Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Let The Ball Drop: New Year's Makeup Tutorial

Happy New Year, everyone!  Today I thought I'd share with you the makeup that I will be wearing tonight!  I hope you enjoy it, and if you haven't already, make sure that you're subscribed to my YouTube channel and following this blog so you don't miss anything!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Mani: Ringing in the New Year!

Is there a better time to wear glitter nail polish than New Year's Eve?  I think not.  Sure, you may start bringing out the sparkle for Christmas, but let's face it, the New Year is the time for glitz and glamour.  That's why I decided to sport a black tie-inspired manicure for the occasion, and I loved how it turned out so much that I had to share it with you! (By the way, you may have spotted this manicure already in My Hair Routine video!)

It's really a very simple manicure.  I just started with L'Oreal Greycian Goddess on both ring fingers, then painted the rest in Essie's Licorice.  I added just a little French tip on my ring fingers with Essie's Beyond Cozy, then finished it up by haphazardly placing Essie's Set in Stones at the tips of all my nails, and I was done!  I love keeping things simple while still making a big impact!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sweater Weather Tag

Hi guys!  For today's video, I decided to do the Sweater Weather tag!  I was tagged by two gorgeous girls here on YouTube, Siri (from SirisLife) and Carrie (from 615carebear).  They're absolutely amazing, so once you get done watching this video, definitely head over to their channels to see their versions of this tag, too!  It was so much fun to do, and really, who wouldn't like filming videos curled up in their favorite sweater with a cup of tea?

If you haven't already done this tag, you still have a little bit of time, so I tag you, even if you just want to do a blog post!  Just make sure to let me know that you've done it in the comment section so that I can go check it out!

1. What is your favorite candle scent?
2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
3. What's the best fall memory you have?
4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner?
5. Best fragrance for fall?
6. Favorite Thanksgiving food?
7. What is Autumn weather like where you live?
8. Most worn sweater?
9. Must-have nail polish this fall?
10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?
11. Skinny jeans or leggings?
12. Combat boots or Uggs?
13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?
14. Favorite fall TV show?
15. What song really gets you in the fall spirit?


P.S.  If you haven't already, make sure to follow my blog (which you are reading) and my YouTube channel!  It really helps me out, and it's free!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Matte Grey Manicure

A while ago on Pinterest, I saw what I decided was one of the prettiest, simplest manicures I'd ever seen.  It was just a matte grey polish on all the nails, but it looked so fitting for autumn, and I fell in love with it.  Unfortunately, it was towards the end of winter when I saw it, so I didn't feel like it would have been an appropriate manicure to wear.

Original Inspiration

Now that it's fall again, though, I decided I had to try it out, and I'm so in love with it.  Matte polishes just seem to add such a unique element to a manicure.  The specific colors I used are L'Oreal's Greycian Goddess, which is a darker grey with just a slight, steel blue undertone, then finished it off with Revlon's matte top coat.  Yes, it is an incredibly easy manicure, and these colors are really easy to get your hands on.  No limited edition nonsense here.

I'm sure this isn't the most interesting post for you to read but I really cannot stop looking at my nails, which is reason enough to write about it.  They look almost cold like concrete, but at the same time, it also reminds me of a cozy cashmere sweater.  I love it!

My version

What is your favorite manicure to wear?  Let me know in the comment section below, even if you think other people would find it boring.  The one I'm sharing with you today certainly isn't decked out with rhinestones or studs or anything.  Though, I can see studs being really pretty with this.  Hmm...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cabled Sweater Pillow Pattern

I have been looking forward to putting up this post for what feels like such a long time!  Some of you that have been with me since the very very beginning may know that I do, in fact knit.  Yes, I have some "grandma" qualities in me, but when I can make something that looks like it's straight out of Pottery Barn for about $8, I have to say that doesn't seem like a bad quality to me.  I've also been planning on doing some re-decorating around my house, so this not only serves as a pattern for those of you who also knit, but also as my first decor post!  I don't know where I want to put this, yet, but I absolutely love it!


  • 2 skeins Caron Simply Soft in Burgundy
  • Size 10 needles
  • 3 - 1 1/2" buttons
  • Yarn needle
  • 16" pillow form

Pillow Cover:
Cast on 86 sts.
Row 1 (RS): {(k1, p1) 4 times, p1, k4, p1, k6, p1, k4, p1} 3 times, (k1, p1) 4 times.
Row 2 (and all WS rows unless specified otherwise): {(p1, k1) 4 times, k1, p4, k1, p6, k1, p4, k1} 3 times, (p1, k1) 4 times.
Row 3: {(k1, p1) 4 times, p1, cf4, p1, k6, p1, cf4, p1} 3 times, (k1, p1) 4 times.
Row 5: Repeat Row 1.
Row 7: {(k1, p1) 4 times, p1, cf4, p1, cf6, p1, cf4, p1} 3 times, (k1, p1) 4 times.
Repeat Rows 1-7 until piece wraps fully around pillow form.  Do not cast off.

