2012 Beauty Favorites!

Monday, December 31, 2012

This is the last installment in my little trio of 2012 favorites! These are my top 12 beauty products of 2012.

  1. Painterly paint pot from MAC
  2. Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeshadow pencil in the color Sin
  3. Benefit's Boing concealer
  4. Urban Decay's original Naked Palette
  5. Tarte's Amazonian clay blush in Dollface
  6. Benefit's Highbeam liquid highlighter
  7. Lush's bubblegum lip scrub
  8. Thermafuse aerosol hairspray
  9. Benefit's 'They're Real!' mascara
  10. OPI's Cajun Shrimp nail polish
  11. Suave's dry shampoo
  12. MAC's MSF in Lightscapade
 What products did you find yourself reaching for in 2012?

Top 5's of 2012: Albums, Songs & Artists

Friday, December 28, 2012

I did this last year and figured I might as well give it another shot. This is all based on my personal preference, of course. I am not a professional music critic nor do I pretend to be (okay, maybe only a little bit). Albums and songs will be ones released in 2012, but the artist is based on who I listened to the most this year. These aren't in any particular order.

Top 5 Albums of 2012:
  1. Red by Taylor Swift
  2. Electra Heart by Marina and the Diamonds
  3. Halcyon by Ellie Goulding
  4. + by Ed Sheeran (I know this came out in 2011 in the UK, but here in America it didn't come out until June. So even if I heard the album before 2012, that's when I could actually buy it, therefore making it one of my favorites of the year). :)
  5. The Lumineers by The Lumineers
Top 5 Songs of 2012:
  1. "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers
  2. "Home" by Phillip Phillips
  3. "Stars" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
  4. "Some Nights" by Fun.
  5. "Thinkin Bout You" by Frank Ocean
Top 5 Artists of 2012:
  1. Band of Horses
  2. Lykke Li
  3. Tegan and Sara
  4. Ryan Adams
  5. The XX
 Do you have any top picks of the year? Leave them in the comments below!

2012 Non-Beauty Favorites!

Since the new year is rapidly approaching us, I figured I'd round up 12 of my favorite things this year that are not related to beauty. In no particular order, let's go:

  1. My iPhone: I know I only got it at the end of November, but it's so much more convenient and easier to navigate than my Blackberry. I had a BB for nearly four years and the switch to all apple products really made life easier.
  2. On a related note, my Macbook: I got my Macbook Pro at the beginning of January and I have no idea how I functioned with a PC before this.  It runs so smoothly and is well worth the price, in my opinion.
  3. My car and driving in general: I love having the freedom and option to go out and do something for myself or others. I would never tell my brother, but sometimes I like carting him around and being his little chauffeur--it makes me feel useful and gives me a chance to get out of the house.
  4. Slatkin and Co candles: I've got about seven or eight of these floating around in various sizes. They smell incredible and last so long. I burned my giant Leaves candle every day during October and November and it's not even halfway gone.
  5. Francesca Lia Block: Her books, thought bizarre and sometimes confusing, are by far the most beautiful pieces of literature I've ever read.
  6. My Economics class: My teacher is hilarious and it's actually useful. I never thought I'd be interested in it as much as I am.
  7. Matchbox Twenty: I've been so into this band throughout this year. I'm a massive fan and I'm glad they got back together and made a new, pardon my language, bitchin' album.
  8. Steve Madden loafers: They are my staple for school. No outfit is complete without a pair, in my opinion.
  9. Road trips: I made quite a few ventures this year, such as: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Lake George, Chicago, New York City (Queens and Manhattan) and then Boston. It was visiting  and revisiting these places.
  10. Pens: This may be a weird one, but before this year I would only use pencil. Pens make my work look so much  more put together. Plus, I'm pretty sure I write neater with pen. I strictly use pencil for AP Bio and that's it.
  11. Target: I want to live in this store.
  12. The Jonas Brothers re-uniting: My inner thirteen year old self cried when this happened. I saw Joe solo and my heart wanted to scream. He was good, but it was weird not seeing two other Jersey cuties up their with him. Three cheers for comebacks!
Those are my favorite things of the year. Or at least, the ones I could think of off the top of my head. Some are a little weird...but hey, welcome to my life! What are some of your non-beauty favorites of the year? Leave them in the comments below :)

Notable Christmas Gifts, 2012 edition!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas everyone, or happy Tuesday to those who don't celebrate. I'm here to post some of the non-personal and relevant gifts to this blog. I'm in no way trying to boast about the things I was given. I'm very gracious and appreciate each and every one.

