Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

EMPTIES // 2015

Probably should add a bit of a disclaimer before starting off: these empties span from recently finished to used up over a year ago.  Oops!  I saved them and saved them but was too lazy to write an empties post.  I kept wanting to combine it with my "not actually empty, but I'm still getting rid of them because I don't like them" products post.  Probably should have realized I bit off a little more than I could chew with that one, haha.  Anyway, seeing actual empties is nice, because you know I loved each product and used up every drop!


I hardly ever go through makeup, so only two products and two samples made the cut this time.  Maybelline's Great Lash was my first mascara I ever purchased, and I've gone back to it again and again.  I find that it adds a nice natural tint to my lashes, without becoming clumpy in any way.  I have begun to experiment with other mascaras I've received as samples, but I remember enjoying this mascara when I did use it.

Stilla's Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in intense black was my first foray in to higher end eyeliners.  My friend gave me this initially because she never used it and I absolutely loved it.  I went and bought my own once this one had run out, but now I find that they dry up quite quickly.  I've now moved on to using a gel pot eyeliner (MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack applied with a 266 brush) which I prefer, as the application is more precise and sharp.  Along with that, the finish of MAC's eyeliner is matte, whereas Stilla's is glossy.  It all depends on what you prefer, but I like the vintage feel of a matte black cat eye.

I also really enjoyed a sample of Laura Mercier's Radiance Foundation Primer, so much so that I went out and got another sample of it from Sephora!  The subtle radiance is really nice, but I actually prefer to use it over whatever tinted moisturizer or foundation I'm using to impart a subtle brightening effect.  It's a little too subtle to use as a primer, I find, but I also absolutely love bright highlighters.  I'm probably not the target market!  Another sample I got was NARS Tinted Moisturizer, which I now own a full sized tube of.  I think that says it all!


For body, I ran through both my trusty Lubriderm Daily Moisture lotion and St. Ives Even & Bright scrub.  Lubriderm is the lotion my mom has used forever, so not only is it tried and tested, it's subtle scent (or lack of, really) is a trip home for me.  It's the lotion I always turn to when I get out of the shower if I'm not really in the mood for any scented moisturizers and I know it'll always do it's job.  The St. Ives scrub is one I got to initially use on my face, but I ended up using up the rest of it on my back.  TMI, but I get spots on my upper back sometimes.  They've gone away now that I've started washing my hair more (It's very dry due to dying and doesn't need an every day wash), but I felt like the exfoliating was doing any harm.  Now that I don't use it anymore and haven't seen a change, I can safely come to the conclusion that physical exfoliants don't do much for my skin.

You can really tell how long I've been accumulating these empties by the fact I have LUSH's The Sacred Truth fresh face mask.  They don't even sell this one!  A little disappointed, to be honest, since I did see a difference in my skin when I used this.  It was very mild and developed for dry and mature skin, but it was nice.  I actually haven't tried any of their fresh face masks since, but I probably should.  In counterpoint, I recently picked up a Sephora sheet mask in pearl, since my skin was going nuts and I didn't have any good masks.  It was a really nice, hydrating mask.  I didn't see a huge difference in my skin, but it did feel more hydrated, and the experience of applying it along with the resulting photos sent to my boyfriend was hilarious.

I also finished up my first tub of Clinique's Take The Day Off Balm last winter and moved on to my next one.  This cleanser is my HG cleanser and makeup remover.  I doubt I will ever try anything else!  I've never experienced this with any sort of product other than this one, and it is an amazing feeling!  I never feel the need to try any other sorts of balm cleansers, oil cleansers, or makeup removers the way I want to try new moisturizers, liquid/cream cleansers, makeup, etc.  Crazy!

