Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Instagram Wall

Hey everyone! One of my new year resolutions is to continue redecorating my room. In my last post I mentioned that I repainted my walls, so now I'm motivated to keep adding decorative touches to it. I desperately need a desk and shelves, but that's a bigger, more expensive project, so unfortunately it'll have to wait for that, but meanwhile I can tackle some smaller projects like this one!

I think Instagram pictures are great. I love the filters, the 4x4 dimension, and of course, the memories that you can preserve. It just seemed like a shame to not have them printed out! So I headed over to Origrami, a website where you can order Instagram prints. The website is fantastic. You just log in with your Instagram account, select the photos you want to print, and voila! The prints are fantastic quality and the shipping is free, so you can't really go wrong.

I simply stuck them on my wall using some sticky tack, and outlined them with some neon pink duct tape that contrasts really awesomely with the colors of my walls. It's just a really fun and easy project that brightens and personalizes your room! I actually ordered some more prints that are on their way in the mail now, and I'm going to do the same thing on the other side of my door.

By the way, you should totally follow me on Instagram: here and here ;)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

What I Did in 2014

I experimented with new lip colors
I got sad about the weather
I went to Disney World
I participated in my cousin's wedding
I did the Ice Bucket Challenge
I got a nail polish rack and installed it myself
I got my wisdom teeth removed (lol!)
I cooked & baked a ton more
I finally re-painted my room
I saw Demi Lovato in concert
I dyed my hair green
I studied hard
I went to the spa
I hung out with my friends
Overall, 2014 was really good to me! Excited to see what 2015 has in store.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Favorite Beauty Products of 2014

Welcome to 2015!!! Hope you all had a great holiday season. I thought I would fittingly start off my 2015 blog posts with my favorite beauty products of last year (and I'm sure they will carry into this year too!).

My favorite cleanser of the year was the Clean & Clean Morning Burst in the blue packaging. I think my favorite part about this product is the scent. It's so fresh but also fruity. It reminds me of the cucumber-melon soap that Bath & Body Works used to make. My only issue is that I personally don't think there are enough scrubbing beads, but it still works really well and I use it about 2-3 times per week.

My favorite eyeshadow primer of 2014 is the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. I got this sample version as a bonus in one of my Sephora orders and, gosh, I almost wish I didn't like it so much because I'm dreading having to splash out $30 for the full-sized version. It does such a great job at making eyeshadows stick to your lids, and I highly recommend it if you have oily eyelids.

My favorite mascara of 2014 is the Annabelle Big Show. I literally used this mascara all year long. I picked up another tube of it about a month ago and I found it unusually wet so I wonder if the formulation is inconsistent, but when it starts to dry out the mascara works like a dream. It only takes a couple swipes for me to be happy with it. It separates and volumizes my lashes amazingly.

My favorite blush of the year is Marcelle Blossom. This is probably the only blush I use during the fall and winter months. In the pan it looks underwhelming, but on the cheeks it turns this incredible crimson shade that looks beautiful next to a good bronzer. It also pairs perfectly with any red-burgundy lip.

Bite "Rubarb", Tarte "Energy", Marcelle "Blossom" blush

My favorite lip products of the year are the Tarte Energy Lip Surgence and the Bite Beauty lip pencil in "Rhubarb". For the spring and summer, the Tarte lip surgence was all I wore. It's a cross between a lip balm and a gloss, and the color adapts to the person wearing it. On me, it turns a bright juicy pink shade. Like I said, perfect for spring/summer. On the flip side, Rhubarb is such a nice burnt burgundy shade. It's reminiscent of the Kylie Jenner lip trend because it's on the brown side, but it's also not a nude. It's actually spot-on to the Pantone color of the year ("marsala"), so it's super trendy right now.

And finally, the absolute best makeup remover I have ever used: Rimmel Just Let it Go. I have tried expensive makeup removers from brands like Bioderma and Boscia and whatever, and nothing beats this! Nothing! It's just so good for removing eye makeup and you don't have to sit there scrubbing your eyes for 10 minutes. It's cheap and it works.

Also, I forgot to photograph it individually but my favorite concealer of the year is the NARS Creamy Concealer. I picked it up back in April and just wow. I have never been so pleased with a concealer. Sometimes I won't even wear foundation because the concealer is enough. It's pricey but I'll definitely be repurchasing it. I blend it out with the Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush which works phenomenally.

And voila! My favorite products of 2014. Can't wait to discover new faves in 2015 :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas & Boxing Day 2014

Since I love seeing what everyone got for Christmas I thought I would do the same and take some photos to share with you all :) Happy holidays!

$13 Boxing Day purchase from Sephora

Candles from William

Michael Kors hat set from my cousin

iPhone lenses! The coolest

$10 Boxing Day purchase frop Topshop

*heart eyes emoji*

Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette

$13 Boxing Day purchase from Sephora

$5 coin ring set from Topshop

This is a sleep mask! I'm aware it looks like a bra haha.

See you in 2015!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Guide

Hey everyone! Since we're ten days away from Christmas, I thought I would put together some tips for last minute Christmas shopping.

