Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 14 of 2014: Random Favorites

    So far I have posted about my top 14 makeup items and my top 14 hair/body/skin care items, now it's time for my random favorites!

Books


*The Jewel*


This I only finished last month, but I already cannot wait for the sequel to this book to come out!  If you liked Divergent or Hunger Games or Delirium, any of those YA dystopian society kind of books, you will love this!  It's such an interesting concept and of course has a love story in the mix.


*The Every Girl's Guide to Life*


I borrowed this from my local library a few months back, and I loved this book! I would never call myself a Maria Menunos fan, but I liked her enough to give her book a read.  It's a one stop shop of advice on health, fitness, finances, home decorating, etc.  It's a very easy read and believe it or not I have used some helpful information from the book.


Blogs


*A Beautiful Mess*


The girls from A Beautiful Mess can basically be described as the hipper, chicer Martha Stewarts of our generation.  There's nothing these girls can't do.  I read this blog for DIY/paper crafting projects, recipes, fashion and blog inspiration.  I have had a DSLR camera forever and have never used it.  I may take their e-course on DSLR to get a basic gist of how to use this thing.




This may be a random blog to put on my 2014 favorites, but I love this blog!  I used to be a subscription box-aholic and now I am actually down to none, but I use this blog as a great resource to figure out which one I would want to try or which box to give as a gift.  She also gets some great coupon codes as well!






This is more of a vegan blog, and I am by no means a vegan, but I have learned a lot about cruelty free and natural beauty products from this blog.  It's a great resource and has introduced me to a lot of new beauty products and brands.


Youtubers




Courtney is a Canadian natural beauty vlogger/blogger and I love her!  When I began doing cruelty free research I noticed that cruelty free and natural beauty products really went hand in hand.  Courtney really dives into products or brands and gives information about how natural their ingredients or products are.  If you are looking to get more into natural beauty products, I highly recommend checking her out.




Mae has quickly become one my favorite Youtubers.  She combines makeup and fashion with planning and organization.  That's my new favorite perfect combo!





Haley is another one who combines my love of makeup and girly stuff with my love of Filofaxes and planners.  She also has an amazing wellness/fitness channel with tons of info and inspiration!





Blogilates will forever be one of my favorite Youtubers.  I love her and her workouts!  I never knew pilates could produce so much sweat, but this girl means business!  Her workouts are amazing and she's so motivating that she really helps get you through them.



TV Shows


*PLL*


The more I watch Pretty Little Liars, the more I realize how ridiculous the entire concept of the show is, yet the more I love it.  I love the girls, the guys, the insane plot lines and of course the wardrobe!


*The Mindy Project*


The Mindy Project has to be my new favorite show of late.  I just adore Mindy and she reminds me of myself so much!  Plus, the relationship between her and Danny is like my favorite TV love!





Random


*Filofax/Kate Spade Planners/Erin Condren Life Planners*

Thanks to my friend Kendall for getting me hooked on planners over a year ago.  I love using my planners to keep track of everything and now that I'm teaching full time and will soon begin taking classes again, staying organized is even more important.  I don't decorate as well as a lot of the pictures on Pinterset or Instagram, but I keep it cute and I keep it functional.





My friend Tammy introduced me to Younique.  I had my first party with her and after receiving the product I knew I wanted to become a representative myself!  The products are so amazing and I love how empowering their message and the company is.  This is truly a female driven business and they couldn't make it easier for you to be successful.  If you ever thought of getting a little side job or side business I hope you will consider contacting me to get more info@


*PB2*


You know I had to have a food item on here!  When I thought about a food that I reached for more often in 2014, I instantly thought of PB2.  In case you aren't familiar, PB2 is powdered peanut butter and it's lower in calories and fat than regular peanut butter.  Add a little bit of water and it turns into PB to be used on breads or snacks.  I also love adding it powdered into recipes or smoothies.  If you haven't tried this stuff already, I highly recommend it!



