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December Favorites (Nars, Benefit,Starbucks and more!!!)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Every girl needs a perfect red lipstick in her makeup repetoire and I know they are not always easy to find. Whilst wandering around Sephora the other day, I happened upon a new red lipstick love, NARS velvet matte lip pencil in the shade Cruella. 

As a redhead, it is extremely difficult to find a favorable red lipstick that coordinates with both my hair and fair skin tone, but NARS seems to handle that difficulty with ease. Described as a Scarlet red, this is the perfect red lipstick for those looking to go bold and bright!

I was so excited to pick this up just as Winter sets in. Winter is the perfect time for you to showcase your darker berry or red shades of lipstick! 

Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha
Every year, as Fall rolls into Winter, Starbucks changes their cups from the drab everyday green and white to a super festive red and gold to celebrate the holiday season and the bringing back of the holiday beverages. 

This is the time of year to order the delicious seasonal Peppermint Mocha. My new favorite is the same name that has been made 'skinny'. After stumbling across the nutritional value of the original, I had actually considered giving it up for the season! 

Instead, my sister showed me that if I just ordered the 'skinny' version of the drink instead, it was a much more acceptable indulgence. The 'skinny' version of the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha consists of using steamed nonfat milk, sugar free mocha sauce, sugar free peppermint syrup and skipping the whipped cream. If you are like me and want your holiday indulgences to be guilt light, then I would definitely suggest trying Starbucks skinny Peppermint Mocha!

Benefit The POREfessional

This is by far the best and my favorite primer ever! I have to admit that this is my HG face primer! It goes on like a velvet cream and minimizes the appearance of all pores so your foundation goes on really smooth. 

It also does a really good job of mattifying my combination skin without over drying the already dry parts. I have gone back and forth using other primers, but I continually go back to Benefit's the POREfessional because it really is that great!

 Another upside is that it doesn't mess with my sensitive, acne prone skin. The only downside is the price, which can be quite steep given that it is a rather small tube of product, but I think it's worth it.

Comfy Cashmere Sweater
Another must have favorite for the cold Winter season is a mountain of warm sweaters! Everyone has their own personal favorites and mine is a black cashmere sweater that I've owned for forever.
I throw on this sweater almost everyday over whatever outfit I'm wearing so I can stay cuddly and warm when it's cold outside. 

The only downside of cashmere sweaters is the difficulty in washing. They are all usually dry clean only, but I've found that I can handwash and hang dry mine and it works just the same! Stay warm this holiday season and make sure to have lots of comfy sweaters!

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
My last, but certainly not least December favorite is the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser and muslin cloths. I got a sample of this in one of my previous Birchboxes and I now know what ALL the hype was about this product. It is a cream cleanser that you can rub all over your dry, made up face. After you rub in the cleanser, you scrub it all off with a muslin cloth that has been rinsed under hot water.

I had no plans to use this product as I was happy with the cleanser I was using, but as most products do, my cleanser ran out and I had no backups to grab. I decided that maybe all the great reviews I had read about this product gave it enough credence to finally give it a try. 
I am a very clumsy face washer who can never seem to not get water everywhere when washing so the fact that I never have to splash water on my face is amazing! I slightly deviate from the suggested use as I take off all my makeup with a face wipe before I use the cleanser and muslin cloth and it seems to work great for me. I like the daily exfoliation as it rubs away all leftover traces of makeup and makes my face feel soft and super clean. If you're looking for a new HG cleanser, I would totally suggest getting the travel Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and testing it out for yourself!

Let me know what your December favorites are in the comments below! 

December Birchbox Unwrapping!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's time to showcase some Sparkle and Shine. There is nothing more exciting than being able to unwrap a present before Christmas! The opening of my December Birchbox was just the same! My box contained 

 As soon as I opened my box, I was engulfed in this amazing combination of scents coming from a very small box. It was the Greenleaf votive sized starlight candle! The Greenleaf Starlight Candle combines the scents of fruits, citrus, mint and white musk and it is a really strong scent, perfect for the kitchen or a bathroom. The Birchbox sample is the size of a small votive candle, but it packs the same amount of scent power as a big candle would so it's definitely a great sample to see in your box! 

Another great item in my December Birchbox was the Camille Beckman Body Butter in Morelia Monarch. It's a small container, but it has nice notes of green tea and amber with a base of vanillla. I only wish the sample was a bit larger so I could use it as a travel body butter, but it is far too small for that! Another sample that I got in my December Birchbox was a sample of Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum. I haven't used it long enough to give an adequate review, but I have been using it for a couple of days now and I like it thus far. It hasn't aggrevated my sensitive skin and it's a big sample so I'll be able to see if I notice any difference! I also received two foil samples of Nelson Argan Oils healing mask. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm pretty excited to as I'm always looking for ways to keep my hair shiny and healthy, which is quite difficult when your hair is so long. 