A month or so back, a pair of my favorite riding boots got destroyed in a chemical accident at school. Long story short, NaOH got spilled and it stained the leather. My mom allowed me to get my Christmas present early, combining it with my iPhone as a Christmas Present In November.

My boots are by Ralph Lauren and I got them at Marshalls. They're a dark brown and are a little taller than my original pair. They're very comfortable, as I walked around for two days in Boston and was fine. They were well worth the money, in my opinion. I wear the hell out of them.

My Life In Photos; Vol. 1

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Festive reindeer nails!
Picked myself up a Christmas present. I love neutral eyeshadows, and this one was too perfect to pass up! I'll put a review up of it soon.
Outfit of the night and face of the night for my winter dance last Friday. My dress is from Urban Outfitters.
Macbarbie07 posted a no heat hair tutorial and it works so well! This is the final product!
Some Santa hat nails!
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree...

Tarte "Fantastic Foursome Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush Enthusiast Set"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I got this a long time ago because last year when I wanted a holiday set, they were sold out by the time my mom was ready to order. This year, I wasn't going to let that happen so I ordered mine way back in October. I picked up this and the Lipsurgence set (coming next). I figured I should do these posts before the holiday season is over and you can't get them anymore!

I am a blush enthusiast so this set was absolutely perfect for me. They are not full sized, but pack a lot of product in them. For reference, a full sized blush has 0.2 ounces and these each have 0.1 ounces of product.

 This set comes with a highlighter, a bronzer/blush (I use it as both), a coral color and a bright pink.

Starting from the top right, there is Angelic, Stellar, Magic and Fantastic. I love that the packaging reflects what is on the inside. I mix up my Nars blushes all the time because I don't know which is which until I look on the back. It's just a nice addition that makes blush searching a bit more simple.

Angelic is a champagne highlighter. It is more subtle than most of my other highlighters, but it is nicely pigmented. I use this on days that my skin doesn't need that much of a shine. It's more natural looking.

Stellar is a light brown with some shimmer in it. I'm relatively fair skinned, so this could easily be a bronzer on me. However, I do like the look of it as a blush as well. Since I already have a matte bronzer, I prefer to use this as a blush because it has shimmer in it. You can use it as you please.

Magic is a matte coral blush. I haven't worn this much because to me it is more of a spring/summer blush, but the color is nice and it was very smooth.

Fantastic is a blue toned bubblegum pink. I like wearing this on days where I'm wearing neutral or dark colors to bring color to my cheeks. This is more pink rather than Dollface, which is a lot more natural looking.

All of these colors wear for my whole school day on me. Toward the end of the 8 hour mark they start to wear off a little bit, but that could be due to me not wearing a primer/finishing spray.

If you like blushes, this is a good set for you. But if you are new to makeup and want some variety, I recommend this as well! The retail price is 35 dollars for all of this set! This is a perfect gift for someone (or yourself).

Life Update #1: Catch up time!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hi! Long time no talk! I know I took a very long and very abrupt break once school started. I didn't know how to balance a blog, soccer and school work. I figured once soccer ended I'd be okay...and then I realized that I couldn't handle senior year at all, either. I figured I'd take the time to write an update blog to keep you all posted with my life-happenings and what not!

I guess I'll start with I'm a senior now! This was my last year of soccer and we came in first in our league, the first time in our school's history, I believe. That was pretty damn cool in my opinion. I turned 17 on the 21st of November, so now I can see R-rated movies. Not as cool, but still notable.

In October, my family got its first dog! We got a rat terrier when he was only 8 weeks old. His name is Cash and he's precious when he's sleeping. When he's awake, however, he is a rabid little monster who bites everything. He ripped up our carpet and made me bleed. But look at this precious little nugget!

This was on the night when we first got him. He was so little that he couldn't even go up and down the stairs. I now know the meaning of "puppy dog eyes". How cute!

Speaking of new things, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and got an iPhone. Say hello to my little friend.

