Saturday, February 6, 2016

Two Braids for Women with Short Hair

I've been really excited about today's post because it's my first styling post for short hair! Until quite recently, my hair has been too short to do anything at all with, so I've just let it do its own thing and hoped for the best most of the time. Now, I finally have a little bit of length in my bangs and can start playing around with different braids and twists. In today's tutorial, I'm showing you two adorable styles for pixie cuts that help out immensely when growing your hair out. These can definitely be used for long hair too, and it would probably be easier on long hair since you won't have as many flyaways, but I've only tried them on my shorter locks and think they're pretty fantastic. I also let my regrowth get extremely long for this post since it's lighter than the rest of my hair so you can see the braids better. The things I do for you people.

The first tutorial is for an imitation crown braid. For a traditional crown braid, you actually have to braid (duh), but we're actually just twisting to get a similar effect on shorter hair.

1. Take a section of hair near your part and divide it into two parts. Make sure the hair all comes from along your part, try not to grab hair too far away from it. This makes the style more defined.
2. Take the strand nearest to your face and take it over the second piece, making it in front.
3. Grab some hair and add it to the now-in-front section. 
4. Take that section and pull it over the other, like you did in step two. Continue to add strands and twist until you reach your ear, or until you run out of hair long enough to add into the twist.
5. Bobby pin the end of the twist behind your ear to keep the pin concealed and add extra bobby pins throughout the twist to catch flyaways and hold it in place, and you're done! 
This is my go-to pixie cut style when I'm looking for something more fun than my usual look. It takes a couple of tries to get the hang of it, but it becomes intuitive very quickly and takes less than three minutes to do. I love wearing this to school since I'm looking down at a book or piece of paper a lot, and my long bands tend to fall in my eyes. This style is extremely secure and doesn't fall out midway through the day, making it perfect for going out or just running errands.
The second look is actually a braid and takes a little more effort. I recommend mastering the above style first and then moving on to this as it's more involved. I'm using a french braid to create a mock undercut and give the illusion of hair that's shorter than it actually is for you ladies not wanting to take off that much length. 

1. Take a section of hair framing your face and divide it into three sections.
2. Braid the pieces together two times.
3. Begin french braiding the hair, adding hair from either side of the braid to sections before you cross them over. 
4. Once that extra hair is incorporated, pull your braid very tightly before moving on. You want this look to be as tight as possible to emphasize that undercut effect. Continue until you reach your ear or are out of hair long enough to braid.
 5. Bobby pin the end of the braid behind your ear as well as any stray pieces, and you're done!
This style is a tad bit more difficult than the first, but I really love the outcome! This is especially helpful when you're in that awkward growing-out phase and want to remove some excess bulk without taking off length. Having the hair pulled tight to the scalp imitates an undercut with a feminine edge.
That's it! I hope these styles you in your pixie adventure, I know they work for me! If you have a unique way of styling your pixie, I'd love to hear them! Drop your favorites into the comments below.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dee's Incredibows Review + GIVEAWAY

Today's Etsy Subscription Box is the Dee's Incredibows Monthly Bow Box. Dee's makes unique, handmade bows fit for any occasion and specializes in holiday and character-themed bows. I was sent one box of four bows to review.

Let me preface this review with the fact that I haven't worn bows since I was a little girl. Since I've gotten older, I've always felt like I haven't had the right face for them, and they've always seemed to look a bit obnoxious on me. This box has completely converted me. Their mini bows look absolutely darling with my short hair, and I use them to give my hair an extra pop!
The first bow was Valentine's Day themed, which is perfect for this month! I love the soft color combinations, and I think the rose detailing takes it to the next level. I also love the pink and red with my purple hair!
Next is a bow customized just for me! I requested a Mad Hatter themed bow, and they completely delivered. The shade of green chosen for this bow is absolutely perfect for the Mad Hatter, and I love the silver trim. If that weren't enough, they added the same 10/6 card the Mad Hatter from the Disney cartoon version has in his hat!
Next is another custom bow that I requested. I'm a huge Nightmare Before Christmas fan, as seen in my "Six Reasons The Nightmare Before Christmas is the Best Halloween Movie" post from a few Halloweens ago, and I couldn't pass up the chance to see what they did with a Jack Skellington request! The outcome is absolutely flawless, with the pinstripes on the bottom layer a bit crooked, just like Jack's. The sparkly bat presents a girly take on Jack's signature bow tie, and I fell in love with it immediately.
Lastly is a bow already listed in the shop, the Baymax bow! I absolutely love Big Hero Six, and Baymax was always my favorite character. I wanted this bow because of its simplicity. It makes a statement, but it's still the classic white bow that everyone loves. 

Dee's has offered to give away a one month subscription of their Mega Mini Subscription Box like the one I received. The box comes with four mini bows like mine, two chosen by you and two hand picked by them just for you! To sign up, enter using the RaffleCopter widget below! The giveaway is for US residents only, and it runs from today until next Tuesday.