Monday, December 29, 2014

Top 14 of 2014: Skincare, Body Care and Hair Edition

    A few days ago I posted my top 14 makeup products of 2014.  You can see them by clicking here.  I also tried out a lot of new hair care, body care and skincare products in 2014 and have discovered quite a few go to products in all of these categories.


Skin Care

*George's Aloe Vera Spray Mister*

I've had this for a few months and I use it for a variety of purposes.  I use it to spray directly onto my skin when I get out of the shower for a mist of light moisture, I spray it directly onto my face after applying makeup to get rid of any excess powder and I spray my eye brushes with it when I want to use my pigments wet.  This is a great all around product.

*Million Dollar Tan Cabana Tan Face*

This brand is on Hautelook a lot, so I recommend waiting for a sale.  I purchased this a while ago and while it's a bit too dark for me, I mix it with my face cream and it creates the perfect face tan.  It has never broken me out and it lasts a good 3 days.  If you are looking for a facial tanner this is the one!

*Alba Botanica Even Advanced Night Cream*

I have been using this night cream for about 4 months and it's amazing.  I don't notice a difference in terms of my skin tone, but it provides amazing moisture and doesn't break me out at all.  This is a great all season night cream.

*Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil Light*

This was a product I was nervous about as oils tend to break me out.  I discovered that when I use this nightly it does break me out, but when I use it once or twice a week it provides the perfect amount of hydration.  

*Thayer's Unscented Witch Hazel*

I have been using this as a toner every morning and it's awesome.  Instead of washing my face in the morning, I use this to get rid of any makeup I may have missed the night before.  I have super sensitive and dry skin and this doesn't irritate me or dry me out at all.  It's also super cheap and lasts forever!

 Hair Care


*Batiste Dry Shampoo*

This is the best dry shampoo ever invented.  Thanks to this dry shampoo I have now extended my hair to 3 days, even when going to work.  If you are looking for a dry shampoo to really provide volume and extend your wash this is it.

*Living Proof Style Extender*

I have had this for a while but only began using it religiously come fall time.  This has also contributed to my having to wash it twice a week.  This really helps repel dirt and grease and cuts down on frizz.

*The Honest Company Conditioning Detangler*

This stuff is just the best.  It smells amazing and really helps get rid of any tangles in my hair while not making my hair greasy at all.  This is a great "grown up" detangling spray.

*The All Natural Face Nourishing Hair Serum and Pomade*

This is another product that I have had for quite a while but only began using it religiously like mid-year.  I use a teensy tiny bit of it to control my out of control baby hairs and run the rest through the ends of my hair for some beautiful shine.


 Body Care


*Trader Joe's Moisturizing Cream Shave*

If you have a Trader Joe's anywhere near you, you MUST get this.  Not only is it an amazing scent, but the razor glides so nicely over this and it doesn't leave your legs tight or dry.  This is a great alternative to drugstore shave foams.

*European Wax Center Ingrown Hair Serum*

I have been getting my bikini area waxed every 2-3 weeks for the last year.  After my first appointment I purchased this serum and apply it every day to prevent ingrowns.  I have incredibly sensitive skin, so I am very prone to in grown hairs.  This helps cut down on that tremendously and also helps calm the area after a waxing.

*Younique Brilliant*

Unfortunately, this product isn't made anymore, but I have been told that Younique's Divine Daily Moisturizer is a dupe for this.  I don't use this as a face cream, rather I put it on my birth mark on my arm and stretch marks on my legs.  This has lightened both of these things significantly.

*Fortune Cookie Soap Whipped Cream*

I have gone through quite a few of these whipped creams (body butters) and have loved all of them.  They are so moisturizing and nourishing without being greasy.  The scent range is amazing and unique.  If you haven't tried any of their products yet, I recommend you start with this one in any scent that sounds interesting to you.  

*Fortune Cookie Soap Cuticle Butter*

This is another FCS product I just can't live without.  My cuticles always snag and get dry, but this butter almost feels like an oil and leaves them moisturized and beautiful.  I would leave this in a dry and dark area because it can tend to melt and get soft.

Click here to shop any of my 2014 favorites!

Click here to shop any of my Younique products!



