24 November 2014

travel | 3 tips for packing your cosmetics minimalistically

When it comes to traveling, I always try to pack as light as possible. Makeup and skincare, on the other hand... It goes out of control. Since I've been doing a lot of traveling this year, I've gotten quite good at being space-conscious when it comes to packing these items.

travel friendly beauty samples

save those sample packets ♡ When you get your samples from Ulta or Sephora, save them! Oftentimes I find that I can get 3 or 5 uses out of a sample packet, and I can throw it away when I'm done which saves just a little more space on the return trip. Generally this is only a good idea if you've tried the product before, because you don't know if you'll get a bad reaction from it and you probably don't want to get said bad reaction on your trip.

small travel containers

transfer products into smaller jars ♡ This has been the hardest for me to master, but I think I've finally done it. Since I'm traveling carry-on only, I kind of have to do this anyway with products that come in big containers. Even so, I've learned to transfer products that contain less than the allowed 3.4oz into smaller containers - it saves a lot of space, especially if you have six other products like that. The past me would have bought my full-size sunscreen and primer with me, but for this upcoming trip I've put them into tiny jars and I'll continue to do that in my upcoming travels!

I bought my small jars here, and I reuse deluxe sample containers when I can. Just remember to label them cause you don't want someone else using your shower gel thinking it's face wash - my mom filled an empty Cetaphil bottle with her shower gel and I used it, thinking it was Cetaphil. Similarly, I filled an empty Josie Maran argan oil bottle with orange essential oil and my sister was thinking about trying it out - which would have been a huge disaster! You could also save the ones you get if you ask for samples... or just ask for samples of your favorite products in-store. Go ahead, I won't judge you ;)

travel friendly palettes

simplify what you bring ♡ Let's be honest here - do I really need to take 3 blushes and 5 lipsticks with me when I'm traveling? No, I do not. But if there's enough space after I pack everything, I probably will For me the trickiest is when it comes to eyeshadows, which I will try to minimize to just one palette... but it never works out so I take two small ones - one that's more neutral, and one with some color variety.

Do you guys have any tips for packing your beauty items while traveling? What are your favorites to take with you?

22 November 2014

peachy eyes and peachy lips

urban decay slowburn

Slowburn is one of my favorite shades in the Urban Decay Electric palette - review on that will be coming up soon! Anyway, it's a bright neon orange in pan, but it comes off with a coral tone when swatched and I think it's super pretty - so of course it's the first one I want to use!

(Why are my eyebrow hairs so shiny?)

urban decay electric palette

Can we just stop for a moment and admire my eyelashes? THEY NEVER TURN OUT THIS WAY AND I'M LOVING THEM but it's just too bad they probably won't be like this for a loooong while.

urban decay slowburn

I forgot what I used for this eye look though, besides slowburn near the center of the lid and the Naked 2 Basics palette on some other parts. Heck I even forgot if I used foundation on this day - I need to start writing this stuff down, haha. The lipstick is YSL Peach Passion, though! :)

19 November 2014

how do i lipstick

When it comes to makeup, lips are definitely not my forte. I've only started wearing lipsticks quite recently - as in, a week ago recently. Certain (matte-ish) lipsticks that other people don't seem to have a problem with tend to accentuate the cracks in my lips. While it can probably be remedied by taking care of my lips, well - I don't know how. All I really do is use lip balm, drink a ton of water, and exfoliate whenever I remember to.

Help a sista out, what are your tips for lipstick prep and application? :)

17 November 2014

haul | sephora sale!

sephora vib haul

sephora haul

I bought a bunch of new items...
benefit | bronze n' dandy
formula x | prime - base coat
nars | blush brush #20 (returned)
ole henriksen | protect the truth vitamin c spf 50+ sunscreen (returned)
dolce & gabbana | the blush luminous cheek colour in tan 22
laura mercier | foundation primer
urban decay | electric pressed pigment palette
too faced | melted liquified long wear lipstick in melted nude
bite beauty | mix n' mingle lip mini in glace
dior | rouge baume in lili (Rachel convinced me)
yves st laurent | rouge volupte silky sensual radiant lipstick in 3 beige ultimate
yves st laurent | rouge volupte silky sensual radiant lipstick in 13 peach passion (not pictured, still waiting for it in the mail)

...And a few repurchases as well.

beautyblender | royal beautyblender (seems to be discontinued? original here)
nars | radiant creamy concealer in honey
first aid beauty | facial radiance polish

sephora vib haul

There's (was) three FIVE lipsticks in my haul, which is something very new to me. I used to hate how lipsticks looked on me because of my lip shape. The outer edges of my lips kind of meet at a curve instead of a point, making lipsticks look clownish on me. But that's ok - if I take my time with lipstick application, it doesn't actually look that bad! It's probably a bad move to buy higher end lipsticks, but oh well - might as well go all out, haha.