Button Band:
Row 1-8: work k2, p1 ribbing.
Row 9: continue ribbing pattern for 15 sts, (cast off 4 sts, ribbing pattern for 22 sts) 3 times, omitting last 7 sts on 3rd repeat.
Row 10: continue ribbing pattern for 15 sts, (cast on 4 sts, ribbing pattern for 22 sts) 3 times, omitting last 7 sts on 3rd repeat.
Rows 11-17: continue ribbing pattern.
Row 18: cast off ribwise.

Wrap pillow cover around pillow form to determine where buttons should be sewn on and attach buttons.  Slip buttons through button holes, then turn pillow cover inside out.  Line up the buttons so that they are in the center of the pillow, and sew up the left and right sides of the pillow cover, making sure to sew through all 3 layers once you reach the overlapping portions.  Weave in all loose ends.
Undo buttons, and turn pillow cover back rightside out.  Slip pillow form into pillow form, and redo buttons.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Our Bridesmaid Bouquets

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll already know that last week I actually made up my bridesmaid bouquets!  If not, I'm sure you're wondering, why did you make up your bridesmaid bouquets?  Aren't you getting married next year like your last post said?

Well, yes, but I'm using fake flowers.  My main reason for this decision was that I've been to a number of weddings where the wedding party is scrambling right before the ceremony because real flowers start losing petals, or a bride and her maids have to stay up late into the night trying to arrange their own bouquets, etc.  I really just didn't want to bother with all of that.  I also figured we might as well get them done sooner rather than later, to alleviate some of that stress.

First step was obviously to choose the flowers I was going to be using.  Above is a picture of most of the flowers I ended up using, except there are some feather flowers on the left that we didn't use for the bridesmaid bouquets, and some grey feathers on the right that we did use.  I got all of these from Crafts Direct, which is basically a really, really big Michael's craft store.  I'm not really very good at naming flowers, so I figured I'd just show them to you, rather than try and name them off!

Then, we just bundled them up together, they looked amazing, and that was it!  Just kidding.  We actually did kind of follow a guideline.  While we were at Craft's Direct, a very nice girl that was working there explained that for the most part, the way you build a bridesmaid bouquet is by choosing a main flower (the grey feather and eucalyptus) and build around that.  So, the next flower we added were the green (Celebration Roses?) flowers, followed by the reddish purple roses, then the little pink balls of flower, and finally the purple firework flowers.  See?  Aren't I amazing with flower names?

Personally, I absolutely love the way they turned out, and I couldn't be more excited about them!  I hope everyone else will like them, too!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Flower Win Some, Rouge Some Blush

A while back, I picked up a couple of products from Drew Barrymore's Flower line, but hadn't ever gotten around to reviewing all of them (I did review one of her nail polish colors, though, so click here to go see that!).  This is a shame, because even though I'm still iffy on the eyeshadow I picked up, I love the cream blush from her line, the Win Some, Rouge Some blush in Elegant Azalea.

Other than the Maybelline Bouncy Blush, I hadn't actually tried anything that even came close to a cream blush before this one, but I may try out a few more.  This goes on so nice, and even though it's pretty opaque when you swatch it or put it on at first, it blends out into a really nice wash of color.  The consistency for blending is really amazing, too, because even though it swatches like the picture below, you really can blend it out as much as you want - even if you want barely any color from it, so it's a really forgiving product.

If you haven't already tried this blush, I would definitely recommend trying it out.  There are a ton of really pretty colors, and I'm really tempted to get a few more!  As for right now, I'll stick with my Elegant Azalea, which has been great for fall, and I'm hoping to transition it into winter, too!

Have you tried this blush?  What did you think?

Let me know in the comment section!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Megan's Toddy Recipe

Let me start by saying that I don't really know what toddy is supposed to taste like.  I know it's supposed to have whisky in it, and help when people are sick, but that's it.  I have not been able to taste a true toddy, and the closest exposure I've had to it has been the Spiced Apple Toddy candle from Bath & Body Works that I really, really hope they bring back again (It's like the legendary Leaves candle, but better).  So, for you toddy lovers out there, please do not be surprised if it doesn't taste a thing like actual toddy - I really just made a recipe of it taste good to me.

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 spiced chai tea bag - I like the one from Stash
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 shots Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • a few whole cloves
  • apple for garnish
  • brown sugar (optional)

To start out with, I take a glass, and fill it halfway with water.  I then toss this into a pot, and get it boiling.  Then, I take that same glass, and fill it halfway with apple cider.  I only put the apple cider on low heat to warm it up a little, but not boil it.  While I'm letting these two liquids heat up, sometimes I'll rim the glass with brown sugar, then toss a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of lemon juice into the glass.

Once the water starts to boil, remove from the heat, and toss in a spiced chai tea bag.  I really like the one from Stash for this.  Let it steep, while you prepare the rest of the rimmed glass.

