Monday, July 6, 2015

Favorites [June 2015]


I meant to have this post done in time to link up with Mia and Kelli last week, but that obviously didn't happen so here it is a few days late!

I was starting to run low on my Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation and wanted to try something a little bit different for summer so I went with the Nars Sheer Glow and I am obsessed. I have it in the color punjab, which is a little bit lighter than the Smashbox foundation (2.2), but it's still yellow/warm enough to not make me feel washed out. In the past I've used the sheer matte foundation and didn't love it, but sheer glow is a million times better. It gives light to medium coverage and makes you skin look healthy without looking shiny.

I have two seriously old NYX lip butters somewhere around the house, but it had been a while since I picked up a new one so when they were BOGO 50% off at Ulta I picked up two more. Maple Blondie is a new favorite lip product. It's a nice light pink that applies really evenly. The other shade I got was Peach Cobbler and the color is nice but it's really patchy and difficult to apply so I don't see myself using it very often.

Speaking of old products, I hadn't reached for my Pixie Brillance Balm in months, but I'm so glad I picked it up again because it's one of the best lip balms I've ever used. I have the shade unique pink which adjusts to your pH balance to give you the perfect pink-- I love the color it makes my lips and it feels extremely hydrating on the lips. The one downside is the cap always comes off, so it's not a great lip product to keep in your bag.

Next is the L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in iced latte-- this is somewhat of a loose pigment so it's slightly more work then just a regular pressed shadow which is why I don't use it more often, but every single time I use it I love how it looks and I always get compliments on my eyes. (see a swatch here, it has some serious shimmer!)

The last makeup product is the highlight color in the MUFE Sculpting Dup #2-- I like the bronzer too, but I LOVE the highlight color. It makes you glow without being glittery or shimmery, so it gives off a natural highlight-- though it is really gold. I usually just use my fingers to apply it and blend it in!

In a last minute failed attempt to find a swimsuit at Target before going to the beach a few weeks ago I came across this cute coverup. I couldn't find any trace of it online, but you might still be able to find it at your Target store.

What have you been loving so far this summer?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Recent Reads: spring edition


This post is long overdue and could also be titled how not to judge a book by its cover because I didn't include photos of any of the books other than The Year My Mother Came Back, which I was fortunate enough to read poolside while we were in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago thanks to BookSparks. I received Among Ten Thousand Things from Netgalley in exchange for a review, the other books were either purchased by me or from the library.

I meant to have the post up over a month ago, but considering I'm calling this my spring edition I figured I better get it up before the official start to summer in just a few days.


The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen (sent to me c/o Booksparks for review)
"Thirty years after her death, Alice Eve Cohen’s mother appears to her, seemingly in the flesh, and continues to do so during the hardest year Alice has had to face: the year her youngest daughter needs a harrowing surgery, her eldest daughter decides to reunite with her birth mother, and Alice herself receives a daunting diagnosis. As it turns out, it’s entirely possible for the people we’ve lost to come back to us when we need them the most. Although letting her mother back into her life is not an easy thing, Alice approaches it with humor, intelligence, and honesty. What she learns is that she must revisit her childhood and allow herself to be a daughter once more in order to take care of her own girls. Understanding and forgiving her mother’s parenting transgressions leads her to accept her own and to realize that she doesn’t have to be perfect to be a good mother."

I'm a huge fan of memoirs so I was excited to see this as one of the books for the summer reading challenge. It's a heartwarming story that will break your heart a little bit at times. I found it easy to read and it definitely made me reflect on different things in my life. My one small complaint is that it was hard to follow at times because it switched back and forth between different periods of Alice's life. I loved that the story focused on Alice's relationship with her mother as well as her own relationship with her daughters.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Pass or Purchase Again? [vol 3]


Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend-- we've hit what finally feels like some summer temperatures, but I'm enjoying the heat. I've accumulated a few more empties so I thought I would share them in today's post. I have a few book related posts and a New Orleans recap in the works that will hopefully be up in the next couple of weeks!

The Body Shop Peach Body Scrub: This was in a disappointing product post, and I actually spilled half of it when I first got it. I used the rest of it up and it actually wasn't that bad. The scent was disappointing, but it was gentle on the skin which was a plus. Will pass.

Urban Decay De-slick Setting Spray: I loooove this spray and repurchased it before I ran out, just so I had a backup on hand. My skin isn't that oily anymore, but I still enjoy this version because you can use it before you apply your makeup as well as a setting spray and some days I'm too lazy to take the time to apply a primer but I'll spritz a little of this on after my moisturizer and before my foundation and I feel like it gives me a nice smooth surface.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray: I liked this-- I really couldn't tell a difference between this and de-slick, and it was nice to have the mini bottle for traveling. When I run out of my next bottle of de-slick I think I'm going to try the chill hydrating and cooling version.