There was only one thing in the box that I truly didn't care for and that was the Mally Beauty Lip Magnifier in Goldenstar. Although it might work for some, the creamy peach sheen just didn't work for me or my skin tone. I was really hoping I would get to try one of the darker shades, but it was not meant to be. Overall, I was happy with my December Birchbox and can't wait to see what they showcase in the new year! 

November Favorites (Urban Decay, Pressed Juicery, Bath & Body Works and more!)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Alas, I am a week late in posting this, but I very much wanted to show off my November favorites! This month, I had very diverse obsessions. I was thoroughly enjoying the last of Autumn before Winter sets in. (As I type, it is pouring rain and icy cold outside)

One of my absolute favorites this month was Bath & Body Works Cider Lane candle. The candle was  a great mix of cider and caramel and kept the entire room bathed in cider scent! It was a perfect compliment to the fall scene of apple picking. 

My second favorite item from the month of November was actually a fall inspired beverage! Pressed Juicery, a cold pressed fresh juice company, added some delicious fall flavors to their menu and I could not have been more excited! My favorite flavor turned out to be a twist on the classic apple cider (noticing a theme here? ;)) They combined apples, cinnamon and persimmons to delight my tastebuds and put me in the festive fall mood. These juices are also great for quick pick me ups when you've eaten too much junk food or you can do juice cleanses to kickstart your healthy eating!

Twitter: @PressedJuicery 

My third favorite item from this month was the Naked Basics palette from Urban Decay. I recently showed this in a Sephora haul post, but since then I have used it every single day. I prefer matte shades in the day-to-day and sparkly shades for more celebratory events and this is perfect for an everyday look. I promise if you enjoy matte shadows that are highly pigmented, then you will thoroughly enjoy this palette!

My last favorite item for the month of November might be one of my favorites for all of Winter. When I traveled home for Thanksgiving, my mother had a small pile of parcels waiting for me to open! Amidst the pile was a large box that held matching adult Nick & Nora Sock Monkey onesie pj's for my sister and myself. I remembered having onesie pj's when I was small and I absolutely loved them! It seemed to be the only thing I could wear that would keep my feet toasty and warm at night and these were no exception! Red and White stripes trailing down to little Sock Monkey feet, simply adorable. It was just icing on the cake that my sister and I got to be matching in them! If you would cherish a pair of your own, then check out your local Target! There are tons of patterns to choose from and they will keep you warm throughout the cold Winter.

Lush November Haul

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I have been obsessed with Lush for quite awhile now. I love taking long luxurious baths to calm my frazzled nerves after a tough week. 

This week was no different. My sister and I popped into Lush last night while we were meandering the streets after eating dinner at the Tipsy Pig. We wandered around the store as the sales girl tried to direct my sister to different products that she might enjoy. I, however, need no help and immediately head to look at all the Christmas bath bombs! I sniffed and smelled and sniffed again and finally decided on two of their Christmas themed bath bombs and one of their year round bath bombs.

I gravitated towards the Bombardino bath bomb because of its cute look, but picked it because of its incredible smell. Inspired by a hot apr├Ęs-ski drink, Bombardino is said to be the perfect treat to enjoy after a long day. It smells delicious and good enough to eat. It's like enjoying a decadent dessert without any of the calories.

The other Christmas bomb that I knew I needed immediately was Lush's Golden Wonder. Described as a 'luxurious champagne soak,' Golden Wonder is as exciting as opening a gift early on Christmas Eve. The secret gifts inside never fail to surprise me as I watch this big bomb swirl around the tub.  

The last bath bomb I decided to purchase was Lush's Phoenix Rising. Phoenix Rising smells like a tall glass of hot apple cider and is the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold winter day. I love the way that this bath bomb sinks to the bottom of the tub and slowly rises up, washing away all previous mistakes so that you can hop out of the bath fresh and new. 

As Thanksgiving draws closer, so does preparation for Black Friday. As a post-Thanksgiving tradition, my sister and mom all wake up before the sun is up and hit some of our favorite stores for Black Friday's early deals and this year will be no different. To prepare our skin for this exceptionally long day, my sister and I each picked out a face mask to put on before we hit the hay Thanksgiving night. 

I smelled every Fresh Face mask that this particular Lush still had available and decided on Catastrophe Cosmetic. It smells deeply of blueberries, which is delicious, and is described as the perfect mask for those still figuring out the needs of their skin. I think this is great for changing seasons. As the weather drifts from warm to cold, my face has been freaking out trying to adjust to the changing climate. I think this will be a great remedy to calm and correct my skin care routine and I can't wait to try it out!

