Thursday, March 28, 2013

Face of the Day

A sunny day! What a crazy thing that has happened in March! It's in the 40s today which makes me smile. It also inspired a sunny makeup look for me today!
I decided to play up a more intense lip color today because it felt so bright outside. It isn't quite as bright on camera, but it's a perfect color for spring and summertime. It is a coral pink color from Revlon Kissable Balm Stains called Rendez Vous. I've talked about it before because I'm in love. This is definitely going to be a go-to lip color for summertime. I just get so excited thinking about how it will be getting warmer and warmer in the coming weeks!

For eyes I started with a base of Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded. It's my new favorite everyday eyeshadow. It brightens up any color added on top.

I then layered this L'Oreal bronzey shade (the name has been rubbed off because I've had it for so long) and this Urban Decay shadow in Scratch. I find that these two blend together so nicely and create a "sunset" look which I absolutely love for spring and summer because it reminds me of the beach.

I filled in my brows with Benefit's Brow Zings in Light, lined my eyes with an old stand-by Almay Wake-Up liner in Black, and brightened up my cheeks with Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour blush. I'll be moving my makeup into spring cleaning mode so maybe I'll post about empty products and things I no longer use!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DIY Easter Treats

Here's a quick and easy Easter DIY gift for anyone who needs a little chocolate (don't we all need a little sometimes).

All you need is the bottled Starbucks Frappuccino coffee drinks ( I found mine at Walgreens), colorful Easter candy, and construction paper!
It's a pretty self-explanatory DIY, but I found this idea and these adorable printables on a blog called The Idea Room. The link takes you right to the page with the bunny ear stencils.

Have a Happy Easter! And a Happy Spring!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A New Concealer That Stole My Heart

Until recently, I've been in a long term relationship with Netrogena Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer. The number 05 Fair is my perfect match and I think I repurchased this product about 800 times. I've previously mentioned that I don't particularly like foundation so this product took the place of foundation and was my lifesaver, especially in times of breakouts (which have recently been sparse!). I love the liquid consistency and the build-able coverage. If you have a minor red spot or a giant massive volcano, this concealer was my go-to holy grail product. Now that I've raved about this product I'll explain why I had to venture out to new concealer territories!
This amazing perfect spectacular concealer has some downsides. First of all, there is not much product in the tube. If I'm using this product to cover all of my imperfections then I need more than a smidge. Obviously this is a concealer so some people don't use it the way I do, but if you're a no foundation girl like me, it's a problem. Second, it is a whopping $8.99 for a tiny tube of concealer that only lasts me about a month. When you're an on-the-go college student with no car, you need a concealer that will last a bit longer and not run out on you in times of emergencies. I speak from experience, don't run out of concealer. That's my motto.

Here's where my new love comes in. I've heard a lot of talk about the L'Oreal True Match blendable concealer crayon and am always skeptical when it comes to products that aren't liquid. (Aside from Benefit Boiing Concealer which is much too pricey for me when it comes to everyday use. But if you want to spend a bit more I highly recommend it.)
I always assume a crayon will not be blendable enough to suit my skin or cover blemishes to my liking. Alas, I was completely wrong. I have been awakened to a new love affair with concealer.

This crayon is almost more blendable than my beloved Netrogena concealer and has a tacky characteristic that makes it easier to cover spots. I am in the shade N1-2-3 Fair/Light which is the more pink toned shade of the fair options. I appreciate the options for different undertones because I always end up choosing whatever concealer is lightest because I am so fair skinned and sometimes that means the shade has a more yellow undertone which shows up and does not blend into my skin. This line has different undertone options and there will be a shade to match you!

I am in love.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Outfits of the Week (March 18-22)

So it's the week before my spring break and there's still snow on the ground...disappointing, right? So these "spring" outfits aren't so springy. I'm still getting some good wear out of my winter-style sweaters before they (hopefully!) go into storage for quite a while.

