Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fresh-Faced with When Masks

I've always been a little on the fence about face masks. I think the concept is great, but there are very few companies who really come through on these products. Today, I'm reviewing two face masks sent to me by When Masks that struck me as extremely different. Firstly, they're probably the most convenient facial masks I've ever used. They come in small, flat packages that are nice for throwing in an overnight bag or purse. Secondly, they're so simple to use! It's completely no-fuss, just throw it on for half an hour, peel off, and voila!
The first mask I received was the Glamour Base. My favorite of the two, this mask was absolutely perfect for me. It left my skin in that perfect in-between area, not oily, but also not bone-dry. I didn't feel like I needed to apply a moisturizer afterwards at all, I just skipped right on to the rest of my makeup. My skin looked and felt similar to the way it does after I apply a good primer- smooth with minimal appearance of pores. 
The second mask I received was Snow Magic, and it was a very different product altogether. The residue left on my face after I peeled away the mask seemed much thicker and took longer for my skin to absorb. My face was extremely oily and shiny for the rest of the day, and it was also a bit sticky. I definitely couldn't have applied makeup over it. My skin felt extremely hydrated and moisturized by the following morning once my face had lost the sticky feel, and I think it benefited my skin quite a bit, but I'd make sure to use it on a day when you won't want to get out much or wear a lot of makeup.
Overall, I really enjoyed using the masks and thought the concept of creating face masks for a girl on the go was great. When masks are available at Sephora, Ulta. Anthropologie, Bartell Drugs,, Birchbox, Ricky's NYC, and Starboard Cruise Services and cost about $7 each. You can also find them at their website here!

Disclaimer: Although this is a sponsored review, it was in no way influenced by When Masks. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Glossier Pink and Spring Eyes

Spring is approaching fast, and I'm already so excited for the lighter colors of this season! I love fall and winter colors, but I am so ready to play around with more bright, pastel shades in my outfits and makeup. Today, I'm sharing a springy makeup tutorial using my new favorite eyeshadow palette, Urban Decay's Vice 4.
After priming my eyes with a MicaBeauty Eye Primer, I began packing the shade Fast-Ball onto my entire lid with a Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush. This is a really pinky-toned salmon, and to get such a pale color to stand out, packing is much better than just brushing the color on.
Now I'm taking Arctic, a shimmery green shade that makes me think of Saint Patrick's day, and filling in my crease using the Deluxe Crease Brush, also by Real Techniques.
I also went in with the shade Grasshopper, a similar green pigment but a tad darker and with less shimmer, and mixed it with Arctic to add a bit more dimension in the crease.
Now, I'm using the same brush to blend it using the transition shade Discreet for a more natural fade. I also added a bit of the shade 1985, a darker pink, to transition from the rich green tones to that pale salmon on the rest of my lid.

I hadn't originally intended on using a lot of shadow on my bottom lid, but I couldn't resist adding an ombre line. I began by applying Fast-Ball to my inner corner with my Dual-Ended Crown Brush, then blended it into Grasshopper with Real Techniques' Brow Brush for a precise finish.

For eyeliner, I grabbed my current favorite liquid liner pen, Skone Cosmetics' Insanely Intense Tattooed Eyeliner in Jet Black, and applied a medium-sized line and wing to my upper lid. I then used Coastal Scents' Xpress Liner to fill in my entire waterline.
After a few swipes of Urban Decay's Perversion Mascara, the look is done! I'd never really played around with green eyeshadow much until this look, and I ended up really loving it with the pink. The contrast between the pastel shadows and dark liner also really make this look pop.
This tutorial is part of Glossier's celebration of Pantone's 2016 Color of the Year, Rose Quartz and Serenity, in their #glossierpink campaign. All participants are sharing how they add a touch of pink to their beauty routine or daily outfits, and you can find the full collection on the Glossier Pink Pinterest board here. Make sure you check out Glossier's selection of beauty products here as well! Aside from the salmon color on my eyes, I added a touch of pink to my lips with the Urban Decay Revolution Lip Gloss in the shade Savage. This is probably the boldest shade of pink I've ever worn on my lips, and I thought it was really fun! I may have to start rocking a pink lip more often.
How do you incorporate pink into your makeup routine? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Peek Inside Hove' Parfumeur

New Orleans is filled with little shops and boutiques, and in a city like that, it's difficult to stand out. On my most recent trip, I came across Hove' Parfumer, a shop on Chartres Street specializing in skincare products. I was drawn in by a sign outside advertising their lotion bars (more on that in a minute!) and was so excited to see all of their items.

Perfume is their specialty, but they also carry soaps, lotions, and powders in a large variety of scents. Their signature scents are Vetivert and Tea Olive, but they have an enormous scent list for both men and women.