If you would like to see any demos of the Lush products I showed, leave a note in the comments below!

OOTD (Outfit of the Day) & FOTD (Face of the day)

Outfit (all decked out in F21)
Peter Pan collared Nautical dress: Forever 21
 Oxblood over the knees socks: Forever 21
City Chic wedge boots in light brown: Forever 21

Face Primer: Benefit the Professional
Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc
All over Concealer: Benefit Boi-ing in light
Under Eye Concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in 1 & YSL Touche Eclat in Luminous Radiance
Blush: Tarte Clay 12 hour blush in Amused

Eyeshadow Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked Basics palette: 
Walk of Shame all over lid,
Faint in crease, Venus on browbone
Elf eyebrow kit in light
Eyeko Skinny Liquid liner in black
DiorShow Blackout mascara
Benefit They're real mascara

Model Co Party Proof lipstick in Red Velvet 

Sephora Haul November 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Waiting for the doorbell to ring and a package to arrive is excruciating when you are so excited for the package contents! I had a myriad of items that had been sitting in my Sephora cart for weeks, but I couldn't bring myself to purchase them when there wasn't a sale going on. 

My sneaky, but very adorable boyfriend saw me searching through and continually re-examining my cart. While I was making some coffee, he sneakily took a screenshot of my Sephora cart and bought the items that I had my eye on. It made me that much more excited to open the package knowing it was from him.

One item that I was particularly excited for was the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette! I have the original Naked palette and had hit pan on the only two matte shades in the entire palette. I wanted an all matte version of this palette and now I have it! It has five matte shades in varying creams, browns and black. It also has one slightly sparkly shadow that is great for highlighting your brow bone. I tried out this morning and I have to say I already love it!

I got another bottle of my favorite, amazing, perfect foundation, Nars Sheer Glow in in the shade Mont Blanc. I had tried a million other foundations, but none compare to Nars Sheer Glow. It is a great medium coverage foundation that is perfect for building even coverage. It does a great job evening out my complexion and covering any and all my spots. It also gives a nice dewy glow.

The last product that I was excited to get a backup of was the Stila stay all day waterproof liquid eye liner pen. I live by liquid liners and Stila makes the best one. Perfect for a winged cat or kitten eye look. 

A bonus of purchasing from is the freebie kits they occasionally have with a minimum purchase. With the promo code Blitz, you could choose one of four holiday kits that each came with 8 samples. I chose the Festive Endurance kit aimed at making your makeup last all day and night. My kit came with Anastasia waterproof mascara topcoat, Ren Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk, Urban Decay mini anti-aging primer potion, Lacome perfume sample, Lancome mini mascara, Ojon color sustain conditioning treatment, Kat Von D painted love lipstick in Celebutard and Smashbox Camera ready CC cream in light/medium. I wasn't too impressed with the kit, but I did like a couple of the items.

The one part of the kit that I really didn't care for was the shade of Smashbox CC cream. The color said light/medium skin tones, but I couldn't see how this shade could come across as light at all. I have a fair skin tone that can handle most light shades, but it is a much darker color that would only look good on a medium skin tone. It was disappointing that the color was too dark for me to even test out. However, there were two things in the kit that I really liked!

I loved the actual makeup bag for one. I desperately needed a new makeup case and this one was perfect to fit all my day to day products. I also was very excited for the Urban Decay mini primer potion. The mini primer potion retails for $12 and I had just run out of the other primer potion I had. There is no good dupe of Urban Decay's eyeshadow primer. I tried Benefit's stay don't stray and my eyeshadow was creasing two hours later so I'm very excited to have the original primer powerhouse back! 

All in all, I was very happy with everything I got from Sephora, even happier that my boyfriend was sweet enough to get them for me. Right now, I'm a very happy beauty camper!

Bath and Body Works November Haul!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

As a young lady who is obsessed with the flickering flames and delightful aromas that are associated with candles, I could not go through the month of November without buying a stash for the upcoming holidays. 
I did careful scent research before deciding on the candles that I needed to have for the month of December. I wanted candles that would add to the Winter Wonderland decorations that will be everywhere around my apartment.

My first purchase at Bath and Body works, surprisingly enough, had nothing to do with candles! Last year, I bought a pair of cozy shea infused lounge socks that looked like a pair of candy canes. I was in love with wearing them around the apartment to keep my feet toasty and soft. To my great disappointment, I could not find them anywhere this year and decided to purchase a replacement pair. Although there were no candy canes prints in stock, I settled for a pair of snowmen that smile at me every time I look down at my feet. 
My first winter candle purchase involved two of Bath and Body works mason jar candles. I love the packaging on these lovelies. They remind me of the packaging for homemade jams. I smelled every mason jar candle multiple times and decided on two; Fresh Balsam and Cinnamon Frosting. 
Fresh Balsam was a no brainer choice. If you love the scent of your Christmas tree, but feel like you can’t really smell the aroma unless you’re sticking your entire face in the tree, this is the perfect solution! It fills the entire room with that signature “Christmas Tree” scent that signifies the holiday season has begun. 