Mondays are a pretty relaxed day for me with only two classes so I like to look comfortable, yet stylish. I decided to wear my heart ombre chambray shirt from Target that I purchased back in January. I love the casual feel of the shirt, but it can be dressed up or down. Underneath is my newest favorite shirt from Forever 21. I don't think you can read it but it says, "Have tea with me." So beyond cute, plus in addition to being a product hoarder, I'm also tea hoarder. For bottoms I went with black leggings from Garage. I think these leggings are very good quality for the inexpensive $12 dollar price tag. Usually, for good quality leggings you have to pay a lot more. I have been impressed with these and they aren't sheer! Big plus!

Tuesdays start out really busy with an 8AM class and Pilates directly following, so I usually head to class with a messy bun and yoga pants. After class and a short run, I head back to my apartment to get cleaned up and eat lunch before my next class. As you can see, Tuesdays leave little room for getting ready and dawdling in my closet so I usually throw on whatever I can as quickly as possible. It's nice to feel put together, but Tuesdays aren't my most stylish days. My roommate and I both hate busy Tuesdays and are always happy to be back to relax at the end of the day to paint our nails together. For early morning Pilates, I grabbed my Adidas running pants and an Asics running top. For my second outfit of the day, I chose a v-neck sweater from Pac-Sun paired with an Urban Outfitters scarf that matched my lip color for the day, which happened to be Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Rendez-Vous. For bottoms I just threw on an old pair of trusty skinny jeans from Garage.

Wednesdays I only have one class so I try to look great for a midweek pick me up. I have a lot of time in the morning to decide what to wear so it's usually my day to dress up. I decided to wear a cardigan from Hollister and a v-neck t shirt with grey lace overlay. I cut off the tags so I can't remember where this is from. Definitely bought it at least a year and a half ago. For pants I'm wearing trusty jeggings from Garage. Have I mentioned I love Garage pants? They're really comfortable and have a style to fit all body shapes! I also went super fancy and curled my hair today. Proud of myself actually doing my hair!

Thursdays are the exact same schedule as Tuesday so I rushed to throw this outfit together on my way to class. For Pilates I wore my big comfortable Milwaukee Hurling Club sweatshirt and Under Armor running tights. It was my last day of Pilates for the semester sadly, but it was a great class! After Pilates I was feeling lazy so I chose a plain grey v-neck from Under Armor and loose-fitting cropped pants from H&M.

AND IT IS FRIDAY! I get to go home today! I have to take a five hour bus ride home so today is a comfy day, not the cutest outfit ever, but who can be comfortable for five hours on a bus in tight jeans and a cute top. Not me! Here's my travel day outfit! It's a Victoria's Secret half-zip hoodie and leggings from Target. Just a comfortable look so I can enjoy a marathon of Ugly Betty on Netflix!

Can't wait to go home for a fabulous and relaxing week of spring break. Hopefully when I return to school the snow will be all gone and brighter, warmer, sunnier days are ahead!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Essentials for a Spring Break at Home

There are some absolute necessities when packing for spring break at the beach, but what do you do when you're heading home for a stay-cation? Look no further! I'm here to save your day with my top five must-haves!

Coming in at number five:
Spring colored nail polish! Pastels, pinks, lavenders, whatever suits you best! My favorite at the moment is Trout Pout by Butter London shown in my previous post about spring. Obviously, my favorites are pinks..I don't even have any other pastel colors..

Coming in at number four:
Bright and beachy perfume! My recommendation is the Pink Sun Kissed Body Mist from Victoria's Secret. It smells like a day at the beach finished off with a Pina Colada smoothie.

Coming in at number three:
Girly movies for a fun movie night! There's nothing better than hanging out with your girl friends watching movies, eating popcorn, and catching up on the latest gossip. I'm looking forward to seeing my best friends while I'm home from college. I just bought Breaking Dawn Part II and will be fan girling it up with my friends. You can never go wrong with a movie night!

