New School Year, New Hair

Friday, August 29, 2014

My new school year starts in a few days and I thought I'd spruce up my hair for the occassion. Gone is the blond from my hair, and here to stay is the dark brown (my original color).

I love how it turned out and I'm so excited for the new year :)

xo Emily

Budget Beauty: A Few E.L.F. Blushes

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I really love E.L.F. cosmetics - so affordable and you can find some really amazing products! One of my favorites are their blushes which are beautiful, pigmented, and really inexpensive!

I thought I'd show you a few of my favorite E.L.F. blushes today, because I've found myself reaching for them just as often as my Rockateur blush!

First up is a blush from one my favorite blush/bronzer duos which I talk about almost everyday it seems like. It's called St. Lucia and I love both shades. The blush is warm-toned with flecks of gold sparkle in it, so it's great for both a blush and an illuminating powder! This is a great dupe for both the Nars Laguna/Orgasm duo and the Benefit Rockateur boxed blush, especially because this duo is only $3. 

Next up is one of E.L.F's single blushes. This one is in the shade Tickled Pink, a very soft light pink which is really natural and gorgeous on the cheeks. I love the singular blushes from E.L.F. because there are so many choices in color and they're all $3. 

Lastly is another favorite, and that's E.L.F.'s baked blush in the shade Passion Pink. Once again, this is only $3 which is a fantastic price. It's also sooooo gorgeous. I love baked makeup products because they are really unique and always look shimmery and gorgeous on the skin. This one is especially nice, because it looks super natural and also gives some shimmer. I like to use this when I don't even want to mess with highlighter or bronzer. 

Do you have some favorite E.L.F. blushes? Or any other affordable blushes that you're obsessed with? Let me know below.

Back to packing for the move!!!

xo Emily

Friday Finds!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hey guys! It's been awhile since I've done a 'Friday Finds' post, but I've accumulated a few things since I last did one so I thought I'd share them!

I have a pretty good group of products here, and I'm excited to either start using these, or continue using them, as they are all new to me!

First up is an Eyeliner that I've heard loads about. It's the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in 'Trooper' which is incredibly black and pigmented. I've been using this for about a week now and I've been really enjoying it! It's super liquidy and goes on the eye flawlessly. I think I'll review it in depth once I've really used it enough!

Next is that gorgeous eyeshadow palette. It's Sephora's Moonshadow Baked Palette 'In the Tropics' which has 10 beautiful, shimmery shades that are great for summer. I've been using the purple shades to create some really fun looks lately. Bonus, this was on sale for only $13 in stores so it's a great bargain!

I picked up a new Foundation and that's the L'Oréal True Match Magic Lumi Healthy Luminous Foundation in 'Classic/Soft Ivory'. I really enjoy both the formula and shades of L'Oréal's foundations and found that this was just a perfect shade for me. I'm going to do a review of this foundation as well, but so far, I really like how luminous this makes my skin!

Now for a mascara. I love mascara and was really excited to try out Maybelline's Big Eyes mascara. It's double sided, so you have one brush for your upper lashes, and a smaller one on the other side for the lower lashes. I think that's ingenious, because I've been wanted a smaller mascara wand just to do my lower lashes. I definitely have been enjoying using the small wand for my lower lashes.

Last up is a makeup brush I've been eyeing for awhile now. It's the Real Techniques Setting Brush. I love Real Techniques so I'm surprised it took me this long to purchase this brush. It's the perfect size for setting your under-eye concealer so I think it's perfect!

Products mentioned:

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner 'Trooper'  $18 
Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette 'In the Tropics' On SALE $13

That's all I got for this weeks Friday Finds! I hope you enjoyed! I'm excited to keep using these products!

xo Emily

NARS Creamy Concealer: A Review

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A few weeks ago I picked up the NARS Creamy Concealer because I have heard so many amazing things about it. What had stopped me from purchasing it for awhile was that it will cost you $29. That's a lot of money, especially for a college student, so I was a bit hesitant.

But, as I still struggled to cover my under-eye circles, I decided to go ahead and go for this product, because I really wanted to find a product that could get the job done. 

I mentioned I had picked this up in a blog post about a month ago and so I think this is sufficient time to make a pretty informed decision on how good or how bad this product is!

The Verdict

I'm reluctantly happy with this product. I can't completely give it my 100% love because it does have flaws. 