Boots Botanics Facial Oil was my staple last winter when my skin started to get super dry.  I applied it with pure jojoba oil and felt like it really helped.  I have another bottle that I'm currently trying to finish before buying any other sort of nighttime moisturizer, but I won't repurchase.  I don't feel like it's doing much for my skin now, and want to move on to different things.  I'm also on my second tube of Weleda's Almond Soothing Facial Lotion, which I do like a lot.  I initially tried Weleda's Skin Food, which has a cult following and I also enjoyed it quite a bit.  I'm really interested in trying more of their products.  It has never made my skin burn and is a really light weight, non-irritating moisturizer for daytime.  I'm finding now that it's getting cooler and the heat is on full blast in my apartment that it hasn't been doing much for my dehydrated skin, however.  I definitely will repurchase for summer next year, unless I find something better before then!


Both of my used up hair products are related to dying my hair!  Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque has been great for dying my hair pastel.  It's a really good, inexpensive mask for mixing the color with to create a less pigmented outcome.  It also makes my hair feel so much less damaged and I feel really does strengthen the hair shaft.  I always feel like I lose much less hair from both shedding and breakage after I use this mask.  I'm sure leaving it on for three hours the way I do helps, as well.  Along with that, the little tubes of Ion Color Brilliance's Sensitive Scalp Protector really work!  My scalp always burns like crazy when I use bleach, salon or at home.  I was astonished when I used this that it made that burning, itching sensation almost go away!  I use a bottle every time I dye my hair, but they're only 89 cents, so it is a crazy bargain for how much they help!

Hopefully now that I'm finally caught up on my empties, I'll do one of these posts a year.  I hardly get through any products, so now I can start fresh every year and maybe not forget what I thought about each product!

Monday, November 2, 2015


This past month I didn't have a lot of chances to apply makeup, but when I did I really did enjoy it.  I'm instituting a No-Buy (we'll see how that goes) until at least 2016, if not the end of January, on non-essential beauty products like makeup.  Skincare is also out of the question except I'm almost out of my moisturizer, which I'm going to want to replace (Probably with Kiehl's Skin Rescuer, but we shall see).  There were just a few products I loved in October, but they're all really lovely!

I've had Anastasia's Dip Brow Pomade in Ash Brown for months now, but I've been really enjoying doing a bold brow now that the weather has gotten much colder.  It's such a great way to add some definition to my face, and it also goes perfectly with a bold lip!  Speaking of a bold lip, I've been loving my custom Bite Beauty lipstick that I made at their lip lab a couple of months ago.  It's a nice blue toned matte red, and I discovered how much I like it when it's gently patted on to my lips for a bit of undefined color.  My lips are the bane of my lipstick-wearing existence: Every lipstick feathers on me with few exceptions.  I always have to go for a matte lip, so good thing I love them!  See: my HG lipstick Ruby Woo.  Bite's matte offering, however, is still too creamy for me and it ends up feathering after only about an hour or two. The patting method works much better than a defined lip line for this one!

On recommendation from an XOVainer, I picked up a small bottle of Sephora's Brush Cleanser, which has been a lifesaver.  The little brush I used to apply my eyebrow pomade (part of a 5 brush kit from Forever 21) wasn't doing so well at picking up and evenly applying product any more, but a spritz of the brush cleanser and a good wipe on a tissue cleared that issue right up!  I now use it every day on both that brush and my gel eyeliner brush to keep germs at bay as well as keep my application tip top!

Last time I was at LUSH, I also picked up a sample of their Feeling Younger Skin Tint, because I have been absolutely in love with highlighters, and this one is no exception.  I tried it a couple of times, mostly around my under eye area and brow bone, and it makes me feel like Galadriel.  The shimmer is a mix of an almost holographic purple and blue, but it looks more like an oil slick on water highlight rather than a glitter ball, if that makes any sense?  It really perks up my face and makes me feel super fancy, so I'll definitely be getting a full size eventually!  I also got the NARS Multiple in Copacabana, and I apply it whenever possible.  It's such a beautiful highlight, and it is so easy to apply.  I just swipe the stick on my cheekbones, over my eyelids, and dot it above my brow bone and on my cupids bow, then blend with my fingertips.  BAM!

What were your favorites this month?