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Top 14 of 2014: Makeup Edition

        I'm not even going to start this off with "OMG, I can't believe 2014 is over", because a new year does tend to happen every January 1st.    I am going to start this off by saying I have a great year trying out tons of new products.  I'm proud to say I haven't bought a cosmetic product tested on animals in all of 2014 and will continue that practice in 2015.  

       My cruelty free journey has led me to give up on a lot of brands that I really loved, but has led to me discovering a lot of new favorites.  

   Face


*Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelee*

I have two of these babies and they are beyond amazing! The pigmentation is gorgeous and they spread and blend like a dream.  During the summer I wear just these and during a night out I wear these layered underneath a powdered blush.

*Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge*

Since I bought this sponge somewhere towards the middle of the year, I haven't even looked at a foundation brush.  This sponge applies any type of foundation so beautifully it's amazing.  It's also so cheap, there's no reason why you shouldn't be using this!

*Physician's Formula CC+ Cream*

Tammy sent me my first bottle of this and I have repurchased it two times since then.  This stuff is just amazing!  It's my everyday foundation and it blends so beautifully into my skin.  Do I think it should be named a true BB/CC cream? No.  Does it make my skin look great and not break me out? Yes!  If you are looking for a light to medium coverage day to day foundation, I urge you to try this!

*Wet and Wild Coverall Cream Foundation*

While the CC+ cream has been my perfect day to day foundation, this has been my go to full coverage/special event foundation.  This foundation is less than $4 and it beats my Bare Minerals and Korres foundations.  The shade range is kind of limited, but if you play around and mix some shades it can be perfect!

*Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (not pictured)*

I can't find my Chocolate Soleil bronzer and I am mildly freaking out.  This is the most amazing, brown based bronzer AND it smells like chocolate!  It's the best summer time bronzer of all time. Oh, and it smells like chocolate.

*Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation*

I received this in a Josie Maran kit and it is love!  I never use a powder foundation on it's own, but I top my CC cream with this and the coverage is just beautiful!  It's the perfect shade whether I'm wintery pale or a bit bronzed in the summer.

*Younique Touch Cream Foundation*

Younique is known for their mineral foundations and while I'm interested to try them, I wasn't ready to jump on that powder foundation bandwagon yet.  I gave this a try and didn't like it as an all over foundation.  However, when I tried it as a concealer on blemishes or red spots I was blown away!  The coverage on this is fantastic and it blends so beautifully.  If you are looking for a high coverage concealer that will last you FOREVER, please give this a try! 

Eyes


*Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette*

….staying on the chocolate theme!  This palette is gorgeous.  It's a great variety of neutrals and bronzy smokey shades.  There are so many looks you can get from this palette I really consider it a must buy.  Oh, AND it smells like chocolate :)

*Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara*

I tried this mascara for the first time over the summer and within a few weeks of using it, I became so hooked I signed up to become a Younique presenter!  This mascara is just amazing and for someone who is incapable of properly applying falsies, this is a Godsend.  If you haven't tried this mascara yet, I really don't know what you're waiting for.

*Milani Easyliner in Espresso*

This liner has become my daily liner and I don't know why it took me so long to try a dark brown liner as opposed to a black liner.  I am quite pale and sometimes a black liner just looks too harsh or too "evening".  This soft brown liner lines beautifully and blends out softly to create a perfect day time look.

*Wet and Wild Melrose at Midnight Palette*

Within the first time of using this palette it became an instant favorite.  The pigmentation and quality of these shadows is just amazing.  Some of these colors are supposedly dupes for the Naked 3 Palette, but I have created so many beautiful, soft, smokey looks with this palette that I am seriously hooked.

*Younique Moodstruck Minerals Pigment in Sexy*

I received all of the Younique pigments in my Presenters kit, but this one quickly became a favorite.  It's a beautifully soft shimmery off white and this has become my go to every day look with the Milani liner.  They blend beautifully and can be soft and subtle when used dry or pigmented and opaque when applied wet.