The Good: This does exactly what its name says; it's creamy. I need and adore creamy concealers because they really help to moisturize and cover-up that super sensitive skin underneath your eye. This also covers up those blue and purple under-eye circles really nicely. It's got a cool tint, which works especially well with my skin tone. I also like the color-match. There are a bunch of shade options and mine, Vanilla, works just perfect for me.
Love how this looks in pictures, no blue or purple in sight!
The Bad: The Cost is my #1 complaint with this product. For $30, I feel like I should be blown away by this product, not just pleased with it. I also think that it's easy to find similar products to this. For example, the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is a great dupe for the creamy concealer and it's incredibly cheap in comparison. 

Overall, I really have been loving this. I wear it almost every day, mostly just on my under-eye circles. It's very brightening, cancels out the circles, and keeps my under-eye area moisturized. It's my favorite concealer of the moment!

I would reccommend this, if only you feel like splurging or want to feel a bit more luxurious!

I'll make a post about the Maybelline concealer dupe shortly!

xo Emily

Back to School Makeup

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

With school starting for most everyone across the world, I thought it would be fun to talk about a great 'Back to School' makeup look that is not only super cute, but easy and fast -which is essential for early mornings before class!

First off, I wanted to start off with a bit of dewy base so I primed my face using the Magic Lumi Primer. This gives you a really nice finish, making you look shiny and dewy without looking sweaty. Once you put foundation or BB cream on top, it leaves such a gorgeous sun-kissed foundation for the rest of your makeup.

Depending on what my day of school looks like, I next apply either foundation or BB cream, or neither if I'm really late (which happens often). I usually go on the BB cream route because I don't need much coverage and I don't have class non-stop all day (benefits of being a college student). I used a beauty blender to apply the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream all over my face. 

Concealer is a must for back to school makeup looks, especially under the eyes so I just used another Maybelline fave, the Fit Me Concealer, under my eyes and on any redness or blemishes. 

I didn't want to completely ruin the dewy look I was going for so I only powdered lightly in my T zone with the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

Depending on how quick it takes you to do your foundation/BB cream, these few steps are insanely quick and easy.

For eyes, I was going for just a natural, neutral look with hints of shimmer and definition. I used the Maybelline The Nudes palette, starting with a light brown shade which I just blended and fluffed into my crease for definition. Then I went in with a shimmery pearl shade all over the lid and then gave my crease even more definition. 

Because I wanted a more natural look, I used a black shadow from the palette as my shadow, blending it up into my lid to make it look more smudged. I finished off my eyes with the L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes mascara on my upper and lower lid. This has quickly become my current favorite mascara because not only does it lengthen them amazingly (see picture below for proof), but separates them so nicely.

With how easy that eyeshadow look is, with the added benefit of just using a color from the palette as eyeliner, the eye look takes me just under 3 minutes!

As a final look on my face, I just gave myself a little bit of blush with Benefit's Rockateur and finished off with some Physicians Formula Highlighter on the high points on my face. 

I really love this look, which I use for everyday school makeup as well as just everyday makeup looks. It's simple, but gives you a bit of that dewy look, that always looks really natural. 

Only a few weeks left until I'm back to the grind of class, so I'm definitely happy to have a quick and easy makeup look ready for those agonizing mornings!

xo Emily

Budget Blush and Bronzer: The Best Buy

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Being on a budget is something pretty normal for me, and I think most people in life and my age. With school starting up again, and wanting to keep expenses down, I don't want to buy too many new products, and if I do, I want to keep them inexpensive. Even though I'm looking for inexpensive products, I still want to find quality products.

Over the past few years, I've done just that. I thought I'd share with you today a Budget Blush and Bronzer duo, that won't break the bank!

The budget duo in mind is the E.L.F. Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder. This is a really great, affordable product, which I've been using for awhile now. 

First off, the price. This is only $3! Yup, a measly $3. It's such a good deal, especially when you think about other blush and bronzer duos like NARS', which will put you back a whopping $42! That's insane. (Though, NARS is a great brand with great products, I'm sure the duos are gorgeous, but far past my budget!)

Back to normalcy.....

The E.L.F. duo comes in three different shade duos, and I own 'St. Lucia'. Despite only having three different duos, there is great variety in the shades and you can have 6 amazing colors for under $10, if you were to choose to buy all three.

