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Why I Believe that Judging Other People's Creative Spaces is Wrong

 Shameless photograph recycling!

Julie & Julia was one of those movies that I knew I would love as soon as I saw the trailer. Amy Adams and Meryl Streep are an acting dream team and almost every scene involves tantalizingly delicious food. While the prospect of seeing these two extremely talented actresses together onscreen (still disappointed that Julie never met Julia) was reason enough to take a trip to the movie theater, it's not the reason why I fell in love with the film. The raw sincerity that Amy Adams brought during the times when her character was frustrated with her Beef Bourguignon and her life was extremely relatable and drew me into the story. Having watched it for the second time last night, I was able to find more similarities in the story of Julie and Julia that related to my life, especially my feelings about my blog and the blogging community as a whole.

Face of the Day


Eyes
Make Up For Ever Flash Palette (used the palest blue and lightest pink to create light purple base)
Sigma Creme de Couture Palette (Violet Whip on inner half of lid, Lavender Honey on outer half of lid, Cassis in crease, Elderberry to deepen crease and outer corner, Cherry Blossom as a 'transition' shade)
Mac Carbon to line the upper lash line and Blanc Type to highlight
Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara
Dior BB Eye Creme for dark circles

Face 
Clinique Superprimer (Color Corrects Redness)
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer to cover blemishes and redness
Josie Maran Matchmaker Powder Foundation

Lips 
Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm 

Do Beauty Blogs Really Make Navigating Counters Easier?



I read quite a few beauty blogs, and although I do make an effort to seek out bloggers who are just finding their feet, a chunk of my Bloglovin' feed contains posts from Internet megastars like Tanya Burr and Zoe Sugg. Blogs with large readerships draw lots of PR samples and sponsors, so I'm always seeing an influx of posts about one product around its launch date. Seeing all of the coverage on Benefit's new Push-Up Liner made me start to think about the effect that this subtle form of advertising has on my purchasing habits. While I have more knowledge about what's available across many different brands and know much more about applying makeup than the average female, I still wonder: am I really better off than a woman who relies on sales associates at makeup counters to give her the 411 on all things makeup?

My Favorite Pair of Shoes


I might have been holding out on you guys a bit when I said I'm in grungy clothes and Crocs every day. That statement rings true about 95% of the time, but the other five percent (aka when I absolutely must dress up), things get a little more glam. My favorite pair of shoes to slip on in the rare event that I have somewhere to be are these studded platform sandals from Michael Kors.

I Hate Foundation


Although I've seen several girls mention that they don't like foundation in one or more of their blog posts, I've never seen a post from those bloggers entirely dedicated to the topic. I must say that my aversion to liquid bases of every kind (including tinted moisturizer and BB cream) has left me feeling like the odd woman out. I couldn't even hop on the bandwagon with Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, and I've tried concentrating the product only on the area where I need it - my (unintentionally) bright red cheeks. Unfortunately, everything I've tried in the face base category even with modified methods of application has left me feeling the same way - someone get me a makeup wipe before this skin toned cement suffocates my face. Okay, maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but that reenactment is fairly similar to the real life scenario.

If you're like me and you can't stand the feeling of foundation on your face, here are some products that I've just picked up that serve as color correcting replacements for my least favorite makeup item.

My Favorite Makeup Multitasker: Mac Fascinating Eye Kohl


With all of my beauty bits still sitting in the suitcase that I used to transport them from my family's old house to our new one and no other storage solutions available for them, I've found it quite difficult to access the myriad of products that I'd use on a daily basis. I've been working with an edited selection of products from my travel makeup bag and one of my favorite multitasking eyeliners, Mac's Fascinating Eye Kohl, has come to my rescue over and over again, helping me to create the illusion of a good night's sleep.

Baking 101: My Best Tips for Tasty Treats


Flour, eggs, sugar, butter, baking powder - all of the ingredients that get mixed together to create scrumptious, moist baked goods don't sound like they would taste too good before they're scorched in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Being able to create palette pleasing desserts out of a few basic ingredients that we all seem to have in our pantries is one of the most magical everyday occurrences, but it takes a few skills to get from point A - one big, floury, unappetizing mess - to point B - a delicious indulgence that will require all of your willpower not to devour in one sitting. Here are some of my best tips for other people out there who fancy themselves bakers.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm Review


I was chuffed with my Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask the last time we checked in on the lip balm front, but as the reviews on the Sephora website warned, my tube had several holes in it before I could finish even half of the product. It seemed pretty unhygienic to me to be using lip balm that had been hanging out of the side of the tube, so I passed it along to my sister who loved it so much that she could deal with the serious packaging design flaws. Although I feel that Bite's Lip Mask is slightly more nourishing (if you need a lip balm to take your lips from dry, cracked, and flaky to soft and nourished overnight, I'd choose the Bite Mask), this beauty blogger favorite from Nuxe isn't as thick and heavy, making it as ideal for use during the day as it is for smothering on as an overnight treat.

