Pretty in Plum

Thursday, October 30, 2014

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

I've never really been huge on any purples, but this season, I'm in love with this deep plum shade. It's so perfect for Fall, looks good on everybody, and reminds me big time of Blare Waldorf!

More lovely hues here.

My Favorite Foundations for Very Fair Skin

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ever since I first started wearing makeup, I've had trouble finding a good foundation for my very fair, very dry skin. I remember my very first time going to buy makeup the summer before high school, my mom took me to the MAC counter in the mall, and I was so excited to finally start wearing makeup. The woman working there swatched a few different shades on my face before telling me that even the lightest one they carried was too dark for me. I was a little bummed but she told me that a little concealer and some blush was all I needed on my face anyway.

I was fine wearing super minimal makeup for a while, but after about a year I really wanted more coverage. My mom suggested trying Cover Girl, which carried super light shades, but that makeup must be formulated for oily skin because I found it left my face feeling rough and chalky. I think I even went a while wearing makeup that was just a bit too dark for me, noticing that dreadful mask line in old photos. So I began my hunt for the perfect foundation, and now am happy to say I've found a few that really work for me!

The first one I tried and loved was bareMinerals Original foundation in Fairly Light, the lightest shade for neutral under-toned skin. I was a little unsure about it at first because it was powder I assumed it wouldn't work well on dry skin, but after a friend of mine swore on it, I bought a starter kit. I immediately fell in love. The color blended perfectly, had a natural finish, and pretty good coverage. It's been about six years since I first tried this one out and it's still a must-have in my makeup drawer.

Although I really loved that makeup, I still really wanted to find a liquid foundation that would work for me. I don't really remember how I came across it, maybe from someone on YouTube, but I decided one day to try out the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in the lightest shade Siberia. I completely loved it. This foundation comes in so, so many different shades, and leaves your skin looking very moisturized and fresh. I really love this makeup!

I discovered my next favorite, and probably my most used foundation by trying to find a good dupe for the Nars one. I normally wouldn't feel like I need to, but $45 for one ounce of makeup started to feel like too much. I read a lot of people online suggested Revlon ColorStay for Normal to Dry Skin in the shade Buff. When I looked at this makeup in the store, it looked pretty dark, so I was nervous to try it, but for $10, I thought I'd give it a go. And I'm glad I did! This foundation is so, so similar to the Nars, and for a fraction of the cost! This is my everyday, go-to foundation, it just always seems to work well. And being on my fourth bottle now, I'm really glad I discovered this instead of spending that much money on the Nars!

And finally, a foundation I just recently discovered is the bareMinerals Bare Skin Brightening Serum in Bare Porcelain. When I heard that this brand was finally coming out with a liquid foundation, I was thrilled, it seemed like the best of both worlds! I bought this after trying it on a bunch of people at work and really liking how it looked on them, very bright and fresh looking. And I ended up really liking it on me too! The lightest shade works for me, which I still consider lucky, and the finish is really nice. The only thing I will say though is this makeup doesn't last very long. When I do wear it, I like to be able to touch up during the day. But when I'm lucky enough to find a makeup that works for me, that doesn't matter too much!

So those are the foundations I've discovered so far for extremely fair skin like mine. I will admit, even these require blending into my neck in the wintertime when my skin is extra pale, but I'm still able to make them work and am glad I found them after some crazy searching and a lot of failures!

What foundations have you found that work perfectly for your skin?

October 2014 BirchBox: Fanfare

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I just got October's Birchbox in the mail, and let me just start by saying this month really made up for last month's not-great box. I'm glad I'm back to getting good boxes (hopefully) for a while. I was a little bummed because I saw a lot of other people got Beauty Blenders in their boxes this month, something I've been wanting to try a long time and would've loved to get! But nonetheless I still loved this box and am really happy with it!

The first thing I saw in my box was a pretty big sample of Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner. This size (3oz.) is $15 to buy, so it was a great deal! This is supposed to be a really good conditioner you apply to your hair in the shower, leave in for a few minutes, then rinse out. It claims to clean, soften, smooth, add volume, eliminate frizz, and cut down on blow-dry time. Sounds too good to be true, but almost every review on the product says they were pleasantly surprised and that it did everything it claimed, so that gives me hope! I'm excited to try this product and hope it works like it says!

The next thing I noticed was a ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in the color Kitty. Another "sample" that's actually a full size, love it! I've heard so many good things about this brand but this is the first I've tried from it. I already tried it on and really like it! I actually really like the color, which is cool because I'm picky about lip color, and it goes on really smooth and nicely. Very happy about this product!