Using the glass as the mixing medium from this point on, I add an eyeball shot of Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum, which all my friends and I have agreed basically means 1 1/2 - 2 shots - you can of course change this to your desired strength.  Add in a dash of Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and a few whole Cloves, and the apple cider and chai tea should be ready to pour in.  Simply add both of these liquids to the rimmed glass, and stir until well mixed.  

If you're feeling particularly festive, you can also add an apple slice as a garnish, and there you have it!  My little toddy recipe.  I hope you have enjoyed this recipe, and if you try it, make sure to let me know what you think!  Please be of legal drinking age, though.  I don't want any of you breaking the law!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

5 Favorite Drugstore Lip Colors for Fall

Isn't there just something about these colder months that screams 'Wear red lipstick!'?  Maybe it's just me, but I love wearing some form of red lip most days in the fall and winter, and today I thought I would share with you five of my favorite drugstore lip colors!  I tried to get a little bit of a range with the colors I picked, going from lighter, hints of red to bright red to something you could see a vampire wearing.  I hope you like them!

My first two picks are probably the most safe out of all of these colors, so if you're looking for a darker lip that doesn't stand out too much, either of these would be a good bet.  The first is Revlon's Mauvy Night, which is a plummy, almost grey color.  At least for me, if something has a cooler, grey undertone to it, it's safe, and if you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I like my comfort zone!

The next is one of the Revlon Just Bitten lip stains, and this one is in Forbidden.  As you can see in the picture below, it is a darker color, but very light, and sheer, so you're just getting a little wash of color.  It's really very similar to Mauvy Night, but in a stain form.  The other amazing thing about this color is that since it is a lipstain, it will stay on your lips pretty much the entire day without budging!

Another favorite recently has been a Wet & Wild lipstick in the shade Dark Wine.  This one is not for the faint of heart, though.  I don't reach for this as often as I'd like because I do have a full time job, and it looks kind of vampy on me  (pale skin, dark hair...yeah).  But for the right occasion, it is amazing!  Plus, since it's from Wet & Wild, it's really quite inexpensive, too!

I think that a bright red is always going to be a necessity, so I had to of course include one of those in my 5 Favorites, and the one I've been loving has been the Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Big Bang.  It has such a vibrant color to it, goes on nice and smoothly, and lasts quite a while.  The only problem that I've noticed with it, and the main thing that seems to bother other people about it is the smell.  Personally, I think it smells a little like pencil shavings, and it doesn't bother me too much, but you do notice it.

Saving the best for last, my favorite lip color right now has to be Revlon's Wine With Everything.  It's such a pretty, deeper red with a slight brown to it that definitely makes an impact without being too over the top.  This color was actually featured in my last Favorites video, and is part of a giveaway on that video!  If you would like to enter  to win this particular lip color for yourself (and a pretty scarf) enter here before October 16th 6:00pm CDT!

What is your favorite color to wear for Fall and Winter?

Let me know in the comment section!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Naked 2 Palette

I'm sure by now we're all very familiar with Urban Decay's Naked palettes, but it wasn't until this past weekend that I actually owned one.  Essentially everyone talks about how amazing they are, so I wasn't really worried about spending the $50 on a palette that I might not actually like, but what really kept me from taking the plunge was that I couldn't decide which one to get!  I finally chose the Naked 2 palette, because it seemed to have more matte shades than the original, but still has some really shimmery and glittery colors as well, so I can use this on an every day basis at work or bump it up for going out.

I haven't had this palette long enough to really do a full review on it, but I wore it today, and absolutely loved it!  If I remember correctly, I used Suspect on the inner half of my eye, then blended it out into YDK on the outer half, and finally used Snakebite in the crease.  I could not stop looking at my eyes the entire day, it was so pretty!  It honestly has already made such an impression, that I have a feeling if I remember to do a favorites video this month, this palette will be in it.  All the colors are so vibrant and lovely, I really don't know how you could go wrong with it.

As I said already, I really haven't had this long enough to do more than give you my first impression (love at first site), but I do want to quick talk about that eyeshadow brush you can see peeking out in the picture below.  I care more about the eyeshadows than this little brush, but I was really excited about this little dual ended brush.  It has a flat shader brush on one side, and a crease brush on the other, and seemed like it was really nice...until I tried it.  The shader end is amazing, but the crease brush is too firm for me.  Maybe once it's been washed it'll be better, but as for right now, I can't say that I'm a fan.  Of course, I might just be picky with crease brushes, too.  Who knows?

Luckily, the main item in this palette are the shadows, and I wanted to quick show you what they looked like before I let you go!

Foxy: cream bisque with matte finish
Half Baked: golden-bronze with shimmering finish
Bootycall: shimmering cork
Chopper: copper shimmer with silver microglitter
Tease: creamy pale brown with matte finish
Snakebite: dark bronze with metallic base

Suspect: pale golden beige with shimmering finish
Pistol: light grey-brown with shimmering finish
Verve:  oyster with shimmering finish
YDK: cool bronze shimmer with metallic base
Busted: deep brown with shimmering finish
Blackout: blackest black with matte finish

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Current Fashion/Beauty Wishlist

I've had this itch to go shopping recently, but I don't quite have the funds to go out and get a bunch of stuff right now.  So, I've been doing some online browsing, and rather than actually purchase anything, I thought I'd just come up with a little wishlist of a few things I'm currently wanting.