Coming in at number two:
DIY face masks! There are so many YouTube videos showing all-natural face masks using products from your kitchen! And if you're not into smearing raw honey and oats on your face then you could purchase any face mask you'd like! Remember, it's your spring break so pamper yourself!

Drumroll please...

My number one must-have for a stay-cation is self-tanner. I'm not ashamed to not be going anywhere fancy on spring break, but that doesn't mean I have to look like I sat in the snow all week! I have been using the Jergens Natural Glow self tanner and they've recently reformulated so the smell is now more pleasant than before. I've also used Tan Towels before and completely love them. They're a bit more expensive, but they give a great even color and last an entire week without having to reapply.

I hope you all have fantastic spring breaks!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day of Spring Nails!

Happy Spring! For all of you out there who, like me, live in climates where it has not yet started to look like spring I hope it's coming soon!
I decided to brighten up my first day of spring by painting my nails a shocking shade of coral. There is still quite a lot of snow on the ground and today I think it might have hit 20 degrees. That's March in Minnesota for you. But anyway, this is the shade Trout Pout by Butter London and it sure did make me think of bright sunny days ahead!

When I first purchased this nail polish I was disappointed with the formula. I thought it felt sticky and streaky on the nail so I had shied away from using it. It's also a very summery shade so it didn't move into my "nail polish of the moment" bag. I grabbed it today and was really happy. It didn't feel sticky or streaky and I only applied one coat before a topcoat and it was completely opaque. So here's to second chances! And here's to spring! Let's all hope for some warm weather! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Skincare Routine

My skin has dramatically improved with some recent dietary changes, but I truly believe in the power of a great skincare routine. I used to be am a product hoarder and love trying out new face masks, cleansers, toners, and moisturizers, but I have found that keeping it simple is what my skin likes best (who would have thought?!).

In the morning I start out with the Alba Botanica Even Advanced Sea Algae Enzyme Scrub. I like to exfoliate right away in the morning to wake up my skin and slough off the dead skin. This product is certified organic and hypo-allergenic. It is not tested on animals and does not include parabens.
I like using natural products on my face because they are coming in direct contact with a very sensitive area. This product is all natural, but it doesn't smell offensive like some natural products do; it smells a bit like aloe. I have repurchased this multiple times and it is my favorite exfoliator, believe me, I've tried many.

Before I apply any makeup, I like to spritz my skin with this Lush Tea Tree Water toner. It smells like tea tree oil, and if you've ever smelled tea treel oil you know it can be a strong scent, but this is quite relaxing. This is a very refreshing mist and does not have an overpowering tea tree oil smell because it is mixed with grapefruit and juniper. I haven't noticed any remarkable changes in my skin from using this product, but I do enjoy the refreshing qualities. I occasionally use this as a makeup setting spray, as well.

Moisturizer and serum, what can I say? I've been using The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost Serum since July and fear the day I run out of it. I love the packaging because the pump is so handy, but it's hard to tell how much product I have left. I really don't ever want to be without it. This adds a glow to my skin because there is a shimmery factor to it, but I'd never call it shimmery once it's blended in. It looks very nice on the skin and I use it as a primer for my makeup in the morning.
I have recently fallen in love with the Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer. After I ran out of The Body Shop Vitamin C Moisturizer I had to find a drugstore alternative that wouldn't cost me twenty-some dollars to replace. Although I'd love to repurchase The Body Shop moisturizer, this Neutrogena moisturizer has impressed me. It claims to reduce the appearance of dark spots within four weeks, I believe it is correct! I have been using this for over 3 months now and see a visible difference.

Can I say "Holy Grail" product? This Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel is my favorite cleanser of all time, ever. I use it at night to remove my makeup and the dirt from my day, but I use it in the morning sometimes, just because I love it that much. It's gentle, it smells like an herb garden, and it takes off any sort of makeup I put on my skin. I've repurchased this twice now and I think it is safe to say I'm in love. None of the Boscia products have ever broken me out and my skin is very sensitive. This is a gel consistency so it may be different than some other cleansers out there. It doesn't get very sudsy if you're into soap, but it lathers up into a nice layer on your skin. I always feel refreshed after washing my face with this cleanser.

