Beauty Bests: September

I really need to stop introducing new blog series! I can never seem to stick with them for long.

Another thing I’m struggling with is my blogging mojo. Life is busy — I work 40+ hours a week, and in the next 3 weeks I only have 5 days off of work (including today and tomorrow, my normal weekend). And right after that stretch I’m embarking on my first solo flight to visit my best friend in Salt Lake City…which I am super pumped for! And also nervous — I’ve been reading everything possible about airline travel. Not that I’m scared of flying (I actually love it) or that I haven’t flown much (I generally fly once or maybe twice a year) but that I’ve never flown without someone with me, whether my family or a big group so I hope I have everything I need. I’m traveling carry-on only for the first time too and I hope I’m not bringing too much stuff for my small bag. Do any seasoned solo flyers have tips for this newbie?

Enough travel talk (for now), let’s talk beauty. I am NOT a low-maintenance kind of girl when it comes to beauty products, but I don’t like to spend too much on makeup or hair stuff. With that being said, here are some of my favorite finds this month.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo (Sephora, $12)

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Purple lips AREN'T weird, trust me!

This stuff is life-changing, y’all. Before trying it I hadn’t found a lipstick/lip stain that stayed put and didn’t feel too heavy. This is the answer to my prayers! First of all, it’s basically like getting two for the price of one, because it has one shade on each end. Second, the shades are perf…I absolutely love the bright magenta and fuschia hues. They’re the perfect pop of color that works for all seasons. And best of all, it stays on for most of the day. Trust me. I went for a run while wearing it (hey, it was after work!) and it barely faded. It will last through eating and drinking, too.

Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara (Sephora, $10 for mini)

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Minis are cuter anyway!

Another incredible product that will probably become my go-to mascara from now on. Not heavy or cakey like a lot of mascaras and it comes off easily with makeup removers or warm water. It gives me the length and volume I want without looking all spider-y. It comes in a full-size version, but I tried the mini because A) I’m cheap B) I wanted to make sure it was worth it and C) It works better for traveling (see above). I am stocking up on more before my trip!

Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil (Julep.com)

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Looks like pee, but smells great.

Full disclosure: I got this as a freebie with my first Julep box (they mostly sell nail polish). But this stuff smells good and works well. I usually use makeup removing wipes, and lately I’ve been getting into more natural brands like Burt’s Bees, but this oil is less harsh on my eyes (it’s good for contact users like me) and it makes your skin soft. You only need a little bit, which is even better. Just lather up a little on your face and wash away with warm water.

Bobby Pins (any drugstore)

You know what bobby pins look like (I hope)! These suckers are extremely cheap, since they usually come in packs of like a million, so when you inevitably lose some, it’s okay. Since I’ve started doing the top bun thing more often, they’re a lifesaver for those little frizzies that stick out. And I also use them to do that little bouffant thing with my bangs now that I’m kinda sorta probably growing them out.

Tidy Detangling Comb (Sephora, $8)

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Have to buy it if it's pink.

I used to brush out my hair after a shower with an actual brush. Bad! Then I realized a comb would be better for my hair, so I switched to this because it’s bigger than those cheap-o combs they give you on picture day in elementary school and it said it would keep my texture intact, which I was thrilled about. I’m all about leaving my hair natural (aka wavy) when I can and this comb absolutely keeps that in check. Now I also use this comb to detangle my ends when they’re dry and yep, still works wonders. Plus it’s pink, which means I had to get it.

What are some of your (cheap) beauty favorites? Any solo traveling tips?

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New in Review: Nails & Noshes

Hey look, I didn’t totally give up on my new series! I’m going to try to get these up every other week so I hope y’all like them as much as I do!

This week features a couple nail-related beauty products as well as plenty of food items…

  • Veggie-Go’s (sweet potato pie)

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I’ve actually had these before but I never did a formal review on them. They’re anything but your basic fruit strip, because they include veggies (!) and have no added sugar. This flavor in particular tastes like a dessert, but it’s only got 2 grams of sugar, from the sweet potatoes and apples. They’re just fruit, veggies and spices — perfect if you’re like me and prefer your food to be as simple as possible.

Pros: extremely tasty, perfect for a quick 1/2 serving each of fruit & veggies

Cons: a little expensive for the size (~$1.25 per strip)

Where to buy: Whole Foods, their site

  • Sally Hansen Kwik Off Moisturizing Nail Polish Remover

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Has anyone else ever been intrigued by those little containers you dip your fingers in to get nail polish off? My friend had one and it worked magic, so I thought I’d buy one instead of the usual messy nail polish remover liquid. This stuff works like a charm, and it doesn’t smell all chemical-y or get all over the place. I will never buy acetone remover again!

