Top 10 Under $10 Part 1: Makeup

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I've been wanting to do a drugstore favorites type of video for a while now, and since I decided to skip monthly favorites for July this was the perfect opportunity. As you can tell by the title, I'm putting a $10 price limit on everything and I'm splitting this into two parts: makeup and other beauty products. I didn't go as far as picking one favorites shade of everything—just the products themselves. Here they are:


  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 10 Light - this concealer has really grown on me lately. Though the shade range could use some major improvements, I love the formula of this one and the coverage that it gives me.
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 001 Transparent - I've talked about this so much already that it shouldn't be a surprise. But look! I hit pan!
  • NYX Stick Blush in Orchid and Hibiscus - I think these are seriously underrated when it comes to cream blushes. Creamy and blendable, but not too wet.
  • Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso and Dolce Pink - now, these are drugstore rockstars and I'm sure a lot of you have heard of them by now. I love the beautiful glow these two particular shades give.



  • Milani Color Statement Lipsticks in Nude Crème and Hot Pink Rage - when it comes to full-on opaque drugstore lipstick, Milani is the way to go. Impressive shade range, and color that lasts and lasts.
  • NYX Butter Glosses in Crème Brûlée and Vanilla Cream Pie - you didn't think I could do without these, did you? Check out full review and swatches here.
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in Antwerp and Prague - my newest lip product love. Matte finish without the dryness. Need I say more?


  • Topshop Nail Polish in Rainy Day (review+swatches here), Awol and New Wave - where have these been my whole life? Great quality affordable nail polish and so many vibrant shades to pick from!

If you'd like to see the swatches and hear more about all of these products, watch this video!
What are your drugstore makeup favorites?

The Sunday Post: Bristol Renaissance Faire

It's been a while since I've posted about my Chicagoland adventures (and to be fair, this isn't technically Chicagoland either, but close enough). It seems every time I do something fun this summer, I manage to leave my camera out of it. Well, I wasn't going to make that mistake today as we were going to one of my most favorite places in the world—Bristol Renaissance Faire. Let me warn you: things are about to get photo-heavy. If you haven't been lucky to attend, let me explain: it's exactly what it sounds like—a large faire full of people dressed up in period clothing  and using old English whether they're selling handmade goods, making food, or entertaining the crowd. You can meet anyone from the Queen and her court, to rowdy peasants and magical creatures. There are shows, music, events to participate in and lots of delicious food. If you're looking to blend in, you can buy all kinds of costumes and really become part of the faire. 

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You can also find some odd characters and things that may or may not look like they belong.

One of my favorite parts, of course, is finding these beautiful fantasy creatures.

And in case you don't believe we were actually there, here you go.
Check out the crazy beard action and the dragon ear cuff—can you tell we love this stuff?

New Hair + Hair Care Routine

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Well, here I am with my short hair again! I'm loving this cut and if anyone out there is considering chopping all of their hair off, I say "DO IT!" I've never been able to understand why people get really attached to their hair and burst into tears when it gets cut (ANTM makeovers, anyone?) I think a new look is always fun and if there is one thing to remember when it comes to hair, it's that it will grow out faster than you think. Last time I had a pixie cut was in April of 2013 and despite all of the trims and shaping it still grew past my shoulders in a little over a year (and my hair grows slower than average). 

With a drastic change like this, I had to change my hair care and styling routine as well:

The Hair Care Routine:

  • LUSH Big Sea Salt Shampoo - probably the most unique shampoo I've ever tried, because it literally consists of sea salt! My hair loves this stuff: it gives me volume, shine, and makes my scalp feel super clean and refreshed.
  • LUSH Fairly Traded Honey Shampoo - my other shampoo, since I like to alternate between the two. You guys know how much love I have for honey-scented things (the real honey scent though, not artificial sweetness), so this one is right up my alley. Just like Big, it's great for volume and shine, but it's also moisturizing.
  • LUSH American Cream Hair Conditioner - this should come as no surprise, since I talk about this conditioner a lot. Love the scent, and lightness plus moisturizing is a winning combination for my fine hair.
  • LUSH R&B Hair Moisturizer - I'm very new to this product, but it was love at first... sample? R&B is a leave-in conditioner and flyaway/frizz tamer. Don't even get me started on the scent—it's so great, you have to go smell it ASAP.
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo in Wild - where would I be without a good dry shampoo? I actually use this for styling purposes as well to add some volume.

The Styling Products:

  • Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse - I know, the word "mousse" is kind of associated with hair from the previous century, but my hair loves a good volumizing mousse. I'm still on the fence about this one: it works, but I may be going back to the one from Living Proof after I'm done.
  • Tigi Bed Head Manipulator - a very light and appropriately sticky texturizer. If hair wax is too heavy for you check this thing out—you will get the same effect without weighing your hair down.
  • Sebastian Shaper Plus Hairspray - though on the pricey side, this is a great option for all of us who strongly dislike the feeling/scent of a regular hairspray. Definitely worth the extra money for me.

To see my new hair and hear more about all of these products, check out this video!