First thing's first, Amazon is your best friend for last minute shopping. If you know exactly what you need to buy but are worried that you won't have time to get it in-store, check out Amazon. Their shipping is so fast and you'll probably receive your order within a few days. Amazon is really good for books, tech stuff, and so much more. Tech gadgets are a particularly good idea because most people have a cell phone or a laptop nowadays, right? I bought my mom an iPad keyboard for her birthday and she loves it. Also, they're having their 12 Days of Deals sales right now, so I would suggest having a browse there for some inspiration!

If you have no idea what you need to buy, visit a store that can be a one-stop-shop. One-stop-shops are ideal for gift exchanges, for bosses & teachers, and for anyone whom you're not quite sure what to buy.

My first one-stop-shop is Chapters/Indigo (or whichever bookstore chain is near you). Even if whoever you're buying for isn't a reader, bookstores tend to have a variety of knick-knacks. The Indigo near my house has great options for homewear, fashion accessories, and stationery. Also, their sale section is always especially good. You can pick up a few cookbooks for your foodie friend, an activity book for someone creative, or toys for children. Indigo is also especially good online and you only have to spend $25 to qualify for free shipping - check out the "gift" section on their website for inspiration!

My next one-stop-shop is Sephora. I know you wouldn't necessarily think of Sephora as a one-stop shop, but given their wide range of makeup, skincare, and perfumes, you can really find something for everyone. This year, I bought my father, brother, and two of my cousins their Christmas gifts with one stop at Sephora. You'd be surprised, but Sephora has some really good options for men. I would discourage you from using Sephora's online shop as their website is quite buggy, the shipping isn't great, and you have to spend $75 minimum to get free shipping.

If you're really in a pinch, i.e. it's Christmas Eve and you need a last-minute gift, a giftcard is pretty much your only option. BUT chances are stores are closing early or are already closed, so what do you do? Well, here are some ideas for e-giftcards you can buy, print out, and hand out to your friends.

1) Origrami. If the person you're buying for is active on Instagram, you can get them a giftcard to Origrami which is a place to order prints of Instagrams pics. The prints are beautiful quality and they'll enjoy receiving it in the mail. Take a look at the different kinds of print packages they offer and make the amount of the giftcard match it, and don't worry about shipping fees because shipping is free. I think this is a perfect idea for a teenager or really anyone into photography & Instagram.

2) Spa. If you're stuck on a gift for a mom or an aunt, a spa giftcard is a great idea because it accommodates a wide ranges of prices, and many spas allow you to print certificates online nowadays. Usually you can input the amount on the giftcard yourself. You can go less-expensive and have the giftcard be worth a manicure or mani-pedi, or you can go all out and have it cover the cost of a massage.

3) Audible. One of the greatest things I discovered in 2014 were audiobooks. Audible has the fantastic option to purchase 3-12 months of audiobook credits, where your recipient can choose from over 150,000 titles. The only requirement is that they have a device to which they can download the Audible app. This is a great idea for anyone you know that loves to read, or anyone you know that hates traffic and has an aux cable in their car. Seriously, an audiobook is the best company when you're stuck in traffic. I reviewed three of the audiobooks I read this year HERE.

So that's it! Hopefully if you're doing some last minute Christmas shopping I was able to help you. Happy holidays!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Nail Polish Picks

Hey everyone! Since I've managed to amass a large number of nail polishes, I figured it was only right to share my selections for the holiday season. I personally think dressing in holiday garb can be a little over the top, but painting your nails is a subtle way to show how festive you are!

My first choice is Essie "Shine of the Times" over top of OPI "Alpine Snow". Shine of the Times is an incredible sheer nail polish with flecks of shimmer that you can layer over top of just about anything to make it look awesome. I like it over a white nail polish like Alpine Snow because it actually reminds me of snow!

Next is OPI "Golden Eye" from their Skyfall collection a couple years back. This is the most gorgeous, finely-milled gold glitter that looks incredible on its own (3+ coats) or layered on top of something else. I like it over a plain white but it also looks great over a wine color.

Marc Jacobs "Gatsby" is the most luxurious polish I own, making it perfect for special occasions. It's a stunning metallic copper-rose gold shade that's opaque with one coat. A nice alternative to a solid red.

If however, solid reds are your thing, OPI "Short Stop" is a beautiful bright red that has become a staple in my collection. I think this shade of red is perfect year-round, but especially lovely for the holidays.

To add a bit of excitement to a classic red nail, try China Glaze "Ruby Pumps". It's a red-based polish with red shimmer running through it, and to me this polish just screams Christmas. In fact I think it's safe to say that I exclusively wear it around Christmas time.

Last but not least, OPI "Don't Mess With OPI" is a classic green color, perfect for holiday nail art. You know, I bought this polish on a whim thinking I would never really wear it, but I gravitate towards it more often than I thought. The formulation is great and the wear is so long.

Personally, I think dressing in holiday garb can be a little over the top, but painting your nails is a subtle way to show how festive you are!