 Lips


*Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil*

I'm not big on bold lip colors, but I bought the High Pigment Lip Pencil tin for Christmas and these are beautifully!  I love using a lip pencil for an all over lip color because of it's precision control.  These are soft and non-drying and super pigmented.  A must try I believe.

*Whitening Lightning Color Your Smile Lip Gloss*

I ordered 3 of these and I love all of them!  They are beautifully pigmented and glide on so nicely.  They don't last very long, but not a lot of glosses do.  Also, they have a mirror on them and a light!  How perfect is that?

Shop all of my 2014 favorites here!

Shop my Younique products here!

There you have it, my makeup favorites of 2014!  Did we have any of the same favorites?  I would love to know!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I'm Currently….and a big apology

    So since I began teaching this year, I have just become a ball of stress and nerves.  I have let my blog, as well as my fitness and health, fall to the wayside.  One of my resolutions is to blog at least twice a week and to take care of myself and not just my career and my students.  I have some fun blog post ideas coming up and am hoping that 2015 will bring me a completely fresh start!  With that being said, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and thank you so much for all the continued love and support.


I'm Currently…..


I'm currently watching Law & Order: SVU (because nothing says Christmas like Christopher Meloni, right?)

Currently reading Practically Paleo.  Pretty interesting so far.

Currently listening: If I haven't been listening to Taylor Swift's 1989 album, I have been listening to Christmas music!

Currently making: Peanut butter blossoms..I love Christmas bookies!

Currently feeling: Excited..not only is tomorrow Christmas, but on Saturday I will be going to see my beloved Nittany Lions play in a bowl game and then going to see my Grandma for a few days!

Planning: on setting up my new Erin Condren Life Planner!!

Loving: My little Christmas tree..she's so cute!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2014 Gift Guide: Type A Friend (Under $50)

    Everyone has a type A friend or relative in their life.  If not, then everyone can use a little type A in their life whether they like to admit it or not.

Here are some gift ideas for the organized person in your life or someone who needs to be a bit more organized!

An Adorable Planner


Planners have been every lately due to the popularity of the Erin Condren Life Planners.  These are two affordable options or you can also check out the Sugar Paper Planners from Target!  

Any Kate Spade Stationery Item


Seriously, any of these Kate Spade items would make any desks cape complete!  They are adorable and useful!  Check TJ Maxx/Home Goods for some cute and cheap stationery items.

A Closet Organizer


As someone who is in the process of buying a condo, I know how important it is to stay organized.  These closet organizers used to be all the rage when I was in college, but now that I plan on using my closet for a majority of my clothing I would definitely love getting one of these!

A Cute iPad Case


A type A gal likes to keep her iPad with her at most times to always be in constant contact and in the know!  Why not spoil her with a designer or cutuesy iPad case?

A Portable Charger


When did they start making these little portable chargers so damn cute?  These chargers can charge a cell, iPad or laptop and they are so damn cute!

A Cute Watch



Believe it or not, you can get a very cute and functional watch for under $50!  Although I am not a watch person, I am thinking I need to become one due to my classroom.  I would love to have any of these boyfriend style watches!

What would you get the Type A gal in your life?  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gift Guide 2014: The Beauty Guru (All Under $50!)

   One of my favorite parts of being a girl is the makeup!  I love makeup!  I love buying it, using it and just seeing it.  If there's a gal like this in your life here are some affordable gifts to add to your shopping list.


Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette


I have this palette and I just adore it!  First of all, it looks like a chocolate bar!  Secondly, it actually smells like chocolate!  Finally, the colors and pigmentation are just gorgeous.  This is great for the makeup newbie or pro in your life as it contains such a beautiful variety of colors and finishes.  Did I mention it smells like chocolate?

Any Josie Maran Set


I have a variety of Josie Maran products and I really love them all.  The oil is so nourishing and hydrating and the cosmetic products are beautiful and sensitive skin safe (in my experience).  Any of these sets would be great for the beauty guru in your life.

Real Techniques Blending Sponge


This is the perfect stocking stuffer for any beauty guru in your life.  I have been through about 3 of these in the last few months and they are amazing.  Don't waste your money on the Beauty Blender sponge when you can get this baby.