Pros: inexpensive, easy to use, no lingering smell

Cons: honestly, none!

Where to Buy: Target, Sephora, drug stores (CVS and Walgreens probably have them)

  • Dr. in the Kitchen Flackers raw flax crackers

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Another cheat (I first started buying them like 2 years ago), but I started recently buying them more often now that the Whole Foods nearest me carries them. I’ve tried the dill, rosemary, sun dried tomato & basil and cinnamon & currants flavors (basically all of them but the savory flavor) and I love them all except the cinnamon and currants. That one gets a bit too chewy from the currants and the flavor is weirdly sour. But all the others are tasty, not too salty and have stellar nutritionals. 6-7 grams of fiber, raw, gluten free and 4-5 grams of protein per serving. Freakin’ delicious on a snack plate with some olives or raw cashew cheez.

Pros: really healthy, good flavors

Cons: a bit expensive, hard to find

Where to Buy: Whole Foods (not all carry them), natural foods stores, Amazon

  • Honest Fizz (root beer)

Y’all know Zevia has my heart. I mean, sure it costs a lot more than your typical diet soda but it’s so much better for you. If you drink soda, you really need to switch to Zevia.

But Honest Fizz is another great alternative that is a little cheaper. Currently, they only have 4 flavors but I’m hoping they’re successful so maybe they’ll add more. Fingers crossed they (or Zevia) make a watermelon soda. Obsessed. Anyways, the root beer is pretty spot on. I actually prefer the Zevia root beer only because it has a kick from the ginger, but the Honest Fizz was less filling (I don’t drink Zevias too often because I hate being filled up with soda, even if it’s zero calorie) which I like. And I think it would make a pretty good healthy root beer float!

Pros: cheaper than Zevia, less filling

Cons: not many flavor options

Where to Buy: Whole Foods, possibly Sprouts

  •  Broadway Nails imPress press-on manicure

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I’ve gotten into the habit of constantly having my nails painted. The problem is I hate constantly touching up and redoing my nails every few days after they inevitably chip. Enter the fake nails! This is my first time using them, and I can honestly say I am imPressed 😉

These go on really quickly and easily. You press them down for a few minutes and after an hour they’re completely good to go. My nails were fairly short at the time I applied these, so even the ‘short’ length had to be trimmed down a bit, but they look natural. Best of all, no chipping!

Pros: easier than nail polish, look natural

Cons: more expensive per use than nail polish, only get 1-2 uses out of each pack

Where to Buy: Target, CVS, Walgreens

  • Living Intentions superfood cereal (hemp & greens)

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I first discovered this granola at the Whole Foods in my college town. They started stocking it in the bulk bins last spring and once I saw it, I had to give it a try. Of course, being a sprouted, superfood-y type thing, it’s expensive. About $12 per pound! But if you only get a little bit at a time like I do, it’s a lot less expensive. Some stores only sell it prepackaged so you can’t buy only what you need, but if your Whole Foods sells it in the bulk area, BUY IT!

I’ve tried a few of the flavors, but my favorite by far is the hemp & greens. This one isn’t sweetened with agave like some of the others, which I like. It’s got a bit of a ‘green’ flavor from the added spirulina, chlorella, spinach, alfalfa and dandelion — what other cereal can boast those ingredients? It’s grain free (made from buckwheat), low sugar, high protein…basically the healthiest granola ever. It’s perfectly crunchy and just a bit sweet and pairs well with almond milk. I also love it as a topping for my protein puddings.

Pros: one of the healthiest cereals ever, great ingredients

Cons: expensive, I love it so much I keep buying it 😉

Where to Buy: Whole Foods, Sprouts, Nuts.com

What new products have you tried lately? 

What’s In My Bag?

I have an obsession. With purses. Specifically large, designer bags. I got my first, a multicolor Coach shoulder bag for Christmas when I was 16 and since then, I’ve been hooked and have added 5 more designer bags to my collection.

My current go-to is a navy blue bird-printed Fossil tote I got for my 21st birthday and I’ve been loving it ever since. It’s the perfect size, shape and it goes with almost everything. I love that it has an interior zippered pocket and a few pouches so I can attempt to organize my stuff, but let’s be honest, I mostly just throw things in there. That’s what a purse is for, right?