The subscription box comes in one, two, three, six, and twelve month payment plans, so it's easy to just try out for a short time or give as a gift. The subscriptions start at just $9 per month, making them a unique, inexpensive gift for friends and family. You can also have bows custom-made for $5-$7.50 each, or you can check out their full range of bows at their shop here.

SHARE THIS GIVEAWAY!
The results from this week's giveaway and my next Etsy subscription box review are coming next Tuesday, so be sure to check in then! Remember that I have received compensation for the posts in this series, but none of my opinions are influenced by the featured brands. All opinions are my own.

Check out the rest of the series here!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Winter Fairy Eye Makeup Tutorial

It's been way too long since I've done an eye makeup tutorial, and today, I'd like to change that! I'm bringing you a bright, color-packed look that makes me feel like a winter fairy because makeup is just that awesome.
I'm using the Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box for this tutorial, which has sadly been discontinued. The only place I've been able to find it now is on Ebay, so if you can find one of these, snatch it up quick because they're a dream! The colors are absolutely packed with pigment, and they're some of my favorite colorful eyeshadows I've ever used. 
To begin the look, I'm applying my favorite MicaBeauty Cosmetics Eye Primer all over my lid, making sure to work this up into my crease. A good primer is especially important when using bright colors in your look as they tend to be extremely pigmented and crease easily.
Now, I'm taking the shade Ransom on the fluffy end my Deluxe Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush from Crown Brush and applying it to my outer and inner creases, leaving a bare area in the center. You can use any purple eyeshadow for this look, I love this one because it's more of a violet than a purple, making it blend better with the blue I'm about to use.

Now, I'm taking Peace, a bright, Cinderella blue color, on a Coastal Scents Classic Medium Shadow Brush and pressing it into the bare area we left earlier. When applying a bright, highly pigmented shadow, you always want to press the product rather than sweep it across your lid to get the most vibrant outcome.

Now, taking Zero on my Ecotools Shading Brush from their Starter Makeup Brush Set, I'm lightly going over the edges of my outer crease to add some dimension and create a smokier look. This color can be substituted with any shimmery black shade.

Now, I'm applying Peace with the pointed end of my Crown Duet Brush around my tear ducts and along my lower lashline until I reach about halfway across, just under the pupil.Then, using the same brush, I'm applying Ransom to the rest of my lashline, blending it with the blue to create a gradient effect.


Now, I'm lining my lower waterline with this deep turquoise-y liner from Smashbox which has also unfortunately been discontinued. This step is totally optional, but I like it because it makes the whites of my eyes really pop. I love how bright the blue shadow already is on my upper lid, so I opted not to line it, but you can definitely do that if you want a darker toned look.
This step is also optional, but I went in and packed a little more Ransom into my crease and blended it out a bit with my Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush.

Now, I'm going in with my favorite Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and coating my lashes. False lashes would be absolutely gorgeous with this look, but I have fairly long lashes and just prefer mascara.
Now I'm using my Brow Duo Brush by Crown Brush to comb and fill in my brows with a Natural Stain Brow Powder by PEEK Beauty. I don't particularly like the brush end of this tool because it's so stiff that you have to scrape your product and make a mess to get any to actually stick, but I'm using it primarily for the spoolie end because it has a sharp curve that you can't really see in this picture which makes it easier to use.


That's the completed look! I'm really loving all of these cool winter colors this season, and this has definitely been one of my favorite looks because it is so easy to do and looks stunning. What are your favorite winter makeup secrets? Share in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lulu the Pickle Queen

I'm in the stud club now. I have officially been deemed a cool kid. *poses with cap on backwards*

Today's Etsy subscription box review is from one of the cutest, sweetest shops ever, Lulu the Pickle Queen. I'm not a pickle person, but it's impossible not to be smitten with this shop. Filled with colorful, dainty jewelry, it's perfect for anyone who needs a bit of color in their lives.
I was sent the January Stud Club Box, which came with these little yarn stud earrings. These rainbow studs are adorable and look great with my already colorful hair! They add a fun pop to a neutral outfit and accent a more colorful look perfectly. Plus, they're made with rainbow yarn, so each pair is completely unique.

If the earrings weren't enough, the packaging is to die for! The popper seen above came in a box packed with blue and white confetti, and the popper contained both white confetti and glitter pills (I think I squeaked a little when I saw those). It's like opening up a mini party, which is one of the reasons I think this subscription box is so special. Subscription boxes arrive once monthly with little surprise gifts in them. It's literally like having a birthday every month, and this box enhances that unique concept with its party theme.
This service would make a perfect gift for family and friends, and it just keeps on giving. You can find the listing for this box in particular here for $12, or you can sign up for the stud club here for $15.