I returned two items and bought some other stuff with it, though it was after the sale - I'll probably get around to the mini haul/reasons for returning stuff in another post, cause I don't want this one to be tooooo long.

Did you guys get anything from the sale? Leave me a link to your post if you have one, I'd love to see what you got!

15 November 2014

lambie slippers! + some other stuff

bath and body works lambie slippers

glittery bows!

Lambie slippers have been a little tradition of mine for a few years now. Every autumn, Bath and Body Works comes out with their seasonal Lambie slippers. I always buy a pair when they arrive, to replace my gross ones I've worn from the previous year. Of course the biggest drawback is that the slippers are white, so they get rather dirty in no time. I haven't found a way to get them completely clean without ruining them.... but oh well. I'm still wearing them no matter how filthy they get.

b&bw foaming hand soaps

Other stuff I bought, some soaps - the anjou pear and fresh lavender one. I really like foaming hand soaps, it makes washing hands so much more fun :) I heard you can dilute regular liquid soaps or shower gels with water and fill the solution into a used foaming hand soap container to create your own without clogging up the foaming mechanism. Maybe I'll try that sometime.

Do you guys have any little traditions when winter rolls around? :)

13 November 2014

the little things, from waterloo

My other favorite photo of us. James kept this one, so I took a picture of it before I left.

We ate at Watami for dinner one of the nights. The time I visited before this one, James' housemate thought we went there without ordering their volcano salad (I distinctly remember him saying, "You went to Watami without ordering the volcano salad? Awwww, you fked up!" So we tried the volcano salad which isn't even close to being a salad, and it's HUGE. We were going to order two of these, but thankfully the waitress suggested that we only get one because it's not the typical salad. It has the components of one - cucumbers, sweet potato, squid - but it's all lightly battered, deep fried, and covered in spicy mayo and hoisin sauce. So good, but so bad at the same time.

Some fair, which was full of street performers and carnival rides. We sat in a few shows which were pretty amusing to watch which included a gymnast in disguise, and a knife- and fire-throwing duo.

Brachydios decal on his 3DS, which I helped put on! But it's still a little bit crooked on the top, haha.

James attempted eggs in a hole, except it was more like eggs in bell peppers. It didn't work out as good as we hoped it would.

We drew on some leftover eggs James had, before giving them to his housemate. It seems like we have a thing for eggs.

(Yeah ok, I should have posted these a long time ago. Like, August-long time ago. I kind of forgot. Or pushed it back until now. Or something.)

11 November 2014

the most expensive christmas cards i've ever bought

papyrus christmas greeting cards

papyrus holiday cards

$15. On Christmas cards. I couldn't resist - they're so cute! And glittery! Though I won't lie, it was mostly for the snow cat. James asked what I was going to do with my discounted Christmas cards, because I always buy them after Christmas when they're on sale to use for next year. I suppose I'll use them on the people that don't matter as much. I mean, those cards are still cute, just.... not as cute as these.

They even put paper in between each card, I'm guessing it's to prevent the glitter from getting all over the place. Faaaaancy. Out of curiosity, how much do you guys spend on Christmas Cards?

10 November 2014

review | dolce & gabbana the blush luminous cheek color in tan 22

dolce & gabbana blush tan 22 review

dolce & gabbana tan review

Ok, so a bit of storytime - Dolce & Gabbana blush in Tan is my faaaaavorite for contouring. So of course I'm gonna want to repurchase it during the VIB sale, except it's sold out online. I went as far as going to the Sephora in Times Square to get this, and that's saying a lot since I'm a super lazy person and would pick online shopping over carrying bags home, any day.

Anyway, I asked the sales associates if they had Dolce & Gabbana Tan - they did! It was the last one and one of them even showed me inside the drawer to prove it, haha. It was totally meant to be. The sales associates even said it themselves. This would be a good chance for a review since I've got a brand new one for OPTIMUM PHOTOS, but my thoughts will be more complete since I've been using this product for a little over half a year.

dolce & gabbana blush tan 22

The new one is so shiiiiny. I don't know why, but it's really satisfying comparing old and new products.

dolce & gabbana tan review

Anyone else feel like a lot of the cost behind high end cosmetics is in the packaging? I'll admit it makes me feel a lot fancier than I actually am, though. It even comes with a dust cover to keep it warm on chilly nights!

dolce & gabbana tan contour

Wearing just Tan as a contour, without blush. I wonder what that the little speck is under my birthmark.

dolce & gabbana tan, benefit hoola, tarte park ave princess swatches and comparision

Comparing D&G Tan with the other two bronzers I own. Benefit's Hoola looks more orange even though Hoola supposedly lacks an orange tone, and Tarte's Park Ave Princess is redder.... maybe.