The first item on my wishlist is this Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Mini Affair Bag in Port.  By now I'm sure you all know that I love those burgundy/wine colors, and I absolutely love this bag!  I already own one of these purses in white, but I haven't been wearing it because I'm trying to save it for my honeymoon.  We'll see if I'll actually be able to save it come next spring, though, since the temptation to wear white isn't quite as high right now!

Next is the Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Souffle Body Creme.  This is another item that probably won't surprise you at all, because you guys already know about my obsession with Creme Brulee scents!  Truthfully, I'd also love the Sugar Scrub, Hand Creme, and Honey Bath, basically everything that has that scent, but if I had to narrow it down, I guess I'll go with the Body Creme...and if I could just narrow it down to two, I do also need a Hand Creme.  I guess the Hand Creme is an honorable mention. :)

I've also been eyeing this Tiered Sweater Tunic from Anthropologie.  I love the cut on this, because you may not be able to tell from my videos or anything, but I have a rather long upper body in comparison to my legs, so tunics are amazing, because they disguise where your legs start, making those of us with this body shape look a little more proportional!  I also love this deeper, forest green color.  I know the big color of the season is emerald, but this is probably as close as I'll get to that - I like darker colors for the colder seasons!

As for makeup, I would love to try one of these Dior Addict Glosses, and the color I've really been loving is this Night Fantasy, which is described as a 'sparkling deep berry'.  Does that not sound and look amazing for fall and winter?  I've heard a lot of beauty girls rave about these glosses, so I really want to try one out for myself!

Finally, I've been looking at this Ivory Garland Bracelet from Bauble Bar.  I've never purchased anything from Bauble Bar, but I love browsing their site!  Their jewelry is absolutely beautiful, and this one is gorgeous.  It has just enough sparkle to really catch your eye, but has ivory stones mixed in with it to give it a little more of a vintage look, too!

What's on your beauty and fashion wishlists?

Let me know in the comment section below!  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

September Glossybox Unboxing

I have seen so many unboxing videos, whether it's My Glam, Birchbox, what have you, but I was never particularly interested in them until I came across Glossybox.  I don't know what it is, either.  Maybe I just like the pretty packaging, or I liked more of their past products, or something.  You know what, it was probably that little crown seal on the top of the box.  It makes me feel like a princess.

Whatever the reason for my attraction to this box, I still hemmed and hawed over it for a while, looking through all the past boxes, trying to determine if I really wanted to get a subscription or not.  I think it's quite clear that eventually I decided it would be worth a try, and got a 3-month subscription.  They do offer subscriptions for a 1 time only box, and also for 3-month, 6-month, and 12-months plans, but I felt the 3-month plan would be best for me.  It gives me more of a chance to see what this box is about, without much of a commitment.

After going through this little guy, though, I think I might be getting a longer subscription when my current one runs out.  Some of the products are so innovative - at least to me!  For example, one of my favorite items is a makeup remover pen, which is to washing your face like a Tide pen is to washing your clothes.  It's for touching up your makeup while you're on the go, like getting rid of those pesky smudges eyeliner sometimes leaves behind.  Plus, I've already tried it, and it works amazingly! 

I also got a pretty big sample of BCBGMAXAZARIA Bon Genre perfume, which is described as being "seductive, mysterious, and intriguing".  It smells amazing, and (according to Macy's), "infuses melodic notes of lychee and red berries with spicy black pepper and bergamot" then "opens up into a blend of jasmine noir, tuberose, cardamom, and tiger-lily florals, layering warm amber, Australian sandalwood, patchouli, and black vanilla".  I'm not really sure what all those things smell like, but it is essentially one of the best date-night scents I've smelled in quite a while.

Another item I was particularly excited about what the clinical-looking bottle called Nioxin Diamax.  It is a hair product that is supposed to be applied to the roots daily, and increase the diameter of your actual hair strands.  My friend, Siri, and I are constantly looking for products that will help thicken our hair, so hopefully this works!  I'll definitely keep you posted on this one!

Also included in my box was an eyelash curler from Emite Makeup, which I have yet to try, but just playing with it makes me believe that it will work much better than the one I've been using for ages.  It's also valued at $25 more than the one I've been using, so it will make me rather sad if it doesn't.  I also got an eyeliner pen from Be a Bombshell Cosmetics.  Once again, I have a feeling this will work a bit better than the one I've been using, because the one I have I bought for $1.99 from Walgreens.  This one feels a little more heavy duty, and almost like a Sharpie rather than an eyeliner!

Well, there we go!  My first Glossybox.  As I said, I will be getting at least two more of these, but I might film the unboxing of those ones rather than do another post.  I think video-wise you can see the products a little better, while sometimes blog posts are better with reviews, since you can get a little more in-depth with them.

