Thursday, July 26, 2012

What's In My Bag

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you are all well. I was a bit at a loss for what to blog about today but I realized I haven't done a What's In My Bag post so I thought I would do today. 

My everyday bag is a black Longchamp Le Pliage tote bag - I have the middle size with the brown leather straps. I love this bag because it matches with almost everything and I can fit so much stuff in it. The only drawback in my opinion is that there aren't any pockets or compartments to help organize things.

The red notebook is my address book and I cannot live without it - it has everyone's information in it. I picked it up from Barnes and Noble ages ago and it is from Moleskin. I love that it is red because it is so easy to find in my bag.

My wallet is grey patent leather and it is from Coach. I got this last summer and although I love it, I am probably going to upgrade in the near future to something a little smaller.

Next to that is my makeup bag - I carry the bare-minimum of what I need everyday because some days I have to do my makeup in the car or on the train. I am planning on doing a post going through what's in my makeup bag in the future to give you an idea of what I always use.

Below that I have my Ray-Ban wayfarers, which I mentioned in a haul awhile back. I have them in the brown tortoise shell (I think that is what it is called) and I wear them all the time. 

Next to that I have two pairs of headphones - the all-white ones are from Sony and the white and pink ones are from Skull Candy. You're probably thinking why is she carrying around two pairs of headphones? The pink ones are on their way out because I have had them for a few years and they have been tossed around a lot. I only use them for the gym and the rest of the time I use the white ones since they are in better condition as well as having a microphone and volume control so I can use them for phone calls. My iPhone isn't in the picture because it was charging but I have a white iPhone 4S that  I always have with me. I also usually have an iPhone charger in my bag because I always forget to charge it at nights.

I always keep a bottle of Advil Liqui-Gels in my bag because I have chronic migraines.

I had my garage door opener in my bag but usually it is in my car - I had to have my car serviced so it made its way into my bag. 

I keep a snack of some sort in my bag, as well as a water bottle, in case I don't have time to grab lunch so I have a bag of almonds. Sometimes I have granola bars instead - I love love love the Nature Valley ones.

I have a bunch of hair clips thrown in there for when my hair is driving me crazy and I just want it out of my face. I got these from Forever 21 - they are so colorful and a lot cheaper than most clips but they hold up well.

I have two containers of Blistex and I am realizing that I should probably take one out since that is really overkill. I love Blistex for when my lips are really dry or if they are chapped. I have so many pens that I probably need to clean out as well. Finally, I have a container of Purell and a deck of cards.

I hope this was interesting for some of you and I would love to know what you all carry around in your bags.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Korres Haul

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you are all well. I went to an event yesterday and received a few Korres products so I thought I would share them with you. The first product is the body butter in guava and smells delicious. I have heard good things about this so I can't wait to try it out.

The next product is the Magic Light Contouring Trio in Santorini. The looks like a gorgeous highlighting trio but I am a little worried that it might be a little frosty on the skin.

The next product is the new Cheek Butter in Chara Crimson. This is definitely not the color I would have picked out for myself had I been given the choice but beggars can't be chosers. It is a dark berry pink that I am going to have to work with in order to keep from looking like a clown but I have to see how pigmented it is on the skin. I am interested to see how this blends into the skin since it is a cheek butter. I am assuming it is going to be similar to a traditional cream blush but slightly oilier? I will keep you updated once I try this out.

The last product is the Cherry Full Color Gloss in Pink. This is definitely my favorite of the bunch because it gives the lips a gorgeous pink tint. The gloss is not opaque but it is not necessarily sheer either - if that makes sense. This is the only product that I have really tried out so far and I think this looks great alone but layered over a similarly colored lipstick it looks even better. Also, it has a great cherry scent and flavor - hence the name. I happen to like the flavor but if you prefer unscented glosses this is definitely not the one for you.

Have you tried any Korres products recently?


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Beauty Matchup: Face Wipes

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you are all well. I have been loving face wipes recently and trying out a few different brands. My favorites are the Olay Daily Facials Express face wipes - they are the softest and are the most effective at removing makeup and cleansing the skin.

My next favorites are the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes - they are great wipes but they are not as soft as the Olay wipes. However, I end up repurchasing the Simple wipes most of the time because they come in larger packs so I don't need to repurchase them as frequently and they do the job well.