MAC Brush Cleaner: I love this stuff-- it makes a world of difference when it comes to washing foundation brushes. Will repurchase!

Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion+: This was a great winter moisturizer when my skin was super dry. I don't know that there's anything special about it, but it's non-irritating and non-greasy so I'm a fan. I repurchased the gel version for the summer.

Josie Maran Cleansing Oil: You might remember this stuff from my best of 2014 post, so you'll be surprised to hear I'm NOT repurchasing it again. I have a love/hate relationship with it-- love the product hate the packaging. This is the second bottle I've had that leaks and not only is it wasteful (it's expensive!) it's an oil so it's a huge mess. If it ever gets repackaged I will definitely

Benefit Hoola Bronzer: LOVE this bronzer. As you can see from below, it's not totally gone but it's so old it's time for it to hit the bucket. I have a few other bronzers I'm using and loving right now so I don't need another one, but this will be an eventual repurchase.

What products have you used up recently?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Loving Lately + a giveaway


Sole Society Finds: Remember the shoes from this post? I decided to finally order them before they ran out of my size and I'm so glad I did because now I can't find them anymore (here in purple + on sale!) At first I was worried they were a bit too pointy in person, but I love that it makes them a bit more dressy! When ordering the shoes I found this clutch/crossbody and it's exactly the summer bag I've been looking for!

BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge: I was so excited to take part in this challenge again this summer. Last summer I discovered one of my favorite books of the entire year (Ghosting) and can't wait to get into a few of the debut books for this year.

Tocca Hand Cream in cleopatra: I've had this for a couple of years but just started using it again now that winter is over and a lighter hand cream will work. The fragrance is cucumber and grapefruit-- really light and refreshing.

L'Oreal Nail Color in butterfly kisses: I always rave about these polishes and this color is my new favorite. I got it on sale at Target a couple of months ago and it's a perfect purple/pink color that is more cool toned.

Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Color in mint mojito: This is another shade I got for like $2 or $3 at Target and have been really impressed with the color and how well it wears!

Friends (the early seasons): I can't even tell you how much and how hard I've laughed watching season 2 of Friends recently.

And this just about wraps up May! I can't believe we're just a few days away from June. Below is a giveaway I'm co-hosting with a few other bloggers for a gift card to Target!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I picked up this Sonia Kashuk cosmetic case a few days ago and I love it. What have been your recent Target finds?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dior Addict Fluid Stick: worth the splurge?

dior addict fluid stick, tiny pink
Apparently May is the month of lipgloss for me because I'm back with another lipgloss review! I randomly came across these lip products, and then of course did a bunch of googling before deciding to try one of the Dior Addict Fluid Sticks.

I really love lipsticks and lip crayons and liquid lipsticks, but I think the reason I started swaying back towards lipgloss is because it's so much easier. And even though I love the matte lip trend, having a glossy lip is more flattering on me because I have such small lips.

I picked up tiny pink from Sephora in the beginning of April and admittedly chose this shade over the other pink shades because I liked the name better. It's a light-medium pink with a creamy gloss finish-- no shimmer or glitter included.

It's described as a lip product that gives the finish of a gloss with the color of a lipstick-- but the coverage is somewhere in the middle. It's probably the nicest feeling product I've ever used on my lips-- it feels really hydrating and moisturizing and almost butter-like on the lips.

I was really happy with the amount of color it leaves on the lips and my favorite thing is that the color doesn't spread or bleed so I don't need to worry about a lipliner or being extra cautious when I'm applying it.

Do I think it was worth the splurge? Yes. 
Would I buy another color? Probably a red or darker shade for fall/winter. 
Would I buy every color? No. 

I was looking through my lip products to see what other product I have that's similar and the L'Oreal Color Riche Extraordinaire Lip Colors were the closest option.

These products are not dupes, I would say the L'Oreal lip product is actually more of a liquid lipstick with opaque coverage.

dior addict fluid stick, tiny pink
left swatch: tiny pink; right swatch: rose symphony
The L'Oreal Color Riche Extraordinaire Lip Colors retail for $9.99 and come in a variety of shades from pinks to reds to nudes to purples. The color pictured is rose symphony and I also have scarlet concerto (a deep red).

As you can tell from the wand, packaging, and swatch-- they look pretty similar! The L'Oreal has a little bit of glitter in it- though I don't find it obvious once it's applied to the lips. It also feels moisturizing and soft on the lips and gives great color.