My next Etsy subscription box review is coming next week, so keep an eye out! Remember that I have received compensation for the posts in this series, but none of my opinions are influenced by the featured brands. All opinions are my own.

Check out the rest of the series here!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

All Eyes On You Glam Bag

Fun fact: Today's glam bag marks my fourth year of my subscription to Ipsy. Pretty awesome.

This month's bag is called All Eyes On You. It's filled with neutral, more sophisticated products, and I'm so excited to share them with you.
The first item this month is a Natural Stain Brow Powder by PEEK Beauty. I've recently fallen prey to the brow frenzy that exploded in 2015, and I've tried several brow powders, but this one is among the top few I've used. I have fairly dark brows, but I always prefer using lighter brow powders as I feel that they provide a more natural look and can be layered on occasions when I'm more in the mood for bolder brows, making them much more versatile than a dark powder. This one is easily applied and lasts all day, giving me the perfect brows I need.
Second is a Hikari Cosmetics Cream Metallic Pigment Shadow in the shade Mink. I'm usually not one for cream shadows, but I think this product might just convert me. I've been a huge Hikari fan ever since I received one of their products in my first Ipsy bags, so I was very excited to find this in my bag. This product is the easiest cream shadow to apply that I've ever used, it isn't sticky in the slightest, and it doesn't crease up after extended wear. It's also really pigmented, and the glitter shows up beautifully! Definitely one of my favorites this month.
Next up is a Beau Gachis Paris Smudge Brush. I honestly found this product to be fairly average. It has a nice shape for a blending brush, but the bristles seemed too stiff for me. I generally find brushes with softer, more flexible bristles to be better for blending, and although this one did the job, it just wasn't my favorite.
Another one of my favorite items this month was a Mr. Write (Now) Eyeliner Pencil in Jack B. Bronze from theBalm Cosmetics. I'm always a sucker for twist-up eyeliners because I'm lazy and hate having to sharpen them, and this one didn't let me down. Application for this product is insanely smooth, it glides on perfectly and doesn't smudge throughout the day. It has a really lovely color, which incidentally matches my cream shadow from Hikari perfectly!
Lastly is a Lasting Smiles Lip Balm in Peppermint Cream. I've used more lip balms than I can count, and my least favorites have always been minty. I like minty flavored things in general, but having something that smells so strong that close to my nose for an extended period of time always bothers me. I think the vanilla hint in this lip balm helps lessen the harsh scent of the peppermint a bit, but I'm still not overly happy with the scent. Otherwise, this is a perfect product. The formula is flawless, leaving my lips feeling soft, moisturized, and looking shiny.
I also think Ipsy hit a major home run with this bag! It's so chic, and the bright colors are gorgeous. If you want to try your own $10 monthly subscription to Ipsy, head over to ipsy.com to sign up.


Remember, I pay for all of my monthly glam bags myself, and this review is in no way influenced by ipsy. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kiyi-Kiyi Soap of the Month Club

Today, I'm sharing the second brand being featured in my Etsy subscription box series, Kiyi-Kiyi! Made by hand in Minnesota, Kiyi-Kiyi sources their all natural ingredients from local retailers and creates vegan soaps made with olive and coconut oils as well as soaps made from goat milk or beeswax and honey, so there's something that suits every skin type.
The soap I received was a vegan blend called On the Ice, and I was struck immediately by how absolutely beautiful this soap is. It isn't just a hygienic necessity, it's a stunning piece of decor that features tri-colored soap and an icy effect along the top. It also smells heavenly, casting a strong scent that isn't offensive. My family hates strong smells (I get complaints about my perfume constantly), but they love this cool, fresh scent. 

The Soap of the Month Club is $11 per month and comes with one limited edition soap from Kiyi-Kiyi, many of which are exclusive to club members and don't appear on the Etsy shop! The soaps reserved for these boxes are the more specialized and complicated ones that just can't be matched. Try their one-month plan out here, and you'll be jumping to try a longer subscription!
Check out the rest of the series here!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Comfort Blues

Top: Express, Jeans: Wet Seal, Bracelet: 21 Jewellery, Boots: Sears
Hi lovelies! Today I'm sharing one of my favorite outfits so far this year. I'm a big advocate of looking put-together and still being comfortable, and this outfit is absolutely perfect. This soft blue button-down from Express is covered in tiny, adorable little hearts and looks nice layered under jackets or coats, making it an excellent piece for winter.
And don't even get me started on these shoes! A steal from my mother's closet, they have just the slightest heel and are so comfortable. I love the flower detailing on the sides, and I always cuff my jeans to show them off! I think the small details are what really makes a piece special.
I'm also wearing a darling bracelet from 23 Jewellery. I really love the small, simple elegance in this bracelet, and it's completely customizable. The little gold and silver beading is done in morse code, mine reading "I'm In Wonderland," the Alice in Wonderland fanatic that I am.
What are your favorite comfort pieces this season? Let me know in the comments below!