The next product I got was something I've never really heard of before. It's a clariSEA Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant. Apparently you're supposed to add a pinch of it to your every day facial cleanser and use to to exfoliate. Again, really good reviews, but I have to be really careful with exfoliators because of how sensitive my skin can be. But I'll give it a shot and see how it goes!

I got another eyeliner! Haha! If you love eyeliner, Birchbox is for you! I feel like I've gotten an eyeliner sample in half my boxes! Not necessarily a bad thing though, I'm always open to trying new eyeliners. This one is the Lord and Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil. It's black with a hint of glitter in it. I don't think I would normally go for glitter in any eye makeup, but never say never! Maybe will be fun to wear for Halloween!

The next thing I got is the Ellovi Vanilla Butter. The only thing is says on the container is "apply all over," so I looked online to see exactly what this is. It says it's a body butter to be applied to dry spots on body like elbows, knees and feet, can be used as a makeup remover, and can treat scars and eczema. It only has six natural ingredients, which is good, and it smells nice. I'll try it out eventually haha. 

And finally, as an extra, I got a tiny sample of K√©rastase Cristalliste Lumiere Liquide Serum. It's supposed to add shine, smooth away frizz, and restores dry ends. This is a really good, high quality brand, and it was just an extra in the box, but I hate tiny containers like it came in. Usually you open it and have the product explodes all over the place, then it's really hard to get the rest out. So it would've been nice if it had a pump or dropper, but still nice for an extra!

So all in all, a pretty great box! Much better than last months, and worth the $10 for sure! Most excited for the conditioner and lipstick! Do you subscribe to any monthly beauty boxes? What did you get this month?
Get your own BirchBox subscription here.
See my past Birchboxes here.

Links to Love: Halloween Edition

Monday, October 13, 2014

Halloween, 2012

The healthiest Halloween candy options.

Learn all about the History of Halloween.

13 scary movies you can stream on Netflix.

This adorable vintage pumpkin banner is free to print!

Best celebrity Halloween costumes.

The perfect Halloween party playlist.

"10 Things I Learned from Hocus Pocus."

Some pop culture costume ideas (400 of them!)

Some of America's best towns for Halloween.

Spider chocolate chip cookies! Such a simple but cool idea!

Find out which Disney villain you are. I got Mother Gothel from Tangled!

Creative pumpkin carving ideas.

The 7 Craziest, Scariest, Most Extreme Haunted Attractions in America. All way too scary for me!

And finally, don't forget that it's also Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

If you have any Halloween links you're loving, share them in the comments below! I hope you're having an awesome Halloween Month, I mean October ;)


Saturday, October 11, 2014

The sky over our house was crazy a couple nights ago!

Reading: I'm working on reading of Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, I'm a little ways in and already LOVE it! She is one of my favorite actresses/people ever and I'm really loving reading her work. She's just so open and honest and has such a unique writing voice. I'm actually trying to pace myself with this book because I didn't want to read the entire thing in one night like I was tempted to do, I want to make it last ;) I also just finished Landline by Rainbow Rowell and really enjoyed it. It was just an easy, young adult read (my favorite) and I want to read some more of his writing now.

Looking forward to: Oh my goodness, so much! There are so many fun things coming up that I can't wait for. For one, as I made obvious above, I'm so beyond excited for the upcoming season and holidays. This time of year just makes me feel so happy! And just so many exciting things are happening within my family that I'm really excited for!

Watching: Joe and I watched the season premier of the American Horror Story, and I really enjoyed it. That first episode made me really excited for what the rest will be like, seems like it's gonna be crazy! Did you watch it? What did you think? Then just our usual shows like Modern Family, The Walking Dead soon, and for me, Sex and the City reruns! Any good shows you've been watching lately?

Reminding myself: To slow down and enjoy where my life is right now. I always tend to get ahead of myself and get overly excited for the future (see above, ha) and instead of just being where I'm at, I'm constantly thinking about what will happen next. So now, I'm really trying to just enjoy myself, my life, right now, exactly how it is. Being in my first year of marriage and trying to figure all of that out, having two dogs that I love but annoy the crap out of me, having a retail job and still not really knowing what I want to do with my life, trying to sort out issues with my health. Although it might not seem the most glamorous right now, this is a special time in my life and I want to make sure I'm fully present. Huge, life-altering changes can happen at any instant, so I want to always enjoy the phase I'm at when I'm in it.

Loving: Being married, fall-scented candles, the iPhone 6, these cool mornings, warm afternoons, and cool nights, spin class, yoga, new music coming out this month, dinners at home, babies and more babies coming ;), dressing simply, new tattoos, the leaves changing colors, making holiday plans, and life in general.

So what about you? What are you currently up to? I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Currently posts inspired by Danielle at Sometimes Sweet.