  • Even though it has luminous in the name, it's not shimmery or glittery at all which I prefer for my contour. It's more ashy/cool toned than most bronzers, making it emulate the shade of natural shadows on the face. It looks pretty natural as far as contouring goes.
  • Very easy to work with - super smooth, easy to blend out, and not patchy at all. It lasts pretty much all day on my face.
  • It's a lot sheerer than I thought it would be (see cons), which makes it easy to build up and blend out without overdoing it.
  • The $$$, obviously - though it's worth every penny! It's $45 for .17oz of product, while most higher end blushes and bronzers have twice the amount of product for around $20-$40. I've heard that NYX blush in Taupe is pretty close, but I haven't tried it since I always had a hard time making NYX blushes work for me in the past.
  • It's a lot sheerer than I thought it would be (see pros), and I'm slightly disappointed that I have to layer this quite a bit for it to show up the way I like it, though most people don't pile on the contour like I do. I go in even more with Benefit's Hoola underneath the cheekbones on most days.

08 November 2014

review | urban decay nail color in addiction

urban decay addiction nail polish

Hi! Today I'm reviewing Addiction, the second of the three Urban Decay polishes I bought from Nordstrom Rack. I would describe this one as a green-gold - packed with yellow-gren and evergreen shimmers that shift to a chromey gold. Wonderful selection of descriptive words here, but I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

urban decay addiction swatch

Learning to do closeups is an art that I haven't mastered yet.

urban decay addiction nail polish

  • Like Vice, it was really easy to work with - great consistency, not too thick or too thin.
  • At first I was on the fence about it, but I actually really like the color! It has a slight gold shift, but depending on the lighting it can look more greenish or more goldish. I think is pretty unique.
  • Even though I did two coats, three would be better for good measure. I can see some patchy areas if I hold my nails up to the light, though nobody really looks that closely anyway....
I actually like Addiction a lot more than I thought I would. I normally only use greens in nail art, but I can see myself wearing just this. It also reminds me a lot of Christmas tinsel decorations.

06 November 2014

eisenhower park

I tried opening one of the doors. It was locked.

Some flowers. I feel like photographing flowers almost always have a good result :)

Unfortunately I didn't get any good shots of the memorials... They were really cool though!

The sunset as we took our last pictures.

After I got my mirror from Ikea a few weeks ago, Pramod saw that there was a park nearby. When we arrived, we saw that it was named Eisenhower Park. It's actually a whole lot of.... stuff in one. There's a golf course on one side of the park, a war memorial on the other side, a 9/11 memorial near the war memorial, and a lake near the memorials. When we were driving by (and be we I mean Pramod), we saw a tank as well. It's definitely one of the most interesting parks I've been in.

05 November 2014

life, lately #3

bagel and latte

Breakfast at Pramod's, before we went to Ikea. He's turned into a coffee geek and won't shut up about it. Dat view from his apartment though, you can see Manhattan from there!

kate spade cedar street stacy wallet

I bought the Kate Spade wallet I had on my wishlist! I almost always end up buying the things I have on there. I do put a lot of thought into wishlists, because it's more of a "buy this stuff later and don't blow your entire paycheck on it" list than anything.

Sulley's still hanging out by my neighbor's window. They've had him there for weeks. He's endured the rain and the cold for quite a while now, I wonder if they're going to take him back inside?

03 November 2014

review | urban decay nail color in vice

urban decay vice nail polish

urban decay vice nail polish swatch

As promised, here's one of the Urban Decay polishes I said I would review! Something good must be happening, because I'm actually doing what I said I would do. Anyway! This color is called Vice, and it's an eggplant purple with red and blue micro shimmers.

urban decay vice nail color

urban decay vice nail polish swatch

Under direct sunlight, where the micro shimmers are more apparent. Kind of ugly photo especially with my pilly sleeve, it's something I have to work on I guess. Or get a macro lens, which I'm seriously considering for posts like this. Of course I'm sure it'll come in handy for other photos too... but it's probably mostly for nail polish close ups.

  • It's sooooo pigmented and opaque, it's crazy. Seriously, this truly a one-coat polish.  I did two coats out of habit, but I left it at one coat on my ring finger. You can't even tell the difference!
  • Super easy to work with - no gloopiness, but it's not super thin that you'd need more than one or two coats. It's a nice consistency, I hope it won't change too much as I continue to use it!
  • The packaging, swoooon.
  • The color itself isn't anything too special and I feel like I could find a similar color elsewhere. I wouldn't buy it for the full price at $15, but it's not bad for $5 at Nordstrom Rack.
  • There's a slight golden flecks in the bottle, but it's not noticeable on the nails - I think it would have been pretty if they were, but oh well.
Do you own this polish, or something similar? What are your thoughts?

02 November 2014

urban decay nail color

zodiac / addiction / vice

Will be doing a review on these Urban Decay nail colors soon - but meanwhile, let's swoon at the packaging. Even if I ended up disliking these, they make for great decoration ;)

And now that I look at it I probably should have wiped off my grubby fingerprints, haha!