Thursday, April 23, 2015


I feel like I've already told everyone this, but I'm moving in with my boyfriend in a month or two!  I've been thinking a lot about it, from kitchen supplies we'll need to buy to how nice it will be to come home to a house where I can sit in the living room, but my main thought it how I want to decorate.  I love thinking about arranging furnature and making a space my home whenever I move to a new place (I've moved quite a few times in my life), it's actually one of my favorite parts!  I've saved spaces I like on Pinterest for a while, so here's a nice collection of some interiors I like.  All images are from my SPACES Pinterest board.

Many framed artworks on the walls.

A long desk for work and play.

Pops of color and my very own armchair.

A beautiful and eclectic vanity.

A place to put shoes by the door.

Shelving and practical decoration.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Day 6 // on day 7.

Day 7 // "Whatever happens... you may think it all a mere bad dream..."
My character from Bloodborne.

Day 8

Day 9 // Alistair is my favorite video game boyfriend.

Day 10 // I drew this real fast so I could watch another ep before bed.

Day 11
She's kind of my favorite character on Daredevil besides Matt, but it's a hard choice.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Inspired by Elsa Billgren's list.

My last screenshot of my phone // Accidental screenshot of my lock screen.  It's the romance tarot card art of Dorian from Dragon Age: Inquisition.

My last purchase // When I was at Wegman's on Sunday, I bought a bottle of Aura Cacia almond oil, an Alba Organics acne wash, and a new bottle of Lubriderm body lotion.  On Friday I got Aveda's Intensive Damage Treatment, the Earth Month candle, RMS Beauty's Living Luminizer, and EXO's natural nail polish remover.

My last listened podcast // I go through stages of listening to the RT podcast every week and then taking a break for a couple of weeks.  I'm currently listening as I'm writing this.

My last incoming text message // "Why??" from my friend Lucas, responding to my question if he was busy on Monday.  My work meeting was canceled and it was supposed to go up to 70 degrees.  Amazing!

My last tagged photo on facebook // A selfie I posted a month ago.  I haven't really done much recently.

My last pinned image // Really liked her hair and the hair comb.

My last sent text message // "Busy today?" to my friend Irene that I haven't seen in almost a year.  

My last video game played // Fallout: New Vegas.  Ever since I changed the difficulty back down to very easy it's been way more fun.  I'm all about the story and not about trying a situation over and over again.

My latest find // A couple of weeks ago I got a tube of Weleda's Skin Food and I have been absolutely loving it.  Not much of a find if everyone has already found it, but it is seriously worth the hype.  HG product right there.

My latest television obsession // I caught up with Elementary yesterday, finished Breaking Bad two weeks ago, and now I need to finish Peaky Blinders.  Loving that Peaky Blinders.

My latest favorited photo on instagram // Tanya Burr is pretty cool.

My most recent expensive purchase // I bought three items of clothing from Pin Up Girl clothing last month and I love each thing, but it was definitely way more money I usually spend.  I should post photos of them within the next two months, once I move!

My last film seen in the theatre // There's an indie theatre called The Screening Room in Buffalo and during March they were showing Aliens.  Seriously amazing.  It's a completely different experience seeing that movie in the theatre in comparison to on my laptop, which is how I originally watched it.  I was so tense!!

My last listened song on spotify // Talk to Me by the Pleistocene's.  I saw them opening for Screaming Females on Saturday and they were really great.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


In an effort to start drawing again, I began The 100 Day Project, which actually started the day I found out about it.  The Private Life of a Girl posted about participating and I thought it might be just the ticket to get me back in the art-making groove.  It's only been a week so far and I already feel happy and more inspired when I go to pick up the sketchpad and pencil! 

Forcing myself to draw for an "event" of sorts definitely makes me feel so much more motivated than before.  On day two, I actually hated the drawing I did, but I finished and posted it anyway, just to continue with the project.  I've been really enjoying it as a way to casually make myself create without the pressure of concept, theme, and larger picture.