The other mason jar candle I grabbed was Cinnamon Frosting. Cinnamon Frosting is described as a “scrumptious scent of grated cinnamon and cloves, vanilla bean and whipped buttercream”. The scent of cinnamon and sugary buttercream reminded me of the gingerbread cookies I used to eat around the holidays and is a perfect mix up to the Fresh Balsam tree scent. 
Now onto the BIG candles! Thankfully, I bought these three candles during a 2 for $22 online sale so each candle only cost $11. Talk about a reasonable price for candles that can burn up to 45 hours!

I bought a big version of the Fresh Balsam candle to have a backup for my Christmas tree scent needs.

I also bought a big version of Vanilla Snowflake. Vanilla Snowflake is described as a mixture of “creamy vanilla, winter mint and a touch of coconut” and I think it lives up to its description. It is reminiscent of a large batch of white chocolate peppermint bark.

The last big candle I decided to get is ‘Tis the Season. It is a major staple in my holiday candle collection! The scent is described as “red apples, green pine and a touch of golden cider” but they should really just call it "Scents o' Christmas". It combines all the best of the holidays; From apple picking, to Christmas trees, to drinking cider by the fire, ‘Tis the season is by far my favorite candle during the holidays!
I can’t wait to start lighting these delicious scents, but have promised myself to wait until after Thanksgiving…so I am counting down the days!!

Birchbox & Benefit BrowWow event in San Francisco

Birchbox & Benefit BrowWow event

I’m super late on posting this, but my sister and I went to Birchbox and Benefit’s Brow Wow event in San Francisco in October. We were so excited to go. The ticket to the event came with a brow arching, delicious treats, bubbly pink champagne, makeup tutorials and a $35 credit towards anything in the Benefit boutique. 

I love that the Benefit brand is based in San Francisco and adore the labeling that they use on their products. The event had talented Benefit makeup specialists that showed us how to look great using Benefit’s broad line of products, including their new product Gimme Brow. They demonstrated how to turn thin, sparse eyebrows into bolder and fuller looking brows. 

At the end of the night, I narrowed my choices down to two products. I decided on the Stay Flawless 15 hour makeup primer and a bottle of their Maybe Baby perfume, a scent I used to adore in high school. My sister decided to splurge a bit more and bought Benefit’s ooh la lift, an under eye brightener, That Gal, a brightening face primer, and The Professional, another PRO balm primer.

Along with our Benefit goodies, Birchbox sent each of us home with an amazing Benefit inspired Birchbox filled with deluxe sample goodies! Each box contained a set of Birchbox bobby pins, a deluxe sample of Benefit’s Stay don’t Stray eye primer, a mini Bad Gal lash and a deluxe sample of It’s Potent eye cream. 

All in all, it was an awesome night. Thanks Birchbox and Benefit for having us, we both had an amazing time!

November 2013 Birchbox unwrapping

The theme for this month’s Birchbox is ‘More Good’. The first thing I did when I opened this Birchbox is promptly eat 3 pieces of my Ghiradelli Mint Cookie chocolate bar and guess what, it was delicious. It reminded me of eating Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. 

The second item in the box that I opened and tested was the Laura Mercier Lip glace in the shade Opal. I like the idea of a mini lip gloss to throw in my purse for a night out and the scent was pretty delicious, but I would have preferred a darker berry color to go with the upcoming winter season. 

As for the Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Noir perfume, I wasn’t the biggest fan. The scent was too similar to other Juicy Couture perfumes and they have just never been my scent. 

I did like the Color Club nail polish in Baldwin Blues as I like navy blue nail polishes, but I have gotten a few navy blue polishes before from Birchbox in the past and it just seemed like another repeat. 

I haven’t tried the Elite Therapeutics face and body wash and I doubt that I will. I really enjoy my current face regimen combination of the She Terra African  Black soap and my handy Clarisonic. I also didn’t like hearing how many other Birchbox bloggers were turned away by the scent of the wash. An amazingly scented body wash is a non negotiable with me.

The last item in my November Birchbox was Miss Jessie’s Leave In Condish. I utterly detest samples in foil packaging as there is no good way to seal off the top and reuse. Miss Jessie’s, please find a better packaging for your product! 

All in all, a pretty interesting box, but I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the magical month that is December!!!
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