Monthly Favorites: November

I know I’m a few days late 😛 but I figured that I should get out my November favorites anyway, because I’ve found a lot of new favorites this month! Two of these came in my Birchbox, so Birchbox had a very successful month, too! Here we go…

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Quote:

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”

Earnest Hemingway

Blush: theBalm FratBoy Blush

It’s a perfect mixture of peach and pink, plus, it’s soft and highly pigmented. It works wonderfully with my fair skin and gives me a really natural flush.

Foundation: Revlon ColorStay in Ivory

A smooth matte foundation that is great for fall and winter. It’s the perfect color for my skin, and applies flawlessly with a flat-top buffing brush.

Mascara: Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Waterproof Mascara

Beautiful, deep black mascara that makes lashes look full, long, and thick. The plastic brush applies mascara wonderfully, and my eyelashes have never looked better!

Lipstick: Essence ‘Come Naturally’ Lipstick

The most wonderful neutral mauve lipstick. Smooth, soft, and natural-looking, it looks great on fair skin and doesn’t wash me out! Read my review here.

Hair Cream: Davines This is a Relaxing Moisturizing Fluid

It is so soft! Smells great, almost like a salon, and smoothes/tames wonderfully. Perfect for my curly hair, though I think anyone would like this cream!

Candle: Signature Soy ‘Under the Misteltoe’

This smells SO amazing. It’s smooth and wintery smelling, fresh, sweet, and a little bit pine-y. It makes me feel so festive! I can’t describe it very well, but it’s my favorite candle (at least this month)!

Recipe: Almond Meltaway Cookies

This recipe is from The Novice Chef blog and I absolutely love them! I changed the icing to my own frosting, but they are amazing cookies. So buttery and almond-y, and they’d be perfect with a cup of tea! Check out the recipe from The Novice Chef blog, my recipe for the frosting, and tips on how to make them here.

Song: Maroon 5 ‘Daylight’

I love Adam Levine’s voice and Maroon 5 in general, so this isn’t a surprise…but this song is so amazing. I absolutely love it – it’s bittersweet, romantic, and catchy, though not as upbeat as some of their songs. Give it a listen on iTunes or YouTube, I think you’ll like it 🙂

Well, that’s it for my November favorites! This month was awesome, I found some pretty wonderful products. I apologize for the lateness of this post, but I’ll try to do my December favorites on time (the end of the month) 🙂

How do you like my November favorites? Have you tried any of them? If so, did you like them? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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How to Turn Your Crazy Curls Into Lovely Beach Waves

If you’re anything like me, your curly hair drives you crazy sometimes. If it’s a good hair day, your curls are perfect and smooth – but most of the time, your curls are crazy, frizzy, uneven spirals. Straightening your hair every day isn’t really an option, because, among other reasons, it takes a long time! If you want to transform your hair from messy curls to loose beach waves, read on!

What You Need:

  • Wet hair
  • Blow dryer
  • Heat protectant
  • Smoothing or wave hair cream
  • Salt spray
  • Root volumizing spray (optional)
  • Time! After showering or washing your hair, you’ll need at least 10-20 minutes to dry your hair fully.

Steps:

  1. Dry your hair with a t-shirt or microfiber towel to reduce frizz.
  2. Once your hair is damp (NOT WET), apply root volumizing spray and heat protectant.
  3. Apply hair cream and spritz on a little bit of salt spray. Once you apply both products, tousle your hair to get messy waves but do not scrunch.
  4. Begin blow drying on low heat. Blow dry with the dryer above your head, blowing air downwards. This will keep your curls from bouncing up.
  5. Stretch your curls as you dry them, making sure they don’t re-spiral.
  6. Apply more cream intermittently, as you see fit (to tame frizz or smooth any unruly curls).

Enjoy your lovely beach waves!

 

Do you have curly hair? Do you leave your hair natural or do you straighten it? Did this tutorial help you out? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Mini Drugstore Beauty Product Haul

Yay, my first product haul post! Here’s a quick rundown/review on each product I purchased.

OLAY FRESH EFFECTS MAKEUP WIPES (EVERYTHING OFF):

I’ve tried a few different drugstore makeup wipes, and they aren’t the greatest. They just don’t remove waterproof mascara (which is what I wear 90% of the time) very well. MY LUCK HAS CHANGED! These are amazing. They’re really soft, smell good, and actually remove my mascara. You do have to rub a little, but these wipes are SO much better than the other wipes I’ve tried (Up & Up and Garnier). 8 out of 10 stars.

COVERGIRL FULL LASH BLOOM MASCARA (WATERPROOF, VERY BLACK):

I’m aways looking for a new go-to mascara. I love L’Oreal’s Power Volume mascara but I might like this even more. It claims to give you soft lashes (instead of the really hard, brittle lashes you get with waterproof mascara)  and it does pretty good with that claim. It’s not a DRAMATIC difference, but my eyelashes are a good deal softer with this than with other waterproof mascaras. It’s a good, deep black and comes with a very nice plastic brush. I’m a fan and would definitely buy again! 8.5 out of 10 stars.