Hourglass Blush


The Hourglass brand has become so popular and these blushes are just so beautiful on their own and packaged so beautifully that they make a beautiful gift for the luxe beauty lover in your life.

Bite Beauty Set


I have only tried a few products from Bite Beauty but I am beyond obsessed with them all.  This little set is like a starter set for Bite Beauty and is great for any lippie lover.

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes


A little self promotion here, but if you haven't tried this 3D Fiber Lash Mascara yet, I don't know what you're waiting for!  This really is a great gift for the beauty guru in your life because chances are they don't have anything similar to this!  Today (December 15th) is the last day to purchase to guarantee Christmas delivery! 
https://www.youniqueproducts.com/FabulouslyLashy/products/view/US-1017-00#.VI4FT0v0gpE


What beauty products are on your shopping list this year?  Any goodies under the $50 mark? 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: The Health Nut (All under $50)

    I wish I could say that I fall under the health nut category, but I fall under the wannabe health nut category.  Here are some easy, peasy gift ideas for the health nut in your life!

Yoga Leggings



Yoga leggings are perfect for the athlete in your life no matter what physical activity they engage in.  Let's face it, they are also great for just lounging around or running errands.  Yoga leggings can get really up there in price, but here's some great options all under $50.

A Protein Powder


A protein powder may sound boring to the average folk, but to the health nut this is a one stop shop.  A good protein powder can be used in smoothies, just mixed with water and even as an ingredient in baked goods.  This vegan vanilla one is one of my favorites.

A Kick Ass Exercise DVD


This Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD is one of my absolute favorite workouts and it's so damn cheap!  It's quick and effective and great for the beginner or advanced exerciser.

A Glass Water Bottle


Any health nut is aware of the possible dangers of using plastic water bottles and tupperware.  These glass water bottles are stylish and safe!

A Legit Sports Headband


These headbands are not only cute, but they mean business.  The difference between a sports headband and a traditional headband is that these are created to stay in place and to help keep your hair out of your face while working out.

Women's Weight Lifting Gloves


For the serious fitness buff in your life!  I have been dying to get into lifting and women's hands tend to be more sensitive than men's so these gloves help prevent blistering.  Plus, they are cute!

Flip Belt


I am so obsessed with these flip belts!  I want one so badly!  This is the perfect gift for anyone in your life who likes to exercise outside.  This little belt (a cuter fanny pack if you will) fits perfectly over your yoga pants or leggings and has a zip pocket to fit your phone, keys and a little bit of cash. 


So here are just a few suggestions for the health nut in your life.  What would you buy for the health nut in your life for under $50?  Always looking for recommendations! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Book Review: Love, Lashes and Lipstick by Mally Roncal

    I don't know about you, but when I can't find anything on tv I automatically turn on QVC or HSN.  I've purchased quite a few things from both networks, but I must say I prefer QVC.  One of the biggest reasons why I prefer QVC is because of Mally and Mally Beauty.  If you have never watched Mally, I urge you to find out when she is on QVC next and sit back and enjoy.

    Mally is adorably happy and confident and gorgeous.  Her makeup line is fantastic and she is the makeup artist to some big stars, including Beyonce.  When I found out that she wrote a book I automatically snatched it up from my library.




   Mally's book, Love, Lashes and Lipstick: My Secrets for a Gorgeous, Happy Life, is part self-help book, part autobiography and part makeup book.  It's a very quick read and a book that I must say actually made me happy reading it.

  Mally, whose real name is Melissa (more of a reason for me to love her), tells her life story including the death of her mother from breast cancer.  She tells how her mother knew she was going to die so squeezed a lifetime full of memories into a few short years.  I must admit, I cried while reading some of this chapter.  Some people can be very bitter about suffering such a loss in their life, but Mally used it to create something beautiful in her life, which is very admirable.