I got my case at Jack Wills on my trip to Boston a few weeks ago. I went to look at some colleges, because I have to do that next year...I actually got the case before I even got the phone, but I knew it was in transit so I jumped at got it. Plus, I knew I wanted something from the store but wasn't willing to pay 40+ dollars for a beanie. Plus, my cashier had a British accent. Speaking of accents, oh my God, Boston accents are awesome! I had never heard one before and as soon as my tour guide at the first college started talking I was geeking out. Needless to say, I want to be there right now.

Since it's now officially December, I can allow myself to listen to holiday music full force. Before, I would only listen on the radio if it was Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", "Last Christmas" (any version) or "All I Want For Christmas Is You. Now I have my nice little playlist of holiday songs. And I think that it is appropriately titled.

My dad started to put up decorations on our house. Or at least I hope this is only the start because right now it looks like a lazy elf put them up or something.

I hope to God that he puts some up on the roof or else I'm going to have to do it myself.

My countdown to Spain is officially in the double digits! It's a little over 70 days at this point. I'm not sure about exact numbers, but it's coming up relatively soon. I'm extremely nervous so if you've traveled to a foreign country across the ocean/live in Spain, HELP! I'm not used to all of this.

I'm going to spend the holiday season waiting for college acceptance letters and drinking a lot of Peppermint Hot Chocolate. What's your favorite part about the winter?

It was nice catching up! I will try my hardest to learn how to manage my time and put up my holiday sets review tomorrow!

Thanksgiving NOTD!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving! I know I've been on this sort of extended leave of absence and that's my fault for having terrible time management! I'll post a blog soon after this one explaining what has been going on in my life. Hint: I got a furry little creature in October!

My birthday was yesterday, so I bought myself a heap of makeup to celebrate  And by heap I mean I spent $120 dollars. Oops. This nail polish was one of my self-gifted presents!

I know, I know.  A Brown nail polish, Francesca? I'm a sucker for ugly/pretty colors. I have this army green color that everyone is afraid to compliment. But hey, whatever.

Maybelline's Color Tattoo in 'Tough as Taupe'

Friday, November 9, 2012

I've been wanting to try one of these color tattoos for quite some time. I really wanted the shimmery nude in the fall collection, but I couldn't find it anywhere :(. That was upsetting, but to fill the shimmery nude void in my heart, I picked up my second best option: Tough as Taupe! Considering I love the color taupe, it seemed like a darling fit.

I like the glass packaging. It reminds me of a MAC Paint Pot, which is one of my makeup essentials.

The color itself doesn't look too exciting. It's a murky gray leaning toward purple. But, once you swatch it and put it on your lids, it looks great! I think that the color really compliments my green eyes well. I used mine as a straight lid color, but I'm sure this would be a great for an eyeshadow to go over.

The consistency is smooth and creamy. It doesn't go on clumpy or streaky. I don't find myself tugging on my eyelids a lot to get the product to come off my finger either. If you find that you might have this problem, it would work just as well with a synthetic fiber brush, like a flat-concealer brush.

Have you tried these Color Tattoos? If so, what's your favorite? I've been eying Bad to the Bronze... ;)

NARS's Blush in 'Sin'

Monday, November 5, 2012

I've been pining after this blush for a very long time! The closest Sephora is the one inside of JcPenny and I swear that they had never carried this color so I took it upon myself to order it online. Of course, the next time I went to said Sephora, they started carrying this color...but I digress..

I love the initial outside packaging of NARS. There's something so classic and fresh about a solid black, opaque package with white lettering.

As you can tell from the photo above, though the packaging is great before you touch it, once you take it out of its box, it collects even the tiniest bit of dirt/dust from your fingerprints or the makeup surrounding it. Other than that small complaint, I have nothing else bad to say about this blush!

Stila Smudge Pot in 'Kitten'

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I love cream eye shadows in pots more than life itself. They are so convinient and are a look in themselves. I'm pretty lazy in the morning when it comes to eyeshadow mostly because it takes me forever to blend and I'm very particular about where I want my crease color. It's all too stressful when I have time restraints in the morning before school. Products like Stila's Smudge/Prime pots, MAC's Paintpots, NYX's Jumbo eyeshadow pencils and Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on shadows save my life during the school year.

I remember about a year or two back, the fab four (as I like to call them) Glamourista16, MeghanRosette, SarahBelle93x and GlassSlipperBeauty on youtube absolutely RAVED about this. Much time has passed, but I finally got my stuff together and bought this gem!