GARNIER NUTRISSE HAIR COLOR (BRONZE BROWN):

Yes, I color my hair :P. I was born with curly, frizzy, light brown hair and always wanted silky, straight, dark brown hair. I can’t remedy the curly part of my hair without straightening it constantly, but I can change the color! Usually I use L’Oreal’s Excellence Hair Color in Dark Chocolate Brown, but I wanted to give this brand and this color a try. Turns out I like it even more! The L’Oreal color got a tiny bit too dark for me, especially when I first colored it each time – it got DARK brown, almost black. I wasn’t sure if this would be too bronzey or turn my hair orange, but this is gorgeous. Since my hair still had some of the reddish brown from L’Oreal, my hair didn’t turn totally bronze-brown, but it’s shiny and bronzey-reddish brown (which I like). I think I will keep buying this color from this brand. I also think this conditioner smells so much better than L’Oreal’s, and it’s cheaper too! 8.5 out of 10 stars.

JOHN FRIEDA ROOT BOOSTER BLOW DRY LOTION:

I love John Frieda. This brand has AMAZING curl products! I noticed a coupon deal for $1 off any John Frieda product, so I picked this up. It claims to give volume to your hair, and it even has an ‘Allure Reader’s Choice Award Winner 2012’ stamp. I have only tried it once or twice but it seems to give a bit of volume to my roots. Nothing dramatic, but a bit of improvement. DO NOT USE IT ON DRY HAIR, though, as it becomes dry and hard :(. I will keep trying it, as it seems to be working. I definitely recommend this brand, I haven’t gotten any products that I don’t like! 7 out of 10 stars.

ESSENCE XXXL NUDE LIPGLOSS (SHY BEAUTY):

I love Essence. It’s cheap and actually pretty nice (Think NYC or Wet ‘n Wild, but better quality). This lipgloss, however, I have mixed feelings about. I like it, but it needs a really experienced hand and extremely moisturized lips. Here’s why: it is a gorgous pale pink color, but it sinks into any lines or dryness on your lips. A light coat won’t accentuate fine lines too much, and a coat over a lipstick looks lovely, but you have to be careful with it. If you exfoliate and moisturize well, I think it is very pretty. Definitely something I’ll be wearing, but I’ll save wearing it for when my lips are moisturized and smooth! 6 out of 10 stars.

MAYBELLINE COLOR TATTOO 24 HOUR METAL (BARELY BRANDED):

love this! It’s an easy-to-apply cream shadow in a shimmery champagne color. It gives a lot of brightness to any eye look and is a color that I think would be flattering on anyone. I like to wear it alone or with other eyeshadow. It’s pretty average-priced for a drugstore cream shadow ($6-$8). I definitely recommend giving this a try if you’re looking for a light cream shadow. 8.5 out of 10 stars.

 

Have you tried any of these products? How did you like them? Any suggestions for my next product haul? Let me know in the comments!

 

Birchbox Vs. Ipsy (Plus Referral Links)

Ahh, subscription boxes. Workout clothes, pet treats, chocolate – there seems to be no end to the possibilities for subscription boxes. But when I heard about all the subscription boxes out there, the two that caught my eye were Birchbox and Ipsy. Here’s a little rundown of what they are (and some differences between the two [that I’ve read from other bloggers]):

Both are $10 per month and include 4-5 samples. Both require you to fill out a profile that explains your hair type, skin tone, etc. so as to give you your desired products each month!

Ipsy comes with a small cosmetic bag and ships around the middle of the month. Ipsy is mostly makeup, but has some hair products and other items (nail polishes, fragrance, etc.) as well. Ipsy sends out sample size and full size, and the full size products are sent out quite frequently. Ipsy sends out some high-end products but generally sends middle-of-the-road products (not high end, not low end). Ipsy is generally quite high in value ($50) but can be low in quality. Ipsy has a waiting list because it is so popular! Ipsy’s point system is okay, you exchange the points for products (that can run out quickly!) as opposed to Birchbox, which exchanges points for cash.

Birchbox comes in a small, patterned box and ships by the 10th of the month (if you order Birchbox Man, it ships by the 25th). Birchbox sends out skincare products, as well as makeup, hair products, fragrances, nail polishes, and lifestyle items (such as a hairtie or chocolate). Birchbox rarely sends full size items, but sometimes sends deluxe size items or single use packets (foils) as long as you select the “Yes, I want to receive foils” option on their site. They are free extra samples – you don’t pay extra!  Birchbox also allows subscribers to choose one of the samples in their box. Birchbox sends out high-end products but their sizes are smaller, so their boxes tend to be lower in monetary value than Ipsy. Birchbox’s point system is fantastic – the points change to cash that you can spend on their site.

I’ve heard that Ipsy is good for beginners to makeup – people who want to build their stash and try products they can actually afford. Birchbox, on the other hand, is better for those who want the chance to try higher end brands and sample some skincare products. As I said earlier, both boxes have point systems, and you can earn points by writing reviews on the products you receive and referring friends.

Both sites have excellent customer service and respond quickly.

Birchbox referral link: http://fbuy.me/c4eiO this will get you $5 off your first box and send me $5 to send in the shop. A win-win!

Ipsy referral link: https://www.ipsy.com/new?refer=w8dxq this may not work unless you are on my Pinterest, I’m not sure…give it a try or go to my Pinterest page and click on my Ipsy pin. It will give me 250 points in the shop!

Unfortunately, both sites have point systems that expire your points after a year 😦

I decided to try both boxes and see how I like them. My Birchbox is on its way and I will write reviews on all the products once I receive them! My Ipsy is coming later this month, and I will write a post about the Ipsy products once I get them, as well.

Have you tried any subscription boxes like Birchbox or Ipsy? What boxes are your favorite? Did this post help you out? Let me know in the comments!