And about those lotion bars! These are my new favorite skincare product, and I keep one by my bed in my favorite scent, Heliotrope. You warm the bar between your hands for about five seconds, then rub it all over the fronts and backs of your hands for a moisturized, non-greasy finish. My hands are never oily afterwards, and they smell great! After I tried mine, I had to go back the next day and pick up one for a friend.
You can find Hove at 424 Chartres Street New Orleans, Louisiana, or online at their website here.
I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

New Orleans Minimalism

Top: Forever 21, Jeans: Wet Seal, Boots: Top Moda
New Orleans is my favorite city. I love everything about it, from the food to the culture, and the stunning architecture of the French Quarter makes it an ideal location for outfit photos! I visit New Orleans once annually, and I got back from this year's trip just a few weeks ago. Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a New Orleans OOTD series with all of my favorite looks I wore on this year's trip. I intended for the entire series to be shot in the French Quarter, but when I saw this great purple shop on Magazine Street, I decided to make an exception!

I love simple, versatile outfits. That's why this black button-down is one of my favorite pieces since it can be styled so many ways, as seen in my Sugar Skulls and Winter Shades article from last December! For this outfit, I paired it with basic blue skinny jeans and combat boots for a minimalist yet edgy look.
What's your favorite wardrobe staple? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hello, Spring! Ipsy Bag

March's ipsy bag is called Hello, Spring!, and it has been one of my favorite glam bags to date. Filled with fun, versatile products, this bag perfectly met my beauty needs and even guessed a couple products I've been wanting to try!
First this month is a product I've heard so much about, the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in the shade Kitten Heels. Liquid lipsticks are a bit new for me, and I'd actually been on the verge of ordering this when it arrived in my bag! The color is an extremely bold, vibrant red, and it dries much more quickly than I would have expected. It has a perfectly matte finish, and I didn't notice that it dried out my lips, which was nice. Overall, I really liked it and am looking to purchase it in the shades Soft-Spoken and Amethyst as well!
Next is Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco 3 Day Smooth Perfect Blow Dry Cream from Marc Anthony. With my hair reaching just past my chin now, I'm finally at the point where I need to style it for the first time in ages, and I'd been looking for a product to limit that styling time when this arrived. I really like the smell, and it did a good job maintaining frizz and giving me a soft, sleek finish. Using my blow dryer's concentrator nozzle, I can actually straighten my hair without a flat iron with this product!
I always love finding a good liquid eyeliner, and I was not disappointed with Skone Cosmetics' Insanely Intense Tattooed Eyeliner in Jet Black. I'd never heard of this brand before, but they really know how to make a good eyeliner. The tip is perfectly sized, thin enough at the end to let me add detailing to my look and thick enough at the base to provide stability. It also dries ridiculously fast, so I don't have to worry about opening my eye after applying it to find a print on my eyelid! It also lasts for a really long time, almost as if it is tattooed! After checking out their website, I'm dying for it in the shade Plum.
This next product is the Lip + Cheek Pencil from NUDESTIX in Mystic. I've always loved the idea of a lip/cheek duo, but until now, I'd never found one that I really liked. This formula is virtually perfect, with the most blendable cheek stain I've ever used and a lipstick that doesn't dry out my lips in an ideal shade. It's very compact, and its versatility makes it great for throwing in a purse or clutch for touchups. It was definitely a highlight in this bag!
Lastly is the Beau Gachis Paris Eyeshadow Brush. This is the second eyeshadow brush I've received by this company in a glam bag, and although I didn't initially love the first one, it ended up growing on me as I played around with using it in different ways. This one I immediately liked as it is a perfect eyeshadow staple brush. If you need to carry a brush but can only bring one, this is versatile enough to cover all of the necessities. I used this the other night to try a cut crease eyeshadow look, and I used it for my base powder, to apply my crease shade, and to blend my several different shadows together. I really love how soft the bristles are and was very happy with it.
That's it this month! I'm finding that my ipsy bags are progressively becoming more suited to my personal taste every month since I've started taking surveys about the products every month, and they've really been nailing it! If you'd like to receive your own $10 glam bag every month, check out

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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Saving Face with The Soothe Chef

I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret: I struggle profusely with acne. Since sixth grade, I've tried tons of different "miracle" skin cleansers or medications from my dermatologist, and while a few of them helped, I've still had a hard time with it- until now. In today's Etsy Subscription Box Review, I'm sharing my experience with The Soothe Chef's Organic Skincare Box. I've been using the products in this box for over two months now, and they have completely revolutionized the way I treat my acne. Keep reading for my new skincare routine in full.
The first item in this box is Micellar Water. I'll admit to having no idea what this stuff was when I opened it, but after some internet searching, I was sold. Micellar Water is made up of molecules called micelles which, when applied to the skin, are attracted to dirt or other impurities in the skin, suspended in soft water, which is just regular water minus certain metal cations. This is important because these micelles basically pull everything you don't want on your face away, leaving behind clean skin. The best part is, it's applied with a cotton pad, and you don't have to wash it off. No water or washcloths involved! It's a lazy girl's dream. I begin my skincare routine morning and night by thoroughly cleaning my face with a cotton pad doused in this.