In my specific duo, the blush color is just a gorgeous deep pink, with a bit of gold undertones and sparkles. It works great as a highlighting blush because of that. I'd say it's a great dupe for the Benefit Rockateur Blush, which I also own, though it'll cost you about $20 less. 

The bronzer in the duo is also great, and I like that it's a lot more cool toned, without a lot of orange. For me, I like using bronzers with more cool tones because it suits me a lot better. 

Overall, this is a great product. There are better duos out there, but for the price, it's really hard to beat E.L.F. on cosmetics.

Do you have a favorite budget buy?

xo Emily

Back to Basics

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

If you're not aware, Urban Decay is coming out with a NEW Naked Basics palette!!!!!!! 

I am beyond excited because I am obsessed with my original Naked Basics palette and this one looks absolutely gorgeous! Check out the completely new and one of kind shades here.

It comes out on August 19th, one week from today, so I thought I would do a post on the first Naked Basics palette right now!

I love this palette and use it every single day. It's got the perfect neutrals that I use with every single look. 

These shades are also incredibly versatile. The first shade, Venus, is a off-white, semi-shimmery color which I love to use all over my lid, as a brow highlight, and as an inner-tear duct highlight. I use that shade all the time, and I've almost hit pan! The next shade, which is a more yellowy matte shade, is perfect for setting under-eye concealer. Walk of shame, a very light nude matte color is a great all over the lid shade and can even be used to set concealer.

Next is Naked 2, which is taupe and matte and such a great crease color. It looks wonderful to define it and adds great dimension. Faint, the brown matte shade, is also great for your crease, but works awesome as a liner and brow shade. Last is a dark black matte shade, which is amazing for lining your upper and lower lash lines and is great for a smoky eye. 

I just love this palette so much and am looking forward to the new Naked Basics palette, which seems to have some gorgeous shades that I haven't seen before.

I'm so excited to pick it up, but I don't know if it'll top the first Naked Basics palette!

xo Emily

Week in Review: The Beginning of August

Sunday, August 10, 2014

This past week has been really great, I loved everything I did and who I spent my time with. I thought I'd share a few of the highlights with you all.

  • I voted! I always love being a voice and supporting people and causes that deserve it
  • Did a bit of shopping, got some awesome new shoes and clothes - perfect for the new school year!
  • I also picked up a few essentials for my apartment next year, including an cute cutting board!
  • Got to catch up with a good friend of mine, we did a bit of shopping and driving around listening to music.
  • Spent a lot of time with the family. One of my favorite nights was when my dad actually brought home coloring books and my mom and I colored quite a bit. We then watched one of my favorites, Jurassic Park 2!!
  • Finally went to see Guardians of the Galaxy - I LOVED IT. Chris Pratt has been one of my favorite actors ever since I started watching Parks and Rec and it was awesome to see him kicking ass on the big screen! (I love Groot)

My beautiful masterpiece - Rainbow Darth Vader!

Did you all have a fun week?

xo Emily

Ooh La La....Brows!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Today I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite brow products! I've been using this Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil in 'Soft Brown' almost every single day since I picked it up in late May. It has been an absolute winner in my book. First off, the color matches my brows almost perfectly, which is the number #1 thing I look for when choosing a brow product. Secondly, this stuff stays in place all day long. I don't even need a brow gel to set it because I know it'll last me and won't smudge. Thirdly, it makes my brows look completely natural and goes on smoothly. The formula is fantastic. It doesn't flake off and sharpens nicely back to a point. Plus, it comes with a really graet spooli at the other end so you can brush through your brows before and after you apply the product! 

How I use this product: Since my brows are relatively full, I use pencils to just fill in gaps (which I have a few) and sharpen them up so they match. I just take the pencil at the middle of my brow first, filling it in and outlining the shape of the brow, then I take the pencil to the highest point of my brow and fill that in. At that spot, I make sure to be careful because I don't want it to look too sharp and severe. Lastly, I do the front of my brows, closest to my nose, and just do a bit of filling in there; only really wanting to make sure they two sides look even!

I love how my brows look! 

This has been incredibly well-loved for the past two and half months and I've still got a good amount of the product left! It's also really affordable, coming in at just about $4. This is a great product if you're looking for an affordable, reliable, and easy to use brow pencil! I recommend it!