Bioderma is a love it or hate it product. I LOVE it. I know it isn't available in stores here (it's a French pharmacy product), I purchased mine on Amazon and don't think I'll be able to again due to the fact that the prices are ridiculous. It removes all traces of makeup and is very gentle for sensitive skin. It has no scent and has the consistency of water. I use a cotton pad to use this product all over my face. It feels incredibly cleansing; even after I wash my face, this removes dirt and grime. Gross, right? Regardless, it is very gentle and is a must-buy for anyone who has had skin issues or is suffering from very sensitive skin.

After washing my face at night I always apply a moisturizer, especially in the dryer winter months. This is the Korres Rose and Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial and I have been using it since September. It smells like roses and is a very thick moisturizer. A little goes a long way with this product because it spreads like butter. Weird reference..I don't know if you'd want to spread butter on your face, but anyway, this is a smoothing moisturizer and I kid you not, you will wake up with brighter, glowing skin.

Freeman's Superfruits Revealing Facial Mask is my face mask of the moment. I'm not very loyal to face masks because, as I mentioned before, I'm obsessed with all things skincare related. I usually do a face mask about once a week, depending on how busy I am. This is a fun mask because once it is dry you peel it off and it looks like you're peeling off a layer of your skin! It smells like fruit and maybe a hint of mint (that might just be me making something up), but I think there's mint in there. This face mask is pretty gentle and I quite like it. I don't know if I'll repurchase it, but for the time being I enjoy using it and it reveals glowing skin, which I appreciate.

So there's my skincare routine of the moment. Trying to keep it as simple as I can and using natural products whenever possible. Any suggestions for a face mask that I could try when I run out of the Super Fruits Peel-Off?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Nails Of The Day (or week)

Ta-Da! I did it! I painted my nails! Some people paint their nails more often than I do, and I commend them. I always like to have my nails looking good, but I just don't have the time! Well, maybe I do, but I choose to spend it other ways rather than painting my nails and then waving my hands around like a lunatic for an hour until they fully dry.

Not the best quality picture, but I took it outside so the color would be true.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

When I Read This Book Review

Don't worry, I'll take your suggestions for a better title on upcoming book reviews!
I recently finished reading a book titled All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps by David Isay.

This collection of stories encompasses everything I look for when choosing a book. There's romance, there's happiness, there's hardship, and let me tell you, it even brought me to tears. 

All There Is is a collaboration with StoryCorps, a nonprofit organization that aims to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. They travel around to cities all around the United States and invite people from all backgrounds and walks of life to share their stories. This particular collection is the love stories StoryCorps came across in their 10 years of recording history. 

I usually don't tend to read a lot of non-fiction stories; I'm a giant Twilight, Hunger Games, Shiver, The Scorpio Races kind of girl. And I'm proud of it. But when I grabbed this book off the bargain shelf and began reading the first story, I couldn't put it down. I ended up standing in the middle of the book store with tears welling up in my eyes because the stories were so real and sweet. Love stories in fiction novels always make my heart swell up with unreal expectations, but these real people sharing their lives with each other touched my heart in a completely different way.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys love stories. For me I'd give it a 9 out of 10. Pretty darn good! Have any book recommendations? Leave me a comment! I'd love to hear what books you are loving.

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Love For Pilates Rant

So here's another little fitness bit for all of you out there. I know Pilates and yoga are a big fitness trend right now, which is obviously why I am writing about it at all, but this is more than just a trend. Pilates and yoga have both been around for years and people all over the world have been reaping the benefits that these exercises provide.