What did you think?  Do you or have you had a Glossybox subscription?  Have you thought about getting a subscription box or do you currently get one?  Which ones?

Let me know in the comment section!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Impress Nails

Joe (my fiance) hates the whole idea of nail polish - he hates the smell of it, the smell of the nail polish remover, that he can't hold my hand or in any way jostle me for any length of time after I've painted them - he just really, truly despises it.  I can even try to paint my nails right when I get home, which is at least an hour or two before he gets off work, and he can still smell it!  I tell you,  he's got quite the sniffer.

So, when I was wandering around the drugstore recently, I started looking at the ImPress Press-On Manicures by Broadway, and thought I'd try them out, since as the name implies, all you have to do is press them onto your nails, and you're done.  No smell, no glue, nothing.  Plus, they come in a lot of pretty colors nowadays.  I remember when they came out their selection was pretty limited to a French manicure and maybe some solid colors, but now they also have designs like this pretty pink one with glitter (that matches the scarf I was wearing perfectly!) and I've even seen some fun Halloween designs, too!

As far as the actual application went, it was really very easy.  You figure out which nails fit your own digits best, peel off the backing, press on your nails, and you're done!  Really, the only part that took any length of time was filing down the nails so they had a rounded tip, rather than the rounded edged ones they come in.  Maybe it's just me, but I think the rounded nails look so much more natural, and they don't get snagged on quite as much.  Clearly, this is just a personal preference, though, and I won't hold that against these nails. 

It seemed that fiance didn't mind these nails, either.  He didn't have to sit through rounds of acetone and nail polish, and he was free to hold my hand as much as he wanted!  That isn't to say he actually voiced that he liked it, of course.  His silence about the whole matter was approval enough!

So, have I converted to these press-on manicures that last a week and don't bother Joe's nose?  Well, not entirely.  I still love my nail polishes, but I can definitely see myself wearing these more.  After all, they last up to a week, and I could probably leave them on longer than that without having them fall off or chip or anything, but I don't particularly want to ruin my nails.

Have you tried these nails before?  What did you think?

Let me know in the comment section!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo

I put up a video talking all about my Shower Routine recently, and in that video, I used a product that a lot of you were wondering about: the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo.  First off, I'd like to say that this was a whim purchase.  I had seen a lot of postive reviews about Bumble and Bumble's Surf Spray, and just happened to start browsing their other products, when I saw they carried this Thickening Shampoo.  I, like apparently many of you, would love to have thicker hair, so into my cart it went, without much of a thought. 

Once I got it home, I fell in love with the scent - I think it smells like eucalyptus and lemon, but I don't have the best sniffer, so I wouldn't trust me on that description.  It also lathers up really well, probably thanks to the sulfates in it.  Yes, it has sodium laureth sulfate in it, so if you don't like using products with sulfates in them, this is not a product for you.  I don't really mind it, and I still find the big lather kind of comforting.  You really don't need to use much, either.  A dime size is more than enough for my hair.

Finally, the section of the review that I'm sure most of you have been waiting for: Does it work?  Yes, and no.  See, because this was a whim purchase, I didn't really read what this shampoo was supposed to do, and assumed that it was supposed to make your hair thicker.  What it is actually supposed to do is give your hair more volume and body, making it look thicker.  It definitely does that, but if you're looking for a miracle hair product, you may want to try something a little different.

All this being said, I absolutely love this shampoo.  It gives my hair a lot more volume than I usually have, and my hair does look thicker, which is exactly what I wanted.  Yeah, it might be nice to have hair that is actually thicker, but I'm not disappointed with it at all, and would definitely recommend it.

Have you tried this shampoo before?  What did you think?  What are your favorite hair products right now?

Let me know in the comment section!

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Sample Story

I love getting samples from Sephora - especially the deluxe samples from their VIB program.  They're adorable little miniature clones of their adult counterparts, and just make me happy.  Problem is, I don't use them nearly as much as I should, because I don't want to use them up!  This, of course, is ridiculous, and makes no sense.  So, to persuade myself to actually use my samples, I thought I'd do some mini-reviews of a few I've currently been using.

The first is this Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Gloss in Candy Gloss.  It has a rather rude name, which I'm not the biggest fan of, and after having used it a while, I'm still not sure what I think of the product itself, either.  I love the champagne color it gives my lips, but it's rather sticky and thick, making it difficult to apply.  I also don't like the tingling plumping sensation, even though I know that's how it's supposed to be.  I do feel that my lips look fuller with this product, so maybe I could look past the tingling, but the texture is a deal-breaker for me.

Next up is Illamasqua's Hydra Veil Rehydrating Gel.  It is a hydrating primer, and this is another product I wasn't certain about at first.  When I got the sample, I hadn't looked at the product itself, so I was shocked when this chunky, clear gel came out of the tube.  It seriously reminded me of hair gel, and I decided right then and there that I didn't like it.  But, when I rubbed it in, the texture completely changed, and it was so smooth.  After I finished putting on the rest of my makeup, I could tell there was a clear difference, too - my skin looked much more radiant, and I completely changed my mind about this product.  I may even end up picking up the adult version of this guy.