My Favorite Eyeliner of the Moment: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Chaos


I'll admit it - a lot of the time, I don't like the feeling of venturing out of the house without makeup on. Don't get me wrong, though, if I'm tagging along for a grocery run, I'm down to throw on some clothes and run out the door without a scrap of makeup on my face. When I'm going to be out for a longer period of time, I want to feel more put together, and applying a little bit of makeup does that for me. With that being said, just because I want to put on makeup doesn't mean I want to go through the whole routine every time. One of the quickest ways that I've found to brighten up my face is to define my eyes with a bright eyeliner like Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Chaos and mascara.

Still My One and Only


As you've probably realized through seeing the pages of beauty reviews on my blog, I thoroughly enjoy trying a variety of products and giving my thoughts on them. My preference for shiny and new over tried and true often means that I don't revisit steady favorites in my blog posts and reaffirm my love for them. I realized that the immediate instinct that was telling me featuring the same products again would be boring was probably wrong. While it may be true that I wouldn't want to read a whole blog entirely dedicated to a handful of products, I came to the conclusion that seeing the products that other beauty bloggers use most often helps me make more informed decisions as a consumer. Since I'd rather run the risk of boring you (sorry) than avoid giving special mention to the products I use on a daily basis, I decided to type up this post about my some of my favorites that I've been giving exclusive attention for a long time. 

Sephora Haul


Summer has always provided us beauty junkies with an array of new collections to shop, and this season hasn't been an exception in the slightest. Sephora's aisles have been packed with great beauty releases this month, especially when it comes to makeup. I hadn't felt inspired to shell out for makeup products (skincare on the other hand...) before this trip to Sephora in what felt like a long time, so I thought today I'd share with you what I deemed worthy of the spend.

Make Up For Ever 12 Flash Color Case Review


If I haven't mentioned it on my blog yet, I do the makeup for my school's drama productions. For the last show that I did, one of the characters needed to have a silver face and neck. Since we didn't have a face paint on hand and I'd been looking for an excuse to pick up the Flash Palette from Make Up For Ever for ages, I went to Sephora and purchased it. Beyond being a lifesaver during shows (as the cream products can be used as eye bases, lipsticks, blushes, contour colors and highlights), having this palette on hand means that I'm able to mix my own custom eye bases.

Mac Brush Cleanser Review


If I can manage to procrastinate in the face of important deadlines (projects, papers, and sadly, blog posts), I can definitely find a way to talk myself out of completing simple tasks. One of those jobs that falls straight to the bottom of the pile every time is deep cleaning my brushes. Although my laziness could lead to muddied eye makeup - I mean, applying a brown shade to my lids with that shader brush I used for bright purple last week? What could possibly go wrong? - I have Mac's Brush Cleanser to thank for saving me from walking out of the house with some seriously botched looks.

My Crocs Obsession (Why I Don't Do Fashion Posts)


Whether I'm popping out to the store, going to school, or just walking my dogs out in the yard, the pair of shoes that I'd most likely be sporting are my brightly colored Crocs. I wear quite neutral clothes on a daily basis (T-shirts and soft, black pants are basically my uniform), so my highlighter yellow and electric blue pairs are great for 'spicing up' my outfits. For a bit of detail and personality, I add one or two Disney charms to my favorite, most worn pairs. Durable, easy to clean, breathable and extremely comfortable to wear, I couldn't ask for a better pair of shoes. Well, maybe I could ask for a pair that my friends and family would approve of me wearing with them while we're in public. I say my kicks make me easily recognizable in a crowd and definitely make me stand out... whether that's a positive or a negative, I can't quite work out. And it might be nice if I weren't one of only a handful of people still wearing this style of shoe. If my dogs didn't confuse them with their rubber chew toys, that would also be great... 

Does this explain why I don't do fashion posts? 

I think so!

Let me know in the comments section below if you have a bit of an unfashionable guilty pleasure piece like this that your friends and family loathe.
Thanks for reading this slightly different post - let me know if you'd like to hear more about my wardrobe (Or lack thereof... really, I think I have more T-shirts and black pants than anything else!) in the future!

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Cleansing Water

Don't worry, I didn't just buy the travel size bottle - I have two big boy bottles of the stuff waiting in the wings!

When a skincare product like Bioderma Sensibio H20 Cleansing Water that has been on the market for years is still one of the most talked about products, it's safe to say that it's a winner.
Instead of trusting my fellow bloggers when they say that European skincare picks like Bioderma, Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm, and La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Plus are really that good (to deserve the hype), I've held off on purchasing them, writing them off as another phase which too shall pass.

Wrong! 

Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme

$9.99 at Walgreens

You know those products that you've become so accustomed to using every night that you almost forget they're a part of your routine? Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme has turned into one of those products for me, and I thought it was about time I gave it a little love on my blog for being such a reliable standby.