I was inspired by Emily’s recent posts about the things in her bag and I wanted to share what’s currently in mine!

In my purse

Makeup bag (Forever 21)…March 2014 People StyleWatch magazine…White Citrus mini lotion (Bath & Body Works)…hairbrush (Clinique)…Bandaid box (hey, I’m accident prone!)…Lemon Vanilla lip gloss (Bath & Body Works)…earphones…mango butter chapstick (Burt’s Bees)…compact mirror (Gilly Hicks)…wallet (Fossil)…vanilla berry sorbet hand sanitizer (Bath & Body Works)…keys…Advil…multicolored pens…Lipslicks lipstick in princess (Covergirl)…cinnamon xylitol mints…sunglasses (Target). 

What’s in your purse?

Fashion Friday: B+W

I remember when I used to hate black. No good reason for it, I just thought it was blah and goth and weird. I owned literally nothing black other than nice dress pants for band concerts.

But then I started shopping at Forever 21, and that’s when my world changed. See, before that I was a Hollister/Abercrombie/American Eagle girl, and while I still like those stores, they’re a lot less affordable than F21. It didn’t help that those stores (other than American Eagle) don’t make anything in black. I loved (and still love) bright colors, but I finally opened up to having black in my closet. It started with a pair of black+white patterned harem pants, and expanded to a few key pieces, including a few dresses. tanks, jackets and pants.

Now when I wear black, it’s almost always paired with white. I love the graphic look of B+W prints and I can always add in a pop of color with a necklace or shoes.

Black+white graphic career jacket (Forever 21), black studded tank (F21), black stretchy pencil skirt (Charlotte Russe), black tights (Target), black wedge ankle booties (Target).

Black+white graphic drapey career jacket (Forever 21), black studded tank (F21), black stretchy pencil skirt (Charlotte Russe), black tights (Target), black wedge ankle booties (Target).

This would be an outfit I would definitely wear to work (ahem, still job searching!) and it works for all seasons–just skip the tights for spring and summer. It’s a bold look because of the graphic-patterned jacket without being overdone because of the simple palette.

Obligatory selfie.

Obligatory selfie.

I kept the makeup look polished and simple. Liquid & powder foundation, blush, grey eyeshadow, dark brown eyeliner, volumizing mascara (I use Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express) and a little pink lip stain. I don’t use fancy makeup, mostly Covergirl and Maybelline, the kind of stuff you can get at Target and drug stores. I wish I could afford Sephora…a girl can dream!

Triangles necklace (Forever 21), white rose ring (F21).

Triangles necklace (Forever 21), white rose ring (F21). Coach Poppy backpack purse in the background.

Accessories are always a must in my world. I kept this look simple with a small pendant necklace and white rose-adorned ring, both from Forever 21.Yes, their jewelry is cheap, but it holds together fairly well and it’s great for someone like me who loves to have a wide variety of jewelry. Oh, and I paired this outfit with my Coach Poppy black+white+red backpack purse I got for my 19th birthday. Love this bag, it’s like a fancy backpack!

What colors do you like to pair with black? 

TMI Tuesday

Nothing like a TMI post to really draw in readers, amiright? All kidding aside, I think these kinds of posts are always fun to read and I wanted to get a little more personal with everyone but in a more lighthearted way.

Growing Up With Big Boobs: When I saw this article on Huffington Post, I was intrigued as a lifetime member of the A Cup Club (not a thing, but I wish it was!) It’s interesting seeing the other side of the story, and it makes me sympathize with the larger-chested ladies a little more. The thing is, I’ve kinda grown to love my 32A’s. I feel like they fit my frame, and I love being able to wear strapless tops and low cut bikinis without worrying about spilling out. I’m not gonna lie, I would like to have B cups and a little cleavage, but I can’t complain too much…especially because I don’t have to wear a sports bra while working out! Side note: after reading that article, I found one for all my fellow small-chested ladies out there…check that one out here.

Having a Sore Throat for 12+ Days: Remember when I tweeted about this, on oh, October 13? Yeah, I actually started feeling sick around the 6th, and my sore throat didn’t completely go away until the 18th. I’ve been getting sore throats more frequently than any other kind of illness, but I’ve never had one that lasted almost 2 weeks and was severe the entire time. The pain got to be almost unbearable at night, and I was finally considering going to the health center on campus to get it checked out but luckily I didn’t have to because it resolved itself. I still don’t know what caused it, but I had no other symptoms of a cold, so it was really bizarre.