Kitten is one of those "famous" shades from Stila. When I think Stila, my first thought is the kitten eyeshadow. The color is absolutely fabulous.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in 'Exposed'

Thursday, September 27, 2012

If you know me, you should know that I have a budding love affair for blushes. If you know me even better, you'd be aware of the fact that I pine after this line of blushes hardcore. My love for this particular type of blush is the equivalence to Paula Dean's love for better. So obviously it's pretty extreme.

I needed a blush for fall and since I've been waiting quite awhile to purchase this particular shade I figured now would be the perfect time to live a little and buy this beaut. This is only my second shade, though I did very recently just order the 2012 Holiday Collection kit with four in it. In my cheek drawer I now have Dollface and Exposed sitting very close to each other for easy access.

The actual design in the blush is incredible. It's a cute design meant to model the Amazon river. Eventually, once you use this enough, the design begins to get worn down but it's cute while it lasts!

Tarte's Lip Gloss in 'Blissful'

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How I got this product is actually a really funny story. I was at Ulta buying Benefit's boxed powder in Dandelion and the cashier was checking me out. When she went to put it in the bag, she accidentally dropped it on the floor. She apologized about ten times even when I kept assuring her that it was fine and that it wasn't broken at all. Apparently she felt really bad because she gave me a Tarte makeup bag that contained this lipgloss in it! So basically I got a lipgloss from Tarte that retails for over $20...for free!

The packaging is adorable! I love the floral print. The applicator is a collection of synthetic fibers. When you click the bottom of the gloss, the product comes up through a little tube in the center of the applicator. A good two or three clicks gives you enough gloss for your bottom and top lips. 

Mine is in the shade blissful, which also has a blush (and Lip Surgence stain, correct me if I'm wrong) in the same shade.

MAC's 'Lightscapade' MSF

Saturday, September 22, 2012

This product has a special place in my heart being that it was my first MAC product ever. This mineralized skin finish started the snowball effect for my still forming MAC addiction. My collection of little black packaging is slowly but surely increasing every Macy's trip.

First and foremost, highlighters are by far my favorite makeup product. I love the effect they give the face. If I forget to highlight my face before I leave the house, I get legitimately upset. I feel like my face doesn't look as fresh and natural if I forget this step.

The product itself has a cream colored base with darker swirls of tan, yellows and blues. It looks almost like a pastel planet!

As for the actual color, when the mixture is swirled together it forms a light yellow powder. It is a little chalkier than my other MSF from MAC, but it isn't enough to bother me. When I apply it onto my face, it gives the most natural glow of all of my high-lighters. The wear time isn't awful, but it's not nearly as long as my liquid highlighters from Benefit. But for being a powder, I have no problems with it.

This product, sadly, was limited edition but I picked mine up at a local CCO! If you can get your hands on this and love highlighters, I would definitely recommend it! If you're so-so about them, I would say don't even try looking for it.

Wet 'N Wild 'Walking On Eggshells' trio

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It really excites me to be able to make this blog post, because it just reminds me that I finally have this in my possession after years of pining over it. I know, I know; why was I pining after a drugstores trio that cost less than five dollars? Well, my friend, because it is that fabulous. This is one of those products that lives up to its hype.

The three colors are nicely labeled for their intended use, though you could easily switch these up with outside colors and they'd look just fine.

 The lightest shade is meant for the browbone or inner corner highlight. The middle shade is intended to be used as a crease color and the last color is the color for all over the lid. Again, these do not have to go in those places; they're just following the guide that Wet 'N Wild gave.

The browbone highlight is an off-white, leaning more toward a golden cream color. The crease color is a medium brown. The lid color is a peachy champagne or an exact dupe for MAC's All That Glitters (I kid you not).

The color payoff on these shadows are incredible. They are smooth and silky, making application incredibly easy. There are really no faults in this trio. The only one I could think of is that the brown color has a lot of payoff so you have to be careful when you apply it. Before you go to put it on the lid, make sure to tap it out quite a bit. Other than that, you can't go wrong with this affordable trio!

NOTD: Butter London's 'Fairy Lights'

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I've become increasingly more busy between school and soccer, but I'm finally here today to review my first ever Button London nail polish! I've heard nothing but good things about the brand, and once I saw that Ulta was having a BOGO free on the tenth, there was no way I could pass up my opportunity to finally try one from the brand.