   Mally also shares stories about her start in the makeup industry.  She stresses the fact that no job is too small and to say yes to everything.  You never know when a small opportunity can lead to a big one, or if you can meet someone life changing (she met her husband on a list minute shoot) by just saying yes.

   Dispersed throughout the book are pages with makeup tips and tricks.  There were a few that I really liked.


The first makeup tip I liked (and already started using) is the "starburst" mascara tip.  When I normally put mascara on I bring the wand towards the outer edge of my eye, giving a cat eye like effect to my lashes.  Mally says to bring the lashes towards the bridge of your nose which gives your eyes a more open eyed effect.  I've been doing this and I really like the result!  Especially under my glasses and with tired eyes, this does help my eyes look a bit more awake.


The second tip I really liked is her natural eyeliner tip, which it turns out is a tip I've been using for quite a while.  Mally says to use a darker liner on your top lash line and a lighter shade on your lower lash line.  This gives a more natural look and also helps cut down on such a stark contrast on your under eye.  For my daily use I prefer using an espresso brown on top and a bronze on bottom.

All in all, I must say I really enjoyed this book and I think next time I see Mally on QVC I will enjoy watching her even more.  

Have you ever used any of Mally's products or watched her on QVC? 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Conscious Box Review

   A few months ago there was a Living Social deal for one month of the Conscious Box.  I've really been enjoying receiving and reviewing different kinds of natural or wellness boxes so I jumped at this offer.

   Conscious Box is a box with a variety of natural and GMO free bath, body and food products.  There are 2 options a Plus box which is $19.95 a month and contains more full size products and the Taster Box which is $9.95 a month and contains more sample sizes.

    Based on the color of the box I would think I received the Taster Box, but I believe my Living Social deal was for the Plus Box, so I'm not quite sure which one I received.

Here is what I got though:

The packaging and the box itself is so pretty.  I love the color combination and the wrapping paper.

Food Items

*Justin's Almond Butter Squeeze Packets*

This little box contains 7 packets of Justin's Almond Butter.  I know these can be pricey, so I was excited to see this.  I have the Justin's Peanut Butter packets and have a very difficult time getting the peanut butter out of the packet, so I hope to have better luck with the almond butter.

*Soy Bites*

I love getting snacks in these boxes as it's such a great way to try out different healthy snack foods without having to purchase a whole box.

*Back to Nature 100% Juice Fruit Punch*

I'm a grown woman and I still love juice boxes.  I realize that most of the popular juice boxes are full of sugars and crap so I'm glad to try an all-natural juice.



*Own Beauty Samples*

This is a brand that I have never heard of, but it's an anti-aging line.  I received a night cream, eye cream and serum.  However, these samples are so tiny I don't know how much I will get out of it.

*Carolla's Beeswax Skin Creme*

This cream has only 4 ingredients and as the packaging says "a little goes a long way."  The website has over 100 uses so I am definitely going to play around with this little sample.

*Natralia Eczema & Psoriasis Cream and Shampoo*

I don't have eczema or psoriasis so I plan on giving these samples to my friend Tanya.

*The Argan Tree Serum*

This is another argan oil sample, which I just have way too many already.  I will probably end up giving this away as well.



*Berry Sleepy 100% Fruit Sleep Aid*

I love getting natural sleep remedies, because I prefer them so much to traditional sleep aides.  I will definitely be giving this a try.

*TreLeafia Natural Sweetener*

I love getting natural sweetener samples because I always feel like there are no types coming out.  I will definitely be trying this out in my coffee.

*Kelapo Organic Coconut Oil*

I live for coconut oil and use it in my hair, my body and for oil pulling.  I always appreciate a coconut oil.

*Sweet Wheat Raw Wheat Grass Juice Powder Capsules*

This is a brand that I have heard of before and am always looking to get more optimal nutrition in my system.  I will definitely be using these.

Overall, I really enjoyed my Conscious Box and based on how finances are in the future, it may be one I subscribe to in the future.

Have you ever tried a Conscious Box?  

FTC Disclosure

All products are purchased by me unless noted otherwise. If a product is supplied for review, this does not affect my opinion. My opinions can not be bought.
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