Simple also makes Exfoliating Facial Wipes - I definitely would not use these to take off your makeup but rather as a gentle exfoliator after you have removed your makeup. These are too rough to use near your eye area so they are not the best for just generally removing makeup but they work well to gently exfoliate your skin.
Before Simple products were sold in the US, I used the Neutrogena Makeup Remover wipes. These are  great for removing your makeup but they leave an oily film on your skin so you have to cleanse it with another product afterwards. I usually use a face wash or cleanser after I use a face wipe anyways so for me this wasn't a major problem but if you only want to use one product for both I would recommend one of the other wipes. Also, the Neutrogena wipes are not particularly soft and can sometimes leave the skin feeling irritated and red. Depending on how sensitive your eye area is, these might leave a stinging sensation so if you have really sensitive skin I would steer clear of these.

Last but not least, are the MAC face wipes. The only good thing about these in my opinion is that they are sold in bulk. I prefer to use these to spot clean my makeup brushes or to remove swatches. These break me out so I really don't like them and they also have a funny odor in my opinion. Also, they are harsh on the skin and usually make my skin sting after I use them. I am still trying to finish up the first and only pack I bought but since I don't use them on my face I really have no use for them.

Overall, I always go back to either the Olay or the Simple cleansing face wipes because they are the softest and work really well at removing my makeup. The only time I have ever had a problem with either of them is if I have put on a lot of waterproof mascara and then you need to rub a bit to get all of it off.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if there are any other face wipes out there that you have enjoyed.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shoe Love: Havaianas Flip-Flops

Hello Lovelies!

 I hope you are all well. I have been in a bit of a rut makeup-wise lately so I thought I would talk about shoes today. I have been loving wedges lately but at the end of the day I just want to give my feet a break. I have been throwing a pair of Havaianas in my bag and taking them with me. I have three pairs - pink, grey, and a light blush color. They are available in pretty much every color more or less.

For relatively cheap plastic flip-flops, these are really comfortable. They also wear really well - they don't get dirty easily and you can wash them off really easily if you need to. I got mine at Lord & Taylor but I think you can get them at other department stores. These are great with jeans and a casual tee-shirt or with a nice sundress/maxidress.

These are also great for going to the beach or the pool since they are waterproof and sand brushes off really easily once they dry.

Let me know if any of you pick a pair up.


Friday, June 8, 2012

OPI Gel French Manicure

Hello Lovelies!!!

I hope you are all well. I have a black tie event tonight and I decided to get an OPI gel French manicure and I am so glad I did. My manicurist used bubble bath for the base, alpine snow for the tips, and passion on top. I absolutely love the way it came out. I have gotten gel manicures and shellac manicures in the past but I usually get solid colors. I wanted something classic tonight, hence the French. I will definitely be getting this again in the future.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Product Rant: Bobbi Brown Face Palette

Hello Lovelies!!

I hope you are all well. I am going to an event later this week and I am using this teeny tiny clutch that I really can't fit anything in other than maybe my cell phone and some cash but I want to bring some makeup with me for touchups. I found this empty face palette online at Bobbi Brown and went in to pick it up at my local counter. It is a 6-welled empty palette that comes with a little spatula to use to depot products. I only used cream products but I guess if you wanted to you could crush up a powder product and reset it in the palette with rubbing alcohol but you have to be careful because it might change the texture and/or the pigmentation. Anyways, back to the palette - in addition to the 6-wells, it has a large mirror on top, which is great for touchups.

To put the cream products into the palette, you use the cosmetic spatula (not pictured - but included when you buy it) to scoop the product out of the container and into the palette. The products I put in are MAC Studio Fix concealer in NW20 and NC15, MAC Cream Color Base in Shell, MAC Cremeblend Blush in Ladyblush, and Revlon Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake. I haven't decided which lipstick I am wearing so I am leaving the last well empty until I decide. There are white labels on the back of the palette where you can write the name of each product.

In terms of actually putting the products in the palette, it is a pain in the butt. No matter how careful you are, it is really hard not to get some of the product in between wells (on the black cross sections) so afterwords you have to go over it with a q-tip or tissue to wipe off the products. Also, you have to be really careful not to put too much product in each well or else it gets all over the mirror when you close the palette. Additionally, the product you depotted from (i.e. my actual concealer and blush pots) look really mangled from where you scooped out the product but if you don't really care then that won't be an issue for you. It is definitely easier to put products that are originally in a tube in here (i.e. the lipstick or stick concealers) because you can just cut off a chunk off the top of the product without really mangling the remaining product, unlike things in pots.