If you want more detailed information on micellar water, I'd recommend this article from Huffington Post for an overview or this article from Lab Muffin for a more in-depth scientific explanation as to why it works so well.
Next is the Charcoal Facial Cleanser. This little bar looks really cool (my brother calls it my lava rock), and it's a really great facial cleaner, though I don't use it half the time. In the mornings or on days that I don't wear makeup, I just use the micellar water to save time. I save this for when I'm wearing a lot of makeup or just on days where I feel the urge to make my face feel squeaky clean. I've actually found that my face has been a lot softer now that I've cut down on the amount of times I wash my face in a given week, though I think this cleanser is on the gentler side.
The next product was another first-time for me- Toner. I've heard about toners for ages but never really paid them much mind or knew much about what they did. These products are meant to be used after a facial cleanser to remove any extra impurities and the oily film often left on your face after using a cleaner. I only use this after washing with the charcoal face wash on days that I wear makeup, and it leaves my face feeling more clean and fresh than the cleanse alone. I wouldn't say it's an essential step in a skincare routine, but it's definitely a good refresher.
Lastly for my daily skincare routine is the Facial Serum for Acne-Prone Skin. The serum also comes in dry, oily, and average formulas for those who don't struggle with acne like I do! This product has been a life saver for me this winter, as my face has felt overly dry and irritated, and it completely turned the condition of my skin around. After using the aforementioned products, I apply two prescription medications, Epiduo and Aczone, and apply this over them. I use this primarily at night since it makes my skin look much more oily than usual and is primarily meant to be used at night, but when my skin is feeling more dry than usual, I will use it in the mornings, too. This serum makes my face feel so smooth and moisturized and has done much more for my face than any moisturizer I've ever used.
The last item in the box is the Blackhead Buster Charcoal Facial Masque. This is a great mask to use on a weeknight when you're feeling stressed and need to take a few minutes to relax and dedicate some time for yourself. The masque comes with a sheet that includes several different recipes, allowing you to mix the powder with a large variety of ingredients in order to perfectly match your skin type. I used the most basic recipe, a half tablespoon of the powder combined with three quarters of a teaspoon of water, and applied it to my face, allowing it to sit for about twenty minutes. The masque goes on a very dark green but fades to a more pastel green when it hardens. It is removed with warm water and a washcloth in minutes and is simple to use, making it great for when you need a little pick-me-up on a packed schedule. Its versatility also allows you to play around with ingredients to find what you like best! I personally have never struggled much with blackheads, my battle is with whiteheads, so I didn't notice much in terms of lessening my acne, but it did leave my face feeling extremely smooth and fresh.

In the two months since I changed my skincare routine, my acne has cleared up almost completely. I've put this to the ultimate test, going through my menstrual cycle twice, which is when I usually break out the most, and being crazy stressed about upcoming mid semester exams, yet my skin has been completely under control. I didn't even go through much of a transition phase with these products! I normally break out a bit when switching bits of my skincare routine, but this worked its way flawlessly into my routine, and I've had so many compliments from family and friends about how clear my skin looks! You can find the latest box in The Soothe Chef's Etsy shop for $30, with the products inside retailing for $44! I would highly recommend this service, and so will your skin.

Remember that I have received compensation for the posts in my Etsy Subscription Box Review 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!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pretty in #IpsyPink Glam Bag

February's Ipsy bag is called Pretty in #IpsyPink, and it's brought me out of my shell a bit. It has so many bold, beautiful products, and a few unexpected items. The bag is also a highlight, with a really fun texture and graphic.
First this month is the THEORIE Argan Oil Ultimate Reform Hair Serum. In a statement, I thought it was good but not great. It works well and protects from heat styling, but then again, don't most well-made hair serums? It isn't one of those products that will revolutionize the haircare industry, but it makes a good staple in your beauty routine and is a bit similar to Moroccan Oil, my favorite hair serum.
The second item this month is a product I absolutely adore, the ModelCo LIP LACQUER Lip Gloss in Morocco. This gloss is different than most lip glosses that I've used because it's amazingly long lasting. I wore it a few days ago and accidentally left home without throwing it in my purse, but it turned out that it stays so well that I didn't need to reapply it, even after eating lunch. The color is stunning, the staying power is mind-blowing, and the shine is perfect.
Confession time: I've NEVER worn red nail polish. I've always thought it was one of those stunning but hard to pull off things, like 10-inch needle-thin heels (ouch). But this Ciate London Paint Pot in Hutch- my go-to red" completely made me rethink that and call myself out for not having worn it sooner! I love this polish to death, and it makes me feel like so ladylike. It's funny what something as small as a nail color can do to your confidence. As for the polish itself, it spreads well, has a great consistency, and lasts for ages. Definitely a favorite in this bag!
This item was also a bit out of my comfort zone. I've always been pro-powder blush, and cream formulas have always made me feel that I'll look like a clown, but I'm happy to say that this blush has proven me wrong. Bora Bora Coral from tre'StiQue leaves my cheeks looking perfectly flushed, and the formula blends easily into my skin.
Lastly is the Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer from IT Cosmetics. Let me begin by saying that this isn't your run-of-the-mill concealer. This stuff is thick. A drop alone will cover one eye and part of the other, and it's surprisingly blendable. It's also much less cakey than I would expect and effectively covers dark circles.

That's all for this bag! I'm really happy with the quality of my products this month, and I can't wait to share my March ipsy bag next month. To get your own $10 Glam Bag every month, sign up at

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.