Day 1 // Max.
The main character from my thesis.

Day 2 //
I've been listening to AWOLNATION's new album a lot.

Day 3 // Jesse.
I just finished and loved Breaking Bad.

Day 4 // "May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead."
I recently picked up Peaky Blinders again and I've been really enjoying it.

Day 5 // "The work we do, there's often a price."
Not many people know, but I've an avid weekly viewer of Elementary.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


The one thing that's been keeping me from blogging is photos.  I don't particularly enjoy taking photos, and I always feel like the ones I take look awful.  So I decided: whatever.  I'm going to take some damn photos, be they good or not, so I can just write again.  Also, still on my journey to figuring out what the heck I'm going to write about.

This is what my "vanity" looks like on a daily basis.  I don't really have an easy to use organizational system yet, so it just all stays out on the table where I can easily grab each thing.

After applying moisturizer (jojoba oil) and EltaMD facial sunscreen, I start on the base.  I've been trying out a sample of Laura Mercier's Radiance Foundation Primer; it reminds me of Revlon's skin lights but with no scent and more of a glow, less of a glitter.  Not sure if it's worth the $34 price tag, but you don't use a lot each time so it would definitely last a while.

Those four little pots in front of my mirror are the four bases I'm currently trying out.  Even though I've been using them all for at least a month, I cannot seem to make up my mind!  The two tinted moisturizers are NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Terra Nueve and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Porcelain, and the two foundations are NARS Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc and Dior Nude Skin Foundation in Ivory.  I'll let you know what I end up purchasing!   I then apply Maybelline's Fit Me concealer over any spots or residual redness, and Rimmel's Match Perfection concealer under my eyes.  Finally, I powder with Beseme's Brightening French Vanilla face powder.

I always do my brows first, I don't know why!  I use the Anastasia Brow Pomade in Soft Brown and a little angled brush from Forever21.  My eyes are next, where I may use a Maybelline Color TattooStilla liquid eyeliner, or do a bit of a smokey eye with my Naked2 pallet.  I then curl my eyelashes with my new Shiseido eyelash curler (it's the only curler I've found that fits my eyes!) and a coat of either Maybelline's Great Lash or Clinique's Lash Doubling Mascara.  Both give good definition and tint without a clump in sight!

On the cheeks, I'll use one of a couple of blushes: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed if I want more of a sculpt, e.l.f.'s Baked Blush in Passion Pink if I want more of a glow, or Clinique's Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher in New Clover for just a good all-rounder.  I then apply e.l.f.'s Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls with my fingers.  

Finally, lipstick!  Lipstick is my one true love, and my choice always depends on a multitude of factors: my hair, eye makeup, mood, even the weather!  A classic red is good any day, a deep berry has been my love this winter, and I've been enjoying purple now and again!  Recently, I've been feeling a bit off about my lipstick choices: the other day I switched it four times!

Then, with a spritz of perfume I'm done.  I always reach for The Body Shop's White Musk Libertine in the winter, but I've also been trying out a few Alkemia perfume oils as well as my new Tocca sampler "Meet The Girls"!

Do you use any of these products?  Is your morning routine more streamlined than mine?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

12 LISTS // 3

I'm back for list number three.  Life has been alright.  I still want to write more, but I can't seem to figure out how.  I've been practicing guitar, which is a plus.  My boyfriend is a really good player, and he is very encouraging and has helped me figure out a couple of things.  So that's cool.

Travel has been an important goal for me for a long time, even though I've never left the country.  I want to go everywhere and see everything.  One day, I suppose.

  • England
  • Paris
  • Alaska
  • Australia
  • Norway
  • Ireland
  • Egypt
  • Morocco
  • Italy
  • California, again.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


So, the other day I went in to Walgreens looking to purchase La Roche-Posay's Efficlair Duo (my skin was flaring up, sad face) and I walked out with it.  However, I also walked out with two Revlon balm sticks, two Maybeline color tattoos, and two Essie polishes.  Oops?