First and foremost, I love the rectangular packaging on this. I really like when brands stray from the typical somewhat-cylindrical glass bottle. It just gives it a memorable and unique edge. You pull the black cap off to reveal the twist top that is connected to the brush. The brush itself is nice, but the applicator cap felt a little small. It didn't bother me enough to make or break the polish for me.

Fairy Lights is described on Butter London's website as a “liquid metal” rose-pink metallic nail lacquer. I would say that it definitely has somewhat of a purple tint in certain lights. The finish is metallic, which is fairly obvious in the bottle.

August Favorites!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I fail to believe that it is currently September 2nd. Where did the summer go? I swear I just finished my last exam of junior year yesterday. This is crazy. I've spent the whole summer working, playing softball and attending family parties. This has by far been the busiest summer. Maybe not the best, but I'm content with it.

As for the month of August, I bought a lot of new products and tried some new stuff. So I'll get right into my favorites of the month.

First and foremost, I'll start off with my most used blush this this month: Dandelion from  Benefit! You can see my review for it right here.

It is the perfect natural blush for my skin tone. It'll look even better when I'm a little more fair (I've been out in the sun a lot for soccer and such). Plus, Benefit's powders smell sugary sweet to me.

I've been wearing the heck out of this Korres lip butter in Jasmine. I also did a review on that so you can see it here. It's the perfect nude on my lips and I just love the way it feels. Plus, it smells incredible.

I got this Urban Decay 24/7 eyeshadow pencil in 'Sin' in an old holiday or combo pack or something. It came with five (review coming soon), but 'Sin' is my favorite eyeshadow of all time so having this in a cream form is awesome. I love the application of this. I color it on and blend it out a little and I've got my eye look. When this runs out, there is no doubt in my mind that I will find myself a full sized version.

This is not my favorite mascara or anything, but for this month it has been doing a pretty good job and keeping my lashes long and "voluminous"~. It's a little wet for my taste, but it's been my favorite this month.

I picked up this Benefit "Boing" and "Lemonaid" duo. I use Boing for my concealer on blemishes and Lemonaid under my eyes on my dark circles even though the website says it's an eyeshadow base to remove veins on your lid, I believe. I prefer it as an under-eye concealer. It's so compact and I love the little mirror. I will definitely carry this around in my school bag.

This lip scrub is awesome. It does its job well (exfoliates your lips/preps them for lip products) but it also tastes incredible! My brother will deny this, but he stole it a couple of times just so he could lick it off his lips. It's just that good!

And as for my non-beauty favorites I have Underarmour athletic shorts in general, though this fluorescent green is my favorite.

I play soccer and softball, so these shorts are perfect for that. But I'll wear these on my runs or for gym class. Really, they're just great breathable shorts. Plus, there are so many colors to choose from! I could look at athletic gear forever.

My taupe Steve Madden studded loafers have seen better days. We've gone through a lot together, like seeing Train in Chicago and promptly ripping up the back of my feet so I couldn't wear them the rest of the trip. They're painful to break in, but after you do they're incredible! I love wearing them with my cuffed blue cotton pants from Hollister (They're called the Skinny Chinos). They're awesome!

I got this half off and am in love with it. I almost bought it at the beginning of the month but passed, so needless to say I was stoked when I saw it on sale! It smells incredible. I'm absolutely awful at describing scents, but B&BW describes it as "sparkling grapefruit and sandalwood, with coconut milk and summer jasmine". If they still have it at your local store, pick it up! It's the perfect transition scent for summer to fall.

I found these in the frozen section of my local Target. It's portioned fruit for an 8 oz. smoothie! It's just frozen bananas and strawberries, so you could buy those yourself, but I like the idea of it already being in a perfect portion for me.

I've been loving the song "Mango Tree" by Angus and Julia Stone this month. It's a mainly acoustic song (with a little percussion) but I adore the lyrics and Angus's voice. It's very unique, and certainly for someone with an acquired taste. Julia delivers lovely harmonies. I just love the simplicity of their songs. You might remember their song "Big Jet Plane" from the Maybelline Fit Me ad in 2011. I got giddy when I realized it was them when it first aired. I had been fans for a little while before that. They're just a great duo.

What have been some of your favorite products for August? What are you excited about going into fall? I can't wait to wear some of my more neutral or darker colors. I've also been dying to try out a berry or plum lip! :)
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