What's your favorite brow product?

xo Emily

My New Favorite Liquid Liner

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I'm always searching for great liquid liners because I pretty much do a cat-eye almost every day and using liquid liner makes it so easy! I really like the NYC liquid liner which only runs for about $3, an awesome deal, but with that price comes some drawbacks. It smudges pretty easily and also isn't as pigmented as I would like. It seems to kind of brush off over the course of the day. 

So I've been also testing out some of the more high-end brands and discovered my absolute favorite, the one I would consider the best liquid liner (in my opinion). It's the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in 'Intense Black'. I thought about getting the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner instead, because I hear so much about it, but I went with the Stila instead.

I really love this liner. It has solved all my liquid liner problems. First off, it's waterproof so it doesn't smudge or move at all. Secondly, the tip of the liner is not flimsy, it's actually stiff and won't get misshapen. 

Thirdly, it's super duper pigmented. The name 'Intense Black' really is accurate. Look how black it looks on my lid! 

It goes on easily, and makes my cat-eye look flawless every time. I really recommend this. Although it's $20, I find that with me having to repurchase my drugstore variety liners quite often (as well as having to use more), it really is cost-efficient. That being said, I think the NYC and also Maybelline Liquid Liners are great alternatives. 

Do you have a favorite liquid liner?

xo Emily

July Favorites!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I'm pretty sure I've said this in about a thousand posts already, but I cannot believe we're already in August! July was a great month, and I have discovered a lot of favorites that I'm excited to share!

Today I'm going to share my favorites of this month! I've only got 6 this month, but I've been adoring each and every one!

July Favorites

1. Black Maxi Skirts - This has been a definite favorite piece in my fashion this month. I am obsessed with maxi dresses and skirts, and black maxi skirts are my favorite. I can pair these with tons of options, including flowy cropped tanks which I like a lot. I've got two maxi skirts, both from Target, and they're affordable and cute!

2. Nars Creamy Concealer - I only recently picked this up, but I've been really liking it. It's got a great consistency (the 'creamy' title does it justice) and has concealed my under-eye circles really nicely, all while keeping creasing to a minimum. The price is a bit steep, but I think sometimes you have to try out those expensive products in order to get a better result. ($29)

3. Marc Fisher Leotie Sandals - I LOVE these shoes. They are incredibly cute and are insanely comfortable. The color is really great for both summer and fall, and goes great with dresses and skirts and pants. I've been really into sandals lately, especially heeled ones. These are a great brand, and I got them on sale so I was happy to snatch these up. (Originally $90, on sale for $40)

4. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner - I'll be doing a post on this soon because I love it so much. It's super pigmented, stays on long, and let's me achieve a perfect cat-eye that does not smudge or fade for hours. My friend had this liner and I used it months ago, and fell in love. I picked it up a few weeks ago and it has easily become not only a July favorite, but an all-time favorite! ($20)

5. Maybelline Baby Lips - I recently did a post on some of my favorite Under $5 beauty products and included these lip balms. From doing that post, I got a renewed interest in them! I forgot how lovely and moisturizing they are, as well as giving you amazing color. They're super affordable as well, which makes it easy to grab a few of your favorites. ($2-$3)

6. Ed Sheeran 'X' and Big Data 'Dangerous' - My last July favorites are two musical artists. Firstly is Ed Sheeran's new album, 'X', which has quickly become a most-listened to album in my Itunes. I've loved Ed Sheeran for a long time, and was incredibly excited for this new album! It's great. I'm especially loving 'Don't' and 'Thinking out Loud'. I also have been loving Big Data's song 'Dangerous'. It's a really catchy indie/electronic song which I have had on repeat. Great tunes!

Only a few favorites, but they're all amazing! 

xo Emily

August Already?

Monday, August 4, 2014

I can't believe that we are already into August! It seems like just yesterday that I was finishing up finals and flying home for the summer (back in May). This summer has gone by so fast and in almost exactly one month, I'll be back to school and back to the grind. This is incredibly exciting, as I've missed my city, my friends, and my school routine. I'm also pretty pumped about my upcoming classes and some pretty exciting things that will be happening! I forsee that'll be my best year yet! 

I'm also sad to leave home again, especially my parents and dog and friends and hometown. It's always an adjustment to leave home and miss home, but it's good for me to be where I am. 

Freck did not want to leave me last year!