Finally, I thought I'd quick mention a product you already know about if you've seen my Skincare Routine video, and it is the Caudalie Vinoperfect Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Day Perfecting Fluid.  Really, it's just a face moisturizer.  It smells really good - just like the rest of the Vinoperfect line, but it's not my favorite moisturizer ever.  It does have SPF, which is always good, but it doesn't work as well as my Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream or my Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream.  So, sadly, I will not be purchasing this for the rest of my Caudalie products.

So, those are the samples that I've been trying out.  Samples are an amazing way to test out products without any commitment - as long as you actually use them!  The Illamasqua Hydra Veil Rehydrating Gel is definitely now on my beauty wish list, but I can skip the Caudalie Vinoperfect Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Day Perfecting Fluid.  Have you tried out anything new recently?  What have you tried, and what did you think about it?  Let me know in the comment section below!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cheap Chic: Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara

Maybe it's just me, but whenever there's a new "holy grail" Maybelline mascara, I tend to just roll my eyes.  They have an insane amount of mascaras, and I find most of them to be too wet for my taste.  Then, after hearing about it from more and more people, I cave in and eventually try it out, like the mascara that currently seems to be all the rage: Maybelline's Big Eyes mascara.

The main selling point for this mascara is that it is dual-ended with one side for your upper lashes, and the other for your lower lashes.  The formula itself is also supposed to give your lashes that big, babydoll look.  I haven't actually had anything specifically made for my lower lashes, so that was what I was most excited about with this mascara.

As for the formula, I can't really tell the difference between many of the Maybelline mascaras.  They all just feel kind of the same to me, which, as I said, it too wet for my taste.  But, this one definitely didn't clump as much as the other mascaras I've tried from them, and I quite liked how they made my eyelashes look nice and defined, but still slightly whispy.  My favorite part of this mascara, though, was the brush.  Both the upper and lower brushes have fiber bristles rather than plastic, which helps to make sure your lashes get thoroughly coated.  I typically like the plastic bristles more, but I really do like the finish these particular ones gave.  Also, now that I've tried out a brush for my lower lashes, it might be very difficult to go back to using regular brushes.  The smaller spool is so easy to use, and makes sure that the mascara stays on the lashes where it's supposed to.

So, do I think this is a "holy grail" mascara?  Well, probably not for me, necessarily.  I definitely enjoy using it, and I love how it makes my lashes look, but from what I've seen, Maybelline just makes really wet mascaras.  They get better the more you use them, and they start to dry out, but I just can't quite get over that little hump to say that it is perfect.  However, it is much better than I thought it would be, and if you like the wetter mascaras, I would say that this might just be perfect for you.  Plus, as a drugstore product, it is relatively inexpensive, and readily available!

Have you tried this mascara, yet?  What do you think about it?  Also, if you have any recommendations for any other "Cheap Chic" posts, let me know in the comment section below!  I love trying out new drugstore products, but I definitely need suggestions.  If you have a favorite drugstore mascara or know of one that I might like, please let me know!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

JustFab September Pick

To be honest, even though I'm signed up with JustFab.com, I don't usually pick up anything new.  Most of the time, I even skip the month without looking at what they have available, because I don't feel like spending money.  This month, however, I decided to use my account to purchase a new pair of boots, because last year I wore out all my boots to the point of death - literally.  I had this amazing pair of Steve Maddens, and the sole actually came off the rest of the shoe.

So, clearly a new pair of boots was a necessity.  I had originally thought I'd get some riding boots, because I've never actually owned a pair, but I always love them on other people.  Then, I found these Davina boots, which are basically the black version of all the brown boots I owned last year, including those Steve Maddens I told you about.  Yeah, maybe I'm not stepping out of my comfort zone on this one, but in the words of Liv from "Bride Wars" - one of my current favorite movies - "It's a classic.  If it works, you work it hard."

As you can see, they are taller boots with a slight slouch to them, and a bow detail at the top.  When I was looking at the bows on the website, I thought they were just decorative, but they do actually adjust to hold the tops to your leg, allowing you to control the amount of "slouchiness" you want from them.  They have a 3 1/2" heel on them, which I think is the perfect heel height for the colder months.  Much as I love them, my high, high heels tend to get a break around this time of year due to the threat of ice.

I absolutely love these, just as I've loved their predecessors, and I know I'll get a lot of use out of them.  It's so easy to dress them up with a skirt or heavy leggings, or go a little more casual with some skinny jeans.  They're perfect for my lifestyle, which is probably why I keep coming back to them.  If you are on JustFab and picked out something new this month, let me know what it was in the comment section below, and if you aren't, tell me about your "classic" shoe.  I'm sure we all have one that we keep coming back to, even when we know we should step out of our comfort zone every once in a while!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nail Rock Velvet Manicure

Even though I don't remember the first time I laid eyes on a velvet manicure - I don't even remember if I'd seen it on Pinterest or if I was in Sephora, and saw the one from Ciate - I do remember thinking that it was the coolest thing ever.  I have this weird habit where I rub my nails when I'm stressed, and all I kept thinking about was how nice it would feel to have a blanket on my nails.  So, naturally, I couldn't wait to try it out.  Problem was, I couldn't justify picking up a Ciate manicure set.  I think they're absolutely adorable, and I'd love to try one, but I'm just not quite ready.  Taking the DIY route wasn't much better, either, since I couldn't find any of the crushed velvet required.