Simple Weekend Vacay

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This past weekend, Joe and I went with my whole family (except my mom :( ) to California for a mini vacation and some family time. Joe and I decided before we went that we were going to make this a very simple, relaxing vacation. Normally, when we go away for a few days, we tend to over do it; pack too much, take a billion photos, spend too much money, etc. But this time, we wanted to just relax, I didn't even bring my camera, not like me!

It was so nice though! We just went with the flow and had fun. Our first day there we all hung out at the house together, went swimming, had big family meals. It was fun to share a big house with everyone and hang out the whole time instead of getting hotel rooms. The next day, Joe and I escaped and went to Disneyland together. I know Disney isn't exactly a relaxing place, but we love going there together and always have so much fun, and since my dad's house is only about an hour away, we took advantage. But we even managed to simplify that day. Usually a Disney day for us means Joe carrying around a backpack full of my big camera, extra sweaters, sunscreen, bandaids, and more than we need. This time, we walked in with nothing but my small cross-body purse containing our phones and some cash. It felt so good to just have fun and not think about it too much. And we survived without a million extra things to carry around! We stayed there from open to close and had so much fun.

The next day wasn't as fun for Joe. He woke up the next morning feeling really sick. We figured he got food poisoning from the day before since he had all the symptoms of that. I felt so bad, but he just laid low in our room all day. The rest of us also stayed at the house that day and swam more, rode bikes and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I love being able to hang out with my nieces and nephew, they're so much fun! We flew home Tuesday morning and it's nice to be back home so I can properly take care of my hubby, who still isn't feeling great. It was a really fun weekend though and I'm really glad we decided to make it simple and easy!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, as well!

My Experience with the Clarisonic

Friday, October 3, 2014

I mentioned in this post that I'd been wanting to try a Clarisonic cleansing system for quite some time now, and after hearing amazing things about it from my mom, sister, and a couple friends, I took the plunge and bought the Mia2 from Sephora. The woman working there talked me into buying the $150 one instead of the cheapest $100 one, something about it having a better timer, and the sucker in me gave in. I told her about my sensitive skin, and she assured me it wouldn't irritate my skin, and would only make my skin glowy and baby-soft. I couldn't wait to get it home and try it out.

That night I removed my makeup with a makeup wipe like I normally do before washing my face, and turned the little contraption on. I made sure to follow the directions exactly as stated in the instructions; 20 seconds on my forehead, 20 seconds on my nose and chin, and 10 seconds on each cheek, easy enough.

After my first use my skin didn't feel especially soft or amazing, but it did feel clean, so I guess that was good. The pamphlet says to use twice a day, but I already decided since my skin is pretty sensitive I would only use it at night. After probably four or five nights of use, not only did my skin not feel any better, I had broken out all over my face. I usually don't have that big of a problem with acne, a pimple or two on my chin during my time of the month is usually the most I ever get. But I had big red spots everywhere; my cheeks, forehead, temples, places I never usually break out. And those big painful kind, too! I was pretty annoyed, and I realized the only thing I had changed in my routine at all was using my fancy new Clarisonic.

I decided to put my theory to the test and didn't use it for the next three days, and as expected, my skin cleared right up! I used it one last time in the shower, thinking maybe only three or four times a week would be a good amount to use it, maybe my skin was just "purging," but the morning after only one more use, BAM, four new spots. So it's decided, the Clarasonic is not for me! I'm not sure if my skin is just that sensitive, or it's because it's really dry, or what, but I was pretty disappointed to have such a bad experience with it.

I'm not trying to tell you that this is a horrible product, it's obviously works really well for a lot of people, but something about my skin just didn't like it at all. And I did realize that sometimes the fancier, more expensive products don't work better for everyone. The Aveeno cleanser I've been using for years works just fine, so I'm gonna stick with using that. At least until another pretty new product comes out that I'm dying to try ;)


Thursday, October 2, 2014

A few weeks ago, Benefit Cosmetics and Birchbox got together and created something called a "Beauty Bash." They chose 1,000 girls, myself included, to host a Beauty Bash in honor of Wing Women Weekend. I was so excited to be apart of this, I'm a huge fan of both of these companies, and makeup in general! They sent all of the hosts a box full of full-sized Benefit makeup, sample-sized makeup to share with friends, and paper party decorations. I really enjoyed putting together my little bash and sharing it with my "wing women!" It was so much fun having a spot of my house super pink for a day, and having a super girly little party. I also was really happy to be able to give everyone a bunch of deluxe samples of such awesome products, that was really fun for everyone! This was such a cool opportunity and I'm still so thrilled I was able to be apart of it!

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway here, I had lots of samples and FULL-SIZED makeup leftover!