great blush toppers or blushes.IMG_4772IMG_4773

powderswatches

Natural light, artificial light, & with flash

From left to right
Laura Mercier Peach Mosiac
–Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Copper Diamond (limited edition)
–Chanel Les 4 Impressions de Chanel in 25 Aurore
Makeup Revolution Radiant Lights
theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer
MAC Lightscapade
MAC Soft & Gentle

liquidswatches

My liquid highlighters in natural light and with flash

From left to right
Rimmel Good to Glow Highlighter in Notting Hill
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone
Wet n Wild MegaGlo All in One Highlighting Stick in Marigold Round

Tell me your favorite highlighter in the comments!

Wish List Wednesday: Beauty

Wish List Wednesday Beauty 8-17

wlw

What’s on your wish list right now?

Mask Maniac

I’ve recently become obsessed with face masks. I’ve always been pretty serious about my skincare, but I was never really into masks until recently. Sheet masks, peel off masks, mud masks, I love ’em all.

Here are some that I’ve tried recently.

mask

  • GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment–GlamGlow is the creme de la creme of masks in the beauty world and for good reason. I haven’t tried any of the other masks, but this one is amazing. Holy price tag, though. Since it is so pricey, I don’t use this on my entire face. I just use it as a spot treatment. I put it on when I notice a pimple forming and after a few applications, it’s gone. Worth every penny!
  • L’Oreal Purift & Mattify Pure-Clay Mask–For starters, this smells like eucalyptus which is one of my favorite scents. I haven’t used it enough to attest to it’s mattifying claims, but it does make my skin feel clean and refreshed. It’s inexpensive and definitely worth trying if you have oily skin.
  • Pixi Glow Mud Mask–Again, this mask smells so good. Target has a travel size for $6 which is perfect to try it out. My skin felt so clean after using this. I will definitely be purchasing the full size when I finish this little tube. Another great inexpensive mask!
  • Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask–I ordered the sample pods and I’m glad I didn’t buy the full size. I liked it ok, but I didn’t love it. I like the other ones I’ve mentioned way better.
  • Pilaten Blackhead Remover Peel Off Mask–I saw this on YouTube and was so intrigued. It really does work! It’s equally gross and satisfying to see the grossness that it pulls out of your skin. It’s very liquidy and runny so you have to work quickly and apply a liberal amount so that it can dry down and peel.

I didn’t list any sheet masks because I think those are a dime a dozen. I’ve tried several different ones, but none of them really blew me away. I think it’s more about the experience than the product. It’s a great way to relax! I like to put mine in the refrigerator for a few minutes before I use it, apply it, and then chill on the couch for 20 minutes. Forever 21 has some for a dollar that I liked and of course you can find them at Sephora, Ulta, and drugstores. I even saw some at TJ Maxx for really cheap.

What other masks do I need to try? Please feed my obsession.

Gingham Gal

1Shirt-Belk; Jeans-Belk; Shoes-Jack Rogers; Watch-Fossil; Bracelets-Purple Peridot, Mantra Band; Earrings-Bauble Bar; Ring-Charming Charlie; Lips-Colour Pop The Rabbit;
Nails-OPI Do You Have This Color In Stockholm?

It took forever for me to find a navy gingham shirt, but I finally got my hands on this one earlier this spring. It’s lightweight enough to wear in this heat without dying and will be perfect for layering in the fall.

I bought a selfie stick so I have really elevated my photography skills. LOL. Whatever works!

P.S. Can you spot my four legged friend? He’s never far from me!

Office Space

I’m slowly but surely getting around to decorating my apartment. I’ve only lived here since the end of April so no time like the present. One area I couldn’t wait to get together was my little office space. I have a 2-bedroom apartment and the second bedroom has the perfect little nook for my desk.

I bought this desk from a shop at home for $25. It just needed a little TLC so I spray painted it a dark brown and it went in my Raleigh apartment. When I moved, I knew I wanted to paint it a fun color. I love turquoise so that’s what I went with. I painted it and changed the knob. The desk was $25 and the paint and supplies were about that much. I now have a super cute desk that was only $50.

When I posted a picture of my confetti chair on Instagram, I got so many comments and likes. I must agree it is pretty great, but I can’t take the credit for it! My BFF made it for me for my birthday and I LOVE it. It goes perfectly with my desk.

To complete the area, I got some bulletin boards and spray painted the edges gold. Then, I used tacks to hang some shopping bags from some of my favorites stores on them. Another cheap, easy, and pretty fix. Eventually, I’d like to get these bags framed, but this will do for now.

I love sitting in here and working at my desk. It’s so easy to feel inspired in my cute little space! My pink computer matches perfectly🙂

12

P.S. If you’re interested in making your own confetti chair, here’s how she did it!