That being said, I've got a lot of packing and organzing to do for the big move (AGAIN) and I thought I'd share a few tips and some of the best things to do when you're starting a new school year!

As I've got a month left, I haven't started packing quite yet but I have begun to make a few lists. Lists are super helpful when you need to pack for a whole semester or whole year, and I utilize them to their fullest.  

Here are a few things on my current list and a few tips on what you should get prepared in your hometown (if you're traveling out of state, etc.)

  • If you wear contacts, make sure to get a few extra boxes just in case - most can be shipped to you, but you want a few to begin (Same with certain medications, including birth control - which you need to take on a schedule)
  • If you are supposed to soon (within the next 5 months), go to your doctor/dentist/gynecologist at home, you'll want to use your normal physician, finding one out of town is harder
  • Only bring essentials - you can always get things shipped to you if you absolutely need it, but in my experience, bringing more isn't always the best idea. I brought too many clothes and didn't wear hardly as much as I thought I would.
  • If you see something and say 'oh, I might need that at some point' but don't have a specific instance in mind, do not pack it. It will only cause clutter and if you're flying, take up more room!
  • If you're moving to a big city for college (NYC, Chicago, LA, Nashville, etc.) buy some of your essential toiletries and school supplies at home. For instance, I go to school in NYC and the cost of living is higher, so basic necessities are more expensive. I make sure to stock up on some school supplies and toiletries at home, because I won't have to spend as much once I get to school.
  • Start researching cheap textbook options now. If you wait until the last minute, you might end up buying the most expensive option just so you're not behind in class. Check sites like B&N, Chegg, and Amazon for cheaper, rental options.
  • Map out your schedule in advance, don't wait for the day before classes to know where your classrooms are, be prepared!
  • AMAZON is your best friend. As a student, you can qualify for Amazon Prime for FREE, which means free and fast shipping on basically everything. This will help you tons, especially if you're in a pinch for a school supply or a textbook!

I hope some of these tips helped, especially since these are exact instances that I've learned from and picked up on! 

Happy packing!
xo Emily

Month in Review: July

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I had a great month doing a lot of fun things:
  • enjoyed awesome fireworks in my hometown
  • worked on tuesday, wednesdays, and thursdays for a local radio station
  • got excited about going back to school in early September (oh lord, the amount of packing I have to do)
  • ate copious amounts of fresh fruit because our amazing farmers market is one of the best and there's always amazing berries!
  • bought some AMAZING new shoes and clothes for next year, thanks mom!
  • finally perfected my chocolate chip cookie recipe (holla)
  • got a few awesome internship opportunities for next year!
  • got news my best friend is back into town soon, LOVE IT!!!

Room Snippets

Friday, August 1, 2014

As I get closer to another year away from home, I wanted to just take the time to appreciate the little bits and bobs around my room that make it mine. I'm excited to start another year away, but also sad at the same time. This has been my place for years, and I love it very much.

My room has got quite the pink and green vibe going for it, which I love a lot because it's so bright and colorful. I really love my curtains, which are just a sheer material tied up with striped ribbons.  

One of my favorite pieces in my room is this phone. It's very old, given to me by my grandma, and has always been front and center in my room design. It's also still fully functioning, which is a super fun touch. I set that on top of books usually, and today I've got Stephen Colbert's America Again out for display. (Go read it, it's hysterical)

Above some organizational shelves is my favorite poster in my room. It's an old-fashioned map of Paris, written completely in French. My sister got this for me years and years ago and it's always been up in my room. I even bring it with me to college each year, so it's got a bit of wear and tear to it. I also love to have christmas lights up around my room, because I love everything to be very bright. 

My bulletin board is another fun thing about my room. It's homemade and sits above my desk. I love to put some of my favorite tickets, pictures, and stickers on it. In the photo below I've got my Bonnaroo 2013 Bumper Sticker, my Passion Pit ticket, my US Open ticket from last year, a picture of my sister and me, and a San Francisco postcard.

This part of the board has a whole bunch of tickets to both concerts, plays, and sporting events as well as a few stickers and a picture of my best friend and me!

Over on my dresser is a little dish where I keep my most loved earrings and rings. Currently I've been loving the starfish earrings and a zig zag ring I got from Urban Outfitters.

I love my room, it's definitely a place for me to relax and enjoy a good book or show. I'm sad to leave it again, but excited for the next year!

xo Emily