Skincare Mistakes


I'm no stranger to the challenge that sticking to a regular skincare routine presents. When you've fallen asleep on the couch on a Friday night after a long, tiring week, the last thing that you want to do is stand up in front of the bathroom mirror and engage in a lengthy cleanse. I understand why many women, my mom included, turn to wipes to remove their makeup on the nights when they can't be bothered. Whether you're a flannel and cleansing balm fan or appreciate the ease of use of wipes and cleansing waters, you probably know how important it is to take the time to remove your makeup at the end of the day.

Or do you?

Moving


As a hoarder collector of beauty products, you never really realize how much makeup and skincare items you have until you're forced to pack them all up and transport them. I didn't want to put things that had the highest chance of melting or shattering on a hot truck in boxes, so I knew that my lipsticks, eye shadows, and skincare in glass jars were coming with me to our hotel. The more that I thought about how the rest of my products would fare if they were thrown around, the less excited I was to pack them all up in a box and hope that they didn't get damaged. The only alternative I could think of was packing it all in a suitcase (and going a little Ziploc bag happy) and hauling it with me. My sister and I both felt that we'd packed like heiresses - we both had three suitcases each, and I honestly wonder what it looked like when we came traipsing into the hotel lobby!

Sorry to anyone who expected a post from me these past few days, although I'm sure that's not the case as I'm not on a regular posting schedule anyway (I know, I'm a very bad blogger).

Now that I've reconnected to the Internet and have somewhere to sit other than on the stairs or the floor, I will be coming at you with some new posts and reviews of those beauty products that I showed you in my Europe haul.

Thanks for bearing with me, for reading, and following! 

European Skincare Haul


I've only mentioned it once or twice here on the blog, but a few weeks ago I was in Europe with my school, which only means one thing - it's time for a haul!
As a beauty obsessive, while others were scoping out the best tourist attractions and restaurants to visit during free time, I was sizing up my drugstore options. I managed to find all of the beauty products that I wanted, and even got to visit the Omorovicza Spa in Budapest to pick out some of my most wanted items.
Here's a list of everything I managed to get my hands on across the pond...

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Gel Eyeliner Review


Before I discovered the liquid eyeliner pen from Stila that I could use without creating unsightly black smudges all over my eye area, black gel eyeliner was the only product that I reached for when I wanted to line my upper lash line. Mac Black Track Fluidline reigned until I misplaced it one day and decided that I wasn't going to spend $16 to replace it. A gel eyeliner from Maybelline took its place, but never filled its shoes - I ended up with dark black smudges under my eyes not from lack of skill (this time), but from dreaded transferring. Determined to fix the problem once and for all, I splurged on Tarte's Amazonian Clay Waterproof Gel Eyeliner, spending more than I would have on the Fluidline in the first place... but I've never looked back since, and here's why. 

Urban Decay Electric Palette Review


There have been lots of new palette releases for spring and summer that I've successfully resisted, even palettes from Too Faced with their adorable themed packaging. When it comes to Urban Decay's colorful palettes, though, namely the Electric palette that the brand recently revealed, I'm a goner. Although this one has its limitations - apparently, there are many shades that are not suitable for use around the eye area, a warning that I've completely ignored - it's a great pick for anyone who wants to add onto their collection of brights for summer.

Colorful EOTD


Today I thought I'd share with you a colorful eye look that I created using Urban Decay's Electric Palette. As I mentioned in my last post, I just got back from a school trip to Europe (posts and photos to come!) and for some reason, my scheduled posts didn't go up while I was away, so I'm posting them both at the same time (although the dates are messed up and still want to say that I published them on the 11th and the 15th - Blogger's confused). 
Excuses for the lack of content on my blog aside (sorry!), let me know if you want to see a tutorial outlining the steps in more detail in a future blog post.

Products I Used:
Coral color from the MUFE Flash Palette
Mac Paradisco, Cranberry, Ricepaper and Expensive Pink
Slowburn, Savage, Jilted and Urban from the Urban Decay Electric Palette
Stila Eyeliner in Mint Julep
Tarte Gel Eyeliner
Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara

Do you like posts like this eye of the day? Let me know in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!

Tarte LipSurgences: Better than Drugstore Options?

I went on a trip to Europe with my school and scheduled this post, but apparently, it never posted. I'm going to post the two that I intended to go up while I was gone now - sorry there hasn't been content here for a while (although it still says I posted it on the 11th of June when I intended it to go up)! 


Before products like Revlon Kissable Balm Stains and Maybelline Baby Lips hit the drugstore, one of a girl's main options for sheer, moisturizing color were LipSurgences from Tarte. Now that you can purchase a similar product from Revlon at the drugstore for $8.99 versus Tarte's steep price of $24, when is it best to save instead of splurge?

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