10 Things You Probably Don’t Want to Share: This makes me even more OCD about my personal items. I rarely share personal hygiene things anyway, except with my sister or mom, but now I’m really grossed out.

Obviously makeup is on the no-share list.

Obviously makeup is on the no-share list.

6 Gross Things People Do for Their HealthEven though a lot of these things sound questionable, they may be cultural traditions and hey, if it works, more power to ya if you wanna try it!

CrossFit’s Dirty Little SecretI’m not a Crossfitter, but I know a lot of people both outside and inside the blog world that are, and this article points out a scary issue that can happen with intense training, as in CrossFit. The ironic part is that rhabdomyolysis usually happens to the very fit–which just goes to show that rest days are extremely important (something I’m continually reminding myself!)

Silly cartoon, serious health issue.

Silly cartoon, serious health issue.

What’s your TMI to share this Tuesday? 

WNTITOW (What New Things I Tried Out Wednesday)

It’s time for another addition of… WIAW!!!!!!! Except this time, I’m not going to be showing what I ate today or yesterday (mostly because I forgot to take pictures 😉 ). Instead, I’ll be reviewing new products I recently bought and let you know what I think about them. So here we go!

Peas and Crayons

BEAUTY/HOME

Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Mascara (Target)

No, the computer was not included!

Verdict: It was okay, I thought it would actually give my eyelashes a false lash effect but I’m starting to realize that it’s probably physically impossible for a mascara to do that. I think I’m gonna stick with my Maybelline XXL Pro Extensions mascara in the future.

Jewelry Tree (Target)

Ignore the random stuff in the background haha

 
Verdict: Perfect! I used to store all my jewelry in the cute little cloth bags they give you at American Eagle when you buy jewelry and it all got tangled up. Now I have a pretty decoration that keeps my jewelry organized. Plus it was only $10!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rimmel London Eye Crayon (Target)

I love pink, but I'd like a silver crayon better...

 Verdict: I love how easy it is to apply and that it’s so versatile (it works as eyeliner and eyeshadow!) It’s less messy and sticky than cream shadows but it does smear a little in the creases. Now I really want to find a silver one…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray (Walmart)
 

Haha love the shower curtain in the background

 Verdict: I love this stuff! I’ve been looking all over for a sea salt spray to enhance my natural waves and give me a beachy look. This smells great, works great and is a lot cheaper than most other sea salt sprays.

FOOD/RECIPES

EVOL Mini Veggie Fajita Burrito (Whole Foods)

It's such a cute vegan lunch!

Verdict: It’s so little, so it makes a perfect snack or part of a small lunch (like I did). I love that it’s vegan and the tortilla is soooooo good! I just wish it was easier to find in other stores.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kashi TLC Zesty Salsa Pita Crisps (Target)

Kashi makes pita chips? Say whaaaaaat?!

 Verdict: I love almost anything Kashi, so when I saw these at Target, I had to snap them up. I tried one yesterday and I loved the flavor. The texture wasn’t quite as crispy as a pita chip but it was still good. 

Freeze-Dried Mango Crunchies

Crunchy mango? Yes please!

 Verdict: Ummmm, can I marry these? Lol, just kidding but these are SO good and I love that they are just made of freeze-dried mangos with no added sugar or anything. I’ve probably eaten half the bag already and I just got them yesterday. They are crunchy, so if you aren’t used to that, it might seem weird but they’re so good.

Raw Brownie Recipe (adapted from here)

Note: I cut the recipe in half and then in half again since I didn’t have enough almonds on hand (sad!) so it didn’t make a lot. Next time I would just halve it once and see how it turns out. Plus I found another raw brownie recipe with a banana chocolate ‘frosting’ I’m planning on trying! I didn’t take a picture, but the verdict on this is that it’s extremely yummy! I licked the spatula and it was sooooooo good. I haven’t had a full one yet but I’m sure it’ll happen sometime tonight… 😉

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup chopped dates (I used California pitted dates)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (if you love dark chocolate like me, PLEASE use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder!)

1/2 tablespoon rel maple syrup

Pulse almonds, walnuts and dates in a food processor until mostly combined (add 1/4 cup water if needed). Mix in cocoa powder, maple syrup and sprinkle salt until mixed. Spread raw brownie batter (don’t worry, it’s safe to lick the bowl 😛 ) into a foil-lined pan and refrigerate a few hours. Slice into 5 slices and enjoy!

Q: What’s the best new thing you’ve tried lately?