I like both products, but I prefer the fluid stick because it sits better on the lips. I find the L'Oreal lip color to spread after its applied and it doesn't really lock into place like the fluid stick.

Have you tried either of these products?
What's your biggest splurge when it comes to lip products? 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pass or Purchase Again? [vol 2]


Batiste Dry Shampoo: This is pretty standard in terms of dry shampoo- sometimes it takes a while to blend the powder into my hair, but overall it's a staple product. This would have been a purchase again product (and it probably will be one day), but I couldn't find it at Target and picked up the Dove dry shampoo instead!

Clinique Take Off The Day Makeup Remover: This was my second or third time using this remover and I remember liking it so much more in the past. It's just okay- I think it's pretty similar to the Neutrogena eye makeup remover, so I definitely wouldn't spend the money on this again. pass.

St. Tropez Skin Polish: This exfoliater came with the St. Tropez Starter Kit and I'm not sure if you can even buy the scrubs on its own, but I really liked it. It was gentle, effective, and non-irritating. I've moved on to trying other scrubs so, pass.

Smashbox Photo Finish Face Primer light: This wasn't totally empty but it was over two years old so it was time to toss it. I haven't used it in a long time, but it is what I used in my wedding. If you're looking for a primer and have oily skin this one works really nicely. I now prefer to just use this setting spray or the Smashbox Pore Minimizing primer.

Origins Ginger Burst Savory Body Wash: If you're a fan of ginger you would love this body wash. It came in a kit I got for Christmas and it's a product that I loved, and would love to receive as a gift, but probably wouldn't spend the money on it myself. Aside from the scent it works just as nicely as my trusty Dove body wash.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara: If you've been around my blog this will be an obvious one for you! Lancome mascaras are my absolute favorite and hypnose is my favorite formula- I find that I do like it a little bit better after it's slightly dried out, but it does amazing things for your lashes! purchase again.

Have you tried any of these products? What products have you used up recently? See my last past or purchase post.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Burgers and Baubles

It has been a while since I've talked about a recipe on the blog, but black bean burgers are my new jam thanks to Kristen. I had never tried one before, let alone try to make one, but her post made them sound delicious. When I mentioned them to my husband he was not thrilled with the idea...

I made them anyway and just didn't call them a black bean burger... not only did he love them, he thought I had used sausage in them! (to be fair we had picked up sausage at the store that week to try a recipe Biana mentioned.) They were so good I almost didn't want to share the second one with him.

Kristen had given me a bunch of amazing tips before I made them and I ended up combining the recipe she used and one from Skinnytaste-- which is super easy. I was a little concerned because I don't have a food processor, but I just chopped up the ingredients really small and used a potato masher to mash the beans and it worked perfectly. We eat them with lettuce on pita bread-- delicious! Feta is also good-- and extra siracha if you prefer a little spice!

I've made them probably half a dozen times and aside from how delicious they are, my favorite thing is that you can freeze half the batch (or double it) and have them later in the week. It's the perfect (and easiest) lunch or dinner recipe when you don't want to put in a ton of work to making something.

**they taste better than they look-- iphone 4 camera problems!

Now to totally switch subjects.... after five Rocksboxes I finally decided to cancel my subscription but I thought I would still share my last two boxes.


I switched it up to bracelets for this box and kind of regretted it because I wasn't a big fan of the Gorjana cuff I received. I mentioned that most bracelets are too big for my wrists so I appreciated that my stylist sent me one that I could kind of form to my wrist. My husband, who isn't very opinionated when it comes to jewelry, even mentioned how weird it looked on because it was still too loose- like falling off loose. Didn't wear it at all.

The Perry Street yellow & blue statement necklace was really fun and I loved the shape and design of it, but it didn't seem to be very well made. A few of the stones weren't glued in very well-- not sure if they had previously fallen out and it had been repaired poorly, or if it was just not made well to begin with. Didn't wear this one either.

The Vanessa Mooney necklace was my absolute favorite though, and I'm still kind of kicking myself for not keeping it. As you can tell it's really simple with gorgeous details and it was shorter- so it fell right between my collar bones.


I was really excited to receive both a Loren Hope and House of Harlow necklace in this box-- along with another delicate Gorjana piece. I did really like the House of Harlow necklace but I didn't love that it was actually this felt like material so I could see it getting damaged really easily.

The Loren Hope necklace was really nice-- and as much as I'm loving blues right now I just didn't have very many things to wear with it so I think I only wore it once. The Gorjana necklace went with just about everything and I actually liked it better than the previous Gorjana pieces I received here and here.

Where is your favorite place to shop for jewelry? If you've subscribed to Rocksbox what do you do with all of the boxes? I'm not sure if I should just recycle or keep them for something.