I honestly have the worst buying habits when it comes to makeup.  I used to spend hours upon days agonizing over which item of drugstore makeup to buy, only to end up talking myself out of it in the end and then regret it later.  I wouldn't purchase an item for months, even though it was under $10 and I obviously wanted it (see: Revlon Skinlights, Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry, Revlon lipstick in Black Cherry).  I also used to do this with more high end makeup, but would end up never getting an item.  Now though, I go nuts!  Not only did I just get those, earlier in the month I finally got the Tarte blush, Shiseido eyelash curlers, and sparkly powder I wanted from Sephora.  Holy moly, a makeup cool down is in order.

I just really need to start thinking about makeup more like my wardrobe.  Think about things for a long time (especially if they're expensive), really think about if I want them or not, and then purchase if so.  If not, give myself a pat on the back for not going nuts.  Win/win, right?

So here's a little list of some things I've been thinking about purchasing.  Lists make me stop thinking about things, be it the next clothing item I want to add to my wardrobe, the next skin care item I want to try out, or the day's to-dos.  Once it's on paper, I stop thinking and I'm much less likely to buy!

For some things, they're definitely "later on" purchases, as they would be replacing something I'm currently using.  For example, my current facial sunscreen is Elta MD UV Clear and it's fine, but I want to try something different, which is where La Roche-Posay's Anthelios Sunscreen comes in.  I also want to try Maybelline's Waterproof Great Lash, but I'm currently using a sample of Clinique's High Impact mascara or Maybelline's original Great Lash. Both are good, but during the winter my eyes water like nobody's business.  Along with that, now I actually have a way of getting makeup off my face at the end of the day.  Waterproof it is!

On the other hand, there are definitely a couple of things that I've been putting off getting that just need to be purchases.  NARS's Tinted Moisturizer (in Terra Neuve) and Sheer Glow Foundation (in Mont Blanc) are two of those things.  I got samples of both products and loved them both.  Then I'd be set for both heavier coverage and sheer coverage base days!  No more fumbling with drugstore foundations!  Soon, my base life with be easy and fancy free.  (I'm resisting making an "all your base are belong to us" joke.  Anyone?)

I've also still been browsing in relation to my skincare journey, which is still not over.  I always hear rave reviews about Kiehls, so I wanted to try both their Midnight Recovery Serum and their Avocado Eye Treatment.  I also was curious about Hado Labo's Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, which is a hydrating toner that I've heard good things about, and Silk Natural's AHA toner, which is exfoliating.  I'm currently using Aveda's Exfoliating Toner, but it's expensive and I'm curious to see if its the salicylic acid that's making my skin nice or just it being an acid toner in general.  Skin care, man.

Also, since I work at an Aveda salon, of course I want the Air Control Hairspray, and the Be Curly Style-Prep.

Why do I want all the things??  Why is this a thing????

Saturday, February 28, 2015


x // x // x // x // x // x

"Love isn't a state of perfect caring.  It is an active noun like struggle.  To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now."  --  Fred Rogers, The World According to Mr. Rogers: Important Things To Remember

Friday, February 20, 2015

12 LISTS // 2

I'm back with list number two!  Life has been chugging along recently.  I've been trying to figure out how to make taking photographs for my blog interesting.  I've never really enjoyed photography, and I can't seem to figure out how to make it fun.  My boyfriend suggested that I look at it less like a task and more like a challenge:  figure out what I want and then how to achieve it, rather than just jumping in and taking random photos.  Thing is, I don't really know what I want to achieve.

Either way, i feel like I'd get down and feel like what I was posting was boring.  I like when bloggers inject a little personality in to their posts, rather than just posting reviews or hauls.  I like seeing life shots, home tours, storage ideas, and more creative style posts.  Can I make those sorts of things?  I guess I could try.  I don't even know where to start.

  • my artistic ability
  • positivity
  • lipstick in general
  • most of my wardrobe
  • perfume
  • my hair
  • my height
  • listening to music while walking
  • but mostly red lipstick