Then, I stumbled upon this Nail Rock Velvet Manicure set, which as far as I can tell is the drugstore version of Ciate.  So, I grabbed a set that actually matches my favorite autumn shoes, perfectly, and home we went, so I could try it out that very night.  It's actually a really easy manicure process, and within a few minutes, I was gazing lovingly at my fuzzy little blanket nails, waiting for them to dry.

There are only two steps involved in this manicure, and both are really easy.  First, the directions say to apply two coats of the base polish, but I found that you couldn't get a nice, opaque base with just two coats.  An opaque bas coat is really important, too, because as the velvet starts to wear off, it can stay fuzzy and feel really cool, but they start to look a little spotty.  So, I would recommend adding another coat or two, for an opaque finish.  After that, you just dip your still wet nail into the crushed velvet, roll it around a little to make sure it's covered, then gently pat down any little clumps to make sure the velvet is nice and even.  This step was really easy, and much less messy that I'd anticipated, but what made it even easier was when I realized how tightly the velvet was packaged, and loosened it up a little!

This is such a fun manicure, and I'm sure I'll be wearing it a lot in the coming months, but I'm curious - what do you think?  Is this something you would wear?  Let me know in the comment section below, and if you've already tried a velvet manicure, let me know how you did it, and if you liked it!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water

If you saw my Morning Skincare Routine video, you'll already know that I've been using a deluxe sample size of Caudalie's Makeup Remover Cleansing Water, Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, and Vinoperfect Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Day Perfecting Fluid each morning.  After much consideration, I decided just to upgrade to the full-sized Makeup Remover Cleansing Water for the time being, and before I get into why that product in particular is so amazing, let me quick explain why I didn't get the other products this go round.

First, I truly, truly love the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, but it's also really quite expensive, and with our wedding coming up next year, I've been trying to be a little more frugal.  It is one of my favorite products right now, though, and I may reconsider my decision when my deluxe sample of it runs out.  As for the Vinoperfect Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Day Perfecting Fluid, I like it, but I have several face creams and lotions, some of which I like better, so I simply don't need it right now.

Now, let's talk about the Makeup Remover Cleansing Water.  This was the first cleansing water I've tried, and it's incredible, especially in the morning.  It smells amazing, like wine grapes and camomile tea, which makes sense as it has grape water and camomile as two of its ingredients.  The scent is so relaxing, but using a cleansing water in the morning really wakes you up, too.  I find that it is less harsh than using an actual face wash or strict makeup remover (which you should have done the night before!), but still leaves your face nice, clean, and refreshed.

I have been absolutely obsessed with my skincare routine, and I'm always looking for new products.  So, if you have a favorite skincare product right now, please let me know what it is in the comment section below!  I'd love to try any new suggestions you guys may have!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Flower Nail Polish Review

If you've been hanging around here or either of my Youtube channels for any length of time, you may know that I live in a very small town in Minnesota.  That makes it relatively difficult to find many of the newest drugstore collections, and even just brands that are not carried at Walgreens or Walmart.  Actually, some Walmart brands are hard to get my hands on.  One such brand would be Drew Barrymore's Flower line which is, sadly, not available at my local Walmart.

However, I was able to stop at a different Walmart recently, and pick up a few different products - an eyeshadow quad, a creme blush, and what I'll be talking about today, a nail polish.  The color I chose was April Showers, which is a deep, almost black green.  I love wearing darker colors in the fall and winter, which is why this color stood out to me.  Plus, it's very different that the other colors I saw from her line, which were lighter and brighter, making them more suited to spring and summer, rather than fall and winter.

As far as the formula goes, this polish is amazing.  One coat did leave a few streaks and light spots, but after the second coat they were completely opaque, and I absolutely love the color itself.  It wasn't too light or too heavy, but I would say that it tended more towards an OPI thickness with an Essie-sized brush.  I know some people don't like the smaller brushes, but as someone with small nails and a shaky hand, I tend to seek them out.  As for packaging, I'm in-between on it.  It's not my favorite nail polish bottle of all time, but it's not unattractive, either.  It's just kind of there.

I hope you all are having an amazing week, and if you've tried the nail polish from Flower, tell me what you thought in the comment section below!  I know my opinion isn't the only one out there, and I would love to know yours!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Favorite Autumn Shoes

Being that I started this as a beauty AND fashion blog, I've come to the realization that I haven't really talked about fashion much at all.  Now that we're getting into the cooler fall and winter months, though, that will be changing.  I absolutely love fall and winter fashion, because it always feels a little more elegant and rich, with just a bit of edginess thrown in.  As someone that likes to overdress for absolutely everything, this kind of style is perfect for me.