On My Nightstand | 7. 14. 2014

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I have always found it interesting to see what people store in their small personal spaces and while a nightstand may not give you glimpse into someone's soul, you'd be surprised how different the set of items is from one person to another. Someone might fill theirs with beauty products and half of their skin care routine, while someone else treats it as an emergency kit, or a miniature library. Personally, I used have a nightstand with two decently-sized drawers and filled it with everything from jewelry and beauty products, to old cell phones, random notes, and other things I had no designated place for. As you can see, I've come a long way: partly because our new-ish (a bit over a year old) nightstands have a small drawer and an open bottom shelf, and partly because I went on an organizing rampage when we moved. So here is what I keep on/in it now:

  • The Surface. I do not like visible clutter, and as you can tell from the photo above there are only two things on top of my nightstand other than my Eiffel Tower lamp: a book and  pillow mist. Obviously, the book changes—it's whatever I'm currently reading and right now I'm about to get started on The Scorch Trials (second book in The Maze Runner series, you can see my review of the first book here). The pillow mist is from Bath & Body Works and it's in the Lavender Camomile scent—very light and calming, I use it every night.

Now onto the drawer:

  • The Beauty Products. First of all, I have two hand creams. Apparently, one is just not enough. They do serve different purposes though: The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Butter is my default hand cream of choice (it smells so good too!), while Lemony Flutter from LUSH is my emergency cream if I have any dry patches or my cuticles need rescuing. Then, I also have the Almond Body Butter from The Body Shop (are we sensing a theme here?) which is there in case I have forgotten to put on my body butter in the bathroom. Lastly, I have the cranberry version of Kiehl's Lip Balm #1. Though I find this one to be pretty average and don't really know why everyone is so smitten by it, I absolutely adore the scent and it still does the job of hydrating my lips. 
  • The Journal. I've talked about this 5-year Q&A a Day Journal in my New Year post, and I am proud to report that I have been keeping up with it: I write in it every night before I go to sleep, hence why it's in my nightstand along with a pen.
  • The Miscellaneous Stuff. As for the rest, I have an Apple mobile device charger for obvious reasons, one of the cutest bookmarks I've ever seen (it's a white and gold cat with a tag that says "curious"—what more do you want from a  bookmark?) and a Github coaster, because you best believe I'm having tea before bed, as I read my book!

What's on your nightstand? Do you keep it organized?

Nails of the Day: Revlon Sun Candy in Lava Flame

When it comes to drugstore nail polish, Revlon has been on the top of my list lately. I've talked about their Parfumerie line on more than one occasion (you can see my reviews + swatches here, here and here), but today felt like a glitter kind of day and I though I would break out one of my Sun Candy duos. This vibrant red beauty is called Lava Flame and it's perfect for a bright summer manicure. The base polish is a fiery orange red and the top coat is gold glitter that reflects orange at certain angles. As you can see, one accent nail per hand just wasn't cutting it for me—I went for three.

What I love about the glitter top coats in this line is that they aren't very chunky, which makes them pretty easy to take off (anyone who has tried a glitter nail polish before knows how much of a pain taking it off can be). There is also no need to put another top coat over of the glitter—it dries quickly and keeps the nail polish from chipping. Speaking of chipping, I'm really impressed with the quality of the base polishes in this collection in general: every shade I've tried so far has stayed put with minor wear for a solid week. I really wish the regular Revlon polishes held up as well as these. The formula is very opaque and goes on smoothly. It's a bit on the thin side, but without being runny. Overall, I'm a fan of the Sun Candy line and this shade in particular.

What summer red polish are you loving right now?

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Where to buy:

I picked up Lava Flame from Ulta, but Revlon Sun Candy polishes can easily be found wherever Revlon is sold.

June 2014 Favories: Skin Care, Makeup, TV and more!

How is it July already? I seriously don't know where June went and I can't believe we are half way through the year at this point! Sorry, my favorites are a bit late this time around, but I hope you still enjoy watching them! Have you used any of these products? What are some of your current favorites?

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The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (see my full review here)
LUSH Celestial Facial Moisturizer
The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Butter
Kat Von D Esperanza Palette
L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipsticks in Hot Pepper, Olé Flamingo and Grand Cru
Milani Baked Blushes in Luminoso and Dolce Pink
Butter London Nail Lacquer in Scouse
Topshop Cream Nail Polish in New Wave
Diptyque Tam Dao (see my review here)



Game of Thrones (watch My Top 10 Season 4 Moments video here)
The Fault in Our Stars (in theaters now - read my Movie vs. Book review here)
Jersey Boys (in theaters now)

Summer Makeup Essentials + Everyday Look

Summer is finally here and to me that means a bit of a change in my makeup routine. While I'm not one to follow rules like "no white after Labor Day" or "vampy lips are only for fall/winter", I do like to wear less makeup when it gets hot just because it's a comfort thing. This is a very easy neutral look, but since it's me we're talking about, it couldn't be complete without a pop of color on the lips. I hope you enjoy!

Also, you can check out my Top 7 Summer Nail Polishes video here!

What are your makeup essentials for the summer?

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Products Mentioned:


Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation in 20 Beige
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in 100 Ivory
L'Oreal True Match Lumi in N 1-2 Soft Ivory / Classic Ivory
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 10 Light
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 001 Transparent
The Body Shop Bronzer in 01 Light Matte
NYX Stick Blush in Orchid
Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
Too Faced Sweetheart's Perfect Flush Blush in Candy Glow


Urban Decay Primer Potion
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Emerveille
Buxom Stay There Eyeshadow in Mutt
Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo in Barely Branded
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Stingray


Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters
NYX butter Glosses in Peach Cobbler, Apple Strudel, Cupcake and Sugar Cookie