I have practiced yoga on and off for about two years now and can attest to the inner body/mind changes that you can attain from doing yoga. It is extremely relaxing and one of my main stress relievers, it provides me with exercises that target my very tight hamstrings and hips, and it can be practiced at all skill levels. Everyone knows about yoga, but Pilates is still growing and gaining its following. I was introduced to Pilates when I wanted to sign up for a fitness class at my university. I wasn't sure what to expect other than it was similar to yoga, but my goodness, was I wrong! STOTT Pilates, the version of Pilates taught at my school, focuses on breathing, hip and pelvis placement, and spinal alignment. A lot of the movements are not like yoga at all, but instead more like one long abdominal workout! The movements may look easy if you were to stick your head into the Pilates studio, but we are all working our deep abdominals through the breathing and positioning.
KT Tape on my feet during the summer to help with my plantar fasciitis (photo credit to Sarah Rinke)
I've been dealing with plantar fasciitis, inflammation of a thick tissue on the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia connecting the heel bone to the toes and that creates the arch of the foot. I believe this developed from running on very hard ground in cleats all summer and then continuing my training and running into the fall and winter. With just five weeks of Pilates under my belt I'm already noticing a change. I feel like it has improved my situation and I feel less daily pain. My Pilates instructor informed me that this is a result of strengthening opposing muscle groups. Pilates works deep core muscles and helps to work muscles that are not usually worked as often. Not to mention, my midsection has become quite toned (and as a girl, who is going to complain about that!). After just 10 classes (two each week) that's what I call results!

Sassy sleeping boots for plantar fasciitis!

Due to the dramatic personal results I've noticed, I have been recommending Pilates to everyone I talk to. I've even thought about becoming certified as a Pilates instructor so I can help others learn Pilates and share my love of fitness! So, I recommend Pilates to all of you! You could check out or for some Pilates workouts and more information about the benefits because I'm just a girl ranting about how much she loves Pilates!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Face of the Day

Here's a makeup post for all you beauties out there! It's my face of the day which includes a majority of my monthly favorites. All of the products will be shown below.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Conquering Defeat

Here's yet another post about something completely different than any of the others. This one is about being strong enough to get back up after you've been knocked down.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Delicious Peanut (or Almond!) Butter Cookies

So I warned you guys, there's no rhyme or reason to my posts. They're gonna be all over the place. It's a roller coaster and you'll all just have to hold on tight! So onto the baking!
These cookies are incredible.
I recently went on a "diet." I hate that word because it wasn't really a diet, but rather a lifestyle change to figure out a healthier way for me to eat. It's called the Virgin Diet and it's all about elimination. According to J.J. Virgin, the creator of the Virgin Diet, there are seven common food intolerances: soy, corn, gluten, dairy, sugar, eggs, and peanuts. Now, stay with me, I know it sounds ridiculous, but my mom and I did it together and we both felt it made a big difference. I recommend a buddy if you're going into this diet change because you're able to discuss food changes and yummy options (and cravings!) So we made it the full 21 days of the elimination period and because I felt a big change in my overall health, I decided to keep avoiding a majority of the foods, particularly gluten and dairy.
I'd always blamed my skin issues on my obsessive changing in beauty routines or that certain time of the month, but eliminating dairy has left my skin radiant and clear. And I'm talking haven't-had-to-wear-concealer-in-days clear. I attribute the change to dairy and I've been happy as can be eating coconut milk yogurt and almond milk.

And that is where these cookies come in! I was searching Pinterest (you can find me here) for dessert options I could eat on this diet. I'm a big dessert person, you should all know that as a disclaimer. I found the original recipe here, but I changed from peanut butter to almond butter and it tastes great. I actually find almond butter tastes more sophisticated, if nut butters can be sophisticated. I think they can.
They're also extremely easy to make with just peanut/almond butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, an egg, baking soda, and chocolate chunks! Check out the recipe link for all of the other information about the cookies. Can't take credit for something that I didn't create! Props to Averie Cooks blog for creating these little morsels.
Give them a try! Let me know what you think.

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