So, today I wanted to talk about a recent addition to my shoe collection that I'm sure I'll be wearing nonstop these upcoming months, whether I'm wearing them to work, or even out on the town.  They are these beautiful pointed-toe Mary Jane heels from Dana Buchman that I picked up at Kohl's for $48.99.  I have been absolutely loving the color burgundy recently, and that is actually what I first noticed about these.  Plus, I've been looking for a mid-heel, pointed to shoe to wear while I'm at work, and it was this fact that convinced me to bring them home.

They have an almost Western-styled toe in patent leather, with matching detailing on the heel and top of the shoe, while the body is actually made of wool, which will make these little babies perfect for winter, as well as fall - living in Minnesota means winter comes fast.  I can already see myself wearing these with some nice grey or black dress pants, or with some knit tights and a pretty sweaterdress - even just some dark wash jeans and a nice top would look amazing with these!

Well, until next time, Happy Autumn, everyone!  If you have a favorite pair of shoes for the fall and winter months, leave a link to a picture of them in the comment section below!  Who knows?  They might end up being my favorite, too!

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Morning Skincare Routine

I know this isn't really my typical kind of post, as I'm going to let a video do most of the talking, but as I've been slightly lacking in the blog post department (...okay, and videos as well), I figured it would be okay to share my newest beauty video on here as well.  Besides, I'm sure some of you don't actually know that I do videos in addition to this blog!  I do have a beauty channel on youtube that you can find here and a vlog channel where I post little updates on my life, book reviews, cat videos, things of that nature that you can find here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

TransitioNail Color: OPI Tickle My France-y

Sad as it is, summer is coming to an end soon.  School will even be starting for some folks as early as the end of this month, right?  As an adult, I guess I don't really pay attention to those dates.  What I do pay attention to, though, are the weather changes that bring changes in fashion with them!

Favorite color ever!

Sometimes the changes in fashion can be a little difficult to maneuver around, particularly during the more transitional times.  One item may be fabulous for summer, but way too light and bright for fall, while something else may be too dark or heavy for summer.  That's why today I wanted to show you one of my favorite transitional nail colors, OPI's Tickle My France-y.

This has been one of my favorite nail colors since back when I was in college, and my love for this color hasn't yet faded.  It's a beautiful dusty pink with just a slight hint of purple (which you sadly can't see from this picture).  It definitely falls into the category of a neutral polish, and neutral or nude colors are typically pretty easy transitional colors.

I also really love this color, because even though it seems like your basic nail color, it actually changes color depending on the light it's in.  While in this particular picture the color looks like a light, duty pink (always a pretty color), in darker light, it looks like a darker color, and that's when those purple tones I was telling you about really come out.  So, in addition to being just a pretty transitional color, in general, it also works with the actual amount of sunlight to make sure you're in the right shade of neutral, too!

So, I'm curious, what have you been wearing on your nails?  Did you guys do anything fun this summer?  Let me know in the comment section below!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Kate Somerville Goat Milk

After using the Clinique 3-Step Skincare System for years and years and years, I decided that I wanted to try something just a little bit different.  So, I thought I'd try a face cream that I've been seeing quite a bit recently on different blogs and featured in different videos, the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream.

First of all, I really like the texture of this cream, as it's so nice and light, and really does hydrate your skin very well.  I've been pairing it with the Caudalie Vinoperfect Make-up Remover Cleansing Water, Radiance Serum, and the Day Perfecting Fluid (I have a sample size of each of these products, but once they're out, I'll be purchasing the full-sized products, so I'll do a review of them then.) and the whole group just works so well together!

That being said, I do have a couple concerns about this product.  First off, it does smell a little odd, as it's primarily made from goat milk, and there aren't really any other "fragrance" ingredients in it.  However, it's a rather light scent to me, and once it's actually on my face, I don't notice it.

Also, the packaging, beautiful as it is, confuses me.  Once you remove the cap, you're faced with essentially another white cap with a tiny little hole in the middle.  Really, had I not gotten kind of lucky, and realized that the entire white cap was a button, I would probably still be staring at this product in confusion, and this review would not be up.  Basically, you press this white button, and the cream comes out of that tiny little hole.  Even though this annoys me a bit, I do have to say that I appreciate that when you slide the cream off the cap, there's nowhere for excess cream to get stuck, which is something that annoys me about some pump-products.

All in all, I really do love this face cream.  It works essentially just as well as the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, which has been my go-to face lotion for, as I said, years and years and years, even if it is a bit more expensive.  Maybe it's just that I'd gotten so used to the Clinique lotion, but this one feels so much more luxurious, though, and really, paired with the Caudalie products I mentioned earlier and the Dior Creme de Rose, it's a skincare routine made in heaven!

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Goat Milk, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Hamamelis, Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Salix Nigra (Willow) bark Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Mannan, Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid