Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 Goals

I'm not a fan of New Year's Resolutions. I never make them. Even if I do, I break them within weeks which is pretty defeating. With that being said, this year I'm going to set some achievable goals for the year, rather than life-altering resolutions. 

Blog goals

Be more consistent with my posts // If you're been around here for a while, you know that at times I can go for a few weeks without posting anything. I'm not intentionally trying to be a lax blogger, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Rather than making an unrealistic resolution for myself of posting multiple times a week every week, I'm going to push myself for a realistic goal of once a week posts, but not missing a week like I sometimes have. 

Improve my photos // I invested in a DSLR camera a couple of years ago and I have some of the basics down, but I really want to teach myself how to get the most out of it. More than anything else I want my pictures to be sharper and to improve the composition of each one. So many blogs that I read have such stunning photos, which is really inspiring me to up my own photo game. 

Personal goals

Learn to cook a few basic meals // If making mac-n-cheese out of a box counted as cooking, then I'd be set. But it doesn't, unfortunately for me. My goal this year is to learn to make a few basic meals without burning or undercooking anything. I'll probably look to Pinterest for some meal inspiration, but if you have some recipe recommendations please leave them in the comments. I'm lucky I'm married to man who can cook.

Purge unused junk // I'm finally to the point where I'm tired of hanging onto things that I don't use. I want to get rid of anything I don't wear, things I'm planning on using 'someday' (but never do), and other junk that's just sitting around taking up space and cluttering up my house. I feel like this goal would make me so much happier day to day, so I really want to follow through with it.

Now comes the hard part of getting started on all of these and sticking with them. What are your goals this year? 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Trying a new brand: Milk Makeup

There's a spark inside of me that lights up when I try a brand I've never used before, as most makeup lovers would probably agree with. There's a lot of factors that would push me to give a brand a chance. I'm sucked in by packaging, whether it be sleek and chic or creative and colorful, it's one of the things to grab me first. If I've heard positive buzz about the brand then I'm definitely more likely to be willing to try it, too. Lastly, and especially of late, if they have something in their lineup that's unique and I haven't seen before or I don't have in my collection, then I'll probably keep thinking about it until I eventually break down and buy it. I have no willpower. 

All of these things led me to try Milk Makeup. 

The enabler was a sample of Sunshine Oil in my Birchbox a few months ago. I hadn't heard much about the brand at the time, but the packaging was cute, clean, and eye-catching. From using the oil over the past several weeks, I can definitely say that I like it. The rollerball is a nice touch, to avoid the gross feeling of oily fingers on application. The oil smells really fresh and citrusy and I tend to apply it under my eyes and to any drier areas of my face before bed. It doesn't feel greasy, as you might think; instead, it sinks in and makes your skin feel nicely hydrated.

I'd been looking for a cream bronzer in stick form for a while but hadn't found one that looked like my Goldilocks. I finally decided to give the Matte Bronzer from Milk a try and I'm pretty happy with that decision. The formula is creamy and smooth, so it applies easily without dragging. It blends out effortlessly with a brush or dampened beauty sponge to give you a natural bronzed glow, too. The only negatives for me are that it's a little wide, so it can be challenging to apply it precisely in a small area when you need to, and it pulls towards the warm side, so I don't tend to use it for contouring. 

The most recent product that I tried is the one that I had my eye on forever and the one that I'm most in love with. The Holographic Stick is a interesting and unique little stunner that I can't stop reaching for. I use it as a cheek highlight, but this lavender-based stick can be used for adding a futuristic pop of iridescence to your eyes, cupid's bow, bridge of your nose, or pretty much anywhere you want a subtle sheen with a hint of color. I know it sounds a little odd, but it's one of the most beautiful makeup products I've ever used and more wearable than it looks.

So  what's next? I really want to try the Blush Oil and the Gel Brow since they both look like nothing else in my collection. Have you tried anything from Milk Makeup that you'd recommend? 

It's unbelievable to me that it's December already. It's my birthday tomorrow, so my Mom is taking me out for a mani/pedi tonight and my husband is taking me out to dinner this weekend. I have no Christmas gifts bought yet, but I mostly just need to get gifts for my one and a half year old nephew (any suggestions are greatly welcomed). We aren't putting up a Christmas tree this year, since Agnes is still very interested in anything and everything around her that she can pull, steal, or chew. It would be up for about 5 minutes before she got into it and went nuts. She's a curious little sweetheart of a puppy haha. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Unicorn Inspired Makeup

There's something so magical and special about a unicorn. Of course they're not real, but that doesn't stop me from adding a bit of their whimsy into my makeup (and wardrobe) every now and again! The pink and purple haze that seems to surround a unicorn have been influencing me to have a little more fun with my daily makeup choices lately.

For my eyeshadow I've been reaching for the Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Quad in Plum. As it's all matte, it's great for both day and night. I swipe the pale pink all over my lids as a base, then add a layer of the light purple all over on top. I carve out an outer V with the deep plum and finish it all by sweeping the deeper pink through my crease to define it and blend everything else together. All of the rich colors play together beautifully and the shades are perfect for autumn, too.

I snagged the Ardency Inn Modster Eyeliner in Lilac from the Sephora sale, since I've had my eye on it for what feels like an eternity. I'm so glad I went for it, because it's one of the best liners I've ever tried. They don't call it a Smooth Ride liner for nothing - it applies so easily without dragging or skipping. It's smooth to apply without being too soft or crumbly, as others can be, too. The color makes me ridiculously happy every time I use it too! It's such a punchy shade - somewhere between purple and pink and it makes a statement while still being wearable. Think grown up punk.

Another Sephora sale splurge was the Milk Makeup Holographic Stick. I was so hesitant about this one, since online it appears like a futuristic, prismatic and intense product. However, this has turned into one of the most unusual and fun products that I've ever used! It's a cool toned lavender 'use-anywhere' type of stick that I primarily use as a highlight. Don't be put off by the color description, thinking that it's unwearable, because it's absolutely stunning when it's applied. It glides onto the skin easily and gives you a modern take on highlighter. It shines and catches the light without being shimmery which is one of the things that I'm most impressed with about it. I'm excited to try it out in other ways too (I'm thinking this will be a stunner of a glossy eye!)

Makeup that makes you feel a little more fabulous than usual is always a win in my book. Something about this color palette makes me feel so cheerful whenever I use it, so I can definitely see myself reaching for these often. I'm off of work this whole week and I couldn't be more excited for it. Aside from Thanksgiving on Thursday and a Gilmore Girls revival marathon with my mom all day Friday, I don't have much planned (and I like it that way haha!) Have a great week everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2016

October Favorites: Beauty, Hair Care & Lifestyle

October came and went in a flash, as most months seem to. By the time the month ended and Halloween was over, it felt like fall had truly settled in. I've succumbed to wearing a jacket in the morning so I don't freeze when the sun is still rising and my booties are all back in my wardrobe, as if they were never stored away back in the spring.

I had a few makeup items that I found myself consistently reaching for all month. The IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye has been my concealer of choice. It's a thicker formula that blends in easily with your fingertips and a little goes a long way to hide any bit of darkness you're suffering from. Set it with a little powder and you're good to go all day. 

Something about cooler temps make me want to add more glow and gleam to my makeup routine. I haven't been holding back with my highlighter and I've been reaching for the By Terry Ombre Blackstar shadow sticks a lot more than usual. They have an intense light reflective shimmer packed into the cream shadow and I can't get enough. I use Misty Rock, a purple toned taupe, built up for nights out or with a light hand for daytime. Frozen Quartz is a peachy pink with gold undertones that I love for brightening up my eyes on extra-tired mornings. The formula blends out perfectly and doesn't budge once it's set. They're definitely up there in price, but that's the only drawback for me when it comes to these shadows.

A couple of times a week I add an extra step to my shower routine and work Briogeo's Don't Dispair, Repair deep conditioning mask into the ends of my hair. I leave it in throughout the whole shower and rinse it out right before I finish. I always notice that my hair is softer and more cooperative the next couple of days after using it. I'm officially a deep conditioner convert and addict now. 

If you're interested in anything unusual, strange pieces of history, and fascinating photographs, then the blog Messy Nessy will pull you into a black hole of curiosity that you won't regret. I stumbled onto it through a Cupcakes & Cashmere Links I Love post about NYC's most secret places and have been obsessed ever since. Posts range from a Scientology handbook (I couldn't stop laughing...) to North Korean restaurants to a time capsule house stuck in the '50's and everything in between. 

It feels like the holidays will be here before you know it. Thanksgiving (in the US) is only a few weeks away and Christmas decor is already popping up in all the stores. I'm also (overly) excited for the Gilmore Girls revival later this month. As my mom and I used to watch it together when it was on, we're planning on watching it together when it's released on Netflix. My goal is to binge watch it in two days, but we'll see. I have such high expectations for it, so I hope it's great! Have a good week everyone!