Overall, I am happy that I got this palette because it is great to throw in your bag and have two concealers, a blush, a highlighter, and two lip colors (or whatever else you want to put in it) all in one palette. One think you might want to keep in mind is that the palette snaps shut but it doesn't really seal tightly so I would not put a product like a MAC Paint Pot or a Benefit Creaseless Cream shadow or any type of gel eyeliner in this because I think it would dry out rather quickly and you would be left with a mess. Also, unless you are just refilling one of the wells with the same product, I don't think you can really refill it with a new product.

One last thing I will mention is that I think this is a bit over priced because it is $15 and it is very very small. I would not want it be any bigger but I would like the price to be smaller, if that makes sense. This has become such a rambly blog post but I have so much to say about this. I haven't really decided if I would repurchase this to fill with different products, especially since other than concealers and lipsticks I really don't have that many cream products that would work in this without drying out. More oil based cream products definitely work better in this since they are less likely to dry out.

I hope this was helpful and let me know if any of you have this and if you do what products you have in it.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Brush Cleansing

Hello Lovelies!!

I hope you are well. I wanted to do a more functional post today instead of one about products and whatnot. I was cleaning my brushes last night so I wanted to do a quick post about it. Up until recently, I used either MAC brush cleanser or a baby shampoo to clean my brushes and if necessary, a little bit of olive oil to condition them. However, I was out of both so I ended up using a bar of Dove soap instead.

Thank gosh I ran out of my usual cleansers. I was using one of the plain, white bars of Dove and it was so much faster to clean my brushes. I guess since it is a bar and not a liquid soap, it does not put as much soap on the brushes but whatever the reason it took me about a third of the time to clean all of my brushes. My brushes are as clean as when I used the other cleaners but it took so much less time to rinse all of the soap out, a definite plus since less rinse time means less time to accidentally get water where it should not belong in a makeup brush.

One thing I will say is certain brushes that I use in cream products, like my concealer brushes, I needed to go over a few times to really get off all of the product. My foundation brushes, normal paddle brushes and stippling brushes, were not problematic but for whatever reason my concealer brushes were a pain to clean with the Dove soap. Also, the brush I generally use with MAC Paint Pots and other cream eyeshadows was a pain to clean. In the future, I think I will still use either the baby shampoo or the MAC brush cleanser in order to cut through the product buildup a little bit faster on these brushes. That being said, all of the brushes I use with powders, face powders and eyeshadows alike, and my foundation brushes were really easy to clean without any issues.

This is definitely a cheaper and more efficient way to clean brushes in my opinion. Now that we have the soap out of the way, I should probably tell you how I actually clean the brushes (duh). Wet the bar of soap and hold it in one hand while swirling the brush with the other, making a nice lather. Then run water onto the palm of one hand and continue to swirl the brush until all of the soap and product washes out. Be careful not to get any water into the ferrel of the brush (I think that is what the silver part is called - sorry if I'm wrong) because you don't want to losen the adhesive, which will make the bristles eventually fall out over time.

Once all of the soap is rinsed out, gently use a towel to wipe off some of the excess water. Next, reshape the bristles, especially for powder or angled brushes.Then lie the brushes onto a towel to dry overnight. The next morning, I usually put some rubbing alcohol onto a washcloth and wipe down all of the handles of the brushes to remove any product buildup and/or bacteria but you can skip this step if you want to.

One other tip that I have used in the past is to use clear nail polish to keep the numbers from rubbing off the handles over time. If you put a coat or two of clear nail polish over name/number on the brush, you don't have to worry about it rubbing off.

Also, I color code my brushes based on which ones I use for my face, eyes, cheeks, etc. This may be unnecessary depending on how many brushes you have and how you use them. Since I like to use brushes for things other than their specific function, i.e. using a MAC 217 eyeshadow brush to apply my concealer, I like to have my brushes color coded, especially when I have duplicates of the same brush. I picked yellow for my face brushes, pink for cheek brushes, blue for eye brushes, and purple for lip brushes but you can do whatever colors you want. Find a nail polish in the desired color and pour a little bit into a disposable cup, the small the better, and then dip the end of the brush into the nail polish. Hold the brush with the newly-dipped end down and use a hair dryer on low to speed up the drying process. I would recommend using a cheaper nail polish or one that is not your absolute favorite because you do need a decent amount of product depending on how many brushes you are doing and how large the handles are. if you don't want to dip your brushes this way, you can have different brush containers for each of the categories that I mentioned above so that you don't have to really do anything to the actual brushes.

I got bored last night while I was washing all my brushes so excuse the weird tower/teepee thing I "built" with all of my brushes.

Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions about cleaning your brushes or brush care in general. I hope this was helpful!!